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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 10-17-10, 11:07 AM   #1
aeonderdonk
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First Fixed/SS - Slipping, Chain Falling off, and already wrecked

I got my first fixed/ss bike this week - it's a Cutter Bones (http://www.realcyclist.com/cutter-bones-bike) and has a 46/18 ratio with flip flop hub.

I took it out for a quick ride with the freewheel and it rode great. I then flipped the wheel around to try out the fixed gear. Getting started was a challenge but managed to get going and was digging it. every now and then it would slip when peddling and i knew something was up when the chain fell off the gears.

I stopped, remounted the chain, and took off again. Over the course of my 3 mile ride it happened maybe 4 times.

The last time was disastrous - I was riding down a big hill in my neighborhood and my feet came off the pedals, by time I caught myself the chain came off, wrapped around the crank arm, and the bike was fishtailing like crazy. Luckily the chain broke and wrapped around the hub before I wiped out.

So now, I've got a broken chain, a scraped up crank arm, and a scraped up chain stay.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can fix the slipping/chain falling off? Do I need to remove a link or something? A few of my links are bent on the broken chain, should I replace the whole thing or get some new links from the LBS?

Thanks!
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Old 10-17-10, 11:19 AM   #2
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Get a new chain and make sure that thing is tight and the chain line is straight
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Old 10-17-10, 11:34 AM   #3
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^Not too tight.
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Old 10-17-10, 11:44 AM   #4
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You should have stopped and fixed the problem the first time it popped off. Also, don't take your feet off the pedals when you are going downhill... That is the worst idea, look for a different route if you cant handle a hill.
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Old 10-17-10, 11:45 AM   #5
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That definitely sounds like a chain tension problem. When you flipped the rear wheel to the fixed gear side, the chain was not tight enough. As you learned, this can have dangerous consequences when riding on the fixed cog. Normally you would fix this by moving the rear axle farther back in the fork end. If the axle was already as far back in the fork end as it could go, then you need to shorten the chain. But remember that you need to leave the chain long enough to fit around the freewheel as well (which won't be a problem unless it's significantly bigger than the fixed cog). The original chain is probably trashed, so I agree that you should probably get a new one. Go to the LBS, get a new chain, and perhaps ask a mechanic to show you how to walk the real wheel back and forth in the fork ends to adjust the chain tension.
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Old 10-17-10, 12:55 PM   #6
aeonderdonk
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Thanks for the advice, i'm headed to the LBS after the Pats game is over and hopefully will get it resolved.
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Old 10-17-10, 10:15 PM   #7
Triple8Sol
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Originally Posted by amesbien View Post
Also, don't take your feet off the pedals when you are going downhill... That is the worst idea, look for a different route if you cant handle a hill.
I don't think he did it purposely. He said his feet came off. Sounds like he is lacking foot retention.
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Old 10-17-10, 11:14 PM   #8
FastJake
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Originally Posted by aeonderdonk View Post
I stopped, remounted the chain, and took off again. Over the course of my 3 mile ride it happened maybe 4 times.
Were you able to remount the chain without loosening up the wheel? If so, it's a sure sign your tension was too loose. The chain should be as tight as possible without binding. Put another way, it should be as tight as possible while still spinning as freely as when it's way too loose. I feel like I'm bad at explaining stuff online. Read this if you can't understand my ramblings: http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html#tension

It sounds like your chain is busted up pretty bad. As everyone else said, buy a new one.

One more thing: is your chainline straight on the fixed side? If not, that will make your problems worse.
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Old 10-18-10, 12:34 AM   #9
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Did you at least check if the cog and lockring were tight?
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Old 10-18-10, 12:36 AM   #10
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I recomend you quit wrenching your own bike before you kill yourself.

Go to the LBS, they will surly square you up so that you can ride carefree.
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