Fixed gear

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  • 01-10-2013
    Igoreha
    I know about TomiCog and would be happy to get it. But It's very hard to get in Russia. Not available in most online stores also.
  • 01-10-2013
    FKMTB07
    I've got 18t and 19t Tomicogs, and a 17t VeloSolo cog. The VS has a much nicer finish, as it's polished and looks nicer, but functionally, both brands work great. Although I've never dropped a chain with either brand, the Tomicogs look to have a taller tooth profile, so if you're paranoid about dropping a chain or prefer to run your chain on the looser side of what's acceptable, the Tomicog might be a better choice.

    Currently running 38:17 on a 26" fixed wheel, 1998 Rockhopper Comp (love the old steel "Nitanium" Rockhoppers!) with a White Industries Eno Eccentric Disc hub.
  • 01-10-2013
    stremf
    I use Velosolo cogs.

    VeloSolo Shop - Disc Hub Mount Cogs and Accessories

    Lifetime warranty, too. Even if they just wear out.
  • 01-11-2013
    AlexCuse
    Fixed Gearing
    I have a fancy new set of wheels but I'm going to keep my old ones and rjn the fattest tires I can get in the hope that it helps stave off my fatbike craving. They are flows laced to surly hubs, which I think I should be able to mount a fixed cog on instead of a freewheel.

    When looking for a cog, what kind of gearing should I look for? Was thinking the low end of what I run SS, maybe even a bit smaller to help with downhills, does this seem readonable? Sorry if this was answered elsewhere, couldnt find it.
  • 01-11-2013
    bike for days
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    When looking for a cog, what kind of gearing should I look for? Was thinking the low end of what I run SS, maybe even a bit smaller to help with downhills, does this seem readonable? Sorry if this was answered elsewhere, couldnt find it.

    By smaller do you mean smaller cog (higher gear) or smaller ratio/inches (lower gear)?

    This is the part where you'll get 5 riders with 8 opinions, but personally I would think about a little harder/steeper gear for fixed than free because it sucks to be thinking about losing control spinning out on the downhills when there are 5 other concerns ahead.

    I guess the best way to put it might be, what is that hardest gear you could actually do your usual trail loop on, but not be miserable? Start with that for fixed.
  • 01-11-2013
    AlexCuse
    Yeah sorry meant smaller cog / higher gear. That is about what I was thinking. Probably could ride local trails at 16 but wasn't thinking smaller than 18 just so I can ride at more places. Maybe starting smaller and only riding fixed on smoother trails to start is the way to go though.
  • 01-11-2013
    bike for days
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    Yeah sorry meant smaller cog / higher gear. That is about what I was thinking. Probably could ride local trails at 16 but wasn't thinking smaller than 18 just so I can ride at more places. Maybe starting smaller and only riding fixed on smoother trails to start is the way to go though.

    Split the difference at 17 then! ;) Personally, I would say don't skip the technical stuff just because you roll fixed. Try what you can, then try again, and when you you get it it will seem monumental!
  • 01-11-2013
    buddhak
    [QUOTE=AlexCuse;10063011]I have a fancy new set of wheels but I'm going to keep my old ones and rjn the fattest tires I can get in the hope that it helps stave off my fatbike craving. They are flows laced to surly hubs, which I think I should be able to mount a fixed cog on instead of a freewheel.[QUOTE]

    If I am reading you correctly, you plan on running Surly freewheel hubs with a thread-on fixed cog but without a lockring. Not a good idea :nono:. If you do not have a fixed specific hub, then you should probably run a TomiCog or VeloSolo cog that mounts where your disk rotor normally would.
  • 01-12-2013
    sasquatch rides a SS
    You "can" do what they call suicide fixed...which is a fixed cog threaded onto a freewheel hub and locked on with a bottom bracket lockring with a bunch of loctite...but I wouldn't trust that. If you don't want to buy a Tomicog, drill out a cheap stamped cog. That's what I'm running because I didn't know if I'd enjoy FG offroad. No problems in the last year or so :)
  • 01-12-2013
    AlexCuse
    Thanks guys didn't know there was a difference in the hubs. Will look into other options but not sure I want to go without rear brake. I guess that is the cheapest way to try it though, and I am sure I could get away with just a front on a few trails close to home.
  • 01-12-2013
    sasquatch rides a SS
    If your wheelset and frame are rim brake compatible you can throw a cheap v-brake on the back.
  • 01-12-2013
    AlexCuse
    Not an option. No big deal though, pretty sure if I cant coast I won't need the back brake as bad. Just got a beefier front rotor set up too :)
  • 01-12-2013
    monogod
    no need for a beefier front brake if you're not running a rear, i've run v's on a scorcher with no rear brake. you control the speed of the rear wheel with your legs.

    nothing wrong with suicide fixing either if it's done correctly. before tomicogs, velos, the proliferation of disc hubs, and fixed mtn hubs it was pretty much the only way to go if you wanted to ride fixed off road. same with converting old 27" roadies to fixed.

    i've got some that are nearing a decade of hard use and still going strong and there's more than a few running around town that i did for other people that are still in use too. "correctly" is the qualifier. ;)

    that being said the above was done out of necessity as it was the only option. there's really no need to do that any more unless the wheel you're using is v's only since a tomicog is less than $30 shipped right to your front door. i purchased one of the very first ones he started producing and there is no discernible wear despite years of hard use in all kinds of weather.
  • 03-06-2013
    AlexCuse
    I finally scored a tomicog via trade, but I saw a pretty good deal on an WI eccentric rear wheel on craigslist so now I'm thinking of making my 26" bike the experimental fixed gear. Mostly because it will keep me on the bike I've had for more than half my life more often, and give me get a bit more exercise out of my commute (and save the wear and tear on my cross bike too I guess). It will be nice to get the hang of fixed riding with a rear brake that I can use when I need to bail too.

    Are there any gotchas that I'd need to be aware of when setting one of these hubs up as fixed?
  • 03-06-2013
    disgustipated
    I can't speak to the WI hub, although I wouldn't think there would be anything that would cause an issue. I've had a tomicog for about 3 months now and I absolutely love it. Bulletproof, pretty (for what it is) and the price is solid. Going fixed was the best decision I ever made. And what rear brake will you have? Rim brake? I ultimately went fixed because my rear brake kept giving me headaches. Not any more :D
  • 03-06-2013
    monogod
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    I finally scored a tomicog via trade, but I saw a pretty good deal on an WI eccentric rear wheel on craigslist so now I'm thinking of making my 26" bike the experimental fixed gear. Mostly because it will keep me on the bike I've had for more than half my life more often, and give me get a bit more exercise out of my commute (and save the wear and tear on my cross bike too I guess). It will be nice to get the hang of fixed riding with a rear brake that I can use when I need to bail too.

    Are there any gotchas that I'd need to be aware of when setting one of these hubs up as fixed?

    the only gotcha to the eno ecc hub is making sure you get the fixing bolts tight enough. the axle end has a little lip that bites into the inner dropout to keep it from slipping and if it's not tight enough it may move. other than that it's a solid, bulletproof hub that will more or less last indefinitely.

  • 03-08-2013
    AlexCuse
    Thanks guys. Picked up the wheel yesterday, that hub really is an impressive bit of engineering. I like that its a flip/flop so if I prove to be too soft to ride fixed its not a total loss - seems like the best way to get a freewheel SS setup on my old frame too. The guy selling it threw in end caps to convert from 135 to 130 mm spacing too, so if I ever want to lace a bigger rim to it for my cross bike it should be doable. Now I just need to wait for spokes to come in so I can lace up a new front wheel and a couple other parts to trickle down from my 29er over the next week and I should be in business.
  • 03-08-2013
    monogod
    sweet!

    don't forget to post pics...
  • 03-08-2013
    buddhak
    I love WI parts. The bearings on my ENO did not last as long as I would have liked, but the replacements were easy enough to obtain. Just a great hub.
  • 03-08-2013
    AlexCuse
    From inspection I suspect the bearings will last longer than the bearings on my Surly hubs typically last - and even if they don't, I think they use a standard bearing. The angular contact bearings the Surlys were spec'd with are *never* available locally - I suspect this is part of the reason they introduced the "Ultra New" hubs. By the time I learned to keep some bearings on hand, I had a new wheelset on the way with DT's SS hubs. Heh, guess if I end up posting those wheels in the trade thread someone will get a free set of bearings.

    Gotta admit I'm pretty psyched to try this - haven't been so excited since I first got a 29er and was itching to get it on the trails.
  • 03-17-2013
    AlexCuse
    Re: Fixed gear
    Not quite ready to post up pics (got uncabled v-brakes flopping around) but built a front wheel yesterday and got the fixed drivetrain set up today. That hub might be the most genius piece of gear I have.

    Rode brakeless around my neighborhood for a bit. Never rode fixed before but it feels pretty cool. Almost feels like I need to put pressure on pedals in both directions when going downhill. Should make commutes and local trails a bit more interesting.
  • 03-27-2013
    AlexCuse
    So I've got a question. Rode fixed to work for the first time today (~10.5 miles) and it seemed to work pretty good. Only tapped the brakes once to get into a skid for a stop sign immediately at the bottom of a steep hill (I thought the guy coming the other way might not let me california roll it, but he did). Felt great to be constantly pedaling. However, during the first big downhill (one that I typically get up to at least 30 mph on if I'm coasting) I started noticing a strange tick tock noise. After that hill it didn't really stop. It didn't seem to be coming from the hub so I kept riding. When I got to work I gave the rear wheel a more thorough inspection and noticed HUGE tension loss in probably about half the spokes - I'm really surprised it held its shape and no spokes broke to be honest.

    Is this a normal thing? I was slowing down on the hills by applying downward pressure on the pedal that is moving up. It seemed to work but I can see how that would be hard on the wheel. Is what I was doing totally wrong?

    I think I should be good to get home, I'll just use the brakes to slow down. For now I'm going to true the wheel back up at home and hope this is just a freak occurrence - I bought the wheel used and have no idea how long it was sitting.

    If this is a common problem and/or one with an easy solution I'd love to know more about it though.
  • 03-27-2013
    sasquatch rides a SS
    It sounds like there was not proper tension on the spokes from the beginning. I had this issue with my first wheel build a few years ago. I trued and tensioned the wheel properly and haven't had any issues since.
  • 03-27-2013
    p4nh4ndle
    Yeah, it's probably because when you flipped the wheel around, all your pushing spokes became the pullers, though on a properly built disc wheel that shouldn't be an issue.
  • 03-27-2013
    AlexCuse
    Ok thats good to know sasquatch - tension felt ok but I could see it having been a bit low. Was more concerned that it was a technique issue having never done this before.

    Its a non-disc wheel so that makes some sense p4nh4ndle.

    Thanks guys - now if the wheel can just get me home to retension it ;)
  • 03-27-2013
    AlexCuse
    There's a bike shop 3 miles from work so I decided to head there at lunch and pick up a spoke wrench (that will be going in the seat pack I eventually put on this bike). When looking again almost all the loose spokes were on the drive side so it seems like p4nh4ndle's theory was right. For now its not creaking and I was able to get it reasonably true (not getting any rub on the rear brake pads - I knew there was a reason I left that brake on there ;) ) but I'll get it up on the stand in the near future. Hope I didn't use up all the thread left on these nipples getting it tightened up.
  • 03-27-2013
    buddhak
    When I read your description, Alexcuse, I was thinking it may have been a problem of inadequate stress relieving during tensioning. Are you using butted spokes? What is your routine when bringing the wheel up to tension?

    Also, and this is a Public Service Announcement that has little to do with your problem, but whenever working on a fixed wheel, avoid spinning the wheel idly. It is not unheard of for folks to accidentally get their fingertips amputated when they get between cog and chain on a moving fixed gear wheel. Respect the FG.
  • 03-27-2013
    sasquatch rides a SS
    On Sheldon Brown's Wheel Building page there is a section header called "Initial Spoke Adjustment" which should explain everything. This is one of the most important steps in wheel building.
  • 03-27-2013
    monogod
    had the wheel been properly tensioned/relieved in the first place that would have never happened irrespective of which direction you ran the wheel. FG flip-flop wheels have been in use worldwide since the 19th century and don't require any kind of special truing technique compared to a disk wheel.
  • 03-27-2013
    AlexCuse
    I should have been more clear I thought it may have been a problem with my slowing down without using brakes technique, not a problem with wheel building technique, though it seems that may have left a bit to be desired.

    I got the rear wheel used - didn't check much more than the hub bearings for smoothness and that the spoke tension felt reasonable - clearly something was a bit off, I'll give it a proper truing when I can get it off the bike. Spokes appeared butted when I checked, not sure on other build details though. I could definitely see lack of stress relief being a problem here - and one that the original owner may not have run into if he was running on the freewheel side (I only met him once but I'd guess he weighs at least 60 lbs less than me, imagine that could hide a lot of issues too). Lack of spoke prep could have played a role as well - if this becomes a constant thing I will probably try and get some of that wicking loctite into the threads.
  • 03-27-2013
    Saul Lumikko
    As long as you're applying forces to the wheel by pedaling, it doesn't matter how hard you do it or which way you push: you can't do it wrong. A properly made wheel can take all the pedaling you can give it, doesn't matter which way the spoke heads are, doesn't matter if it's flipped, flapped or flopped, doesn't matter if you have disc brakes or none at all.

    So don't worry about your technique on the bike. Get the wheel build sorted and you'll be fine. Any kind of playing with the spoke direction is not a solution. There are reputable makers who suggest either way, and most of them say the other way (not theirs) is fine as well.
  • 03-27-2013
    AlexCuse
    Re: Fixed gear
    Thanks guys - no pings on the way home. Really liking the fixed ride - it feels faster, I guess because I dont really get a chance to let up. We'll see how it goes when I get it on the trails but I don't think rear brake is gonna be staying on too long :)
  • 04-05-2013
    AlexCuse
    Finally got out on the trails last night. Mud was an issue (I have Kenda K-Rad tires on the bike to make it a more viable commuter) and I'm glad I kept the rear brake on (the Deore brakes don't really give enough power up front, hoping a stiffer brake would allow me to remove the rear) but it was very fun. I'm probably going to have to man up and put clipless pedals on, because between the low bottom bracket and wide platforms I was mashing my pedals on everything. The clipless pedals wouldn't give much more clearance but I think the platform width was what I struggled with more than anything else.
  • 04-05-2013
    sasquatch rides a SS
    Yeah, pedal strikes were abundant for my early FG MTBing days :D You eventually learn to take different approaches or find ways to get those pedals over obstacles.

    While this thread is current again, I thought I'd share that I sold my FG Hardrock, BUT I am planning to build a fixed wheel for my 1x1 so I have a more modern, conformable bike to ride fixed offroad :thumbsup: I can use what I sold the bike for to build a rear wheel for my Surly. Essentially the same as what I had before, I'll just own 1 more wheel and 1 less bike.
  • 04-05-2013
    disgustipated
    Speaking of pedal strikes, has anyone experienced or heard of someone experiencing frame or component damage as a result of a nasty strike?
  • 04-05-2013
    monogod
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    Finally got out on the trails last night. Mud was an issue (I have Kenda K-Rad tires on the bike to make it a more viable commuter) and I'm glad I kept the rear brake on (the Deore brakes don't really give enough power up front, hoping a stiffer brake would allow me to remove the rear) but it was very fun. I'm probably going to have to man up and put clipless pedals on, because between the low bottom bracket and wide platforms I was mashing my pedals on everything. The clipless pedals wouldn't give much more clearance but I think the platform width was what I struggled with more than anything else.

    clipless give you better control over the rear wheel for speed modulation as well as allowing you to time your cranks before reaching obstacles. after a while the latter pretty much becomes second nature.
  • 04-05-2013
    monogod
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by goldencalf View Post
    Speaking of pedal strikes, has anyone experienced or heard of someone experiencing frame or component damage as a result of a nasty strike?

    frame damage? no.

    component damage? yes. the crank arm ends take a beating and i've seen egg beaters destroyed. i use spd and have never busted one on any of the multiple nasty strikes they've endured.
  • 04-06-2013
    bike for days
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    Yeah, pedal strikes were abundant for my early FG MTBing days :D You eventually learn to take different approaches or find ways to get those pedals over obstacles.

    While this thread is current again, I thought I'd share that I sold my FG Hardrock, BUT I am planning to build a fixed wheel for my 1x1 so I have a more modern, conformable bike to ride fixed offroad :thumbsup: I can use what I sold the bike for to build a rear wheel for my Surly. Essentially the same as what I had before, I'll just own 1 more wheel and 1 less bike.

    I forget if it was this thread or the old one, but someone mentioned that riding fixed makes you sometimes chose the *more* technical line, but attack at certain points, to avoid pedal strike. Like a rock garden with a few rocks and a gap between... well you might luck out and line the cranks just right if you take the gap, or maybe you should just huck over them rocks instead!

    Last weekend I had my first "oh it doesn't feel right, I will prob pedal strike on that..." so I did a hop/half rotation, then kept going, and cleared it just right. Felt goooooood man. :cool:

    But right now my Troll is a 1x8 since I have a commute snafu I can't real deal with single speed. I miss fgmtb already and haven't even done my Sunday ride. Soon I hope to afford a IGH so it will be a matter of a straight wheelswap, no derailer to deal with.