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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)

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Old 12-15-03, 10:50 PM   #1
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down to one gear now, need to disable coasting

First off, I'm a long-time lurker and really enjoy these forums. I've read lots of good stuff so far, and am looking for a little bit of specific advice.

OK so I have an old 80s Nikishi bike which I bought at the local recycling center for $10. Currently I have it set up as a single speed (39x17), using the original suntour freewheel. Chainline is pretty good.
I'm going to make a fix out of the stock freewheel, and I can think of two ways to do it. I know this isn't the proper way to do a fix with a single cog and a redished wheel etc etc, but this bike was cheap and so am I (plus the wheel is too rusted to redish). Someday I'll have a "real" setup, but I want this to get me through the winter. Any opinions would be appreciated

1. Take off the freewheel (I have to pay someone to do this), disassemble it, jam a bunch of misc. metal parts in the freewheeling mechanism, freeze those with some epoxy. Reinstall freewheel. I know someone who has done it this way and apparently it works.

2. Without removing the freewheel, find someone (probably have to pay for this too) to weld the outside of the freewheel, fixing the outside (freewheeling) ring to the inner (static) ring. A friend and I did something similar to this before on a shimano freehub, and it worked well. I don't have access to any welding equipment here, tho. If I go this way, who should I find to do the work? Bike shop? Car mechanic? It's a 5 min job for anyone who can use a torch/welder.

I've heard that since the bike is pretty old that I don't have to worry about the (fixed) freewheel coming off. Is this true? Since method #2 doesn't require removing the freewheel at all, is it less likely to come off?
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Old 12-16-03, 12:20 AM   #2
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I initially tried what you described on my fixie...removed all but one cog from the freewheel, welded it to the FW body, and welded the FW so it was fixed...however it did not work well as the chain tried to jump a few times and broke teeth off the cog (partly caused by a less than perfect chainline at the time). I eventually ended up welding/"fixing" a BMX freewheel and it has been trouble free for a few hundred miles so far. Anyway, I'd advise using a fixed cog or BMX freewheel as the tooth profile is designed for the application and works much better for SS/FG bikes than freewheel cogs.
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Old 12-16-03, 12:23 AM   #3
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I've not done a fix the way you're talking about, so I can't really comment on that. But, I have done it the other two ways 1) removing the freewheel and using a track cog locktite and a bottom bracket lockring 2) buying a wheel with a track hub. My view is that you get what you pay for. My "on the cheap" locktite wheel that i redished and everything is functional and that really is all I expect of it. The wheelset I bought is smooth like butter. I'm happy I built the cheapy wheel because I learned a lot. But I have to say the track hub and wheel that was professionally built trued and tension just plain feels so GOOD. Overall in my cost/benefit analysis I would say buy a track hub. Your result will be sooo much nicer and if you decide you don't like that can take your nice wheelset with you when you find a nicer frame at the thrift store. Just my opinion, others will vary.
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Old 12-16-03, 08:22 AM   #4
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Not having tried either method, I'll contribute this because it bothered me about the advice given in the "research question" thread.

For what you're going to pay a mechanic to jack up your freewheel or pay a welder to weld your wheel, you'll be well on your way to buying a new back wheel.

It would seem that if your going to use epoxy, you will need to thoroughly degrease your parts so that the epoxy will adhere to the bits of metal, pawls, etc. The other thing that makes me wonder about this is that with epoxy, your taking about probably a 3500 - 5500 psi strength. It seems you would have the same problems epoxy has in other small, high stress applications - since you're dealing with contact areas much smaller than 1 inch, you should easily exceed the shear strength. Granted, the intention is to just jam sh1t up and you shouldn't have a problem doing that. I'm not sure how permanent a solution that is going to be.

As for the welding, if you did it without disasembling the wheel, it seems to me that you would most likely damage at least the bearing seals (if they are rubber, anyway).

Just some random thoughts.
"I don't want to learn. The more you drive, the less intelligent you become."
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