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22 votes

Why do fixies (fixed-gear bicycles) have one brake on the front?

It feels safer because it is safer. With a fixie you can brake the rear wheel from the pedals. In theory, you only need a front brake. The theory is great for experienced fixie riders. For novice ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 51k
20 votes

Why do fixies (fixed-gear bicycles) have one brake on the front?

Longtime fixed-gear rider here (~14 years, thousands of miles), and I run a front brake only. I won't go fully brakeless because I consider it too risky. I am a year-round commuter and I have actually ...
Matt Menzenski's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Fixie: how to learn to ride: step by step

I’ve been riding mostly fixed gear for, oh, maybe ten years now. I use bmx pedals with straps. Straps You really ought to practice getting in and out of them until it becomes second nature. Having ...
SimonL's user avatar
  • 1,083
12 votes
Accepted

Does having bigger wheels mean less effort pedaling?

Assuming a completely smooth road and neglecting the weight of the wheels, it makes no difference: you still need to do the same amount of work. Essentially, larger wheels give you a higher gear ratio,...
David Richerby's user avatar
12 votes

10 gears to singlespeed

I've got a 2nd hand Hercules too and I've done this exact thing. Get a quality chain tool and look up some videos on Youtube about how to remove and re-link a bike chain. I pretty much winged it as I ...
Poster's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes

Setting up chain tension on a fixed gear with road bike frame

If you cannot control the rear cog's position, you can try moving the front chainring to tune the chain tension. That is, get an eccentric bottom bracket: By rotating it in the frame, the distance ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
10 votes

Aero wheel on front, regular on back - why?

I think this is being over-thought. Aerowheels on messenger rigs have nothing to do with performance, quicker locking ability etc. etc. It’s just the new generation mimicking the older generation, ...
user37674's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes

Does chain tension change how hard/easy it is to pedal?

If the tension is too high, the drivetrain will bind. If it is too low, the chain will drop (which is dangerous on a fixie, since it can catch and lock up the rear wheel relatively easily). You ...
Batman's user avatar
  • 46.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Turn single speed into multi speed!

Technically yes, economically no. You obviously need to obtain a multi sprocket cassette, rear derailleur, shifter, and cable and housing. Additionally you need: Singlespeed frames have dropouts ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
10 votes

Terminology: coaster brakes vs free wheel?

It doesn't make much sense to insist on one thing being the opposite of another, so let's just focus on what these things are, and you can decide for yourself what, if anything, is "opposite" of what. ...
David Richerby's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How do I properly torque a track cog lockring?

A torque specification is not just a torque-spanner setting but a physical property. That is, there are many ways to apply the correct torque. In this case it means more or less: pull it as tight as ...
gschenk's user avatar
  • 9,778
10 votes
Accepted

Setting up chain tension on a fixed gear with road bike frame

The short answer, is you generally cannot make a fixie out of a frame with vertical dropouts. Not only do you need to tension the chain, but the spacing of the axle of the bottom bracket and rear ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 12.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Fixed gear steel frame from AliExpress

No, it is not serious, you should not believe these descriptions. They just try to attract people searching various terms. There are indeed many counterfeits in these shops. When they claim so much ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What type of bottom bracket does my bike have?

There's nothing integrated there - instead, there is one cup still in the frame, and it has been painted red at some point. You'll need either a careful hand with a large spanner to remove it, or to ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
9 votes
Accepted

Convert fixed side of flip flop hub to freewheel

You can just use the freewheel on the large thread on the fixed side. It's the same size, and just as durable as the freewheel side, for normal people. So just unscrew the lockring and cog, and put ...
Jakob's user avatar
  • 106
9 votes

2- or 3-speed fixie

There is a Sturmey-Archer solution for you: S3X Silver Just to copy the information available on their page: Silver 3 Speed Fixed Gear Rear Hub FEATURES 3-Speed fixed gear with gear ratio of 160% ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 4,331
9 votes

10 gears to singlespeed

If your bike has slotted dropouts and a rear wheel secured with axle nuts (which Poster's answer implies you have) you can do a single speed conversion without the need for a chain tensioner device. ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
8 votes

Fixed gear steel frame from AliExpress

Personally, I would suggest you look locally for a used bike for your project. You don't need a brand new bike and that bare-frame is not exactly cheap. Also notice that you'll need to paint the bike ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
7 votes

Convert fixed side of flip flop hub to freewheel

As a follow up, I actually did put the freewheel on the fixed gear side (after some cleaning). As you can see from the pictures, the freewheel won't be all the way threaded (like my LBS said) but it ...
LeviX's user avatar
  • 282
7 votes

Chain noise, fixed gear

Looks a little tight. There should be +/- 0.5 inch vertical movement of the chain possible halfway between the sprockets. Park tool has a great video on single speed chain replacement: ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
7 votes

Rim brake on front and disk brake on rear

With no disk brake mounting lugs on the frame you cannot mount disc brakes. There are bolt on adapters but I personally would not trust them. Additionally you would need a disc compatible hub which in ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
7 votes

Is it possible to convert a single speed rear wheel into a multi-speed rear wheel?

Conventional wire spoked wheels don't allow this. All types of conventional singlespeed hub (BMX, cassette, freewheel, track, coaster) take advantage of their one-cog-ness to have center-to-flange ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
7 votes

Fixie: how to learn to ride: step by step

As a fixie novice myself I'd suggest getting, and getting familiar with, clipless pedals and the shoes to match. Straps are only really an option if you can stop strapped in and lean on something ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.2k
7 votes

Fixie: how to learn to ride: step by step

I commute on a fixie sometimes. I'm not interested in fancy specialist skills, and am totally happy having brakes on my bike, so for me fixie skills come down to two things above and beyond "regular" ...
Jerb's user avatar
  • 450
6 votes
Accepted

Aero wheel on front, regular on back - why?

As stated in the other answer, the driving force behind these setups used to budget. The rear wheel is fixed gear, which limits the budget selection to old track wheels, converted freewheel wheels and ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 22.2k
6 votes

Aero wheel on front, regular on back - why?

Is there a bike co-op in your city? When I ran around on a ratbike like that, it was because I just got whatever people had laying around and stuck it together as cheaply as possible, usually with no ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 467
6 votes
Accepted

What tools should I carry around to replace the tube on a bike with bolt-on wheels while on the road?

Option 1 - Nothing Many fixed gear riders are short distance, and tend to be close to home. The creed is to remove superfluous things from the bike making it lighter and simpler. Why carry tools at ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
6 votes
Accepted

Skidding/skipping a fixie with ratio 48/16

the easiest way to start learning how to lock your legs correctly is to alleviate weight to rear wheel. The less weight on the wheel the easier it will be to skid. Lean forward (BE CAREFUL) and then ...
John Burgess's user avatar
6 votes

2- or 3-speed fixie

No, this is not possible. Derailleurs require freewheels. Without a freewheel any reverse force on the cranks would tighten the chain on the bottom crank-to-hub run, which would collapse the ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
6 votes

Chain loosening over time (Fixie)

Is it correct that with fixie you shouldn't keep the chain too tight because it can ruin the drivetrain? That is mostly correct. Given that the circularity of the chainring, bearings and rear ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar

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