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Fixed/SS question

Old 05-11-20, 02:45 PM
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Fixed/SS question

Hello all,

I did scan the threads before posting this.

I've picked up an old bike set up fixed wheel and never owned one before. Question is - how can I tell if it can be converted to singlespeed?

Rear wheel has cog either side of hub and only one has the pin wrench style lockring. However, neither cogs 'coasts' as it's setup now.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 05-11-20, 03:07 PM
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Does the side without a lockring have left-hand threads showing beyond the cog?

If yes, you have a fixed-fixed hub. You can get another lockring for it. (Be aware, there are two lockring standards. A few Italian hubs use a larger diameter lockring. Miche does on a lot of their fix gear hubs but not all. I would unscrew your current lockring and very gently start the replacement onto it to check (no tools, fingers only,)

If no, ie the threads you can see are right-hand, then you have the far more common fix-free hub where the no-ring side is intended to have a singlespeed freewheel. The fix gear cog will work without issue going forward but if you ever try to brake, intentionally or no, you might unscrew the cog, leaving you in "neutral" and probably throwing your chain which can lock up the rear wheel. If you are at speed, this may well destroy your tire and will scrape paint, gouge the chainstay and quite likely bend a few chain links. It's also quite exciting.

It is also possible the side without a lockring has damaged threads and can no longer accept one. if so, consider this a compromised hub.

BTDT on all of the above scenarios. Rode Cycle Oregon last summer on a hub with stripped lockring threads on both sides. Had good, working brakes on both wheels and rode up, around and down from the Crater Lake rim without issue. (But next time, it's going to be on a hub that is "right".)

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Old 05-11-20, 03:22 PM
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If you have a fixed/free hub (as 79pmooney described) it's better to run a singlespeed freewheel on the free side as it has more threads on it, but you can also put a singlespeed freeweel on a fixed side because, even though it has less threads, you actually never generate more force than you would on a fixed cog and the number of engaged threads is fine.

Make sure you have front and rear brakes with practical brake levers if you're going from fixed to singlespeed.
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Old 05-11-20, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SB01 View Post
Hello all,

I did scan the threads before posting this.

I've picked up an old bike set up fixed wheel and never owned one before. Question is - how can I tell if it can be converted to singlespeed?

Rear wheel has cog either side of hub and only one has the pin wrench style lockring. However, neither cogs 'coasts' as it's setup now.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
Usually, a single speed freewheel has a little more meat to it; a cog is a cog. Just to check, you could see if the side without the locking ring 'coasts' 'backwards', in this case, you'd be able to spin it towards the front of the bike. It's possible someone was running a 'suicide' setup, and screwed the cog on a freewheel side. This is less insane if the bike has brakes.
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Old 05-11-20, 03:36 PM
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Illustrations


Freewheel side. No 'neck'.

Fixed side, slightly smaller lockring diameter and 'neck' created.
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Old 05-11-20, 04:07 PM
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Put front and rear brakes on your bike if you're going to run a freewheel. It's also worth trying out riding fixed for awhile. It's a different experience, but it's not THAT different. It's just a single-speed that doesn't coast.
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Old 05-11-20, 04:17 PM
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Fixed gear on the street is a bike that is in the wrong gear 90% of the time, that you can't go around corners fast because of pedal strikes. On the track, they are wonderful but I don't understand the obsession withy fixies other than the hipster cool vibe. Also, they are so 2008.
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Old 05-11-20, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SB01 View Post
Rear wheel has cog either side of hub and only one has the pin wrench style lockring. However, neither cogs 'coasts' as it's setup now.
Does the non-lockring side have threads for a lockring? Remove it and see what the threads look like.
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Old 05-11-20, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Fixed gear on the street is a bike that is in the wrong gear 90% of the time, that you can't go around corners fast because of pedal strikes. On the track, they are wonderful but I don't understand the obsession withy fixies other than the hipster cool vibe. Also, they are so 2008.
They're also terrible in a headwind.

The cool kids were doing it since 2003. I'm not cool so 2008 sounds about right 😆
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Old 05-11-20, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Fixed gear on the street is a bike that is in the wrong gear 90% of the time, that you can't go around corners fast because of pedal strikes. On the track, they are wonderful but I don't understand the obsession withy fixies other than the hipster cool vibe. Also, they are so 2008.
I got turned onto fix gears for race training, to learn to pedal smoothly and efficiently. I also quickly learned that I got a better workout in limited miles or time. Got to do shorter rides when it was raining, Much better on snow and ice, There are conditions when you can get there on a fix gear and keeping the same bike up with gears and the freewheel is scary at best. And I loved and still do the ability to handle a wide range of torques and RPM. The full body work out of hard climbs. That my arms don't become toothpick-like appendages.

Oh, I learned all of this 30 years before the hipsters. (The '00s were funny here in Portland. I didn't have any of their hip stuff - I rode with two good brakes, fenders, old Japanese road bike with a lock on a bracket but I got some respect from them because they all knew I was riding fixed before they were born.)

My two latest fixed gears were designed and set up to have three very different gears for riding serious hills. One has a very long road dropout that allows me to run any 1/8" cog made (that I've ever heard of anyway) and the other is my old Mooney which I set up with 3 different drive trains for similar mountain gearing. The first I have ridden 5 times in the week long Cycle Oregon. I made the changes for the Mooney to do the 2017 Cycle Oregon with its promised gravel but fires canceled the ride. (Left me with a sweet ride so all was not lost!)

Fix gear on the road is cycling at its purest.

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Old 05-12-20, 12:16 AM
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Hi all,

Thanks for the replies. I'll check to see if I can add a single speed free wheel to the non-lockring side and if so will get one.

In the meantime I'll ride fixie. I only got the bike yesterday and have never ridden fixed before. It was kinda fun. The bike is only for mucking about with the family - riding locally to the park etc so surely I can't get myself into to much trouble..🤔🤔🤔

If SS is s
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Old 05-12-20, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
...Fix gear on the road is cycling at its purest.
^ this is a true and trustworthy statement.
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Old 05-12-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Fixed gear on the street is a bike that is in the wrong gear 90% of the time, that you can't go around corners fast because of pedal strikes. On the track, they are wonderful but I don't understand the obsession withy fixies other than the hipster cool vibe. Also, they are so 2008.
I'm so 2000-and-late.
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Old 05-12-20, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Fixed gear on the street is a bike that is in the wrong gear 90% of the time, that you can't go around corners fast because of pedal strikes. On the track, they are wonderful but I don't understand the obsession withy fixies other than the hipster cool vibe. Also, they are so 2008.
My fixed gear commuter isn't a "fixie" and has zero hipster cool vibe. What it does have is lower maintenance and better reliability than any other type of drivetrain. It gets me and my stuff where I need to go, it can do a hilly century in under seven hours (I'm not fast...), and I really enjoy riding it.


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Old 05-12-20, 12:56 PM
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The fact that it's in the wrong gear 90% of the time is a training benefit.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Fix gear on the road is cycling at its purest.
Sure, but multispeed is cycling engineering at its finest.

Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Fixed gear on the street is a bike that is in the wrong gear 90% of the time, that you can't go around corners fast because of pedal strikes. On the track, they are wonderful but I don't understand the obsession withy fixies other than the hipster cool vibe. Also, they are so 2008.
I'm with you. There is a small park near my apartment that a lot of people ride to (casually), and I can't tell you how many "fixies" I see compared to geared bikes. And I put it in quotes, because the vast majority are actually single speeds.

But you have a 750 F1, and not everyone has such discerning taste. I'm just a scrub that actually thinks the 999 series is the best looking of the lot...

Originally Posted by caloso View Post
The fact that it's in the wrong gear 90% of the time is a training benefit.
Right, but you can always ride a multispeed bike in the wrong gear, no? Is trying to decelerate with your legs such a good workout? Doesn't seem like the best idea from a physiological standpoint.

When I see people struggling to get over a bridge here (and not because they want to be struggling, but because they are genuinely having a hard time maintaining momentum), I usually say something along the lines of "that's why god invented gears," as I go past...

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Old 05-12-20, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Sure, but multispeed is cycling engineering at it's finest.



I'm with you. There is a small park near my apartment that a lot of people ride to (casually), and I can't tell you how many "fixies" I see compared to geared bikes. And I put it in quotes, because the vast majority are actually single speeds.

But you have a 750 F1, and not everyone has such discerning taste. I'm just a scrub that actually thinks the 999 series is the best looking of the lot...



Right, but you can always ride a multispeed bike in the wrong gear, no? Is trying to decelerate with your legs such a good workout? Doesn't seem like the best idea from a physiological standpoint.

When I see people struggling to get over a bridge here (and not because they want to be struggling, but because they are genuinely having a hard time maintaining momentum), I usually say something along the lines of "that's why god invented gears," as I go past...
Sure. I do this all the time. I have a five minute hill where I'll alternate big and little rings. My point with the fixed gear is that it's something you deal with all the time and it becomes second nature to spin up to match a surge or to muscle over a short, steep roller. Broadening your power band. And you get used to keeping your pedals turning over even when you're soft-pedaling.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
...Right, but you can always ride a multispeed bike in the wrong gear, no? Is trying to decelerate with your legs such a good workout? Doesn't seem like the best idea from a physiological standpoint....
Any geared bike that permits coasting... well, allows distracted riding that involves periodic coasting. Fixed doesn't allow that, and you have to concentrate more at certain times. Coasting geared bikes also make "clicky" sounds. And yes, modulating speed and power using only one's legs is part of the wonder of it.
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Old 05-12-20, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Any geared bike that permits coasting... well, allows distracted riding that involves periodic coasting. Fixed doesn't allow that, and you have to concentrate more at certain times. Coasting geared bikes also make "clicky" sounds. And yes, modulating speed and power using only one's legs is part of the wonder of it.
I get the concept. I mean, I'm one of those people that knows (yes, knows) that driving stick is more enjoyable, involving and "pure" than driving an automatic. And I get that you are more directly connected to the road...

But the thought of using my legs to decelerate sounds a little unnatural and uncomfortable (as in, you are stressing joints in directions they normally aren't stressed in). Plus, my point what that the rear-derailleur is the hallmark of bicycle technology, and so one could argue that a pure bicycling experience should involve using one. Maybe the absolute purest is friction shifting?
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Old 05-12-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
I get the concept. I mean, I'm one of those people that knows (yes, knows) that driving stick is more enjoyable, involving and "pure" than driving an automatic. And I get that you are more directly connected to the road...

But the thought of using my legs to decelerate sounds a little unnatural and uncomfortable (as in, you are stressing joints in directions they normally aren't stressed in). Plus, my point what that the rear-derailleur is the hallmark of bicycle technology, and so one could argue that a pure bicycling experience should involve using one. Maybe the absolute purest is friction shifting?
I don't decelerate with my legs. I use my front brake.

If you know that driving stick is more enjoyable (I refuse to own an automatic) then fixed gear shouldn't be too much of a leap. You just need to ride one for a while. Saying that one thing is better than another thing when you only have experience with one of them is flawed. I appreciate both my fixed gear and geared bikes. And my single speed MTB is a lot of fun on singletrack!
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Old 05-12-20, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Sure, but multispeed is cycling engineering at its finest.



I'm with you. There is a small park near my apartment that a lot of people ride to (casually), and I can't tell you how many "fixies" I see compared to geared bikes. And I put it in quotes, because the vast majority are actually single speeds.

But you have a 750 F1, and not everyone has such discerning taste. I'm just a scrub that actually thinks the 999 series is the best looking of the lot...



Right, but you can always ride a multispeed bike in the wrong gear, no? Is trying to decelerate with your legs such a good workout? Doesn't seem like the best idea from a physiological standpoint.

When I see people struggling to get over a bridge here (and not because they want to be struggling, but because they are genuinely having a hard time maintaining momentum), I usually say something along the lines of "that's why god invented gears," as I go past...
Thank you for the compliment. I bought the 750 F1 because I wanted to race and in CCS it was very competitive. I learned quickly that I wasn't, I crashed and was not fast. Then I got hit head on by an suv on the street and gave up motorcycles. Its actually a very rare Ducati, I sold it and the guy that bought it restored it beautifully. He was asking 12k for it. Unrestored low mileage 750 F1 command $20k+. But yes, the 999 series are very pretty. Or maybe the 916?
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Old 05-12-20, 03:06 PM
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I'm not allowed to add pictures because I'm new here.

Based on what's written above I think the bike has two fixed cogs. One cog has pin wrench style locking against it but the other side has a large octagonal locking - which was on the drive side when I got the bike.

Is that a standard fixie thing?

Last edited by SB01; 05-12-20 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 05-12-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
But the thought of using my legs to decelerate sounds a little unnatural and uncomfortable (as in, you are stressing joints in directions they normally aren't stressed in).
Same thing happens when you run downhill. It's not unnatural, in fact I think running and fixed-gear have a lot in common.
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Old 05-12-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SB01 View Post
I'm not allowed to add pictures because I'm new here.

Based on what's written above I think the bike has two fixed cogs. One cog has pin wrench style locking against it but the other side has a large octagonal locking - which was on the drive side when I got the bike.

Is that a standard fixie thing?
I can't recall seeing anything like that. But if you have a cog and lockring on each side you have a fixed/fixed hub. You can still remove one or both and replace with a freewheel.
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Old 05-12-20, 03:32 PM
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See ye olde threade here about BB lock rings used as jam nuts on a freewheel hub. If you have the tools, you can get the wheel out, take off the lock rings, and all should be clear. It looks like the consensus is that you have two fixed cogs, but the octagonal 'lock ring' sounds like it could be a BB lock ring being used as a jam nut. If that's the case, you have a fixed/free hub, but it's running fixed/fixed.

You can upload photos to your gallery, and one of us can copy and paste them in, too.
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