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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)

I'm prepared to be blasted

Old 01-03-20, 02:26 PM
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MAK
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I'm prepared to be blasted

Two simple questions:
If you can get the chain tension right, why must single speeds have horizontal drop outs? Why are vertical drop outs taboo?

Fire away.
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Old 01-03-20, 02:44 PM
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AlmostTrick
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Because H dropouts make it much easier "to get the chain tension right".
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Old 01-04-20, 10:15 AM
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seau grateau
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Old 01-04-20, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Two simple questions:
If you can get the chain tension right, why must single speeds have horizontal drop outs? Why are vertical drop outs taboo?

Fire away.
A vertical dropout limits you to specific "magic gear" combinations that provide appropriate chain tension, and as the drive train wears, you have no way of compensating for that wear without replacing the chain and/or cog, and/or chainwheel with new components. Eventually, you find the chain doesn't want to stay engaged with the cog or chainwheel. A horizontal dropout allows you to simply pull the wheel a little further back to take up the slack from worn components.
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Old 01-05-20, 10:24 AM
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Vertical dropouts aren't "taboo". A taboo is something that is forbidden or unacceptable for no rational reason other than social convention. Vertical dropouts are less versatile than horizontal when it comes to adjusting the chain. Why have vertical dropouts and make it difficult for yourself?
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Old 01-05-20, 05:01 PM
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MAK
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Thank you for your responses. It appears that ease of adjustment is the biggie. The English lesson wasn't needed since taboo can be a noun, verb or adjective and sometimes words are used to get a point across whether accurate or not.
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Old 01-08-20, 03:37 PM
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My SS bike has semi-vertical (or is that semi-horizontal?) dropouts: they are angled downward (in a forward direction) to allow the rear wheel to be removed easily even with fenders (which can be a problem with horizontal dropouts), but they are still horizontal enough to allow me to get enough chain tension by just pulling the wheel back while tightening the locknuts. There's not enough fore-aft adjustment to allow me to change the freewheel size without sizing a new chain, but that's fine - I have never felt a need for a change in gearing.

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Old 01-08-20, 03:38 PM
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Go ahead and use vertical dropouts and get yourself an eccentric bottom bracket. Solved. When wear causes it to slacken, adjust the BB.
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Old 01-10-20, 08:25 AM
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I have friends who use a vertical dropout (roadbike frame). Cant get the good chain tension..
Sometimes when we r riding around (high speed) the chain would come off
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Old 01-10-20, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Thank you for your responses. It appears that ease of adjustment is the biggie. The English lesson wasn't needed since taboo can be a noun, verb or adjective and sometimes words are used to get a point across whether accurate or not.
It wasn't an English lesson, but I was trying to draw a distinction in a short post.

For comparison, there is a group of people who seem to treat having brakes on a fixie as taboo: a breach of some sort of code, or ethos, or whatever they might choose to call it.

I don't think anyone is "against" vertical dropouts for that type of reason, but rather for sound practical reasons.
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Old 01-12-20, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Because H dropouts make it much easier "to get the chain tension right".
thats what I thought.
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Old 01-12-20, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Thank you for your responses. It appears that ease of adjustment is the biggie. The English lesson wasn't needed since taboo can be a noun, verb or adjective and sometimes words are used to get a point across whether accurate or not.
As for the why: It is quite difficult to achieve a perfect adjustment of the chain when the adjustments have to be made using the blunt instruments of adding or removing links, or selecting a different gearing ratio. Furthermore, as the chain, and the rear cog age, further adjustment may be needed, and certainly would not be achievable only through removing links. Horizontal drop-outs make it possible to apply those fine adjustments that are not available if the only mechanism for adjustment were chain link count and gear-inches.

Thankfully we can discuss this out in the open, without judgement and without shame, because this is not a taboo subject; it's simply a matter of practicality.
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Old 02-09-20, 09:27 PM
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Much easy to adjust.
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Old 02-12-20, 11:45 AM
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d1961
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Myself, I have a few single speed bikes. A couple of them have the horizontal dropouts but another is a conversion with vertical dropouts. I use this tensioner from Bike Nashbar. It works great.
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Old 02-12-20, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by d1961 View Post
Myself, I have a few single speed bikes. A couple of them have the horizontal dropouts but another is a conversion with vertical dropouts. I use this tensioner from Bike Nashbar. It works great.
That is fine for singlespeed, but a no-no for fixed gear drivetrains.
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