8

I've seen fixies with internal hubs, but a non-freewheeling rear wheel with deraillers seems to be unrepresented:

            |        Freewheel?        |
Derailler?  |      Yes      |    No    |  
      Yes   | Standard bike |    ??    |
       No   | Single-speed  |  Fixie   |

Practicality aside, is there a mechanical constraint involved here? What happens if you try it?

11

For the same reason you can't have a fixie with a chain tensioner.

The load on the chain when slowing a fixie is too great and in the wrong direction for a derailler or tensioner to hold. The cage will be pulled forward and your chain will skip make a nasty noise and most likely come off or break something expensive.

  • the top part of the chain will also droop and might catch on something – ratchet freak May 27 '13 at 12:46
  • *The something expensive is often bending/removing the derailleur tab from the frame. Either that or throwing the tensioner cage into the rear spokes. Both are bad news. – WTHarper May 27 '13 at 13:10
  • 1
    @WTHarper - Though that latter is a good argument for a spoke guard, even though they are considered very un-cool. – Daniel R Hicks May 27 '13 at 18:28
  • 2
    @DanielRHicks Pie plates are so uncool they might be cool again... – WTHarper May 27 '13 at 18:49

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