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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 04-04-05, 09:39 PM   #1
sirwilliamjr
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Anybody ride w/ two speeds (not flip-flop)?

I just finished converting and old Giant MTB to a singlespeed using a cassette cog, PVC spacers, and the deralleur with a piece of brake cable holding it in place as a tensioner till I buy a real tensioner. I love riding it, and I've found a gearing (1.9:1) that seems to work pretty well, but a few of the trails I ride are a lot more technical and steep than the rest, and the 1.9:1 is a little steep for me (at least for now). I was messing with the barrel adjuster on the deralleur and realized there is enough play in it for another (easier) cog on the back. Then I could have two gears- one for fast trails and one for technical/steep ones. I know this wouldn't be true single-speed, but I would only switch it before and after rides (I promise, no cheating in the middle of a ride ), so it might as well be a flip-flop hub. Anyone else have experience with a set-up like this?

-Will
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Old 04-04-05, 09:42 PM   #2
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A local rider from my hometown rides this set-up. He is a badass, though, and rides a 32x14 with a 21 as the bailout gear.
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Old 04-04-05, 09:56 PM   #3
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You can try a setup like this, if you want to keep a straight chainline and minimum slack:

http://www.trials-online.com/gallery...hp?album=bikes (2nd from left, 2 down)

You'd need some spacers and a couple of the Novatec DX cogs, but you could run the bail out gear and your regular crusing gearing.
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Old 04-04-05, 09:59 PM   #4
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My old boss has a DX bmx hub on the back of his SS. He's got two cogs on it, but he shifts with a peanut butter wrench and his index finger.
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Old 04-04-05, 10:15 PM   #5
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Used to have a bike with a two speed hub. You just coasted for second and pushed the crank backwards a little (just before the rear brake engaged) and it shifted up or down. Then there was the old Bendix 2-speed hand shifter for guys (my sister had no problem with hers) that couldn't get the hang (finesse) of the internal hub shifter. That Bendix two speed was one of the first click shifters - way before its time. There's not an STI version of though it unless you count the chain ring STI lever. Hmm... wonder if I could adapt one?

sun
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Old 04-04-05, 10:20 PM   #6
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There's a guy on our Saturday rides that has a Surly set up with a tensioner and two front rings. Seems to work pretty well for him, but it's not quite what you were thinking of...
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Old 04-04-05, 10:41 PM   #7
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Yonderboy's post is just what I was thinking, except instead of a cable going to some sort of shifter, I'd have a short piece of cable locked in the deralleur so I could adjust it's length w/ the barrel adjuster. I think I might give it a try.

-Will
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Old 04-04-05, 10:47 PM   #8
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Another thought: would there be a way to use a real tensioner that could shift between the gears? Or at least a way to rig my deralleur so that I only need one pulley? The deralleur is so big, noisy, and ugly, and I want to go to a real tensioner or maybe somehow a single-pulley deralleur that will keep enough chain on the cog. I messed around w/ different set-up's w/ the deralleur, but I couldn't figure out a way to only use one pully without the chain coming away from the cog too soon. I guess another question would be how many teeth need to be engaged to keep a chain from slipping/coming off? Thanks.

-Will
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Old 04-04-05, 10:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwilliamjr
I'd have a short piece of cable locked in the deralleur so I could adjust it's length w/ the barrel adjuster.
I've seen a thumb shifter on the seatstays, too. It just depends on how lazy you really are.

If you ever go the singlespeed hub route, there's an ENO freewheel with 16T and 18T (IIRC) on the same freewheel. One of those and a shortcage derailleur would be a pretty sweet pseudo singlespeed setup.
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Old 04-05-05, 08:02 AM   #10
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Here mine. I originally wanted to make this bike for both city riding and trail. I ended up using it for ice racing this past winter and not sure the full plans yet but it's really fun on the trails. It's a 2x2 manual shift using a rear derailuer as the tensioner. I can use either the adjustment screws and/or small barrel adjuster for adjusting chainline. Seems to work pretty well. I'm running 34/42 chain rings and 16/18 and sometime swap in a 20 if need be for the cogs.
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Old 04-05-05, 08:22 AM   #11
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Here's a thread about a dual-cog, fixed-gear thing, but the same folks make a dualcog freewheel too.

New Cog - Your thoughts....
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Old 04-05-05, 08:30 AM   #12
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I had my winter bike set up as you describe a couple of years ago. Worked fine. One gear for regular cruising, and a lower bail out gear for deep snow or serious head winds. I think it would be great for SS mountain riding. The barrel adjuster has more than enough throw to cover two gears-and if you've already got a deraileur on there, why not?
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Old 04-05-05, 12:49 PM   #13
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That's a pretty special bike there, Kiecker!
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Old 04-05-05, 01:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by schwinnbikelove
That's a pretty special bike there, Kiecker!
Thanks!

When I moved back to Minneapolis from Chicago in Dec I knew I still had my old high school bike laying around. It ended up being a fun project to work on and the orignial splatter painted frame just screams "SS me"! During the converstion I found the seat post was stuck. It didn't seem to matter much since I was only ice racing with it and wasn't on the bike for long periods of time. Lucky for me we have a SS/Fixed meca of a shop in Minneapolis. OneOnOne is taking care of my dwindled attempts to remove the post with a large drill. Hopefully all will still be well! Something about not touching a bike for 10 years with an alum post and a steel frame. They bonded during that time when I wasn't bonding with it
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Old 04-05-05, 01:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereNT
There's a guy on our Saturday rides that has a Surly set up with a tensioner and two front rings. Seems to work pretty well for him, but it's not quite what you were thinking of...
Just goes to show you that if you can think it up it's probably been done. Here's mine.
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Old 04-05-05, 01:58 PM   #16
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My friend's dad used to have a special two speed bike. According to him the two speeds were "slow" and "slower." Not sure of his gearing choice.
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Old 04-05-05, 02:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiecker
Thanks!

When I moved back to Minneapolis from Chicago in Dec I knew I still had my old high school bike laying around. It ended up being a fun project to work on and the orignial splatter painted frame just screams "SS me"! During the converstion I found the seat post was stuck. It didn't seem to matter much since I was only ice racing with it and wasn't on the bike for long periods of time. Lucky for me we have a SS/Fixed meca of a shop in Minneapolis. OneOnOne is taking care of my dwindled attempts to remove the post with a large drill. Hopefully all will still be well! Something about not touching a bike for 10 years with an alum post and a steel frame. They bonded during that time when I wasn't bonding with it
Pssh, at least someone was bonding with it. I hope you didn't drill the frame?!? Am I seeing things, or is that a U-brake on the rear?

I love old school MTBs. I also love 80's music.
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Old 04-05-05, 02:24 PM   #18
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Yep blue anodized u-brake. No the frame was not drilled. When I sawed off the seat post I attempted to saw the interior of the post to get it out but my blades weren't long enough. I did nic the seat tube a bit with the saw. Worse case senario is that we cut the seat post tube down 1/2" and move the seat collar down. It already is about 2" above the top tube weld. I should hear back by the end of the week with the results
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Old 04-05-05, 02:45 PM   #19
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DanO220- What kind of tensioner is that? Never seen one of those. Looks pretty cool.

-Will
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Old 04-05-05, 03:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwilliamjr
DanO220- What kind of tensioner is that? Never seen one of those. Looks pretty cool.

-Will
It's a 'Melvin' tensioner made by Paul's components. It routes the chain the same way a rear derailleur does, but is built way lighter since it doesn't have to move the chain laterally from cog to cog. It's has enough take-up for a 20 tooth difference (I've used it on a 48/38/28 triple crank) but that's the absolute limit. It works much better with the 48/38 double I am presently running.

DanO
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Old 04-06-05, 03:57 PM   #21
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Retro-Direct is my next planned multi-speed bike. Any thoughts on
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Old 04-06-05, 05:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanO220
Just goes to show you that if you can think it up it's probably been done. Here's mine.
DanO - What are those bars? Got a photo that shows them more clearly? Looks like an interesting setup...
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Old 04-06-05, 05:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by brokenrobot
DanO - What are those bars? Got a photo that shows them more clearly? Looks like an interesting setup...
I found these used mustache wannabe's in the parts bin of a LBS for about $10 - SCORE! Since they weren't new, I don't know who made them or if they are still available. They are MTB diameter (25.8?) so some my cheapo brake levers, vintage Suntour thumb shifter and highly advanced, scientifically engineered aero grips (cheapo bar ends) slip right on. I went trawling for flats or risers to replace my drops and stumbled on something much more functional. A serendipitous score if there ever was one... and reason to trawl the LBS.

DanO

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