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)

Is this unsafe?

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Old 01-23-19, 05:10 AM
  #1  
PeopleAreIdiots
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Is this unsafe?

The other day I added some spacers to my cog to move it out a bit and get a straighter chainline. I would have clearance issues if I moved the chainring to the inside of the crank spider so this was kinda my only option short of shifting the entire hub over with axle spacers and having to re-dish the entire wheel...ugh.

Anyway, I ended up settling on two spacers between the hub and the cog which gave me a much straiter chainline. However, now there arent enough threads exposed for the lockring to screw down all the way. The way I have it now, the lockring is greased and tightened properly but there are still about 2mm of lockring threads that are not being used. I've been riding it like this with no problems for a few days but I'm still concerned that this is not safe. Am I right to be concerned or is this fine? Am I in danger of stripping the threads on my lockring or hub or anything?

I took pictures of what I'm talking about but apparently I'm not allowed to post them until I've made 10 posts on this forum so we'll have to do with just my description for now.

Thanks!
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Old 01-23-19, 06:11 AM
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Old 01-23-19, 06:16 AM
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Are you using brakes on the bike?

It looks to me like you might be able to get away with one spacer behind your rear sprocket, but not two.

Are you riding this as a "flip flop", or only using the fixie sprocket?

One thing you might be able to do, if you can find a narrower lock-nut, you could put the thin lock nut on the right side of the axle, add a spacer to the left side of the axle, and dish your wheel slightly. However, that wouldn't necessarily work if you're doing a flip-flop.
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Old 01-23-19, 07:41 AM
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The lockring is barely even attached to the bike.

It could hold through the apocalypse or it could fail. No one can say.

I wouldn't ride that. I'd want it to be better, even if just for the piece of mind.



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Old 01-23-19, 08:05 AM
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Remove one of the spacers and test it. I won’t say it’s unsafe, unless you’re back-pedal stopping. If that’s the case, you absolutely need that lock ring properly installed. If you’re only using rim brakes, one could argue that you don’t even need the lock ring. If it were mine, I wouldn’t ride it that way. You may need to address the crank issue, in order to get a decent chainline.

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Old 01-23-19, 10:41 AM
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I wouldn't be happy with that, looks like you're risking the threads on the hub/lockring.

I'm assuming your chainring is too big to clear the frame on the inboard position? Have you considered if a combo of a smaller chainring and smaller sprocket would fit and give approximately the same ratio?
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Old 01-23-19, 01:16 PM
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It might hold, especially if you avoid using your legs to stop (use brakes). But if it fails, the least problem you can expect is ruining the lockring thread on your hub. More serious would be not being able to stop or slow when you really need to. Why risk it? Is there any reason why you couldn't adjust the chainline by e.g. using a slightly shorter bottom bracket axle instead? Or a cartridge that allows lateral adjustment?
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Old 01-23-19, 01:27 PM
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What about a different width BB spindle?
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Old 01-23-19, 01:28 PM
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Would NOT ride.
sorry
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Old 01-23-19, 01:29 PM
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Easy way to get this right (but it involves wheelbuilding skills). Remove the cog spacers. Remove the same amount of spacers on the right (drive) side hub axle. Put those spacers on the left side, Now, loosen the drive side spokes, tighten the non-drive side spokes and re-true.

I don't have time now to spell out in detail how to do this, but this will get you a proper chainline and you have all the treads engaged.

Ben
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Old 01-23-19, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone! Super helpful. Also thanks to Cliffordk for posting the pics.

So it seems like my intuition was right after all. To answer some of your questions:

Yes I do use a front brake with this bike, a disc brake in fact. However I do also stop and slow down using my legs a good percentage of the time as I dont use a rear brake.

My bottom bracket is actually already a 103mm so I don't know how much narrower I can go. My chainring is only 46t too so I think the clearance problem is mainly with the way my frame is made (also, I didn't actually test this configuration so it could just be that I'm terrible at eyeballing...).

Like I mentioned in the OP, I have considered using axle spacers to scooch the whole hub to the drive side a bit and then re-dishing the wheel like some of you suggested. But I just figured I'd check here first to see if my lazy solution would work instead. My main problem with axle spacers, besides the fact that re-dishing the wheel will be a lot of work, is that I couldn't really use the other side of the hub for another cog (flip flop style) with the rim being dished off center.

Sounds like everyone is in agreement that my spacers have to go though so that's what I'm gonna do. I might try one spacer and see if I can get the lockring all the way on. If not I guess I'll just have to use axle spacers and fix my chainline the hard way.

Thanks for the input everyone! Much appreciated.
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Old 01-23-19, 06:10 PM
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Did you put the chainring on the wrong side of the crank spider?
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Old 01-23-19, 09:07 PM
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Generally when someone has to ask "is this unsafe" or "is this safe" the answer is usually pretty clear it is not SAFE. Not sure what your oddball set up is but something is wrong because you shouldn't need spacers behind a cog ever and unless your chainline is so heinous that it causes issues, I wouldn't worry about it but to be as safe as possible bring the bike down to your local shop and have them take a look at it and allow them to make it safe for ya.
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Old 01-24-19, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Generally when someone has to ask "is this unsafe" or "is this safe" the answer is usually pretty clear it is not SAFE. Not sure what your oddball set up is but something is wrong because you shouldn't need spacers behind a cog ever and unless your chainline is so heinous that it causes issues, I wouldn't worry about it but to be as safe as possible bring the bike down to your local shop and have them take a look at it and allow them to make it safe for ya.
This.
A cassette spacer has no belonging in a fixed gear drive train.
Work on chainline from the crank. Are you running the correct bottom bracket for the cranks? Is the chaining on the right side of the crank spider?
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Old 01-24-19, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Generally when someone has to ask "is this unsafe" or "is this safe" the answer is usually pretty clear it is not SAFE. Not sure what your oddball set up is but something is wrong because you shouldn't need spacers behind a cog ever and unless your chainline is so heinous that it causes issues, I wouldn't worry about it but to be as safe as possible bring the bike down to your local shop and have them take a look at it and allow them to make it safe for ya.
Good point. To be honest with you, I recently built these wheels and I'm just having fun trying to get everything perfect. With my last wheelset, I had the same minor chainline issue but the bike still ran perfectly fine. I think now I just care more because the parts are nicer and I have more time invested in the build.
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Old 01-24-19, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
This.
Are you running the correct bottom bracket for the cranks? Is the chaining on the right side of the crank spider?
yes and yes. I have sugino rd2 cranks with a 103mm bottom bracket. The chainring is on the outside of the spider (I bought the cranks in a set with a messenger chainring and it came installed like that.) Like I said before, it doesnt look like there would be enough clearance if I moved the chainring to the inside of the spider.

So is the consensus that spacers + track cogs = bad news in general? I feel like I've seen other people do this. The spacers came with my hub too so I just kinda figured it was a valid option.
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Old 01-24-19, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PeopleAreIdiots View Post
yes and yes. I have sugino rd2 cranks with a 103mm bottom bracket. The chainring is on the outside of the spider (I bought the cranks in a set with a messenger chainring and it came installed like that.) Like I said before, it doesnt look like there would be enough clearance if I moved the chainring to the inside of the spider.

So is the consensus that spacers + track cogs = bad news in general? I feel like I've seen other people do this. The spacers came with my hub too so I just kinda figured it was a valid option.
what frame are you using? What is the rear spacing? I notice that you are using a set of velo orange grand cru hubs, which are a bit different than typical track hubs, because they are specifically designed to be used with 120,126, 130 & 135mm spacing. Normal track hubs are 120mm only. So your hubs have different spacing and longer axles. My guess is this is where your issue is. Your hubs also have more threading than a standard track hub for a fixed sprocket does, to allow more threading for a freewheel. This is unique to these hubs I believe, and velo orange mentions this on its website. This can pose a problem with some fixed sprockets, depending on how the sprocket teeth are ‘dished’ on the sprocket. (not all sprockets have teeth that are centred) What spacing do you have the hubs set to? Yes you can use spacers. Your hub came with those spacers did they not? But the amount you can use is very limited because there is only so much threading, and if you are riding fixed and using back-pedal braking to any degree, you need a properly installed lock ring. My guess, is that with a standard 120mm track hub, your spacing issue wouldn’t be so severe. The problem is that track hubs are designed for 120mm spacing. Deviating too far from that becomes an issue. A hub designed to be able to be used on spacing as wide as 135mm, is going to create its own issues.

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Old 01-24-19, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Easy way to get this right (but it involves wheelbuilding skills). Remove the cog spacers. Remove the same amount of spacers on the right (drive) side hub axle. Put those spacers on the left side, Now, loosen the drive side spokes, tighten the non-drive side spokes and re-true.

I don't have time now to spell out in detail how to do this, but this will get you a proper chainline and you have all the treads engaged.

Ben
I think @bonsai171 might have had the LBS do this for one of his wheels.


-Tim-
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Old 01-24-19, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PeopleAreIdiots View Post
yes and yes. I have sugino rd2 cranks with a 103mm bottom bracket. The chainring is on the outside of the spider (I bought the cranks in a set with a messenger chainring and it came installed like that.) Like I said before, it doesnt look like there would be enough clearance if I moved the chainring to the inside of the spider.

So is the consensus that spacers + track cogs = bad news in general? I feel like I've seen other people do this. The spacers came with my hub too so I just kinda figured it was a valid option.
Use a longer BB, then put the chainring on the inside spider. Problem solved.
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Old 01-24-19, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PeopleWhoUseSpacersToAdjustChainlineAreIdiots View Post
The other day I added some spacers to my cog to move it out a bit and get a straighter chainline.
using spacers to achieve a "straighter" chainline and risk trashing your hub or possibly your face in a crash is.......

how far is your chainline off that you would even consider this a good option?
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Old 01-24-19, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
what frame are you using? What is the rear spacing? I notice that you are using a set of velo orange grand cru hubs, which are a bit different than typical track hubs, because they are specifically designed to be used with 120,126, 130 & 135mm spacing. Normal track hubs are 120mm only. So your hubs have different spacing and longer axles. My guess is this is where your issue is. Your hubs also have more threading than a standard track hub for a fixed sprocket does, to allow more threading for a freewheel. This is unique to these hubs I believe, and velo orange mentions this on its website. This can pose a problem with some fixed sprockets, depending on how the sprocket teeth are ‘dished’ on the sprocket. (not all sprockets have teeth that are centred) What spacing do you have the hubs set to? Yes you can use spacers. Your hub came with those spacers did they not? But the amount you can use is very limited because there is only so much threading, and if you are riding fixed and using back-pedal braking to any degree, you need a properly installed lock ring. My guess, is that with a standard 120mm track hub, your spacing issue wouldn’t be so severe. The problem is that track hubs are designed for 120mm spacing. Deviating too far from that becomes an issue. A hub designed to be able to be used on spacing as wide as 135mm, is going to create its own issues.
Yeah I noticed that the axle was made to fit wider dropouts. Im using a fuji track frame for now and it has 120mm dropouts as you would expect. I wasnt aware that the velo orange hubs were made specifically with wider threading though. I can see why that might be part of the cause of my chainline issue compared to a more typical hub.

I actually took one of the spacers off last night and the situation improved alot. Ill post them once i have 10 posts and the forum lets me...

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Old 01-24-19, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by REDMASTA View Post
PeopleWhoUseSpacersToAdjustChainlineAreIdiots
Nice touch hahaha.

Yeah I get it. Obviously I'm not a bike mechanic of anything. I've just been riding for a while and have recently started to get into doing my own upgrades and bike maintenance. Part of the fun of the hobby no? I guess part of learning is making dumb mistakes and getting called out by people with more experience. Basically the purpose of the clickbaity title of this thread.

To answer your question. The chainline is not heinous or anything. Im just enjoying the process of trying to get it right. I used spacers that came with the hub for the simple reason that it was the easiest and cheapest solution available to me at the time. The lockring thing in the OP concerned me though so I started this thread to get some input from people who know better than me.

Thanks for all the input so far guys!

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Old 01-24-19, 11:01 PM
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Sorry for the triple post but that last one made 10 so now I can post pictures.

Like seamius and CliffordK suggested, I took one of the spacers off and Id like to hear everyone's input. I would love to try the other solutions that people suggested but most of them require me to either spend money on new parts or dish my wheel off-center which would prevent me from using the threads on the other side of the hub.

Like I mentioned before, I don't really have a huge issue with my chainline that effects the quality of my ride. It probably would at most effect the longevity of drivetrain but its not like I have 100s of dollars invested in it. I'm mostly just doing this for a bit of fun.

That said... I don't think crashing or ruining new hubs is fun so I want to make sure everything I'm doing is above board.

So here are some pictures with only one spacer. Better? Still stupid? Is the minor improvement not worth the risk?



I ended up taking off one of the spacers.


And I still get a pretty strait chainline.


The lockring goes on much more satisfyingly now. It looks to be sticking off a bit still but it has a bevel that makes it look like that even without a spacer. All of the threads are engaged.


Took a closer look after my ride today and it seems that this may be contributing to weird chainline issue (?). Looks like the bottom bracket isn't flush with the frame. I had this installed by a bike shop because I didn't have the right tool so I hadnt paid it much attention till now. Since I didnt do this myself i dont know how it works, could I just screw it in further to shift the cranks over a few mm? Or is that not how it works?

PS. Please forgive the griminess of my bike in these photos. I commute 8 miles each way in downtown Chicago. Its January...

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Old 01-25-19, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PeopleAreIdiots View Post
Sorry for the triple post but that last one made 10 so now I can post pictures.

Like seamius and CliffordK suggested, I took one of the spacers off and Id like to hear everyone's input. I would love to try the other solutions that people suggested but most of them require me to either spend money on new parts or dish my wheel off-center which would prevent me from using the threads on the other side of the hub.

Like I mentioned before, I don't really have a huge issue with my chainline that effects the quality of my ride. It probably would at most effect the longevity of drivetrain but its not like I have 100s of dollars invested in it. I'm mostly just doing this for a bit of fun.

That said... I don't think crashing or ruining new hubs is fun so I want to make sure everything I'm doing is above board.

So here are some pictures with only one spacer. Better? Still stupid? Is the minor improvement not worth the risk?



I ended up taking off one of the spacers.


And I still get a pretty strait chainline.


The lockring goes on much more satisfyingly now. It looks to be sticking off a bit still but it has a bevel that makes it look like that even without a spacer. All of the threads are engaged.


Took a closer look after my ride today and it seems that this may be contributing to weird chainline issue (?). Looks like the bottom bracket isn't flush with the frame. I had this installed by a bike shop because I didn't have the right tool so I hadnt paid it much attention till now. Since I didnt do this myself i dont know how it works, could I just screw it in further to shift the cranks over a few mm? Or is that not how it works?

PS. Please forgive the griminess of my bike in these photos. I commute 8 miles each way in downtown Chicago. Its January...
looks like a standard shimano sealed cartridge bb? If so, that’s what it should look like. Your chainline looks decent to me, and it looks like I was right about your hub being the issue, but easily enough fixed. If you’re still concerned about the lock ring, you can’t get a dura-ace one for pretty cheap and it doesn’t have that big lip. But you look good to me. I would cut down those axles though.

Last edited by seamuis; 01-25-19 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 01-25-19, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
I would cut down those axles though.
Any specific reason for doing that? Preventing weathering on the exposed threads or something?

Also are you talking jigsaw or something more involved?

The bottom bracket is a 103mm sugino square taper. Seemed pretty standard.
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