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)

Total noob to fixed gears

Old 07-25-09, 08:45 AM
  #1  
hickbasket
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Total noob to fixed gears

Ok, so I want to start riding fixed gears and i really dont know the first think about them. I looked at the sticky threads but they didnt help me out. I am planning to make my ten speed shwinn road bike into a fixie. it has 27x1 1/8 rims and horizontal dropouts. i want to get a fixed gear cog for it, but i dont even know how to take the gear cluster off of the back. so my main question is, do i have to buy a new fixie hub, or do i just need to put a fixie cog on?
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Old 07-25-09, 08:51 AM
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etothepii
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You can't*. For a fixed gear bike, you need a fixed gear hub. The easiest thing to do is buy a new wheel or wheel set.

* I've seen where you can get into the guts of the freewheel and do some welding, but it doesn't look so hot.

What you can do is make your bike a ss for free using the rear derailier as a tensioner. just strip about everything else off.
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Old 07-25-09, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by etothepii View Post
What you can do is make your bike a ss for free using the rear derailier as a tensioner. just strip about everything else off.
He said he wants to turn it into a fixed gear, not a single speed, and that is very doable by simply removing (unscrewing) the freewheel and replacing it with a fixed cog, because the threads are the same. He can then use a bottom bracket lockring to keep the cog from unscrewing when he backpedals. He can take it to his LBS to get the freewheel removed. More than likely he can get a reasonable chainline by using the inside small chainring. Since he already has horizontal dropouts, the chain can be properly tensioned. Piece of cake!
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Old 07-25-09, 09:02 AM
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hickbasket,

Your local bike store has your answers, the hardware and the skills to help you get "fixed" in a hurry. Drop by and see them.
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Old 07-25-09, 09:27 AM
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From the "start here" sticky: Sheldon Brown's page on fixed gear conversions.
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Old 07-25-09, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
He said he wants to turn it into a fixed gear, not a single speed, and that is very doable by simply removing (unscrewing) the freewheel and replacing it with a fixed cog, because the threads are the same. He can then use a bottom bracket lockring to keep the cog from unscrewing when he backpedals. He can take it to his LBS to get the freewheel removed. More than likely he can get a reasonable chainline by using the inside small chainring. Since he already has horizontal dropouts, the chain can be properly tensioned. Piece of cake!
I'm pretty sure these are threaded the same as cogs, meaning they'd be pointless in holding the cog on there
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Old 07-25-09, 10:56 AM
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Not POINTLESS- the BB lockring will help hold the cog on- but not as effective or safe as a proper fixed setup. Locktite or JBweld helps keep the cog from spinning off. I don't know if your average shop will do this, for liability reasons, but I could be wrong.

But first, to take the cassette off, yeah, just take it to the shop. You might get a lecturing if you tell them what your plans are for the wheel afterward, but for a shop, removing the cassette is an easy task. It involves using the right key tool that corresponds to your cassette (which we cant see over the internet) and a lot of torque.
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Old 07-25-09, 12:07 PM
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Just buy a wheelset from bikeisland.
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Old 07-25-09, 02:51 PM
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If he's going that way, he's likely going to need a new brake caliper, tubes, and tires, as well. Then there's the 3/32 vs 1/8 thing for his new equipment....
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Old 07-25-09, 04:44 PM
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Just to clarify a bit, an older Schwinn likely doesn't have a cassette, which mounts on a freehub. Instead, it probably has freewheel threading, which is fairly easily converted (unlike a freehub / cassette).

A new wheel doesn't have to involve lots of additional parts beyond the wheel. I'm assuming the parts mentioned above deal with the switch from what's presumably a 27" wheel to a 700c replacement. The tubes are the same on 27" and 700c, though it may be worth swapping it out regardless if the current tube is old enough. Old calipers often (but not always) have ridiculously generous reach that works fine with 700c. I don't mean that to imply that switching to 700c is definitely the way to go -- for a cheap conversion, the existing wheel will probably get the job done. But it is an option worth considering based on the quality of the current wheels, how much work you're willing to put into adapting the current rear wheel (it may require realigning the hub), how fussy you are about tire selection (better w/ 700c), and your budget.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:54 AM
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Get a 27" rim laced to a track hub on ebay like this. it'll cost $80-110. Then get a cog and lockring for about $30 total. That should be all you need to buy.
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Old 07-26-09, 08:59 AM
  #12  
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10 Speeds are the new fixed gears. Ride what you have and be ahead of the trend pack!
 
Old 07-26-09, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by flam View Post
I'm pretty sure these are threaded the same as cogs, meaning they'd be pointless in holding the cog on there
Do it right and it's as secure as you would ever need it to be.
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Old 07-26-09, 05:01 PM
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So basically, i can do it cheaper by just buying the cog and lockring, but if i want it to be a quality fixie that lasts a long time i should just buy a new wheel?
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Old 07-26-09, 05:14 PM
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I'm thinking along the lines that since we cant see your bike through the internet, we should assume your rear wheel is in iffy condition (based on age- plus you dont have the tools to take the cassette off), that your cranks are all wrong (and you dont have the tools to play with cranks), and that you don't have long-reach brakes (and you don't have tools to cut cable).

If all of this is true, it's going to be a long, annoying (though educational, in case you plan on doing this often) process to get everything to fit right, and when you're done, you've got a 50/50 chance of ending up with a fixed-gear bike with silly-looking geometry.

I would suggest that you buy a frame built for 700c wheels, with the right dropouts and the right kind of bottom bracket. It will make the entire process easier, and in the end, you'll have two bikes.
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Old 07-26-09, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by hickbasket View Post
So basically, i can do it cheaper by just buying the cog and lockring, but if i want it to be a quality fixie that lasts a long time i should just buy a new wheel?
Yeah, I guess. Personally, I don't consider using an old road wheel an option, based on safety, so I didn't think to mention that as an option for you. Other folks swear that it is totally fine. To each his own. If I'm wrong, at least I'm erring on the side of safety.

Good luck. When you make a decision, you should start a build thread. Heck, I might resurrect my own.
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Old 07-26-09, 08:15 PM
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Double post... sorry!

Last edited by etothepii; 07-26-09 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:20 PM
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OP, I was new to the single speed and fixed scene about a year ago. Now, I probably know half of what most members on here know, but I have done my fair share of conversions and may have some helpful and non-biased advice for you.

First, you need to read up on everything you can. Sheldon Brown's site (as posted as earlier) has just about everything you need to get started. Save it as your homepage, read it more than once. As already stated, you local bike shop (lbs) should be more than willing to help you out. My advice would be to ask for the most fixed gear savvy mechanic they have and politely ask him if he could give you a quick run through of the parts, tools (if you think you want to tackle it yourself), how much, etc. your build is going to cost. In a sense, this will be the best thing for you to do because you can bring your bike in, and they can tell you/sell you exactly what you need. If all you need is a cog and locking, they could probably install those as well as a new chain and re-pack all bearing, etc. for under $90 but don't quote me on that price, its just a number I based on actual experience.

But as far as parts, get a decent cog (Surly, Dura Ace, Origin 8) and try to see if you can use a bottom bracket lock ring for either temporary or permanent usage (if you decide to use JB Weld, which I recommend, because backing off a cog is not good for you, your bike, anyone else). There is a good possibility you can use your existing crank set if was originally a road double. You want to if possible, remove the outer chain ring and just use the inside ring. You can play with putting the ring on the inside and or outside of the spider to allow for a proper chain line. Speaking of chains, you should pick up a single speed specific chain such as KMC Z chain. They are 8 bucks at my lbs. If you have road drops, you could cut them and use them in reverse, as a "bull-horn" type bar. $10 will buy you some new bar tape to go with those flop-n-chops as many FG cyclists refer to them as. Invert one of your levers and you should have a well functioning front brake.

That should get you going in the right direction. I would highly recommend teaching youself about these machines before you dive in because you will be likely to screw something up and you may be possibly be out a bike. Or you could solve all of this and pick up one of these: http://bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott.htm

---
Sean
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Old 07-26-09, 11:28 PM
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I disagree about the chain. He's got a 3/32 crank and who knows what his chainline is going to look like with the suicide hub; he should get a 3/32 cog and use a 3/32 chain- they're more tolerant to poor chainlines.

Reusability of the cog is irrelevant, becuase hes going to be mashing and/or bonding the cog to his wheel.
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Old 07-27-09, 03:58 AM
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Putting a fixed cog on a freewheel hub is dangerous and I wouldn't recommend doing it. Fixed hubs are reverse threaded, freewheel hubs are not. Putting a lockring on a freewheel hub is only going to lead to you spinning the cog right off and possibly seriously injuring yourself.

Do it right, it's not worth half-assing.
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Old 07-27-09, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by proveyouexist View Post
Putting a lockring on a freewheel hub is only going to lead to you spinning the cog right off and possibly seriously injuring yourself.
I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say that practical experience and personal testing indicate otherwise from my perspective. Do it right and it's secure. Not ideal, no, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with a feasible alternative option. However, if you need to do it because you stripped the fixed side of your hub (what I did) or something like that, you can do a good job of it and have it be secure.

Last time I did this, I ran my rear wheel fixed in this manner for a full year. When it came time to take the cog off, I decided to see if I could deliberately back it off using brute force. Broke my chainwhip testing it that way, and then my actual chain attempting to rotafix it off. Then, I fixed my chainwhip, took off the lockring, and removed the cog without issue.

The lockring doesn't just thread up against the cog in this setup, it exerts a great deal of force upon it as well.

Again, though, I don't recommend it to anyone who has another option, only as something that can be done if need be.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fugazi Dave View Post
Do it right and it's secure.
My experience as well...not just once, but several times. I've never had a cog back off when installed on a freewheel hub with a BB lockring. In mechanics we call this "double-nutting". If you tighten two nuts against each other on a threaded rod, they will jam against the threads in such a way that any attempt unscrew them will just make the connection tighter. The important thing is to first get the cog as tight as possible on the hub before tightening the lock ring against the cog. There is no need to use loctite, jb weld etc.

When I initially made this recommendation to the OP, I was cognizant of the fact that the bike had two working brakes to act as a failsafe backup system in the unlikely case the cog did back off. All newbies should ride with brakes, period. Also, since I'm already doing the preacher thing, everyone should wear a helmet.

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Old 07-27-09, 06:54 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by proveyouexist View Post
Putting a fixed cog on a freewheel hub is dangerous and I wouldn't recommend doing it. Fixed hubs are reverse threaded, freewheel hubs are not. Putting a lockring on a freewheel hub is only going to lead to you spinning the cog right off and possibly seriously injuring yourself.

Do it right, it's not worth half-assing.
For the sake of not misinforming people, Fixed hubs are not reverse threaded. The cog threads are exactly the same as a freewheel hub. They do have a shelf which is reverse threaded for a lockring.

I wouldn't normally feel the need to correct this oversight, but there are so many people on here asking ridiculous questions that I was afraid that someone would read this and go to their lbs asking for a reverse threaded cog.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:20 PM
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alright thanks. im thinking it will probably be easier to just get a new rear wheel of of ebay or something.
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