So how does a flip-flop hub work?

Maz

Legendary Member
I am getting a single-speed/fixed-speed bike e.g. Specialized Langster, Pearson Touché.

Excuse my ignorance, but how does the flip-flop hub work if you want to go from single-speed to fixed (or vice versa)?

Is there a switch on the hub? Or do you have to remove the wheel, turn it through 180 degrees and replace? Or Something else?

Thanks
 

battered

Guru
The second option. The wheel is perfectly symmetrical and has a gear on each side. One is fixed, the other freewheel. Done.
 
OP
Maz

Maz

Legendary Member
battered said:
The second option. The wheel is perfectly symmetrical and has a gear on each side. One is fixed, the other freewheel. Done.
Thanks. Seems a bit of a faff, though. Having been riding single-speed, one day you think "I think I'll ride fixed today", so you have to take the wheel off and turn it around. You'd think they were switchable (from a switch!).
 

TheDoctor

Europe Endless
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
There was the fix-free hub, back in the day, which changed from fixed to free and back using a modded Sturmey Archer trigger IIRC.
 
OP
Maz

Maz

Legendary Member
HLaB said:
I thought you turned the wheel 180 deg the slight problem is some tyres are uni directional they'd need corrected; I'm glad you asked so we can get a more definitive answer.
Uni-directional tyres? I didn't think these things existed. I thought the rotational direction arrows on tyres were purely cosmetic.

You probably know better than I do, though, on these matters...
 

buddha

Veteran
Maz said:
Thanks. Seems a bit of a faff, though. Having been riding single-speed, one day you think "I think I'll ride fixed today", so you have to take the wheel off and turn it around. You'd think they were switchable (from a switch!).
It only takes about 1 minute to do, as (depending on the bike) only means undoing 2 nuts, turning the wheel around and doing up the nuts again.
Mind you, I've only bothered to do it once in 3 years!:smile:
 

hubgearfreak

Über Member
Nah, it's just for show.
i'm utterly certain that you're correct...however, having them pointing the 'wrong' way would upset me aesthetically

better surely, to have normal tyres, if only to make it look right.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Doesn't the Torpedo need a screwdriver to change it from fixed to free & back again?

A cable operated version (from a DT shifter) would have a certain retro, urban coolness about it.
 
Nah, it's just for show. People are more likely to buy the technical-looking arrowed, treaded tyre than the bald one next to it that is as effective but cheaper.

It might make some difference with some of the fat MTB tyres, but even that's debatable.
I've been on quite a few rides where there has been at least an inch of water thrown forward away from me by a treaded, would a reverse tread throw it back on my legs or would the rotational force continue to throw it forward :sad: I think at the end of the day though you'll be right it won't make much difference and its just a marketing tool :smile: I don't think I'd try it out though, an arrow pointing the wrong way just doesn't look right xx(
 

NickM

Veteran
porkypete said:
Doesn't the Torpedo need a screwdriver to change it from fixed to free & back again?
Allen key, I think. For the good reason that you don't want to be able to go from free to fixed at high speed.

porkypete said:
A cable operated version (from a DT shifter) would have a certain retro, urban coolness about it.
But would result in certain death xx( :sad: :smile: :biggrin:
 

youngoldbloke

The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
Been riding with a Conti UltraSport rear on the 'wrong' way round for months now, since a p. repair, and a moment's inattention when replacing the tyre on the rim - and nothing untoward has happened! The tyre has absolutely no tread anyway, so unless there is some highly complex and technical directional construction involved in the casing it makes no difference whatsoever!
 

youngoldbloke

The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
- by the way - I seem to remember that some years ago hubs were readily available in a number of configurations - eg. single sided freewheel, single sided fixed, double sided - fixed and freewheel, double sided fixed. Was there also a double sided freewheel? Double sided fixed and freewheel was very common as one tended to swap to fixed for winter training.
 
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