Fixie/Single Speed

  • Atriathlete

    Posts: 70

    Jul 01, 2009 5:51 PM GMT
    I'm increasingly fascinated by fixies. I think I'm going to take the plunge. I would want a flip/flop hub so I can convert back and forth to freewheel. And I'm gonna want a brake.

    Anybody have recommendations? Experiences good or bad?
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    Jul 01, 2009 9:16 PM GMT
    Atriathlete saidI'm increasingly fascinated by fixies. I think I'm going to take the plunge. I would want a flip/flop hub so I can convert back and forth to freewheel. And I'm gonna want a brake.

    Anybody have recommendations? Experiences good or bad?


    I started to build one from an old thin, high strength steel frame and along the way found an old shimano 3 speed hub with coaster brake.. Since that meant total simplicity...no cables for shifting or braking i went with that.
    I even found an ancient ultra clean leather seat...so my bike is pure simplicity.
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    Jul 02, 2009 12:10 AM GMT
    Oh why would you want a flip flop hub? You'll never use it! Hah. Well I have a flip flop hub on mine, but flipped it to fixed the minute I bought it and have never flopped back. I'll admit, as a triathlete you may be so used to a freewheel that the fixed gear is totally alienating.

    I've got a front brake and that's really all you need (for a fixed gear). You can use your legs to get most of the braking out of the way, as I only use my brake in rapid stopping scenarios.

    I use my fixie for everything. Transportation, leisure, everything. It's an amazing ride and just so simple and pure. It's really the simple joys of cycling.

    As for your fixie - traditional hipsters build their own out of old school road bike frames.... mostly Motobecanes or Bianchis. Anything with horizontal dropouts will do. Now, if you've got a bit more to spend, I'd recommend a Surly or Swobo frame. I myself have a Surly Steamroller which I love. Steel frame, ability to fit cross tires, and caliper brakes. I've got drop bars for my bike, but I'm considering switching to bullhorns.

    I'm not sure if that answers any of your questions.... but let me know what you've got and I'll do my best to answer them.
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    Jul 14, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
    Atriathlete saidI'm increasingly fascinated by fixies. I think I'm going to take the plunge. I would want a flip/flop hub so I can convert back and forth to freewheel. And I'm gonna want a brake.

    Anybody have recommendations? Experiences good or bad?


    Find an old steel frame with long horizontal dropouts. Many good ones with minimal rust and easy enough to refinish. Get a can of frame saver and rust proof the inside though.

    I have an old Trek that I use, and ride it mostly fixed. Although I have another rear wheel that has a freewheel on it.

    Chainline is the main issue, and getting it right is more important for Fixed than single speeds.

    Your options are also a bit larger if you elect to go with a 1/8" drivetrain and especially chain. You can use a 1/8" chain on a 3/32 drivetrain, but not the other way around, and many of the better quality cogs and freewheels are 1/8" likewise with cranksets, although this is becoming less so.

    You will only need a front brake.

    Lastly if you are used to riding clipless, then go clipless. Toe straps are more difficult to get used to on a fixed, expecially if you are not used to riding with them.

    Good luck.

    If you are looking for a ready to ride bike, I can't help you as I have no experience with any.