Fixie: Why? Why not?

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Si
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Si » 3 Nov 2019, 2:29pm

I always thought it was because 'chix-dig-fixed' :wink:

Actually, WRT the subject of gears, one has to remember that a single gear on a fixed can span a number of gears on the geary bike just because of the improved efficiency. When I move from fixed to multi-geared I always initially feel like I'm in the wrong gear and can't find the right one....back on the fixed and no matter if it's going up or down it feels like the right gear (assuming you've chosen one that matches your legs....I think I'm on a humble 60 to 65 inch).

In my case fixed also has a psychological impact - it's easier to get up most hills because you don't have the choice to change down so you quite often just have to go-for-it. On my multi-geared I'd just change down and continue to pootle, but with the fixed I fly up the hill. Thus the fixed feels like it climbs better. YMMV as always.

Fixed gives a better workout when you are training and have limited time simply because you pedal all the time. I've tried pedalling all the time on a multi-gear and on a SS but I just can't do it, as soon as my attention is distracted by something else happening up the road I find I'm coasting!

Less to go wrong. Less to clean. Bike is easier to heft. etc etc

Got an old bike at the back of the shed? Don't want to throw money at it to modernise it but want to to feel as fast as a new bike? Convert to fixed and it may do!

There are obviously down sides: super steep hills, if you have toe/mudguard over lap then fixed makes it worse, killer head winds, etc but to whoever suggested that having invented multigear set ups it is stupid to ride fixed....well you could just as easily suggest that having invented Ebikes it's stupid to ride non-assisted bikes, or having invented cars it's stupid to cycle at all :lol:

And fixed is, like, so ethnic init?

AM7
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby AM7 » 3 Nov 2019, 3:16pm

+1 to all of that Si. After three years of riding fixed, I’m at the stage where riding a bike with a freewheel just feels wrong :D

robc02
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby robc02 » 3 Nov 2019, 5:28pm

hercule wrote:I used to use a fixed wheel on my bike each and every winter to save the expensive geared transmission from the corrosive grime of winter roads. .............


+1. But I grew to love it for its own sake. There is something special about riding fixed, as others have noted.

Regrettably, I don't have a fixed bike at the moment - a Sturmey 3 speed does winter duty. (It also feels rather special, but in a different way to fixed).

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 3 Nov 2019, 5:38pm

robc02 wrote:
hercule wrote:I used to use a fixed wheel on my bike each and every winter to save the expensive geared transmission from the corrosive grime of winter roads. .............


+1. But I grew to love it for its own sake. There is something special about riding fixed, as others have noted.

Regrettably, I don't have a fixed bike at the moment - a Sturmey 3 speed does winter duty. (It also feels rather special, but in a different way to fixed).

Care to explain a bit more? Special compared to what? I have a seven speed hub gear now, collecting my fixie wheel this week
Not had a bike with derailment gears since 2002
I think riding fixed should be the default in many situations (just like I think automatic should be normal in motor vehicles :?)
Nice one Cyrille, nice one son..
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on 49" fixed
We love safety cameras, we love life "1330"

robc02
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby robc02 » 3 Nov 2019, 5:40pm

Brucey wrote:. .......... IMHO it is highly unlikely that anyone will ever produce a variable fixed gear hub that will satisfy every fixed gear user.

The reason is that they might be super-sensitive to any backlash in the drive; many such riders don't even tolerate small amounts of chain slack, or sprockets in which the chain rollers are a slightly slack fit. Any sliding clutch in a hub is liable to have some backlash rather than none.... so will be rejected likewise.

FWIW if you are not too fussy about such things you can make a 2s fixed gear hub from an old SA three speed, with gear 2 direct drive. In essence the high gear drive pawls are removed, and the planet cage is fixed to the hubshell at the left end. WIth the sliding clutch in the 'gear 3' position there is direct drive. With the sliding clutch in 'gear 2' (or gear 1) position you drive the ring gear and this gives you a low gear. Ratios are 1.00 and 0.75.

cheers


Allegedly, the TF (two speed fixed) had minimal backlash and was much loved by its users. Whether it would suit the ultra fussy is another matter.
Unfortunately I have never had the pleasure of trying one, and given their scarcity and the prices they fetch when they do appear for sale, am unlikely to do so!

robc02
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby robc02 » 3 Nov 2019, 6:51pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:
robc02 wrote:
hercule wrote:I used to use a fixed wheel on my bike each and every winter to save the expensive geared transmission from the corrosive grime of winter roads. .............


+1. But I grew to love it for its own sake. There is something special about riding fixed, as others have noted.

Regrettably, I don't have a fixed bike at the moment - a Sturmey 3 speed does winter duty. (It also feels rather special, but in a different way to fixed).

Care to explain a bit more? Special compared to what? I have a seven speed hub gear now, collecting my fixie wheel this week
Not had a bike with derailment gears since 2002
I think riding fixed should be the default in many situations (just like I think automatic should be normal in motor vehicles :?)


For a long time I used a Sturmey FM (four speed medium ratio) on my commuter. This gave three closely spaced gears and one "bailout" gear. On my gently undulating commute I could ride it almost like I would a derailleur bike - shifting up and down with small changes of gradient, winds etc.

Out of curiosity more than anything I tried a wide ratio 3 speed (AW). I gear it so that middle gear is what I would choose as a singlespeed or fixed - about 67 inches. It has much of the simple charm of a singlespeed, but with a -25% bailout gear for steeper climbs (or gentler ones when I am running on empty!) and a +33% overdrive for descents, tailwinds, sitting on the wheel of young energetic roadies on flash bikes etc. The latter has given me a lot of pleasure and caused some surprise to the "victim" into the bargain :lol: .

A few years ago, if you had suggested I use a wide ratio 3 speed I would have said the gear jumps were too big to be useful, but actually I find them fine. But then I rode fixed for years so became used to pedalling speeds outside of my comfort zone. Compared to the FM, the shifts are easier (SA four speeds always require a good tug on the shifter plus a notchy engagement into bottom gear) and it has that "overdrive" top gear mentioned above.

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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Brucey » 4 Nov 2019, 1:06am

robc02 wrote:….Allegedly, the TF (two speed fixed) had minimal backlash and was much loved by its users. Whether it would suit the ultra fussy is another matter.
Unfortunately I have never had the pleasure of trying one, and given their scarcity and the prices they fetch when they do appear for sale, am unlikely to do so!


I've never ridden one either. I'd imagine there is some backlash in each gear, rather than none, but I don't know exactly how much.

A 2s fixed gear was Sturmey's oldest product, sort of. When the Sturmey Archer syndicate (best known for their three speed gear) was started, they bought out an existing manufacturer of two speed gears. The TF 2s gear was in many respects a resurrection of a much older design.

Image

Image
variants with a drum brake were also made[i][/i]


IIRC in recent years attempts have been made to engineer a similar 2s gear using recycled 3s bits, in the USA I think.

It is such a simple concept it almost beggars belief that no-one makes one these days. SA make a 2s gear but it gears up (so the gear ratios are 1 and 4/3) rather than the intrinsically more sensible/efficient 1 (for the flat) and 3/4 (for hills and starting off).

With a bit of engineering, such a hub would be made with an aluminium shell, and a threaded driver so that it would accept a freewheel or fixed sprocket/lockring, with the gear parts adding about 200g to the weight of the hub.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brucey
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Brucey » 4 Nov 2019, 1:36am

Image

the way the TF hub works is actually a bit weird; the sun pinion is used as a sliding clutch and is either locked to the planet cage (thus locking the gear train to itself for direct drive gear) or the axle (via the dog ring, for the low gear).

This means that in the direct drive gear such parts as the planet gears, the sun pinion, the inner ballrace etc are used in a loaded, static mode. In theory should the gear be used in direct drive for long enough without shifting, this could cause uneven wear or perhaps even damage to the loaded gear teeth.

Image

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Brucey » 4 Nov 2019, 2:24am

Image

William Reilly, is a name that is now in danger of being forgotten, but he was behind 'the hub' two speed gear and would have been instrumental in the design of the first SA 3s gear. As in the article below, the SA 3s gear was originally known as the 'Stumey-Archer-Reilly-Pellant-Mills' hub and yet three of the five don't appear in most potted histories of Sturmey Archer at all.

Image

I note that 'the paradox 7s gear' mentioned above seems to have been lost to history.

cheers
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brumster
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby brumster » 4 Nov 2019, 7:47pm

I wonder if a Nuvinci hub could be converted to a fixie? Now there's a thought ! :wink:

mig
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby mig » 4 Nov 2019, 10:40pm

didn't a track kilo rider have some sort of two sprocket system?

IIRC one was a little loose and, as the bike accelerated, the chain dropped down to a smaller sprocket. not sure what happened to chain tension though!

i'll see if i can find some info somewhere.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 6 Nov 2019, 4:57pm

Picked up my new fixie wheel yesterday, 28x1.75, 32 spokes, nice Sturmey-Archer hub, cartridge bearings I think
Fitted it today, rode to the book exchange, then a loop through the woods, drizzly, lovely colours
Easy riding fixed without toeclips, hardly needed to think, didnae try to freewheel
Got a very low gear, about 50", feels right, wanted a lower gear for a moment mind when waiting to pass some joggers :wink:
Been used to riding with gears, I wonder which is my go to bike now

FFF, Fixies For Future!
Nice one Cyrille, nice one son..
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on 49" fixed
We love safety cameras, we love life "1330"

Greystoke
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Greystoke » 6 Nov 2019, 5:27pm

Want more gears? Sturmey Archer do the sx3 hub

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 6 Nov 2019, 6:07pm

Greystoke wrote:Want more gears? Sturmey Archer do the sx3 hub

No no, I do not want more gears, that is the whole object :wink:
The bike is a simple and light as possible, just missing a bottle cage, planning to change the bars too
Got another bike with seven gears, and another fixie, but maybe I should try a bike with 33 gears so I know why I do not want one :?
Nice one Cyrille, nice one son..
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on 49" fixed
We love safety cameras, we love life "1330"

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 12338
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Fixie: Why?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 6 Nov 2019, 6:09pm

mig wrote:didn't a track kilo rider have some sort of two sprocket system?

IIRC one was a little loose and, as the bike accelerated, the chain dropped down to a smaller sprocket. not sure what happened to chain tension though!

i'll see if i can find some info somewhere.

Someone had a small gear to start, a smaller sprocket was started on the thread, when it had purchase she was already going quite fast
Nice one Cyrille, nice one son..
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on 49" fixed
We love safety cameras, we love life "1330"