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23

I ride a single-speed (as opposed to fixed gear) because I like to be able to coast down a hill without worrying about spinning out, or hitting a pot-hole while frantically trying to keep up with my pedals. Don't get me wrong, I love riding fixed-gear, but for where I live it's just a little impractical to not be able to coast. I ride a single-speed (as ...


18

Usually, singles need to have horizontal dropouts so you can take the chain slack by adjusting the rear axle position. That means that any brake that is attached to the frame will "go out of position" when you adjust the rear axle position. That is, by the way, the reason why some horizontal dropouts are not quite horizontal, but diagonal: to be ...


17

I ride both SS/FG and approach climbing hills much of the same way I would if I were on a geared bike with one very big exception...MOMENTUM. When on a heavily geared SS/FG I gain as much speed as possible going into the hill and push hard to maintain it throughout the climb. Basic climbing tips: Slide back on saddle and drive heels through the bottom of ...


14

A single speed bike has a single speed freewheel threaded onto the rear hub. The freewheel allows the rider to coast. A fixed gear has a single cog threaded on the rear hub, along with a reverse threaded lockring, to prevent the cog from getting loose. The cog has no freewheeling action, so any time the wheel is moving, the pedals are moving too. This setup ...


13

I rode nothing but a single speed (as opposed to fixed gear) 24" Bontrager Cruiser (like a big BMX) for approx 8 years and loved it. Daily commute (~10-15Km round trip) and most other incidental/social travel. I have only recently changed to a 8 speed Charge Tap due to moving to a very hilly neighborhood. For me, the beauty of single speed is the ...


13

@GuyZee covers most of the technique side, but I'd like to add that if you're experiencing difficulty climbing hills, you should also use a lower gear. Faster cadences are a great way to build up your endurance and help with the hill climbs to boot. Spinning is winning!


13

Yes. You should follow the normal guidelines for oiling your chain. If it is squeaking, you know you've left it too long. Do the following every two or three weeks: Thoroughly clean the chain with some degreaser. Let it dry off. If the new lube comes into contact with degreaser, they won't be happy with one another, and the lubrication will not be as good. ...


12

If you have horizontal dropouts (the wheel axle slides into the frame from the back of the bike) the dropouts have long slots which will allow you to pull the rear wheel back and take slack from the chain. Be careful to ensure when you torque the wheel nuts down the wheel doesn't slip from being aligned straight, or the chain is running at a slight angle. ...


12

Back in the thirties, Tullio Campagnolo invented the modern derailleur for very good reason. A single-speed is a very sensible machine if the terrain and/or rider strength allow. Simple, reliable, lightweight. But for many, not a practical solution. If widely varying terrain must be tackled, the single speed is going to be problematic. The objections given ...


11

It is cheaper and it has less parts that can break and almost no fragile parts. This means: I can leave it outside in the rain without feeling guilty It will last for years with nearly no maintenance I can park it outside a bar with a decent lock on it and it will still be there when I stagger out at the end of the evening. I can park it in the bicycle ...


10

You need one of four things: An eccentric bottom bracket. Like these An eccentric hub. Like these Horizontal dropouts. Like these A chain tensioner. There are a number of different types. You only need one of the four, but these are the only ways to get the chain tension correct on a single speed. (I should say "almost only." Blind luck works every so ...


10

I commute every day in SF with drop bars. It's not an issue for me. You quickly adapt to the hand position, if you bike is set up in a way that is comfortable for you. The real safety issue you should be worried about, IMHO is not braking itself, but rather the "heads-down" position you can be in on the bike itself. You have to get used to looking around ...


9

Benzo and Glenn Gervais are right on, but I thought I'd include a photo for any visual learners. This is a typical fixed/free, high flange rear hub. Quite often they're available in 120mm and 130mm OLD to fit different width dropouts. These hubs generally have solid axles without quick releases to prevent the hub from slipping and slackening your chain. ...


8

Both have one gear, but a "fixed" requires you to constantly pedal as the back wheel turns, a "singlespeed" has a freewheel hub, ergo allowing you to freewheel.


8

Possible causes: There is "play" in the bottom bracket bearings, this could also explain the clicks. Usually this is quite noticeable, and you can check it by grabbing the crank-arm and trying to move it sideways. Usually this is not the cause for variable chain tension on singles; The chainring is "eccentric", either because of haveing been tightened ...


8

No, you're not missing something, it is unsafe to have less than two brakes. If you only have one brake and it fails, you're going to have a bad time. Mostly, it's just cool to have one brake, or even zero lever brakes on your fixie. This style is probably just bleeding over into single speed bikes as well. The law in most states here in the U.S. only ...


7

Track standing at intersections is more about showing off than about being quick off the stop line. By the time you can track stand consistently (btw, you can learn to do this on a freewheel bike, too), you will have mastered clipless pedals and you'll be able to clip and unclip very quickly. Other than that, riding fixed vs. SS is a matter of taste. Do you ...


7

Depending on what you want, you might just be okay lowering the current gearing. It comes with a 42t chainring and a 16t freewheel, and switching to a 17t or 18t freewheel will decrease your overall top speed somewhat but make it easier to climb up those hills. If you want to have the option to swap for a harder gear when you're planning a mostly flat ...


7

It is absolutely possible to skid the back wheel, but you really need to be deliberate about it to do it. In this case, however, it sounds like you were applying back pressure to slow down and noticed something surprising, so it was not likely to be the tire skidding. It was probably the cog slightly loosening. If you're going to apply any back-pressure at ...


7

The desired conversion is possible, but maybe Trek won't do it as a "default" service. You could consider going to the local bike shop and trade some of the bike parts (specially the gearing system) for a coaster brake wheel. If your bike is like the one in the photo, you need to replace the rear hub, and get rid of the cogset, the derailer and the ...


7

Yes, this should be possible. Though there are several things you need to check to ensure it is compatible: Number of bolts, and bolt circle diameter (BCD). Count the number of bolts, and measure the distance between the centre of two bolts. Then check Sheldon Brown's Bolt Circle Diameter Crib Sheet to see what the BCD is. Common sizes are 110 (mountain ...


6

Building a frugal dumpster/secondhand singlespeed or fixed gear is definitely one of those tasks that has become much more difficult with their growth in popularity. So, let's say you've found a frame that's in your relative size range. You've figured this out already by riding other bicycles and visiting bike shops and figuring out a rough range of ...


6

Some possible culprits: cog and the chainring are not in line. rear hub is not tight enough and twists under load (see 1.) chain is stretched or cogs worn out - so the chain doesn't 'seat' well in teeth what the shop says - chain not tight enough


6

A lot of the online mapping websites have elevation data you can use to figure it out. Example 1: Go to http://maps.google.com/ choose the bicycle icon and ask for directions. Once it gives you the map, switch to the "map" instead of satellite view and turn on the terrain overlay. When you ask for bicycle directions it tries to avoid steep climbs and the ...


6

Handlebar type and shape is largely a matter of personal preference - especially on trendy fixed-gear and single speed bikes. I would sell it as is. If you change the handlebar there is a likely possibility that you will also have to change the brake handle. That's a lot of needless expense. Let the buyer swap it out if they want something different.


6

Your local bike shop may not get it with fixed/single speed but do not discount them entirely. They can sometimes compete on price better than a mail order company simply because they will not be charging you shipping even if they have to get parts in specially for you. Most bike shops have at least a couple of regular suppliers and these suppliers will ...


6

what spacing is the is the rear hub? I bought an s2c recently to commute on my track bike, two speed internal geared hub with a gain of 38% but it might be over kill for yourself. Given your setup you have a gearing of about 55inches, if you were to switch out the rear cog to a 12 tooth you would gain 5inches, bring you to around 60 which is considered a ...


5

I have cycled to Holland from London and to Ireland and am about to cycle again to Holland, through Belgium and into France. I agree strongly with Frank. Conditioning is what it's all about. The only thing I would add is; Going up hills on a SS - keep your breathing constant and powerful - work the lungs. Push hard into the climb and then stand when you ...


5

I would be in favor of waiting until you move. There is the possible problem of needing service work under warranty and the nearest dealer being some distance away. You must also factor in the shipping cost along with the expense of disassembly and reassembly if you can't do it yourself. There is also no better way to start a good relationship with your ...



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