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14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?(11 posts)

14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?Jan Gerrit Klok
Jan 5, 2003 2:39 PM
This is one of my many brain pharts.
I was thinking it'd be cool to have a 14 speed Rohloff hub, with a switch to go from freewheel mode to track mode and back. 14 speeds in track mode, wouldn't that be a killer for racing, both on and offroad?
If the idea is not too stupid according to experts like you (you won't see me riding a fixed gear bike), I'll ask Rohloff what they think about it, and if they maybe make me a prototype.
re: 14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?fixedgearhead
Jan 5, 2003 6:00 PM
It sounds like a solution, desperately in search of a problem.

re: 14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?Jan Gerrit Klok
Jan 6, 2003 1:46 AM
Does biking really always need a problem for development?
You're past needing gears and freehubs obviously, so I understand you don't see the point.
For racers like myself I thought this might be a way to get better laptimes and enjoy their riding even more.
I've only experienced fixed gear riding on a Schwinn spinner, but I think it would make me faster. Some people care about speed more than they do about challenges.
I'm not totally lost, I'm about to build my first SS, don't know about fixed yet, maybe one day I'll be ready for it.
re: 14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?fixedgearhead
Jan 6, 2003 5:32 AM
I guess you don't understand the simple beauty of fixed gear bicycles. Of course you can do anything you want. I often imagine many interesting projects involving fixed gear bicycle developement. That still does not invalidate my comment that it is a solution in search of a problem. Just build yourself a fixed gear bicycle with a single speed on the other side. It is the best of both worlds. You get the strength developement of fixed gear and then you can still have fun at a less intense pace with the single speed if you need or desire it. You don't need many fixed gear options to get the desired benefits. Part of the developement of your fitness/strength is the overcoming challenges that fixed gear provides. Having many fixed gear choices on the same bike at your disposal causes you to rely on the gear selection at that moment rather than your body to overcome the challenge,thereby negating the benefits of fixed gear challenges. It also complicates and unnecessarily encumbers, with weight, a simple and rather elemental machine. That is what fixed gear bicycling is all about. I think if you tried it, you would see the wisdom of it. Then if you want to go for some developement idea you will have a basis for pursuing that idea. Without that basis of understanding, it is just a solution in search of an problem.

re: 14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?Jan Gerrit Klok
Jan 6, 2003 6:50 AM
I have been reading about Fixed gear and single speed a lot for some time now, and do know what beauties there are in them to love. I'm just too chicken for fixed right now, a spinner is all the challenge I can take right now.
I'm building up a SS to get myself the challenges and advantages you partly refer to, and maybe fixed will be the next stage for me, who knows.
My idea with the 14-speed fixed hub is solely (off)road laptimes. I'll probaly always keep geared bikes, even though I'm even considering SS'ing my road bike now.

I posted here to see what you guys think would be the effect of having 14 fixed gears on your bike, and if the best of two worlds could help a racer to improve his/her perpormances.

I was thinking :
Higher speeds , less time spent on straights in track mode.
More push up short steep climbs riding fixed, less time lost.
More stability on bumpy straights.
More stability in slow sharp corners in freewheel mode.
Easier to follow in a faster competitor's draft.
And many more.

Please judge the idea with this in mind : wimpy geared racers looking for an edge over derailer folks.
re: 14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?fixedgearhead
Jan 6, 2003 8:14 AM
I guess in the off road racing environment there may be some application. I don't know anything about dirt racing. The main application for fixed gear is on Road and Velodrome use and recreational riding. Within the boundries of the overall prevelant use it still remains a bad idea. If you have the wherewithall to chase your dream, then by all means go ahead. History is littered with failed experiments. I fear that this will also become another one. But don't let my skepticism stop you from pursueing your dream. Good luck.

heavy and inefficientDougSloan
Jan 6, 2003 10:29 AM
They are heavier than an entire derailleur system. Plus, they eat up power. If you are not in a 1:1 gear ratio, they are always ratcheting. Now, overcome those problems, and you might have something.

heavy and inefficientfixedgearhead
Jan 6, 2003 11:22 AM
I agree, I once contacted them about getting one with a 36 hole drilling for use on a touring tandem that I was building up, and they told me they weren't interested. I can't imagine they would want to reengineer the guts of that boat anchor if they couldn't bother with the rather simple task of drilling and respacing four extra holes. I tried to point out to them the advantage and potential market but the took the attitude, "Ve no Vats Best".

re: 14 speed track mode on rear hub, how 'bout that?desmo
Jan 6, 2003 6:48 PM
as far as "off road" racing is concearned I don't think you would want to go fixed. any technical sections are going to be pedal strike nightmares, and on steep technical downhills guys are going to fly by you coasting (remember you can't stop pedaling mid air to set up a corner). now as far as multiple gear fixie hubs, I'd love an old 3 speed Sturmey, or modern replica!
2 speed fixed gear hub existsGinz
Jan 7, 2003 10:46 AM in Seattle does a modification on SA internally geared hubs two allow a 2-speed fixed gear. I'm not sure if they use a new Sturmey hub or if you need some particular old model.

If you give them a call, let me know what you find out!
2 speed fixed gear hub existsJan Gerrit Klok
Jan 8, 2003 2:15 AM
There are also BB/Crank combo's with a 2-speed mechanism together that could mean 4 gears, with a very wide spread. Also, I've heard of 3-speed fixed hubs, but wonder how the shifting then works.

The idea for having the Rohloff-type hub with 14 gears, is to be able to switch back to freewheel mode for technical technical sections and dismounts. I just imagine that bumpy climbs on a fixed chosen gear must be much easier and faster.