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How about a compromise bike

Old 02-12-16, 09:32 AM
  #1  
rydabent
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How about a compromise bike

Single speed bikes seem to be the rage among a lot of cyclist these days. Riders claim they like the simplicity of a fixie.

But the short coming here is getting started and especially hills. How about a compromise and have a double chain ring. It still would be very light and simple, but would have a low gear for starts and hills.

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Old 02-12-16, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Single speed bikes seem to be the rage among a lot of cyclist these days. Riders claim they like the simplicity of a fixie.

But the short coming here is getting started and especially hills. How about a compromised and have a double chain ring. It still would be very light and simple, but would have a low gear for starts and hills.
You don't want to drop the chain. There are fixies with igh, you're trying to solve a problem that's already been solved.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Single speed bikes seem to be the rage among a lot of cyclist these days. Riders claim they like the simplicity of a fixie.

But the short coming here is getting started and especially hills. How about a compromised and have a double chain ring. It still would be very light and simple, but would have a low gear for starts and hills.
With 2 chainrings you still need some kind of chain tensioning device to take up slack when you change rings. Front shifting is more problematical than rear shifting. A better choice for simplicity would be to retain the rear derailleur and eliminate the front derailleur and switch to a crank with a single chainring. You would still drop weight, your rear shifting would be much more dependable than a front derailleur and you would have up to 11 gears
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Old 02-12-16, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Single speed bikes seem to be the rage among a lot of cyclist these days. Riders claim they like the simplicity of a fixie.

But the short coming here is getting started and especially hills. How about a compromised and have a double chain ring. It still would be very light and simple, but would have a low gear for starts and hills.
You would still need a front derailleur and a spring-loaded device to take up the slack in the chain, then you would need a freewheel since you can't apply backpedaling torque to the spring loaded device. So you would need a brake. So now the fixie isn't so simple anymore.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:40 AM
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There are fixies with IGH.
Sturmey Archer | S3X Silver

2 speed Internal gear cranksets are Made , to not need a chain tensioner ..

with a 1.6X overdrive gear ratio Patterson Bike - Rocket Fast Shifting | Cannot Throw a Chain

schlumpf speed drive Schlumpf Innovations Gearing Systems - Speed Drive, Mountain Drive, High Speed Drive

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Old 02-12-16, 11:01 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
With 2 chainrings you still need some kind of chain tensioning device to take up slack when you change rings. Front shifting is more problematical than rear shifting. A better choice for simplicity would be to retain the rear derailleur and eliminate the front derailleur and switch to a crank with a single chainring. You would still drop weight, your rear shifting would be much more dependable than a front derailleur and you would have up to 11 gears
Yeah, moving it to 2 gears removes the simplicity of a fixed gear. People who want something in between usually go with only 1 chainring in the front and a regular derailler in the back. The complexity is increases substantially going from 1 gear to 2 gears, but is the same going from 2 gears to 7/8/9/10/11 gears (depending on how many gears your rear cassette has).
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Old 02-12-16, 11:04 AM
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...and for SS riding (rather than the fixed gear solutions fBob listed), there are the Sturmey Archer 2sp kickback hubs, the Sram Automatix 2sp hub, vintage Sachs and Bendix kickback hubs.

Here's my beater/lockup bike with a Sturmey Archer S2C rear hub:



Once you get into cable operated shifters, any number of IGH hubs.

But any of these take away from the simplicity of one-speed bikes, which is part of the appeal. There is no dearth of geared bikes in the world if those SS/FG riders wanted gears.

For the sheer fun of it, I once did the following exercise: friction shifter to rear shifting only, single chainring. I turned the limit screws in as much as they would go and then added as many gears is it would then handle which ended up being four. And these were wide gears, like 14-20-26-32, 8sp cass spacing. Worked great on a beater/shop bike, which also featured a Wald basket up front. Lunch run!
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Old 02-12-16, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
You don't want to drop the chain. There are fixies with igh, you're trying to solve a problem that's already been solved.
They make a fixed gear IGH but I have never heard much good about it. Mainly it was issues with the shifters which some have said have been worked out but since Stumey-Archer is not really the same S-A they used to be I still question it. I don't seem them at all and hear people ride them every so often but not often enough to say they see widespread use.

If someone wanted to ride fixed with gears, you could go with a double chainring (White Industries makes one but in a very low gearing for SS MTB/Cross mainly) or you could get a Dingle Cog (Surly) and it would still be a fixed gear so you would have to manually move the chain and wheel. If you went single speed you could run a chain tensioner and do a double or triple up front Paul Comp did it on an MTB, 3X1 with their Melvin tensioner.

If you wanted more than that you could probably work out a Pinion drive system (custom built frame to fit it with track ends or at least semi horizontal drops) and run it fixed in the rear. Since the pinion is an internal gearbox at the front you can go nuts in the rear.

However the fun of riding a fixed gear is not worrying about shifting and "am I in the right gear" because the cool thing is you are almost always in the wrong gear but it doesn't matter because you are having fun. It has made me a stronger rider on the hills on geared bikes and I just have fun.

I think everyone who can do so should have at least one fixed gear bicycle in their stable. Even if just for short trips or just as a winter bike or whatever, they are fun, low maintenance and cheaper than a geared bike. A full Campy Record Pista gruppo is going to cost less than a similarly spec'd Campy Record 2x11 gruppo but still of the same quality. Sheldon Brown had 17 of them!
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Old 02-12-16, 11:17 AM
  #9  
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Hills are not a shortcoming. You just handle them differently than a geared bike.
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Old 02-12-16, 11:38 AM
  #10  
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Crank forward bike frames are a compromise to a poster riding Recumbents.
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Old 02-12-16, 12:18 PM
  #11  
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They have multi-speed bottom brackets/cranksets to do what you're thinking. One chainring two ratios so no need for a tensioner. They're $$$$ though.

https://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/cat...hainset-35140/
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Old 02-12-16, 02:14 PM
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I always think it's funny when people mention they stress out wondering if they're 'in the right gear'. The right gear is whatever you need at the time, and if you're on a multi-speed bike you just shift to that gear. I (and many others) do it all the time. It's not something I ever think about while riding. I just shift. I can understand someone liking the simplicity of a SS bike, but shifting really isnt that complicated.
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Old 02-12-16, 02:23 PM
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Another option for a 2-speed fixed gear:

Drivetrain | Parts and Accessories | Surly Bikes
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Old 02-12-16, 02:51 PM
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Not all single speed bikes are fixies.

Hills are, to my eye, the benefit, not a problem. I am forced to climb out of the saddle and work on different muscles. Mid-climb you don't have the choice to downshift and slow - it is stand and mash or walk.

If if you don't care to ride one, there are tons of reliable group sets out there.

Really, though, standing to get started quickly or for climbs becomes second nature after the first fifty feet.
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Old 02-12-16, 03:49 PM
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Bike Blogger on YouTube just did a multi-part video series on building a 2x1, dual chainring with single rear gear. Dunno if he usually rides fixies or single gears with freewheels. But he's a young feller with strong legs, and if he's decided a two speed is sometimes a good thing, it's worth considering.

The only two-speed that would interest me would be a folder with the nifty SRAM Automatix IGH. I kinda like the idea for an errand folding bike, with no derailer to get damaged tossing the entire bike into a grocery buggy, or bus rack. Fewer cables to snag on other passengers if I were to tote the folder onto the bus, that sorta thing. Mostly I just like the idea of the thing for its compromise between simplicity and versatility. A couple of Terns were fitted with the SRAM Automatix.
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Old 02-12-16, 04:33 PM
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Since seeing them a couple of years ago, I've thought the Campagnolo Cambio Corsa makes a cool multi-speed "fixie". Some pretty ingenious engineering in them. I don't see why the hub lock and shifter couldn't be mounted on the bars.

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Old 02-12-16, 05:34 PM
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I think it is pretty funny when people freak out about someone riding either fixed or single speed. There are days that I am grateful to have a geared bike, and then there are days that I am really happy to only have one gear, be it fixed or freewheel. So we ride with one gear. We adjust. It isn't that hard.
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Old 02-12-16, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
I think it is pretty funny when people freak out about someone riding either fixed or single speed. There are days that I am grateful to have a geared bike, and then there are days that I am really happy to only have one gear, be it fixed or freewheel. So we ride with one gear. We adjust. It isn't that hard.
Maybe I should try pure SS Fixed.

I'm a "Masher", so I'd typically choose at least the possibility of the largest gear possible. (52 or 54) x (11 or 12). I just can't do really small gearing. This is good and bad. I'm certainly not afraid of standing up.

I may be able to get up many moderate hills in high gear. But, I know that I also encounter a few hills where it just isn't possible. 16%, and I have to drop down a couple of notches. Or, those hills that go on for more than 1/4 mile.

I also slow down a bit in the afternoons.

Anyway, I do have a Sturmey Archer S3X build in the works.
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Old 02-12-16, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
I think it is pretty funny when people freak out about someone riding either fixed or single speed. There are days that I am grateful to have a geared bike, and then there are days that I am really happy to only have one gear, be it fixed or freewheel. So we ride with one gear. We adjust. It isn't that hard.
I agree. Both types of bikes have a lot offer in their own way. There are definitely times I wouldnt have any problem with only one gear. In fact I've thought for many years that anything over 10 speeds (5 in back 2 in front) is total overkill.
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Old 02-12-16, 07:52 PM
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I like a fixed gear bike in the winter because not coasting and being able to resist the pedals to slow down helps keep me warmer.

I ride one the rest of the year because they are fun and somewhat addicting.

I do have geared bikes and also enjoy riding them, but my usual pick is a fixed gear.
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Old 02-12-16, 08:17 PM
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I've been riding road bikes (off and on) since 1964... I am a confirmed "shifter". That said (posted) I had purhased a DIY fixie that was short of being completed. I finished it, learned to ride it, and flip it for a few dollar profit.

I "get" why people like fixie! Adding light-weight minimal shifting won't fix... the fixie. Fixed bikes arre what they are.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:08 PM
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I'm hoping to do a couple of half century rides in Portland this April.


211-nieuw-ronde-pdx-de-ronde-van-west-portlandia, Saturday
210-la-doyenne-de-ronde-van-oost-portlandia, Sunday



Anybody want to join me on their fixie?

Hopfully I'll get a few intervals in before the ride. Short, but sweet. I've calculated about 16% max grade.



And a good training ride or two.

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Old 02-12-16, 10:20 PM
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I can't ride a fixie due to physical limitations, but REALLY enjoy the simplicity of my single speed. I built it with a social ride in mind, so it's geared really low and tops out about 10MPH pedalling. Really easy to climb on, not so much for actually getting anywhere long distance. I ride it more than any of my other bikes now and have considered an IGH.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
They have multi-speed bottom brackets/cranksets to do what you're thinking. One chainring two ratios so no need for a tensioner. They're $$$$ though.

Truvativ HammerSchmidt AM chainset review - BikeRadar USA
Excellent point.
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