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fixie dropouts (question)


Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
This from a fixie ignoramous...

I was cruising a shop a day or two ago and noticed a couple fixies. (Or at least ones with a free wheel on them.)

The bikes I saw both had dropouts facing to the rear (with the associated adjusters). This, when I had thought that a good fixie dropout design might be straight down--so that you could easily remove the wheel to flip it or to repair a flat.

I can easily see the advantage/value of the rear-facing dropout for chain tensioning, but it also looks like a total hassle any time you'd want to take the wheel off--e.g., for flipping it, or flats...

What am I missing here?
You have to have horizontal drop outs, it's not a convenience, without chain tensioning a fix gear doesn't work right. Even if you just want to run single speed you need some kind of tension be it an old derailure or a chain tensioning device (I've even seen hubs and bb's that work with tension). Have you ever tried to run a non tensioned chain? I don't recommmend it. By the way it is not recommended to run a fixie with a chain tensioner, it's supposed to be unsafe.
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