In the early days of road racing, it was not uncommon for a bike to be fitted with a single speed freewheel one side and a fixed cog the other. The fixed gear would be higher for rolling on the level and the freewheel lower for climbing hills and freewheeling down the other side.
In later days the flip-flop hub enabled one pair of race wheels to be used for road events, with multi-speed freewheel and derailleur, or track/time-trial with fixed gear. I think they pretty much died out at the same time as road bike dropout spacing got wider than track bike spacing.
Hugh Thornton Cheshire, England
In a message dated 14/10/2006 04:35:52 GMT Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
This is quite likely a very ignorant question, but I'll ask it anyways and risk providing a few chuckles at my expense.
I recently acquired a bicycle with a flip-flop hub. It is currently set up with a freewheel on one side, and nothing on the other. I'd like to take advantage of the other side, but it seems that it would not be practical to set it up with a fixed gear. I suppose I could do it, and use the derailleur essentially as a chain tensioner, but it seems that if I were to stop pedaling (out of habit from many years of exclusively riding freewheels), I could potentially damage the derailleur.
Am I correct in presuming that the only suitable arrangements would be to use fixed gear on both sides, or freewheels on both sides?
Thanks in advance,
Mechanicsburg, PA, USA