Re: [CR]Flip-flop Hub Question

Example: Framebuilding:Norris Lockley

In-Reply-To: <>
References: <>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 11:43:02 -0400
To: John Barry <>,
From: Sheldon Brown <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Flip-flop Hub Question

John Barry wrote:
>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

That's correct. You can't use a derailer with a fixed gear.
>Am I correct in presuming that the only suitable
>arrangements would be to use fixed gear on both sides,
>or freewheels on both sides?

No, most common is fixed/free, with a singlespeed freewheel. Typically the freewheel would be one or two teeth bigger than the fixed sprocket.

If you have a multispeed freewheel with a derailer, you would remove the derailer and shorten the chain when using the fixed gear option. Alternatively, you could leave the derailer on the bike, just shorten the chain and bypass the derailer.

See: and

Sheldon "Flip Flop" Brown +--------------------------------------------------+ | Gasoline was over $3.00/gallon a few weeks ago. | | This morning I saw it at $2.19. I predict that | | It will be under $2.00 on November 6th, but | | It will start going back up on November 8th. | +--------------------------------------------------+ --
    Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
       Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
       Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    Useful articles about bicycles and cycling