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)

Fixed gearing ratio options

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Old 08-09-18, 11:14 AM
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bergerkjh
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Fixed gearing ratio options

Hello

Iíve been riding 48x19 fixed for a long time, casually. Recently been riding more for fitness and would like to try a different gearing. Iím in nyc and to get a 17t cog for the experiment would cost me 30 bucks and I donít believe I have the tools to get the lock ring off, so installation cost too. For a potentially failed experiment, nor can a I find one on good old craigslist

I can get a 52 tooth chainring for 10 bucks, and that looks like an easy Allen key job and just a smidge lower ratio than the 48x17. Am I missing anything? If I recall from some Sheldon reading a larger chainring is apparently more efficient

any other wanted or unwanted side effects I should be aware of?

also do chainrings have varying sizes like the 1/8 or 3/32? Both have 5 holes so to the best of my knowledge should be any easy swap
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Old 08-09-18, 01:15 PM
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bergerkjh
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Well my main question is now this, would I need a longer chain? I can move the rear wheel forward a good half inch, maybe a touch more.



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Old 08-09-18, 01:19 PM
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You can get the lock ring and drive sprocket off with some channel lock pliers, or other improvised tools, I would think.

Switching out the cog would be your best bet. Existing chain SHOULD work. You can get a 17 cog for a lot less than $30.

If you swap the chainring, you'll need the chainring, plus I'm 99% sure you will need a new chain too.
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Old 08-09-18, 01:33 PM
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bergerkjh
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I’ve come to the same conclusion. Amazingly I’m having a tough time finding a rear cog for less than 30ish. The few places I contacted only have All City for that price.

Are unbranded cogs decent? That I could grab online for less

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Old 08-09-18, 01:37 PM
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You really ought to get a chain whip though, for removing sprockets. You'll use it, guaranteed. And that sprocket might be screwed down pretty tight.

Plus, I don't wanna give the board mechanics fits by saying to use channel locks.
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Old 08-09-18, 01:42 PM
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Here's a cheap ebay 17 cog, in 1/8th inch: https://www.ebay.com/itm/17T-FIXED-G...4AAOSwopRYiWVY

And one in 3/32nd https://www.ebay.com/itm/FIXED-GEAR-...kAAOxy-gBR9epQ
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Old 08-09-18, 01:46 PM
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Sounds like you could use a tool that would do everything you need.

https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...-lockring-tool

If you take it to a shop you going to pay that much.

if you want to try a 16 t cog I know were you can get one cheap

https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...ts/2-dolla-cog
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Old 08-09-18, 01:48 PM
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It occurs to me you might just use the chain itself to get that sprocket off, just mount the wheel in the dropouts and pedal backwards.
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Old 08-09-18, 05:09 PM
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I would be more focused on putting myself in a better economic position that way I am not having to worry about $30 here, $30 there.
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Old 08-09-18, 05:46 PM
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^
well that's more than a little presumptuous...

edit: and rude
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Old 08-09-18, 06:04 PM
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Get sloppy with how you spend $30, how well are you gonna handle $30,000, which you will probably never have, because you wasted all your money on $30 sprockets.

DFTT
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Old 08-09-18, 07:06 PM
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^
that's right, frugality is a virtue.
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Old 08-09-18, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
You can get the lock ring and drive sprocket off with some channel lock pliers, or other improvised tools, I would think.
I would advise against this. Using channel lock plies (unless modified in some way to access the cutouts of a lockring) to try removing a lockring and cog will probably just end up ruining both.

OP, if you'd rather not invest in any additional tools to do the job yourself, paying a bike shop to swap out a cog shouldn't be expensive or time consuming.
Also moving form a 48 to 52 tooth chainring is moving the ratio up, not down, which means it'll be harder to pedal. Reducing wear by using larger gears usually refers to the size of the rear cog, you don't see any less wear on an extra 4 teeth up front. Also just having 5 holes on the chainring doesn't mean it'll match because the BDC may not be the same. Better off just checking out a LBS.

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Old 08-09-18, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
It occurs to me you might just use the chain itself to get that sprocket off, just mount the wheel in the dropouts and pedal backwards.
lol, seriously? also a terrible idea

Although the rotafix method might be a safer alternative since you're not actually riding the bike, but you can potentially scratch the frame.
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Old 08-09-18, 11:02 PM
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30 bucks!!!!!!! Ha I just wanted to tinker with my bike and see how a different gear felt without turning it into a big ordeal, spare cogs, whip chains, whatever they call the lock ring tool all laying around my apartment to find out I am currently in the right gear lol

so I’ll wait until my chain breaks and let fate decide. That has to be next anyway

thanks for the feedback
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Old 08-10-18, 08:18 AM
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Time also has value. All this time overthinking and looking to save a few bucks you could of bought a cog and the proper tool and been done with it.

You need to increase or decrease the chainring by roughly 3 teeth just to get the same effect as changing one tooth on the cog. So experimenting with gear inches is typically easier by swapping cogs. Purchasing multiple cogs is usually cheaper, easier to store, and last almost forever.
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Old 08-10-18, 08:52 AM
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You say you've been riding fix gear a long time. On this bike, chain and cog? Stuff breaks, even fix gear stuff. Breaking a chain could cost you a lot more than $30 if it causes a crash. (Even if you consider the pain of injuries to you "free".) The money you spend on a chain whip and proper lockring spanner will be, over the long haul, money well spent.

The chain whip Colnago Mixte showed in post #5 looks like a good one. You can make you own far cheaper with 1 x 1/8 flat bar from Home Depot, some 1/8" chain and a couple hours access to a friend's drill and file and a chain riveter. You can make the homemade chain whip a lot longer than the one shown which may be a real blessing when it comes to getting you cog off. .(It was screwed on when? Were the threads greased? How many miles and hard hills have you done on it?)

I made my crude chain whip from a 3' bar scrap 40 years ago, Never regretted it. I've used various spanners. The Pedros Trixie fix gear tool is the best I've used (and works far better than any of the plate steel spanners if you ever decide to get fancy and run wild gears like 12 tooth cogs and their required bell shaped lockrings). It also doubles nicely as a hub wrench; very useful for those of us who sometimes get flats on the road on our fix gears,

This is just simple advice on riding fix gears from someone who was in close to your shoes when he started, fell in love with fix gears and never stopped, Many years later I could afford the fix gears I really wanted, own 3 and now change cogs for different rides frequently. Still have and use that (what, $5?) homemade whip.

Ben
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Old 08-10-18, 09:27 AM
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OP lives in NYC. Surely someone in the Big Apple has a chain whip and lockring tool and be willing to help the OP out.

New Yorkers are pretty chill nowadays. Just walk up to a bunch of guys on FG bikes and be like, "Hey, can someone help me out?" The worst that can happen is they say no. If he was in Atlanta I'd do it for him yesterday.

@bergerkjh , have a look at Bike Recyclery. They sometimes have nearly new or NOS cogs for cheap.


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Old 08-10-18, 10:26 AM
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^
good ideas right there
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Old 08-10-18, 12:20 PM
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Bikes are an investment. Time is valuable. A bike that runs well is valuable. $30 is chump change.
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Old 08-10-18, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
OP lives in NYC. Surely someone in the Big Apple has a chain whip and lockring tool and be willing to help the OP out.

New Yorkers are pretty chill nowadays. Just walk up to a bunch of guys on FG bikes and be like, "Hey, can someone help me out?" The worst that can happen is they say no.
No, the worst thing that could happen is that the person would say no, and then start a thread here about how some random person he didn't know, had the audacity to attempt to speak to him without being spoken to first, and not only that, wanted to borrow his tools.

And that thread will rage on for weeks, and eventually get locked.
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Old 08-10-18, 01:27 PM
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We can always lock it now if you're in a hurry
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Old 08-10-18, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
We can always lock it now if you're in a hurry
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Old 08-10-18, 01:52 PM
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just messin' haha

back on topic though again I'll advocate your most recent response @TimothyH . It involves getting into the local cycling community which is always a good thing IMO.
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Old 08-22-18, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by bergerkjh View Post
Hello

I’ve been riding 48x19 fixed for a long time, casually. Recently been riding more for fitness and would like to try a different gearing. I’m in nyc and to get a 17t cog for the experiment would cost me 30 bucks and I don’t believe I have the tools to get the lock ring off, so installation cost too. For a potentially failed experiment, nor can a I find one on good old craigslist

I can get a 52 tooth chainring for 10 bucks, and that looks like an easy Allen key job and just a smidge lower ratio than the 48x17. Am I missing anything? If I recall from some Sheldon reading a larger chainring is apparently more efficient

any other wanted or unwanted side effects I should be aware of?

also do chainrings have varying sizes like the 1/8 or 3/32? Both have 5 holes so to the best of my knowledge should be any easy swap
I ride 49/17 on 700c x 23mm tyres and find it versatile. I live in a flattish area but I have got up the biggest local hills on this ratio. I ride with brakes so I don't have to rely on back pressure to control speed on the descents.

To remove the lock ring, ideally you need a C spanner of the right size. In practice, it is usually possible to tap it round with an old screw driver and a mallet. If you do that too often, it'll cause damage, but if it's only now and again it's OK.

I have always been able to remove the sprocket by putting a sudden hard shock through the pedal. Just keep the bike on the ground and apply all your weight suddenly to the pedal in the obvious direction.

All these tools are reasonably cheap, readily available, and easy to use. Why pay a LBS to do the job, when you could spend the same money on a tool and do the job yourself this time and every time after?

A change of 1 tooth on the sprocket will always make a bigger percentage difference than a change of 1 tooth on the chain ring. For example, 1/17 difference is bigger than 1/48 difference.

You can increase the gear ratio by putting on a bigger chainring but you will need more chain. You can increase the gear ratio by putting on a smaller sprocket. For 1 tooth difference, you may not even need to shorten the chain. Yes, there is an argument that two larger cogs will be smoother than the same ratio achieved through two smaller cogs. On the other hand, the two smaller ones will be lighter. As there are no hills in NYC, weight is not really an issue for you.

Chain rings come in different thicknesses and I think this depends on whether they are designed for a 1x, 2x or 3x set up. The differences are slight, but I had one once that never sat right on my single speed.

Chain sets come in 4 or 5 arm varieties, but there are also different "BCD". That stands for "bolt circle diameter". The 4 or 5 bolts are evenly spaced around a circle. You need a chainring that is drilled with the same BCD as the chainset. The two common BCDs are 130mm and 110mm.
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