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My bike has always had a flip-flop hub installed. I recently decided I would like to try using the fixed gear side. I purchased an All-City 17T x 1/8" Track Cog and an Origin8 Standard Track Cog Lock Ring.

Only after the parts arrived did I realize my hub's fixie side already has a lock ring! Now I have two lock rings. I'd like to use the new Origin8 lock ring (black, left), but I'm a little confused about which direction/orientation the lock-ring should be installed.

a horizontal photograph from above of two bicycle track cog lock rings with a new black Origin8 lock ring on the left and an old silver stock lock ring on the right

Both lock rings seem to be compatible with my threads and could potentially work. However, the new lock ring has a fairly dramatic tapered end visible when viewed from the side. It seems to be quite a bit asymmetrical. In researching that asymmetry I realized even the old/original/stock silver lock ring is asymmetrical! It's more subtle than the Origin8 lock ring, but one end is flat and one is slightly tapered for both the old and new rings.

Naturally, I did not note the orientation of the original lock ring before I removed it.

two photographs stitched together into one single horizontal image showing the side view of two bicycle track cog lock rings with a new black Origin8 lock ring on the left and an old silver stock lock ring on the right

I feel it's customary/typical for a device to be installed so that the branding and instruction text faces out and is not hidden. That feels wrong in this case though. Doing that here would create a small gap between the cog and the lock ring's tool divots/holes/notches.

a side view photograph of an Origin8 black lock ring resting on top of a track cog on a table

I found a Global Cycling Network video ('How To Change A Track Bike Or Fixie Sprocket') where they say (linked to exact time)...

Our lock ring is not symmetrical. One side is recessed and the other is flat. You want to fit the flat side against the sprocket

I'm assuming the advice from GCN applies equally to all track cog lock rings. Should the Origin8 lock ring be installed:

  • recessed/tapered side against the cog (text visible)
  • flat side against the cog (text hidden)

2 Answers 2

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Install it text visible.

One way to know this is the intention is that the "<- 40Nm" would be lying if you flipped it.

I'm not totally sure why the design is like this. The only thing I can think of is there are some situations where it would give you more tool clearance, like with a Gates fixed cog.

On most track lockrings there's one side with a chamfer (or a bigger one than the other side), and that side faces out.

Edit: There are some cogs out there with annoying little grooves or lips that can prevent a "normal" lockring from laying flat against them. Some of the smaller size Origin8 cogs (pictured) are an example of this. I think that's probably the reason for the design. enter image description here

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For the very smallest cogs, which I belive is 12-tooth, the chain can hit the lock-ring. The choice then is to make a thinner-diameter lock-ring to clear the chain, but that means the notches for the tightening tool become very shallow. This is why some lock-rings have a groove or relief. The Origin8 lock ring shown above should be installed text-outward, as shown in the picture, so that the relief groove is located correctly so the chain doesn't hit the lock ring.

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