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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 03-19-11, 12:08 AM   #1
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Beginner Chainring/crankset questions?

So, I've been looking at the Bikesdirect ss bikes, and at this point I'm really leaning towards the Windsor Timeline because it can fit wide tires (something I may want to have). However, the crank has 46 teeth and I live at the top of a big hill, so I'd likely need something with more like 40 teeth. However, I don't know anything about these kinds of things... what tools would I need to change it out? Which ones would be compatible? If you guys could just point out a few here
that would work for me that would be really great...

As a sidenote, is the Windsor Timeline one of BD best singlespeeds, or would you recommend a different one (regardless of tire fitting)?
Windsor Timeline:
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Old 03-19-11, 12:26 AM   #2
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The Mercier Kilo WT from BD also fits wide tires.

In terms of gearing, I would recommend playing around with this gear calculator. It has a function where you can look at equivalent ratios:

BD says the Timeline comes either with a 15t or 16t freewheel, which would yield something in the high 70s or low 80s in terms of gear inches. Gearing is a very personal thing, but for me I need to run something in the high 60s to feel comfortable on hills. Have you considered buying a new freewheel instead of a new chainring? Freewheels are, in general, cheaper than chainrings.

To remove a freewheel, you need a compatible freewheel remover, which depends on the brand of freewheel you get (should you choose to go the route of new freewheel rather than a new chainring). To put it on, you just spin it on.
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Old 03-19-11, 04:26 AM   #3
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Get a 17t or 18t cog/freewheel and see how that works. If you live on a really big hill, maybe you should consider the utility of getting a fixie.
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Old 03-19-11, 08:49 AM   #4
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++ new freewheel.

When you change a chainring, you need to spend some time fiddling with it before locking it down to ensure that chain tension is even throughout the pedal stroke. Changing a freewheel is as simple as unscrewing the old one and putting the new one on. Get yourself a BMX freewheel removal tool like the Park FR-6, a crescent wrench, and some big biceps.
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Old 03-19-11, 09:34 AM   #5
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Cogs are way, way cheaper than chainrings.
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