Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

Why screw-on versus circlip-style single-speed sprockets?

Notices
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Why screw-on versus circlip-style single-speed sprockets?

Old 06-22-21, 11:04 AM
  #1  
Trakhak
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,814
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 958 Post(s)
Liked 757 Times in 442 Posts
Why screw-on versus circlip-style single-speed sprockets?

A current thread where someone is debating modifying the gearing on a cruiser bike (by changing either the chainring or the sprocket) got me thinking. Why are threaded hubs the standard for single speed and track versus the hubs that take circlip-style single-speed sprockets?

Cheap 1/8" coaster-brake/circlip-style sprockets are available in a wider ranges of tooth counts than screw-on sprockets, and interchanging them requires only one non-specialized tool (e.g., a flat-blade screwdriver or the equivalent) and almost no effort versus the need for a lockring wrench, a chain tool, and lot of grunting.

I've been riding fixed-gear bikes since 1964, and I don't know why it never occurred to me before to question the logic of using screw-on sprockets that become progressively harder to remove the more you ride the bike. At nearly 70, I find that my arms and legs are weakening at nearly identical rates, such that I can still unscrew the sprocket, although just barely, but I wouldn't be averse to taking arm strength out of the equation.

I know that there are adapters available to install a slide-on sprocket plus spacers on a freehub, but there should be a high-quality fixed-gear (or single-speed) hub with the same mounting system.
Trakhak is online now  
Old 06-22-21, 02:54 PM
  #2  
Rolla
Gyro Captain
 
Rolla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 976
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 415 Post(s)
Liked 1,031 Times in 451 Posts
Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
A current thread where someone is debating modifying the gearing on a cruiser bike (by changing either the chainring or the sprocket) got me thinking. Why are threaded hubs the standard for single speed and track versus the hubs that take circlip-style single-speed sprockets?

Cheap 1/8" coaster-brake/circlip-style sprockets are available in a wider ranges of tooth counts than screw-on sprockets, and interchanging them requires only one non-specialized tool (e.g., a flat-blade screwdriver or the equivalent) and almost no effort versus the need for a lockring wrench, a chain tool, and lot of grunting.

I've been riding fixed-gear bikes since 1964, and I don't know why it never occurred to me before to question the logic of using screw-on sprockets that become progressively harder to remove the more you ride the bike. At nearly 70, I find that my arms and legs are weakening at nearly identical rates, such that I can still unscrew the sprocket, although just barely, but I wouldn't be averse to taking arm strength out of the equation.

I know that there are adapters available to install a slide-on sprocket plus spacers on a freehub, but there should be a high-quality fixed-gear (or single-speed) hub with the same mounting system.

For singlespeed hubs with a screw-on freewheel, just put the FW tool in a vice (prongs facing up), lower the freehub onto the prongs, and turn the wheel like you're driving a bus. The wheel diameter gives you plenty of leverage to easily dislodge the FW.

For a fixed gear, I wouldn't trust a snap ring over a reverse-threaded lockring, especially if I was riding brakeless. I've seen too many coaster brake cogs develop play in them, and those snap rings are just cheap spring metal.

Breaking a threaded fixed cog free is usually just a matter of using a long enough lever.
Rolla is offline  
Old 06-22-21, 03:04 PM
  #3  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 1,765

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 641 Post(s)
Liked 498 Times in 378 Posts
White industries uses a spline style cog on their fixed gear and miche sells an adapter that you screw on that then takes splined cogs. If I start doing well enough to justify it I might build myself a set of the WI hubs to some light carbon rims for a faster wheelset, kinda like the idea of easy swapping.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 06-22-21, 03:07 PM
  #4  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,838

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2684 Post(s)
Liked 1,395 Times in 866 Posts
I think it is mostly tradition. Double-threading of track hubs for a sprocket and lockring is an archaic kludge. There are modern track hubs from White Industries, Halo, and possibly others that use a splined sprocket retained by a standard right-hand thread lockring.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Likes For JohnDThompson:
Old 06-22-21, 07:25 PM
  #5  
TejanoTrackie 
Veteran Racer
 
TejanoTrackie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ciudad de Vacas, Tejas
Posts: 11,470

Bikes: 29 frames + 74 wheels

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 934 Post(s)
Liked 279 Times in 163 Posts
Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
For singlespeed hubs with a screw-on freewheel, just put the FW tool in a vice (prongs facing up), lower the freehub onto the prongs, and turn the wheel like you're driving a bus. The wheel diameter gives you plenty of leverage to easily dislodge the FW.

For a fixed gear, I wouldn't trust a snap ring over a reverse-threaded lockring, especially if I was riding brakeless. I've seen too many coaster brake cogs develop play in them, and those snap rings are just cheap spring metal.

Breaking a threaded fixed cog free is usually just a matter of using a long enough lever.
You can also just clamp the handle of the chainwhip in a bench vise, place the fixed cog in the chainwhip and turn the wheel. That's what I do when I can't remove a cog directly with the chainwhip.
__________________
What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel keeps getting longer - me
TejanoTrackie is offline  
Likes For TejanoTrackie:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.