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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:04 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 29264
Location: Cells Interlinked
Fixed and single speed is something I've hardly touched in <thinks back> 30 years of bike fettling and restoration. I did have a very nice Cinelli fixed back in around 1994 but was to young and daft to make use of it.

I have a flip flop Maillard wheel and the Hill Special which ideally should be single speed or Sturmey

I'd like to try the flip flop wheel but am wondering what size rear sprocket to buy and what to match it with for a fairly flat area with around 183 metres of elevation.

I dont want to be spinning out but then I dont want my kneecaps to be fired across the wolds either.

I'll be using 3/32 chainrings, chain and rear sprocket. Sturmey do 3/32 sprockets in various sizes.

Any advice gratefully received

Thanks all.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:35 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 9140
Location: New Forest, UK
42/17 is a typical starting point for road singlespeeding. It's around a 70" gear.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:05 am 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22357
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Never seen the attraction. Why now?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:20 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 29264
Location: Cells Interlinked
Why not?

17/42? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:22 am 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22357
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Fairy Nuff.

Watching with interest but without the knees for it.

Tempted by the nexave(sic) simplicity sturmey type stuff but not fixed/single.

Would love a lenton


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:27 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 29264
Location: Cells Interlinked
I've yet to find a lower end internal hub that I like.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:47 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:24 pm
Posts: 710
Location: N.Staffs
I run a single speed 46x21 - its great fun but you are limited to a narrow range of speeds.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:05 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:10 pm
Posts: 996
There was a time when roadies used to spend the winter on 'fixed', which included mudguards and five pounds' weight of bicycle lights. I don't know exacly when the 'fixed season' started or ended. Back then you couldn't pick up a piece of cycling related sales literature that didn't include 'gear tables', and there are probably more than a few old timers about who even now cannot help but exhibit a Pavlovian response like: "seventy-one inches!" to the stimulus: "forty-six times seventeen".

Back then nobody was making a statement about style or simplicity, or track-standing at traffic lights. The whole point of fixed was to keep your legs constantly in motion.

To keep your single-speed (especially fixed) drivetrain happy you are supposed to avoid a chainring/sprocket combination in which the chainring toothcount is a multiple of the sprocket toothcount. On 48 x 16 for example, You get a subtle pulsation of three 'beats' per pedal revolution, which is your sprocket constantly insidiously suggesting to your chainring: "You might as well be a triangle". After many miles this feedback loop really does start to wear your chainring, and probably all the bearings in your drivetrain, into triangles. This is how some old bikes, just like some old people, become cranky monsters.
A chainring and/or sprocket with a prime number toothcount eliminates this pulsation by constantly insidiously suggesting to the other components that they might as well remain circular.

On fixed you stay away from kerbs, and manouevres likely to cause pedal contact, some of which are unforseeable. I once dumped myself on the gravel by attempting a u-turn at walking speed.


Fwiw I'm on 16x38 (26" wheels), just because that is what I had to hand. 17x41 would be better (prime numbers)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:10 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 7811
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
I sent a 72 year old pal of mine a photo of my recently finished Cougar, his reply was:

"Nice , very nice . go on do a fixed wheel if you dare . 69 inch gearing . the old training bikes . when you get tired they are a bugger . but there is nothing like em for building cadence and stamina .

PS with mudguards and a saddle bag to get some weight on em . oh yeah "

He used to ride from Walthamstow 'to the coast and back' on a Sunday with the local club, with sandwiches and a flask in the saddle bag.

By coast he meant Kent.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:19 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 29264
Location: Cells Interlinked
Its a flip flop hub soooo....

Thanks all!


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