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"fixed" freewheel, variable gear?  

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've been reading all the threads about fixed gear and am sold on the benefits. Can't wait
to try one.

But while thinking about it during a ride one day, I got to wondering if anyone has tried fixing the
freewheel (or freehub) but still having a cassette and multiple gears? This would seem to provide
many of the benefits of a fixed gear while still offering the flexibility to maintain cadence
through gear changes. It also means that it might be possible to convert a bike to "fixedwheel" or
"fixedhub" with no other drivetrain changes.

So why is this a silly idea? Has anyone tried it? Suggestions for how to fix the hub?

thanks, byron
post #2 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

"Byron Sheppard" <byron@chessman.com> wrote in message news:BBC9E98C.E269%byron@chessman.com...
>
> So why is this a silly idea? Has anyone tried it? Suggestions for how to
fix
> the hub?
>

If you stop pedalling, the derailleur winds up and breaks off the derailleur tab..not good.

Cheers,

Scott..
post #3 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

In article <BBC9E98C.E269%byron@chessman.com>,
Byron Sheppard <byron@chessman.com> wrote:

> I've been reading all the threads about fixed gear and am sold on the benefits. Can't wait to
> try one.
>
> But while thinking about it during a ride one day, I got to wondering if anyone has tried fixing
> the freewheel (or freehub) but still having a cassette and multiple gears? This would seem to
> provide many of the benefits of a fixed gear while still offering the flexibility to maintain
> cadence through gear changes. It also means that it might be possible to convert a bike to
> "fixedwheel" or "fixedhub" with no other drivetrain changes.
>
> So why is this a silly idea? Has anyone tried it? Suggestions for how to fix the hub?

As another poster has pointed out, derailleurs can't work with fixies. Sturmey-Archer did make a
somewhat desirable 3-speed fixed-gear-compatible hub shifter.

If you couldn't find one of those, another option would be the Schlumpf two-speed "mountain drive"
BB, which might work with a fixed gear:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/schlumpf.html

Of course, you already know about all the options involving rear hubs threaded on both sides, so you
can go fixed/free, fixed/multiple-speed freewheel, or fixed/other-fixed by flipping over a wheel.

Ask Sheldon,
--
Ryan Cousineau, rcousine@sfu.ca http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
post #4 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

KinkyCowboy <USERNAME_uk@excite.com> wrote in message
news:<76938775ba208be2fcf4f4c3e3a46943@news.teranews.com>...
> On Sun, 02 Nov 2003 06:51:49 GMT, Byron Sheppard <byron@chessman.com> wrote:
>
> >I've been reading all the threads about fixed gear and am sold on the benefits. Can't wait to
> >try one.
><cut> Apart from snapping off the derailleur, simply locking down the freewheel doesn't get over
>the problem of reverse chain tension unscrewing the freewheel from the hub. If you want a fixed
>wheel without a new wheel, there's an expensive converter which puts fixed cog and lockring threads
>on a shimano or compatible freehub, and a similar product is also available for threaded freewheel
>hubs. If you really want a multispeed fixed, you need to invest in some rare and very expensive
>retro parts from Campag or Sturmey-Archer.
>

You can simply add a screw on sprocket to a standard freewheel hub and ride. Lock ring not required,
but, of course, re-spacing/dishing is.

Having more than one sprocket is possible simply by screwing another on (never tried more than two),
using bottom bracket lockrings as a spacer, but prevents optimum chainline being used.

It is necessary to re-tension the chain on changin gear(by moving the wheel fore/aft in the
dropouts or).

As previous posters note, a derailleur is not an option.

Andrew Webster
post #5 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

Werehatrack wrote:

> As noted, if there's no freewheel, within a few minutes there will be no rear derailleur either. I
> suppose that someone with the requisite machine tools and skills could create the world's most
> nukeproof rear der to solve this particular problem, but I'm not sure I want to think about the
> cost and/or weight.

Didn't one of the earliest shifting systems involve reaching back and opening the QR, then using a
fork sort of thing to push the chain on to the next cog?

Wouldn't this work on a fixie? (My interest is purely theoretical, I have no desire to actually try
this, mind you.

-Dondo

--
What am I on? I'm on my bike, o__ 6 hours a day, busting my ass. ,>/'_ What are you on? --Lance
Armstrong (_)\(_)
post #6 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

Quote:
Originally posted by Werehatrack
On Sun, 02 Nov 2003 06:51:49 GMT, Byron Sheppard <byron@chessman.com> may have said:

>I've been reading all the threads about fixed gear and am sold on the benefits. Can't wait
>to try one.
>
>But while thinking about it during a ride one day, I got to wondering if anyone has tried fixing
>the freewheel (or freehub) but still having a cassette and multiple gears? This would seem to
>provide many of the benefits of a fixed gear while still offering the flexibility to maintain
>cadence through gear changes. It also means that it might be possible to convert a bike to
>"fixedwheel" or "fixedhub" with no other drivetrain changes.
>
>So why is this a silly idea? Has anyone tried it? Suggestions for how to fix the hub?

As noted, if there's no freewheel, within a few minutes there will be no rear derailleur either. I
suppose that someone with the requisite machine tools and skills could create the world's most
nukeproof rear der to solve this particular problem, but I'm not sure I want to think about the cost
and/or weight.

If you want multiple speeds in a fixie, it's theoretically possible to get them using a multi-speed
gearhub, if you can find one or if you have the skill to modify a freewheel-equipped unit.

--
My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail. Yes, I have a killfile. If I
don't respond to something, it's also possible that I'm busy.
I remember someone once reporting an internal gear hub failing in this manner- had his gear selections, just no freewheeling.
post #7 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

Quote:
Originally posted by S. Anderson
"Byron Sheppard" <byron@chessman.com> wrote in message news:BBC9E98C.E269%byron@chessman.com...
>
> So why is this a silly idea? Has anyone tried it? Suggestions for how to
fix
> the hub?
>

If you stop pedalling, the derailleur winds up and breaks off the derailleur tab..not good.

Cheers,

Scott..
How about using a front triple der mount fore and below the sprockets in conjunction with a push-pull tensioner pair that takes the chain slack out of the non-tensile sprocket-chainring run?
Probably only gives you 3 speeds (9 if you have a front chainring triple;12 if you use a Schlumpf with double chainrings up front).
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

>> But while thinking about it during a ride one day, I got to wondering if anyone has tried fixing
>> the freewheel (or freehub) but still having a cassette and multiple gears?

>> So why is this a silly idea? Has anyone tried it? Suggestions for how to fix the hub?
>>
>> thanks, byron
>
> Apart from snapping off the derailleur, simply locking down the freewheel doesn't get over the
> problem of reverse chain tension unscrewing the freewheel from the hub. If you want a fixed wheel
> without a new wheel, there's an expensive converter which puts fixed cog and lockring threads on a
> shimano or compatible freehub, and a similar product is also available for threaded freewheel
> hubs. If you really want a multispeed fixed, you need to invest in some rare and very expensive
> retro parts from Campag or Sturmey-Archer.
>
> But why make life complex? Just rebuild your back wheel around a track hub and learn to
> pedal fast!

Good and appreciated advice from everyone; thanks. I'll just build a single fixie and fly.
post #9 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

In article <bo4237$1n2n$1@news3.infoave.net>,
Captain Dondo <yan@NsOeSiPnAeMr.com> wrote:

> Werehatrack wrote:
>
> > As noted, if there's no freewheel, within a few minutes there will be no rear derailleur either.
> > I suppose that someone with the requisite machine tools and skills could create the world's most
> > nukeproof rear der to solve this particular problem, but I'm not sure I want to think about the
> > cost and/or weight.
>
> Didn't one of the earliest shifting systems involve reaching back and opening the QR, then using a
> fork sort of thing to push the chain on to the next cog?

Yes.

> Wouldn't this work on a fixie? (My interest is purely theoretical, I have no desire to actually
> try this, mind you.

Probably, but it would be diabolical. The reason you opened the QR was to let the wheel slide
forward and back to take up the chain slack. So you're suggesting releasing the QR, tapping the
lever to shift the chain, then re-engaging the QR, but oh yeah, since it's a fixie, you can't stop
pedalling.

You know, there's a reason the derailleur was invented,
--
Ryan Cousineau, rcousine@sfu.ca http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
post #10 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

Captain Dondo <yan@NsOeSiPnAeMr.com> wrote in message news:<bo4237$1n2n$1@news3.infoave.net>...
> Werehatrack wrote:
>
> > As noted, if there's no freewheel, within a few minutes there will be no rear derailleur either.
> > I suppose that someone with the requisite machine tools and skills could create the world's most
> > nukeproof rear der to solve this particular problem, but I'm not sure I want to think about the
> > cost and/or weight.
>
> Didn't one of the earliest shifting systems involve reaching back and opening the QR, then using a
> fork sort of thing to push the chain on to the next cog?
>
> Wouldn't this work on a fixie? (My interest is purely theoretical, I have no desire to actually
> try this, mind you.
>
> -Dondo

(realizing that i've never rode one) i think that you got to coast briefly during an upshift to
allow the cogset & wheel to move backward to suck up the chain slack.

...and at the prices the Cambio Corsa command, probable never will.
post #11 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

anthony.anagnostou@yale.edu (ant) wrote in message
news:<61806f59.0311022201.446959c9@posting.google.com>... <snip>
> wow. what an idea. ive heard that there are still multi speed bottom bracket setups on the
> market. up to five speeds, did i hear? would these work for fixed gear? are they made for
> standard bb shells?
>
> very curious, anthony

Oww... that's digging into the dusty recesses of memories best left undisturbed.

IIRC, there is/was a 5-speed crank-mounted planetary gear transmission. It is/was produced by
Shimano for the Japan-only market. I remember seeing pictures of it in Mountain Bike Action many,
many years ago.

Jeff
post #12 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

vecchio51@aol.com (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote in message
news:<20031103085719.19718.00000134@mb-m01.aol.com>...

> Why not just weld a freewheel together, add as many cogs as you wish and then stop to change the
> gearing, must have LONG dropouts for chain tension tho-
>
> Peter Chisholm

If you have two power links in the chain you can add/remove a few links easily enough, of course,
quick gear changes are out, but worth it for a long ascent.

Andrew Webster
post #13 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

anthony.anagnostou@yale.edu (ant) wrote in message
news:<61806f59.0311022201.446959c9@posting.google.com>...
> Ryan Cousineau <rcousine@sfu.ca> wrote in message [regarding multi speed fixed gears]
>
> >another option would be the Schlumpf two-speed "mountain drive" BB, which might work with a
> >fixed gear:
> >
> > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/schlumpf.html
>
> wow. what an idea. ive heard that there are still multi speed bottom bracket setups on the
> market. up to five speeds, did i hear? would these work for fixed gear? are they made for
> standard bb shells?

buried somewhere on the w-pg in the fine print it tells you it's not rated of FG used.
post #14 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

anthony.anagnostou@yale.edu (ant) wrote in message
news:<61806f59.0311022201.446959c9@posting.google.com>...
> Ryan Cousineau <rcousine@sfu.ca> wrote in message [regarding multi speed fixed gears]
>
> >another option would be the Schlumpf two-speed "mountain drive" BB, which might work with a
> >fixed gear:
> >
> > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/schlumpf.html
>
> wow. what an idea. ive heard that there are still multi speed bottom bracket setups on the
> market. up to five speeds, did i hear? would these work for fixed gear? are they made for
> standard bb shells?
>
> very curious, anthony

see No 9: <http://www.schlumpf.ch/md_engl.htm
post #15 of 15

Re: "fixed" freewheel, variable gear?

Do what the old guys did. Use a double sided hub. Put a small sprocket on one side and a big one on
the other. When you come to a hill. Get off and turn the wheel around.

--

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http://home.earthlink.net/~wm.patterson/index.html

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http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

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