Re: [CR] Right/left caveat

(Example: Production Builders:Cinelli:Laser)

In-Reply-To: <B99839BA.8986%hilary.stone@blueyonder.co.uk>
References:
Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2002 20:22:04 -0400
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: "Sheldon Brown" <CaptBike@sheldonbrown.com>
Subject: Re: [CR] Right/left caveat


Left handed singlespeed freewheels are available (16 tooth only) for freestyle bikes.

Some freestyle tricks/riders benefit from having the drivetrain on the left, so double threaded hubs and the special freewheels are available. I stock both, but mainly for the benefit of tinkerers who want to add an electric motor to a bicycle.

Some years ago I set up one of my fixed-gear bikes with the drive on the left. I found it intolerable, and switched it back after a few weeks.

Every bike has drive-related flex in the frame and crankset. This flex is asymmetrical, since the stress is always on the right. Every bike you've ever ridden has some amount of this flex, so you're used to it.

When the drivetrain gets swapped over, the asymmetry of the stress also swaps over, with the result that the bike feels startlingly noodly.

I did this on an early '70s Raleigh International frame, an unusually light steel frame, not the stiffest bike out there. Sometime, if I find the energy and time I might try it again to my Cannondale ST500 fixer. The greater stiffness of that frame may make it less unpleasant.

Sheldon "Ambidextrousity" Brown Newtonville, Massachusetts +----------------------------------------------------------------------+ | I am comeĀŠin a very moralizing strain, to observe that our | | pleasures in this world are always to be paid for, and that we | | often purchase them at a great disadvantage, giving ready-monied | | actual happiness for a draft on the future, that may not be honored. | | -- Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen | +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
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