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Question about freewheels, cogs and flip flop hubs

westtexas2012-01-09 03:12:36 +0000 #1
Okay y'all, late night question while doing research for you. I'm currently rebuilding an old Schwinn bicycle into a single speed (mostly for the learning experience) and there are so many words being thrown around I am starting to get confused. I have read Sheldon Brown about 50 times and still I have no idea what I am doing.

Here is what I have - a rear wheel with a flip flop hub, a 16 tooth cog and a lock ring.

After watching some YouTube videos, it seems to me that these are the appropriate parts for building a fixie (no thanks!) but that for a single speed bicycle I need something called a "freewheel". I am assuming that if I put the cog and lockring on the non-fixed side (the side without the "stepped" threads) that this will not allow the wheel to turn while coasting (not sure if it's even possible to put these two things on the non-fixed side).

So, the question is - do I need this thing called a freewheel? And if so, do you have any recommendations for good ones? The wheels are EighthInch Amelia wheels if that makes any difference (doubtful).

(I haven't even started on the crank/bottom bracket yet, so there will probably be more questions later).

Thanks in advance!!


KnottedYet2012-01-09 03:19:45 +0000 #2
Isn't the freewheel aspect pretty much covered by the flip-flop hub itself? I kind of assumed it was built in.

(Mind you, I didn't build the ss/fixie flip-flop sitting here in my living room; but I've always assumed the freewheel mechanism was the "flip" part of the "flip-flop" hub. Which makes it possible to switch from ss to fixie so simply. But I am a fountain of ignorance and have never flopped it.)

Surly has some nice info: surlybikes.com/blog/...e-speed_drivetrains/

You can also call them and ask for help.

Looking at mine, I see a cog in all its nekkid glory glommed onto the hub with nothing else ('cept the lockring). It's on the freewheeling side. The fixie side is bare.
ultraviolet2012-01-09 03:50:24 +0000 #3
A flip-flop hub is, indeed, fixed on one side and free on the other. You should be able to put your cog of choice on the free side...and the lockring back in your parts pile.
laura*2012-01-09 03:32:11 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by KnottedYet

Isn't the freewheel aspect pretty much covered by the flip-flop hub itself? I kind of assumed it was built in.

If the hub was like a modern freehub, then yes the freewheel aspect would be built in. However, that's not the case.

Both sides of the flip flop hub accept thread-on parts - the fixed gear and reverse threaded lock ring on one side, and a freewheel on the other.

These days, there isn't much choice when it comes to single speed freewheels. You probably have to take whatever brand your LBS has. Be aware that there are at least two thread standards: the regular one, and a smaller one that is generally for BMX bikes.

I just looked at a QBP (major bike parts distributor) catalog. You have three brands to choose from: ACS, Dicta, and Shimano. With ACS and Shimano, you have a choice of a brown finish or a chromed finish, and of compatibility with single speed or multi speed chains. Dicta's come in brown and use 3/32" multi speed chain.
westtexas2012-01-09 03:24:16 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by laura*

If the hub was like a modern freehub, then yes the freewheel aspect would be built in. However, that's not the case.

Well, the wheels are brand new, and therefore should be a modern freehub, I am hoping. Only the frame is from the 1970s.

I'm just afraid to stick the cog on the free side and go for a spin and end up crashing, haha.
Trek4202012-01-09 04:17:33 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by KnottedYet

(Mind you, I didn't build the ss/fixie flip-flop sitting here in my living room; but I've always assumed the freewheel mechanism was the "flip" part of the "flip-flop" hub. Which makes it possible to switch from ss to fixie so simply.

Yes it does. But I've been instructed by Chris at Robinson Wheelworks (hi Chirs!) who built the bike not to flip the flip flop.

Mixte's have a lower center of gravity/bottom bracket making it perilous. If you turn your fixie mixte and just happen to have the inside crank heading down at the apex of the turn

So don't flip the flip flop.

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