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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 06-13-14, 12:38 PM   #1
spectastic
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S&S couplers fixie and different geared flip flop hub

I'm considering getting a fixie as both an around the town bike and a travel bike that I can fold up and avoid extra airline charges. I have a few questions, since I'm new to fixies and ss.

Can I put a 16 sprocket on the fixed side, and a 13 on the freewheel? I don't have my gear ratio figured out yet, but I see fixie frames have fore/aft sliders that would help accommodate for any changes in the drive train length. My reasoning is that if I wanted to go around town, I can use the fixed gear side. and for longer rides, and faster corners with full lean, I'll need the coasting. If possible, I'd get freewheel on both sides, because fixed gear doesn't really interest me, but I don't think they make those kinds of hubs..


another question I have is for anyone who have any experience with S&S couplers. is there a way to make the damn things cheaper??? I mean there's got to be a machine shop that does custom jobs like this for cheap. It's just a couple of welds and some threads. I can't imagine something like this would cost $500+ simply because the market is small. I ride a size 58 cm. maybe I can get away with a suitcase by stripping the frame down.

any input is appreciated.
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Old 06-13-14, 01:14 PM   #2
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You can use a 13 on one side and 16 on the other. The only thing is that's such a big jump in teeth you might have to add a link or 2 to the chain. Even though you can pull the wheel back in the drop outs it only does so much. I looked into Couplers before and the cheapest thing I found was a guy on my local craigslist selling a bike with them super cheap lol. Someone else can answer that one better i'm sure but I haven't saw any cheap options.
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Old 06-13-14, 01:48 PM   #3
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i'll bring this question up to the bike mechanic, but how many teeth difference can the slider accommodate? 1 chain link (or 1 tooth) is what, 0.5 in? you put that through p=3.14*Pi and you get ~0.16 inches in radial displacement, and because the chain doubles back from the sprocket, that chain displacement is divided by half, so the real displacement is really ~0.08 inches, which seems really small. I bet that slider has at least 0.5 inches of play before you have to worry about the wheel falling off. That gives me a difference of 6 teeth. that's a pretty rough calculation, but am I in the right ball park?


oh wait, I forget that you can only have an even number of chain links.. so you can only have 13,15 or 17 together. not 13 and 16. but that still seems reasonable..













One more question. If I were to buy a fixie, do I really have to worry about the frame, wheel, quality? they're all steel, and entry level parts, so I'm assuming that I can just pick the best looking geometry with the lowest price, right? Are there actually frames out there to watch out for?

Last edited by spectastic; 06-13-14 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 06-14-14, 12:25 PM   #4
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If possible, I'd get freewheel on both sides, because fixed gear doesn't really interest me, but I don't think they make those kinds of hubs..
Yes they do. That kind of hub is used for freewheel and band brake.
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Old 06-14-14, 02:22 PM   #5
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While I can’t answer whether there are cheaper couplers out there, nor understand what you are talking about when you say
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…so you can only have 13,15 or 17 together. not 13 and 16...
This statement
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…If possible, I'd get freewheel on both sides, because fixed gear doesn't really interest me...
actually brings your project 1 step closer to being doable if you get your dropouts/trackends & chain right to work with the 3 tooth difference you are seeking.

I will leave commenting on how useful a 13t “sprocket” is in the real world, unless it is accompanied by a pretty small chainring to others, but the simple answer is a good old-fashioned BMX flip-flop hub. You put your small freewheel on the metric threaded side, & the bigger one on the side with English threading. IIRC, BMX hubs are 110mm? Just get one respaced to fit your bike.

Good luck…
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Old 06-14-14, 03:04 PM   #6
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While I can’t answer whether there are cheaper couplers out there, nor understand what you are talking about when you say

nevermind, for some reason I was thinking that if the chain has to go up by two links at a time, then the gearing must as well, which obviously isn't true



This statement

actually brings your project 1 step closer to being doable if you get your dropouts/trackends & chain right to work with the 3 tooth difference you are seeking.

I will leave commenting on how useful a 13t “sprocket” is in the real world, unless it is accompanied by a pretty small chainring to others, but the simple answer is a good old-fashioned BMX flip-flop hub. You put your small freewheel on the metric threaded side, & the bigger one on the side with English threading. IIRC, BMX hubs are 110mm? Just get one respaced to fit your bike.

I think at normal cruising speeds on my bike, I normally run 52/16. I guess that's closer to 46/14 than 46/13, but I'll figure that out later.
Good luck…
I'm not understanding the bmx flip-flop hub and band brake. It would be idea to be able to coast on both sides. if that's what you're referring to, can you elaborate?
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Old 06-14-14, 03:30 PM   #7
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I'm not understanding the bmx flip-flop hub and band brake. It would be idea to be able to coast on both sides. if that's what you're referring to, can you elaborate?
IDK what band brake is either but...

"The most common type of BMX flip flop hub has standard ISO freewheel threads on one side and smaller metric BMX threads (30 mm x 1 mm) on the other side that are designed to work with smaller 14T to 15T BMX freewheels. In recent years a few companies have started making 13T freewheels compatible with this thread as well, allowing more gearing options."
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Old 06-14-14, 06:30 PM   #8
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ok so I'm guessing that involves me having to build it? or do they sell these things in stock?

will i also have to buy special cogs for this?
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Old 06-14-14, 07:40 PM   #9
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Why not just get a wheel with an internally geared hub? If you get something like the SA S2 kickshift hub you get 2 speeds, a freewheel, and no unsightly shifter cables.
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Old 06-14-14, 08:52 PM   #10
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thans for that suggestion . ill look into it
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Old 06-15-14, 05:52 AM   #11
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I think you ought to figure out what type of transmission you really like, and understand it, before you start trying to find a cheap one with S&S couplings.

If you have no idea where you'll be traveling, some more variability in the gearing may be a good thing. Maybe an 8-speed IGH. It's still not going to be cheap if you insist on couplings in a normal-sized bike.
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Old 06-15-14, 06:31 AM   #12
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Why not just get a wheel with an internally geared hub? If you get something like the SA S2 kickshift hub you get 2 speeds, a freewheel, and no unsightly shifter cables.
I got a Marin Ignacio that came with one of those hubs, was set up at 49 and 67 gear inches. Rode it around north San Diego county for a month, worked well for that hilly terrain. The shifting is not very predictable, you backpedal a half turn and it usually shifts, sometimes it doesn't. Other than that it's a great hub, perfect for its intended use.
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Old 06-15-14, 12:21 PM   #13
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sounds awesome. how come i never knew about this hub shifting before? I'm wondering if there's anyway to fit a bare frame in a normal check in bag that's small enough to not have any fees.
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Old 06-15-14, 02:45 PM   #14
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Why not just get a folder?
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Old 06-16-14, 12:37 PM   #15
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I only got my IGH bike, initially, because that's the predominant style here in Sweden, where cycling is commonplace, and I was looking for something functional and cheap that wouldn't be a theft target once my other stuff got here from the west coast of the USA.

I had no idea I'd like it so much. Now I'm considering as my next build an IGH folder built for touring. This stems from the fact that I get so much vacation, there are such good cycling paths in Europe, and it would greatly simplify the act of traveling with a bicycle.

I'm quite new at some of the parts of cycling that I think are charming. For instance, it was only during the last year that I got my first dynamo-hub. Now, 2 of 3 of my bikes have them. It's fun to grow and learn like that!
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Old 06-27-14, 08:32 PM   #16
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the complain I have with folder bikes is that they don't have the geometry of a road bike. while I'm interested in touring, I would also like to go fast.

there has to be a way to securely connect two pieces of steel tubing together without having to spend $500....
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Old 06-27-14, 10:18 PM   #17
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there has to be a way to securely connect two pieces of steel tubing together without having to spend $500....
S&S couplers are the most expensive, but they are the best. If you ever see one up close you'll see why.
for other options look up Ritchey Breakaway and/or demountable bicycles.
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Old 07-07-14, 01:04 PM   #18
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any experience with this frame?

Montague Boston Custom folding bike frameset
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Old 07-07-14, 02:29 PM   #19
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Guess what Folding Bikes
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