30

Disclaimer: I am a fixie hater. I'll try to answer this as if I was impartial. Proper road bikes (Including the Moulton) are the machines for speed, and always have been (unless you're on a velodrome). Looking at it through a speed lens, a fixie has a slight weight, aero, and drivetrain efficiency advantage over a road bike, but this usually doesn't come ...


22

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 near-...


22

Well, there are lot's and lot's of commuter bikes with internal hubs and disk brakes. I see no reason why a single speed wouldn't work as well. A google search for "single speed cx bike disk brakes" turns up this beauty. http://allcitycycles.com/bikes/nature_boy_disc There are low budget models out there as well. Nashbar 29'r Single Speed Swobo makes ...


17

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. ...


17

Who rides fixes? Roadies who have got bored with always being out the front? Maybe its someone wanting to make a statement to the "Freds" (look it up) in the group I once did a 160km ride where some guy on a MTB (with nobbiles, back in the mid 1990's steel, 26" etc) arrived home 00:04:35 behind the leading pack (About 4:10 hours). Some argued the only ...


15

Using WD40 on a headset should not cause it to loosen. Something else is wrong. You need to find out what that is. First - don't ride the bicycle until the problem is identified and fixed. Doing so might be dangerous - both to you and anyone near, as you may lose control. If your bicycle has a new-style "threadless" headset, the stem bolts may be ...


12

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, so doubling the diameter of the wheels would mean you'd only need to turn them half as many times, so you'd only need to turn the pedals half as many times, ...


12

The derailleur is there to act as chain tensioner. In a frame intended for derailleur the rear wheel can't be moved to tighten the chain, so a separate spring-loaded chain tensioner is needed. The cheapest and ugliest way is to just use whatever derailleur was on the bike before conversion.


12

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 had no clue what I was doing. It took a bit of work and a lot of frustration to get the chain length right. I probably did it wrong, but it works. EDIT: ...


11

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 ride,...


10

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. The ...


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'd transform the comparison between single-speed vs. multi-speed (derailer) to SINGLE-CHAINLINE (single, fixed, or internal-geared-hub) vs derailed (assumed always multi-speed). Then, there are ONLY advantages for the single-chainline bike: Overall material is thicker. On the other hand, the need to pack a lot of gears in a cassette requires that the cogs ...


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

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 twist-...


9

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 ...


9

They look like you want those "in" the horizontal dropout. The bracket should cover the frame and as you tighten the bolt it will pull the axle further away from the cranks, tightening the chain along with it. Be careful to not over tighten as you want a little 'slack' in the chain. Also, it is very easy to tighten one side more than the other resulting in ...


9

We can't tell without more information about your gears. However, you can figure it out for yourself quite easily, by looking at the ratio of chainring teeth to rear sprocket teeth on the single speed bike (the most common I've seen is 44/18 = 2.44). Then you just need to figure out the size of your current bikes chainrings, the size of the sprockets on ...


9

4mm at the closest point is about the safe spot. 3mm is about the sane bare minimum you can go to if you want to push things. Less is asking for trouble. Note that frames, cranks, rings, and spindles do vary in how flexy they are and riders vary in habits and strength, so one can only approximate here. If you stacked the movement from a bunch of flexy things ...


9

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. The derailleur can be removed, chain shortened and tensioned properly by adjusting the position of the rear wheel. The chain should be able to move 0.5 inch up ...


8

TL;DR: Position: drop bars can be set up to match almost any reasonable flat-bar body/head position and hence visibility. Braking: if you can squeeze your front brake from the hoods hard enough to initiate rear wheel lift-off on dry flat pavement - you're good. The long answer: Position: Higher body/head position will generally give you better visibility. ...


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 off-...


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 ...


8

Yes. All other things being equal a 1/8" chain will be a tiny bit sturdier than a 3/32", just by virtue of the fact that the plates are a little thicker. I also have a single speed bike, I also choose to run a 1/8" chain.


8

For context, I have been doing group rides for about 20 years now, raced at the cat 1/2 level for a good portion of that, and had a fixed gear obsession off and on for many years too. Riding fixed is an interesting challenge, but it is most certainly not an out and out advantage. The short of it is that your 55 kph fellow is likely a strong rider, who also ...


8

Like the late great Sheldon Brown wrote in his article, I use the front brake alone most of the time. But there are great reasons to have a rear brake in addition to the front brake: Slippery pavement (wet weather, etc). If the front wheel skids, the rider will almost always crash. The rider can often recover from a rear-wheel skid, so if conditions are ...


8

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 on a standard freewheel of your choice. Did it as a bike messenger, and it still holds to this day. Happy riding!


8

If you have an idea of what model of frame it is, it would help. Otherwise, your best bet is to take it to a bike shop and try an ISO bottom bracket (gently) to see if it fits, or measure the threads and their orientation to match to this chart. There are also universal threadless BB's like this one from Velo-Orange which skirt the issue by expanding to ...


8

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 designed to provide a mechanism for adjusting chain tension by moving the rear hub, so you would need dropout adapters to fit a rear derailleur. Single speed ...


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 ...


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