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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-25-10, 10:58 AM   #1
canonikon
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Are there Single-Speed or Fixed-Gear bikes that does not have coaster brakes?

First let me ask a noob question...what's the difference between a fixed-gear bike and a single-speed? Does one have coaster brake and the other doesn't? I want to buy a single gear bike meaning there is only one gear and no shifter, but I want hand brakes/brake levers on the handle-bar. Also I don't want coaster brakes, I want the pedals to NOT follow the wheel as it spins...is there such a bike? Or all fixed-gear and single-speed bikes have coaster brakes? I don't want to be flying down a hill and lose control of the pedals and not be able to brake...
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Old 08-25-10, 11:05 AM   #2
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A coaster brake is different than a fixed gear. A fixed gear has the rear cog attatched directly to the wheel, so however the wheel is spinning(speed and direction) is related directly to the speed of the pedals moving. So when the bike is moving forward so are the pedals. You cannot coast.

A coaster brake is an internal mechanism that causes the brakes. It has the normal freewheel mechanism, so that you can coast. But when you pedal backwords it causes the internal parts cause the hub to stop spinning which means the whole rear wheel stops.

What you are looking for is called just a single speed. Usually they are similar to road bikes, but with one gear and normal brakes. You have lots of options in all sorts of price ranges and qualities. Its a really open market depending on what you want, and how much you want to pay.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:05 AM   #3
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ok, here it goes:

singlespeed / FREEWHEEL bikes have the ability to coast (ie peddles wont spin when bike is moving). they NEED a brake to stop. Coaster brake bikes are singlespeed/freewheel, but instead of a hand brake they have the coaster hub brake.
FIXED GEAR bikes (technically also singlespeed since they have only one gear as well, but when people say singlespeed they are usually referring to coasting, freewheel bikes) are bikes where, as you say, "the pedals follow the wheel as it spins"

there definetly freewheel singlespeed bikes without coaster brakes, they just have hand brakes for the front and rear (well, some people have just front but its safe to have both front and rear)
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Old 08-25-10, 11:06 AM   #4
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fixed gear is fixed
single speed is a single gear with flywheel

coaster brake can be had on anything
so can normal brakes
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Old 08-25-10, 12:46 PM   #5
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single speed is what u are looking for.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:57 PM   #6
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also, MOST fixed gear bikes have what is called a "flip flop" hub, so you can have a fixed gear cog on one side, and a freewheel cog on the other......so many fixed gear bikes can be coasting singlespeed freewheel bikes by just flipping the back wheel around.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:03 PM   #7
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And if you have a freewheel, you should have at least one brake. (This should be obvious, but judging from some of the Midtown hipster bikes I see around here, it's apparently not obvious to all.)
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Old 08-25-10, 02:45 PM   #8
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Old 08-25-10, 03:32 PM   #9
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so, now that has been answered. are you going to buy a singlespeed or convert an existing bike?

cheapest/easiest conversion is to just remove the shifters. done.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:51 PM   #10
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Does anybody else think the OP is trolling?
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Old 08-25-10, 10:01 PM   #11
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One of my favorite SS rides had coaster on the back and caliper up front. Some ol' sixties rig.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mustachiod View Post
so, now that has been answered. are you going to buy a singlespeed or convert an existing bike?

cheapest/easiest conversion is to just remove the shifters. done.
i'm going to convert my existing bike to a SS but if I remove the shirfters the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?
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Old 08-25-10, 10:08 PM   #13
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Does anybody else think the OP is trolling?
no i'm not. what makes you think I am?

Last edited by canonikon; 08-25-10 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:17 PM   #14
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Awww, I like the yo' mama action better!
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Old 08-25-10, 10:19 PM   #15
canonikon
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Awww, I like the yo' mama action better!
lol i'm gonna be nice.
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Old 08-26-10, 08:39 AM   #16
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i'm going to convert my existing bike to a SS but if I remove the shirfters the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?
pick a gear ratio.
remove shifters.
remove derailleurs.
shorten chain.

read: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
g'luck
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Old 08-26-10, 09:20 AM   #17
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the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?
the rear derailleur is easy to take off. you will then have to shorten your chain to fit.

for the wheel, depending on your current hub, you may be able to remove the old freewheel cogs and replace with spacers and single freewheel.
otherwhise your options are buying a new hub and relacing the spokes or buying a new wheel. for me, at this point i just found a better bike on ebay
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Old 08-26-10, 10:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by canonikon View Post
i'm going to convert my existing bike to a SS but if I remove the shirfters the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?
it shouldnt be hard to take off. connected with a hex or phillips bolt im sure....
you dont use a derailleur with singlespeed.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:06 AM   #19
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well, the derailleur could be used as a tensioner if you have vertical dropouts
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html#vertical
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