Fixed Geared Bikes

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Rockn Robin

Rockn Robin

Senior Member
Location
Arizona
No sprung tensioner will work with fixed. Any reverse pressure on the pedals will cause a slack chain and probably unship it as well.

But you wouldn't usually change your gearing during a ride.
I see what you mean. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to flip the chain back and forth on the front cogs. It's either a fixed gear hub or multi-speed hub. No exceptions.
 
I see what you mean. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to flip the chain back and forth on the front cogs. It's either a fixed gear hub or multi-speed hub. No exceptions.
Not quite - Condor market a 3 speed sturmey archer Fixie. it ain’t for me, but it does exist
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Many years ago it was almost standard practice in winter to ride what we at the time called a fixed wheel. In Essex anyway it was, I don't suppose this would have been true if you lived in the Peak district or the Yorkshire Dales. A favorite hub was a DF or double fixed where as you say sprockets of different sizes could be fitted for example a 17 and a 19. These hubs normally were not fitted with a quick release axle but with practice it wasn't difficult to stop, flip the wheel and thread the chain back on using a ring spanner so your fingers didn't get dirty.
The wisdom at the time was that riding a fixed gear in winter helped the budding roadman to develop a smooth pedaling style or souplesse.
I rode with a club in east London as a youth and sometimes the whole of a dozen or more members out on a winter club run were on fixed. As you say it was standard practice back then.

And there wasn't a rear brake among us.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
The Sturmey Archer fixed 3 speed hub got distinctly mixed reviews in the press. (Expensive, heavy, draggy IIRC)

I can't really comment as my experience on fixed dates back to when I was about 15 and had an Nth-hand old bike that had a hub that was 5 speed on one side and fixed on the other. I rode to school with it set up to fixed for a week or so, and was relieved that it hadn't killed me after each time I rode it. I knew nothing about what it was for, nor did any of my mates. It was a bit of a mystery alien object, and it had a bit of an attitude.
The original back wheel on my Carlton had that, although it never had a sprocket fitted on the other side it was threaded to take either a sprocket and lockring or a SS freewheel
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
The bike was my first ever "racer" in the 70s. It was a scrap rescue affair that I rebuilt. In retrospect I think it may have been a decent quality bike when new. I remember it had a Campagnolo gear lever (only 5 speed) and a Suntour Skitter rear mech, and reversible rear hub as mentioned. I eventually broke the frame by riding at speed into the back of a parked car, as teenage boys are wont to do.
The Carlton got run over by a lorry and both wheels, rear mech, crank and forks were trashed, I rebuilt it.

DSCN0110.JPG
 

Kempstonian

Has the memory of a goldfish
Location
Bedford
<------ That bike in my avatar is a fixed wheel. I raced that on flatter courses where gear changing wasn't really necessary. I used my gear bike on more hilly courses and did both my 10 and 25 mile PBs on it.

The advantage of fixed wheel is mainly the weight. It was a kilo and a half lighter than the geared bike. I found it easier to keep rolling along once racing speed was achieved... with no gear changing to break the rhythm.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
The S3X (see what they did there?) is not very good. False neutrals between gears, wears out fast, draggy in anything but direct drive (which is, annoyingly, top gear).

The old ASC uses a totally different revolving sun design. It's a bit better but still has the false neutrals and it takes huge cable tension to get it into bottom gear, which means the detent in the unobtanium trigger can get rounded easily. I've had (and rebuilt) both.
 

oypolloy

Regular
Location
Coventry
The easiest way I've found is to ride a normal geared bike and find the gear that you are most comfortable in over most conditions. Take notice of hills and being able to climb them. Don't forget going downhill the pedals will be going much faster and your legs have to keep up unless you lift your feet up. When you are happyish check the teeth on the front chainring and the teeth on the back sprocket. That will give you your gear. There is a gear table on www.jtsprockets.com that you can use to get as close to ideal as you want. If you need to change the gear, it is a case of changing the chainring at the front or rear sprocket on the back wheel. You will normally have to either lengthen or shorten the chain as well. Ideally you will also need to keep the front chain ring and rear sprocket as much in line as you can. i.e straight so there will be less wear and more drive. In the old days when bikes were 5 speed I used a fixed wheel gear that was equivalent to just over 3rd gear. Mind you, I was still at school then.
 
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