Fixed Gear Musing....

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Jim Edgar

With necessary components from Sheldon, and a few select bits from the parts bins, the fixed-gear
project is a real bike now.

So, I'm rolling around on a beautiful sunny Saturday, and as I gradually become more aware that
there's no real need for a freewheel, I begin to wonder when they became widely available.

My question(s) is(are):

When did folks start using a freewheel mechanism on the bicycle? I've seen references to the first
derailleurs, but not when freewheels were widely used. In the biography on Major Taylor, it seems
that he's using a fixed-gear system. But, his racing was generally on tracks.

Did the Tour racers in the 20's use a freewheel, or were they fixed? I've got a few pictures from
this period, but can't quite tell.

Since I've become fixed, I tend to sit around and stare like my neighbors cat (also fixed). I seem
to recover after a while and become more active, but is this a problem I need to worry about?


-- Jim
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