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02/26/06
A Boy and His Beam
Filed under: general, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:34 pm

Quickbeam Mod #1 -

The stock Quickbeam had a problem. It let me coast.  In order to
fix that minor oversight, I dug through the parts bin and found a 14T
sprocket which had been sitting around unused from my first fixed gear
project. With the 40T chainring, that calculatored out to be around 77 inches - pretty close to the 42×15T I’d been running on the fixed.
The coastable side of the drivetrain had proven to be great for trail
rambling, but this way I could cover the distance between trailheads a
bit more efficiently.  

It worries me how much I enjoy threading on a fixed gear cog. There’s
something so simple about the mechanism.  There’s just something
so “wrong” seeming about putting a solid toothed sprocket directly onto
a wheel — like it could do some damage.  (And yes, I’ve seen
those photos - it can do some damage…)  It makes me think about
Neal Stephenson’s description of the “Hole-Hawg” as a euphamism for
Unix in “In the Beginning, There Was the Command Line…”  Simple
tools tend to have the most power.

I daubed a touch of grease (rather than loc-tite) onto the threades,
and cinched it on pretty tightly with a chain whip.  Then I
followed that up with a lockring from a bottom bracket. Even through it
doesn’t thread against the sprocket the way a true fixed hub allows, my
hope is that it will restrict enough rearward movement in case I get
all trackie and forget that the Quickbeam is rigged with actual brakes.

It worked wonderfully.  My fit is much more comfortable on the Quickbeam than it had been on the Panasonic fixed gear,
and that let me ramble a decent loop around the paved roadways.  I
could probably blather on, but suffice to say that it felt better than
it should have for someone who has been putting in too few miles for
the past 5 or 6 weeks. I had to scurry home towards the end to beat the
rains, and managed to tuck the bike back in before they fell in earnest.

Fact is, I’m really enjoying this bicycle.

Other oddball notes:
The only lube I had handy was a bottle of Pedro’s Road Rage - I had
forgotten what nasty stuff that actually is.  It may work OK in
terms of lubing up a chain, but the messiness is needlessly immediate
and pervasive.  If I hadn’t gotten it for free, I’d never use the
stuff.  And if I could figure out a rational way to get rid of
it…. Maybe it’ll make its way into the donations box.

Only little thing I’ve noticed is that the rear wheel doesn’t quite
want to stay put - it’s not dangerous or anything, but it tends to
creep forward a little bit.  Probably has a lot to do with the
super smooth paint job and the less than aggressive serrations on the
face of the quick realease.  Now that it’s chomped into the paint
a bit, maybe that will lessen.  I’m also going to see if I can
come up with a nice un-logo-ed Salsa QR set in silver. A guy’s gotta
have a dream…

2 Responses to “A Boy and His Beam”

  1. Kris Says:
    I just built a 16t fixed wheel for my Quickbeam as well. Just need some warm(ish) weather at this point! 40×16 will cause some serious spinning, but it may just be the ticket for the brevets/centuries.
  2. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Ahhh. Spinning is good…