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  1. #1
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    New member/rider looking for advice

    Hello BikeForums.net!

    I've been riding my fixed gear for about a month now (on and off). The bike I have is a Retrospec Beta (frowned upon in the bike community?)

    I've got a few questions that I hope experienced riders may give a little insight on:

    I want to change my chain ring and cog. I feel that my 48T/16T gearing is too tall and difficult to go up hills and perform wheelies with. What cogs and chain rings are recommended? I've been reading around, and Shimano and Dura-Ace seem like good brands, but quite pricy.

    Is my factory hub of bad quality? You can find the specs of my bike @ http://www.retrospecbicycles.com/el-diablo-beta-fixie/

    If the information matters, I'm about 5'8", 155lbs and my bike frame size is 49cm.
    Last edited by Dannihilator; 11-29-11 at 09:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    You're 5'8" and riding a 49cm frame ? I'm 5'3" and ride a 49cm frame. That frame is tiny for you. As to gearing, don't bother changing the chainring and just get a larger 18T cog, which will lower your gearing a bunch and cost a lot less. A good brand is Soma, which you can find for under $20.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    I felt comfortable getting a 49cm, as a 52cm felt different and awkward. The seller that I bought the bike from said I'm able to maneuver around in a smaller framed bike, as I will be mainly cruising and doing tricks on the bike.

    And also, isn't it better to get a prime number tooth cog? so like a 19T? I figure I'd pick up skidding eventually.

  4. #4
    rue the whirl motobeCarnage's Avatar
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    49cm is tiny..

    anyway, anything branded "fixie" is pretty much the "tribal" tattoo of this bike community. So yeah, not too many people are going to say you made the best decision (if you purchased the bike yourself.. and didn't get it used for extremely cheap)

    In any case, it's your bike, it works I imagine and I'm going to assume you enjoy riding it. There's no good reason why you shouldn't. As far as changing the chainring and cog that is exactly what you need to change no matter what you feel about the gearing so good choice. Neighborhood admin Scrodzilla owns Retrogression and has a quality inexpensive cog and lockring you could use.

    http://www.retro-gression.com/catego...cogs-lockrings
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    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Is it wise to use 1/8" tooth cogs on a 3/32" chain drive?

  6. #6
    Cat Enthusiast ddeadserious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    Is it wise to use 1/8" tooth cogs on a 3/32" chain drive?
    No. You can use 1/8" chain on 3/32" a cog/chainring, but not the reverse, it simply won't fit. If all your hardware(including the chain) is 3/32", you'll need 3/32" parts or if you buy 1/8" parts, you'll need to buy a 1/8" chain as well.
    ALL CITY NATURE BOY

  7. #7
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    And also, isn't it better to get a prime number tooth cog? so like a 19T? I figure I'd pick up skidding eventually.
    Yes, 48T x 19T will give you 19 skid patches, whereas 48T x 18T will only give you 3. More importantly, it will give you lower gearing, which is what you want if you're doing a lot of tricks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

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    49cm is tiny. I'm 5"10 and ride 53cm. It's a teeny bit on the small side for me. If your feet are flat on the ground and you have more than 2cm clearance between your junk and the top tube, the frame's generally tiny. That's assuming that your bike doesn't have a weird bike geometry.

    49cm with your stature means it's more maneuverable, yes, but it's the same argument I can use to buy a 19" TT BMX bike.
    48 / 19 is a high ratio IMO if you can spin well / don't go fast that often, by all means. I ride 47 / 17 and I can skid fine (rode three weeks on fixie, can do seated skids when roads are wet)

    Calculate your skid patches. Google Sheldon Brown if you don't know what this means.
    If you want to pop wheelies, I suppose you can go really high like 46 / 19; I don't know what those guys use for their gearings.

    If you can't skid on your gearing, get stronger. Or gear up. But really, get stronger.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Great. How much of a difference would it be if I switched to a 46T crank and a 17T cog? Do you recommend I keep the 48T crank and just change the cog? I was browsing that site, and it they don't have anything about 16T in 3/32".

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    They have it in the dura ace if you're willing to spend 4 more bucks

  11. #11
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Sorry, I meant 17T. :x

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    Painfully average. calv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    Do you recommend I keep the 48T crank and just change the cog?
    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    don't bother changing the chainring and just get a larger 18T cog, which will lower your gearing a bunch and cost a lot less. A good brand is Soma, which you can find for under $20.
    What do you think?
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  13. #13
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Then there it is, haha. I want to order from Retrogression; however they do not have 17T or 19T in 3/32". It appears Amazon has many made by brands I have not commonly seen.

  14. #14
    Just smang it. EpicSchwinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    Great. How much of a difference would it be if I switched to a 46T crank and a 17T cog? Do you recommend I keep the 48T crank and just change the cog? I was browsing that site, and it they don't have anything about 16T in 3/32".
    It would make a decent difference to switch from 48/16 to 46/17. 46/17 is close to what *most* people like to ride on the street. If you're doing tricks you'll probably want it even higher. 46/19 would make you have lots of torque and skid patches. It wouldn't be that fast but it would be a lot better for tricks. I rode 32/18 (extremely low) on my single speed mountian bike and it was great for popping wheelies and stuff.

    You might want to ask this question in a Fixed gear free style forum since there are very few of us here who deal with the tricking side of fg bikes. Not that we wouldn't love to have more, I just think we might not be the best at recommending trick track setups

  15. #15
    Cat Enthusiast ddeadserious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    Then there it is, haha. I want to order from Retrogression; however they do not have 17T or 19T in 3/32". It appears Amazon has many made by brands I have not commonly seen.
    I got a 17t All City cog from a vendor on Amazon and it is significantly quieter than my 15t Dura Ace. There are other good brands.
    ALL CITY NATURE BOY

  16. #16
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    How much did you get it for? http://www.amazon.com/All-City-Stain...2632291&sr=1-2 It's 34 shipped for me.

  17. #17
    Just smang it. EpicSchwinn's Avatar
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    Oh, as a side note - If i'm not mistaken most FGFS guys run an entire 1/8" drive train for strength.

    Btw, you should post what JDM car you're driving

  18. #18
    Painfully average. calv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicSchwinn View Post
    You might want to ask this question in a Fixed gear free style forum since there are very few of us here who deal with the tricking side of fg bikes. Not that we wouldn't love to have more, I just think we might not be the best at recommending trick track setups
    Where's Michael Chacon's sweet edits when you need them.

    Quote Originally Posted by EpicSchwinn View Post
    Btw, you should post what JDM car you're driving
    I have a retired Mazda RX-7
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  19. #19
    Cat Enthusiast ddeadserious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    How much did you get it for? http://www.amazon.com/All-City-Stain...2632291&sr=1-2 It's 34 shipped for me.
    http://www.amazon.com/All-City-17T-S...d_sim_sbs_sg_1
    ALL CITY NATURE BOY

  20. #20
    rue the whirl motobeCarnage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    I was browsing that site, and it they don't have anything about 16T in 3/32".
    If you're going to get a new cog that you'll most likely be using for a while I think it would be worth it to go ahead and get the 1/8th and pick up a 1/8th in. chain. They're a little more stout, stronger, etc.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicSchwinn View Post
    Oh, as a side note - If i'm not mistaken most FGFS guys run an entire 1/8" drive train for strength.

    Btw, you should post what JDM car you're driving
    Wow, it would cost some bit to convert my drivetrain to 1/8", no? More than 200, haha.

    And sadly right now, my ride is stock with window visors. I'm driving a pretty damn clean DEP CG6 Accord.

  22. #22
    Cat Enthusiast ddeadserious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    Wow, it would cost some bit to convert my drivetrain to 1/8", no? More than 200, haha.

    And sadly right now, my ride is stock with window visors. I'm driving a pretty damn clean DEP CG6 Accord.
    It'd be very cheap to convert to 1/8". Just buy the cog listed above(either silver or black), and a 1/8" chain. No big deal.
    ALL CITY NATURE BOY

  23. #23
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Come to think of it... since my frame size is "tiny" and an 1/8th in. drivetrain sounds stronger, I might as well sell my bike and build one from the ground up. But it's going to be hard to sell my fixie... I paid MSRP for it because I wanted red v-rims. Lol. It's hard enough for me to sell my 2 pairs of WeSC headphones.

  24. #24
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddeadserious View Post
    It'd be very cheap to convert to 1/8". Just buy the cog listed above(either silver or black), and a 1/8" chain. No big deal.

    The 1/8" chain will work alright the the stock 48T crank?

  25. #25
    Cat Enthusiast ddeadserious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    The 1/8" chain will work alright the the stock 48T crank?
    Yes. There are plenty of people running 3/32" chainrings with 1/8" chains.
    ALL CITY NATURE BOY

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