Lockrings or Locktite on fixed gear

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Matt Cahill

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Jan 16, 2004, 12:40:11 PM1/16/04
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I was just reading through some old threads on this subject (the last
around November of 2003) and decided I'd add my two cents worth...

I fall into the camp that lock rings or locktite are not necessary for
riders starting out on fixed gear riding. My reasoning is that if you
are really concerned about the marginal safety provided by lock rings
or locktite that you really need the true safety provided by a second
brake.

While experienced and talented fixed gear riders may be able to bring
their bikes to an emergency stop by resisting the rear wheel, I doubt
that newer fixed gear riders could do the same. My own experience (as
a fixed gear rider of a few months) is that I can go from 20 mph to 0
through resisting the rear wheel in maybe 10-15 seconds. Perhaps with
the fear of death as a motivator I would do better, but I still don't
think I would achieve a true emergency stopping rate.

Based on this reasoning, I just put the second brake back on my fixed
gear. It in not as esthetically pleasing as the more trimmed down
configuration. But I find that my fixed gear has become my favorite
bike, which I ride the most. Eventually, I may have that front tire
blow out or brake mechanism failure that finds me wanting a second
brake. When that day comes I want that brake to be more effective
than Fred Flinstone digging his feet into the ground.

Regards,
Matt Cahill

Zog The Undeniable

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Jan 16, 2004, 1:29:14 PM1/16/04
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Matt Cahill wrote:

> I was just reading through some old threads on this subject (the last
> around November of 2003) and decided I'd add my two cents worth...
>
> I fall into the camp that lock rings or locktite are not necessary for
> riders starting out on fixed gear riding. My reasoning is that if you
> are really concerned about the marginal safety provided by lock rings
> or locktite that you really need the true safety provided by a second
> brake.
>
> While experienced and talented fixed gear riders may be able to bring
> their bikes to an emergency stop by resisting the rear wheel, I doubt
> that newer fixed gear riders could do the same. My own experience (as
> a fixed gear rider of a few months) is that I can go from 20 mph to 0
> through resisting the rear wheel in maybe 10-15 seconds. Perhaps with
> the fear of death as a motivator I would do better, but I still don't
> think I would achieve a true emergency stopping rate.

Sprockets can loosen unexpectedly, and not necessarily under heavy
"braking". Hitting a pothole could free it off, for instance, if the
shock is transmitted through the cranks, and the next time you try to
slow down the sprocket can unscrew very easily. A lockring totally
prevents this, but you obviously need a purpose-built fixed hub.
Otherwise you should be riding a single speed *freewheel* rather than fixed.

Andy Coggan

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Jan 16, 2004, 2:35:28 PM1/16/04
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"Matt Cahill" <mcahi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:df69827f.04011...@posting.google.com...

> My own experience (as
> a fixed gear rider of a few months) is that I can go from 20 mph to 0
> through resisting the rear wheel in maybe 10-15 seconds. Perhaps with
> the fear of death as a motivator I would do better, but I still don't
> think I would achieve a true emergency stopping rate.

Out of curiousity, how does this compare to the maximum rate of slowing you
can achieve using only your rear brake?

Andy Coggan


Tom Paterson

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Jan 16, 2004, 3:02:13 PM1/16/04
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>From: Zog The Undeniable

>Sprockets can loosen unexpectedly, and not necessarily under heavy
>"braking". Hitting a pothole could free it off, for instance, if the
>shock is transmitted through the cranks, and the next time you try to
>slow down the sprocket can unscrew very easily. A lockring totally
>prevents this, but you obviously need a purpose-built fixed hub.
>Otherwise you should be riding a single speed *freewheel* rather than fixed.

This doesn't agree with my experience or experiment-- never having a cog
loosen, though admitting to using brakes instead of backpedaling, in lots of
low-gear fixed road use, and (experimentally), needing to back the bike up to a
wall to immobilize the rear wheel before two or three very hard slams loosened
a cog. (Cog put on non-gorilla tight with a normal chain whip, well-greased hub
threads.) Rider weight well over 200 lbs., controlled situation, focusing
*intently* on backing the cog off, no smashing wheels in potholes, MV traffic,
etc.

You can put a same-direction "jam" lockring on at least some road hub/cog
combinations.

At least one "lockring failure" (cog loosening) has been reported here, so not
a foolproof system.

Why limit yourself to a singlespeed setup? No "obvious" here IME, since I never
had a problem with cogs on freewheel hubs backing off. But that's one positive
about using two brakes, which bothers some folks on the POE scale (minor
sarcasm).

Ah well, it's raining and I'm on phone jockey duty anyhow, taking a turn at
stirring the stew. --Tom Paterson

Zog The Undeniable

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Jan 16, 2004, 4:30:09 PM1/16/04
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Tom Paterson wrote:

> You can put a same-direction "jam" lockring on at least some road hub/cog
> combinations.

Yeah - an old Campag standard BB lockring, which uses the same thread.
Better than nothing, but some places sell rear track hubs on their own
and I'd definitely go down that route.

Sheldon Brown

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Jan 16, 2004, 5:07:21 PM1/16/04
to

Matt Cahill wrote:
> I was just reading through some old threads on this subject (the last
> around November of 2003) and decided I'd add my two cents worth...
>
> I fall into the camp that lock rings or locktite are not necessary for
> riders starting out on fixed gear riding. My reasoning is that if you
> are really concerned about the marginal safety provided by lock rings
> or locktite that you really need the true safety provided by a second
> brake.
>
> While experienced and talented fixed gear riders may be able to bring
> their bikes to an emergency stop by resisting the rear wheel, I doubt
> that newer fixed gear riders could do the same.

Actually, terrified, panicky riders can also lock the rear wheel with
their legs, with common gearing (it's easier with lower gears.)

> My own experience (as
> a fixed gear rider of a few months) is that I can go from 20 mph to 0
> through resisting the rear wheel in maybe 10-15 seconds. Perhaps with
> the fear of death as a motivator I would do better, but I still don't
> think I would achieve a true emergency stopping rate.

There's a trick to it!

You lock up the leg on the lowe pedal. As the pedal rises, it starts
lifting your body upward. As your body rises it acquires upward momentum.

When the cranks get horizontal, you yank up with your other (front)
foot. Since your body is moving upward, this causes the wheel to be
substantially unweighted, making it easy to lock the wheel.

Once the wheel is locked and skidding, it is easy enough to maintain the
skid even as your weight goes back to normal. You may well wreck your
tire, but you'll stop pretty short.

"Braking" with the legs is sort of an "all or little" proposition. You
can slow down gently, or your can lock the wheel, but, unless your gear
is pretty low, you can't use the legs for medium intensity braking.


>
> Based on this reasoning, I just put the second brake back on my fixed
> gear. It in not as esthetically pleasing as the more trimmed down
> configuration. But I find that my fixed gear has become my favorite
> bike, which I ride the most.

They'll do that to you! Welcome to the cult!

Sheldon "Pignon Fixe" Brown
+----------------------------------------------------------+
| The people who live in a Golden Age usually go around |
| complaining how yellow everything looks. |
| -- Randall Jarrell |
+----------------------------------------------------------+
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
http://harriscyclery.com
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com

Matt Cahill

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Jan 16, 2004, 6:48:03 PM1/16/04
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Zog The Undeniable <g...@hhh.net> wrote in message news:<bu9aho$qvm$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk>...

That is why I advocate using a rear brake if one is really concerned
about the possibility of the cog spinning off. I did have a cog spin
off one time when I installed it poorly. (I do it alot tighter now.)
Since my front brake was working it was no big deal...at least in that
incident. Are you aware of an incident where cog spin off in and of
itself caused a problem ? What I want to avoid is the cog spinning
off during an attempt at an emergency stop without any other
alternative for braking.

Ultimately, I agree that I would probably be better off with
purpose-built fixed hub and I plan to build such a wheel at some
point. Until I do, I think the two brake solution is adequate.

A Muzi

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Jan 17, 2004, 12:15:17 AM1/17/04
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Matt Cahill wrote:

-snip-


My own experience (as
> a fixed gear rider of a few months) is that I can go from 20 mph to 0
> through resisting the rear wheel in maybe 10-15 seconds. Perhaps with
> the fear of death as a motivator I would do better, but I still don't
> think I would achieve a true emergency stopping rate.

-snip-


Could you actually look at your watch and report back?
15-20 seconds is an absolute eternity in traffic, especially
as relates to stopping a bicycle.

Twenty seconds is more like freewheel coasting to a stop
with no brake at all!
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971

jim beam

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Jan 17, 2004, 2:10:54 AM1/17/04
to
Matt Cahill wrote:
> I was just reading through some old threads on this subject (the last
> around November of 2003) and decided I'd add my two cents worth...
>
> I fall into the camp that lock rings or locktite are not necessary for
> riders starting out on fixed gear riding. My reasoning is that if you
> are really concerned about the marginal safety provided by lock rings
> or locktite that you really need the true safety provided by a second
> brake.

matt, i think it best to clarify that locktite is not necessary if you
have a fixed gear hub with a left-handed lockring. the locktite folks
are advocating its use on a freewheel hub "locked" by an old bb ring.

as i have personal injury experience of this last kind of "lockring"
coming undone at a critical moment, i do not think it safe to advocate
the use of anything other than a proper fixed hub.

jb

Bruce

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Jan 17, 2004, 7:45:33 AM1/17/04
to
Your rear wheel is for controlling speed, the front is for stopping. When
you need full braking the rear wheel provides almost zero stopping, useful
to just determine how close you are to maximum ( = how close you are to
lifting it off the ground).

So your decision to use a lockring should be for other reasons then for
braking, as your front wheel can be used for both controlling speed and for
stopping.

The only reason the rules allow track bikes to not have a front brake is
there are no stop signs and everyone has the same limited stopping power.
Rear wheel stopping distance is approximately twice that of using the front
wheel.

Bruce

"Matt Cahill" <mcahi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:df69827f.04011...@posting.google.com...

> I was just reading through some old threads on this subject (the last
> around November of 2003) and decided I'd add my two cents worth...
>
> I fall into the camp that lock rings or locktite are not necessary for
> riders starting out on fixed gear riding. My reasoning is that if you
> are really concerned about the marginal safety provided by lock rings
> or locktite that you really need the true safety provided by a second
> brake.
>
> While experienced and talented fixed gear riders may be able to bring
> their bikes to an emergency stop by resisting the rear wheel, I doubt
> that newer fixed gear riders could do the same. My own experience (as

No one can stop using only the rear wheel in the same distance as the front
(unless they stop by crashing). Experience or talent is not involved.


Tom Paterson

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Jan 17, 2004, 11:37:53 AM1/17/04
to
>From: jim beam u...@ftc.gov

>as i have personal injury experience of this last kind of "lockring"
>coming undone at a critical moment, i do not think it safe to advocate
>the use of anything other than a proper fixed hub.

What happened, please? --Tom Paterson

jim beam

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Jan 17, 2004, 2:34:11 PM1/17/04
to
car started to turn in on me. as i entered emergency stop mode, my rear
cog unscrewed so i hit the car. road rash. chipped teeth. busted lip.
could have stopped if the cog hadn't come loose.

was running a freewheel hub with a bb "lockring" & no brakes.

later found it was possible to unscrew a cog with this kind of lockring
every time if i tried hard enough. with a proper hub & l/h lockring,
it's simply impossible to unscrew the cog unless the lockring thread strips.

jb

jeffbonny

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Jan 17, 2004, 3:05:20 PM1/17/04
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On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 19:34:11 GMT, jim beam <u...@ftc.gov> wrote:

>car started to turn in on me. as i entered emergency stop mode, my rear
>cog unscrewed so i hit the car. road rash. chipped teeth. busted lip.
> could have stopped if the cog hadn't come loose.
>
>was running a freewheel hub with a bb "lockring" & no brakes.
>
>later found it was possible to unscrew a cog with this kind of lockring
>every time if i tried hard enough. with a proper hub & l/h lockring,
>it's simply impossible to unscrew the cog unless the lockring thread strips.
>
>jb
>

I haven't ridden a fix for a few years but always had r. brake.
Where the heck are you riding that you can get away with no brake?
Ten years ago it was suicide to go no brakes in Vancouver and it sure
ain't gotten safer.
Not pointing fingers here just curious. I might wanna move there!

Agree that it's a real lot harder to break the lock ring on a real
track hub (same dif. as a bb lockring pretty much) than it is to
unscrew an un-lockringed freewheel.

another jb

Bruce

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Jan 17, 2004, 4:54:47 PM1/17/04
to

"jim beam" <u...@ftc.gov> wrote in message
news:T6gOb.12122$Ow3....@newssvr27.news.prodigy.com...

> car started to turn in on me. as i entered emergency stop mode, my rear
> cog unscrewed so i hit the car. road rash. chipped teeth. busted lip.
> could have stopped if the cog hadn't come loose.
>

Why didn't you use your front brake? Simple physics and direct observation
shows that you can stop in half the distance using the front wheel compared
to the rear wheel.

Bruce


Rick Onanian

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Jan 17, 2004, 6:35:16 PM1/17/04
to
>On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 19:34:11 GMT, jim beam <u...@ftc.gov> wrote:
>>car started to turn in on me. as i entered emergency stop mode, my rear
>>cog unscrewed so i hit the car. road rash. chipped teeth. busted lip.
>>was running a freewheel hub with a bb "lockring" & no brakes.

<jeff...@REMCAPSshaw.ca> wrote:
>Where the heck are you riding that you can get away with no brake?

Er, obviously, he CAN'T get away with no brake.
--
Rick Onanian

Carl Fogel

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Jan 17, 2004, 10:28:14 PM1/17/04
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"Bruce" <bfrech.S...@spam.erols.com> wrote in message news:<4009af2d$0$6096$61fe...@news.rcn.com>...

Dear Bruce,

For reasons beyond the comprehension of
most people, many fixed-gear riders insist
on riding with no brakes. They just fight
the pedals and hope that their rear tire
alone will stop them or that they can dodge.

When informed of this bizarre cult, a friend
of mine remarked that riding with deliberately
ineffective braking offers all the exhilaration,
sense of superiority, and irresponsibility of
driving drunk without the hangover.

I haven't thought of a good rebuttal yet.

Carl Fogel

Qui si parla Campagnolo

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Jan 18, 2004, 9:03:39 AM1/18/04
to
uce-<< was running a freewheel hub with a bb "lockring" & no brakes. >><BR><BR>

Even on a track hub, with a proper lockring, i think one brake, the front
probably, is a good idea.

Peter Chisholm
Vecchio's Bicicletteria
1833 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO, 80302
(303)440-3535
http://www.vecchios.com
"Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"

jim beam

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Jan 18, 2004, 11:44:31 AM1/18/04
to
also consider the possibility of being teenage & in hormone overdrive in
that scenario!

jim beam

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Jan 18, 2004, 11:48:37 AM1/18/04
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agreed.

i put a fixie together last year, including front brake, and have found
that once i got back into it, i don't use the front brake much.

i'd forgotten what fab fun fixed gear is!

jb

B.C. Cletta

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Jan 18, 2004, 1:29:36 PM1/18/04
to
> Dear Bruce,
>
> For reasons beyond the comprehension of
> most people, many fixed-gear riders insist
> on riding with no brakes. They just fight
> the pedals and hope that their rear tire
> alone will stop them or that they can dodge.
>
> When informed of this bizarre cult, a friend
> of mine remarked that riding with deliberately
> ineffective braking offers all the exhilaration,
> sense of superiority, and irresponsibility of
> driving drunk without the hangover.
>
> I haven't thought of a good rebuttal yet.
>
> Carl Fogel

"...beyond the comprehension of most people..."
"...insist on riding with no brakes.
"They just fight the pedals..."
"...hope that their rear tire alone will stop them or that they can
dodge."
"...this bizarre cult..."
"...deliberately ineffective braking..."
"...sense of superiority..."
"...irresponsibility of driving drunk..."

i'd give this a c[T]= .8 ("c sub T", coefficent of troll). it
should be good for >100 responses.

A Muzi

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Jan 19, 2004, 1:05:34 AM1/19/04
to
>>"jim beam" <u...@ftc.gov> wrote in message
>>news:T6gOb.12122$Ow3....@newssvr27.news.prodigy.com...
>>>car started to turn in on me. as i entered emergency stop mode, my rear
>>>cog unscrewed so i hit the car. road rash. chipped teeth. busted lip.
>>> could have stopped if the cog hadn't come loose.

> "Bruce" <bfrech.S...@spam.erols.com> wrote in message news:<4009af2d$0$6096$61fe...@news.rcn.com>...
>>Why didn't you use your front brake? Simple physics and direct observation
>>shows that you can stop in half the distance using the front wheel compared
>>to the rear wheel.

Carl Fogel wrote:
> For reasons beyond the comprehension of
> most people, many fixed-gear riders insist
> on riding with no brakes. They just fight
> the pedals and hope that their rear tire
> alone will stop them or that they can dodge.
> When informed of this bizarre cult, a friend
> of mine remarked that riding with deliberately
> ineffective braking offers all the exhilaration,
> sense of superiority, and irresponsibility of
> driving drunk without the hangover.
> I haven't thought of a good rebuttal yet.

It _is_ exhilarating.
After a week or two of 'exhilarating' I added a front brake.
It's been that way ever since.

Tom Sherman

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Jan 19, 2004, 2:35:51 AM1/19/04
to
Carl Fogel wrote:

> Dear Bruce,
>
> For reasons beyond the comprehension of
> most people, many fixed-gear riders insist
> on riding with no brakes. They just fight
> the pedals and hope that their rear tire
> alone will stop them or that they can dodge.
>
> When informed of this bizarre cult, a friend
> of mine remarked that riding with deliberately
> ineffective braking offers all the exhilaration,
> sense of superiority, and irresponsibility of
> driving drunk without the hangover.
>
> I haven't thought of a good rebuttal yet.

Dear Carl,

Think of all the bicycles that have been sold that are equipped with
only a rear coaster brake. Fortunately, riders of these bikes rarely
attempt high speeds.

Tom Sherman - Quad Cities

Tom Paterson

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Jan 19, 2004, 10:45:46 AM1/19/04
to
>From: jim beam u...@ftc.gov

>car started to turn in on me. as i entered emergency stop mode, my rear
>cog unscrewed so i hit the car. road rash. chipped teeth. busted lip.
> could have stopped if the cog hadn't come loose.
>
>was running a freewheel hub with a bb "lockring" & no brakes.
>
>later found it was possible to unscrew a cog with this kind of lockring
>every time if i tried hard enough. with a proper hub & l/h lockring,
>it's simply impossible to unscrew the cog >unless the lockring thread strips.

Someone reported here a year or so ago (apparently to the contrary) that he
managed to unscrew a cog that had a reverse thread lockring on it.

An install method has been proposed here where a cog is put on a track hub, the
lockring is tightened, then the cog is backed off supposedly to "jam" it
against the lockring. That would seem to result in a loose cog "backed into" a
loose lockring. Maybe that was the problem.

I've never backpedaled much, except on the track, but I have "forgotten" a few
times and popped the cog pretty hard on a road fixer with no lockring. No
problem, cogs always installed with a chain whip, well-greased hub threads.
Makes me wonder about what some folks think of as "tight". Or if, lacking a
chain whip or cog tool, some "installs" are done with the crank.

Nothing personal: riding without any brakes is asking for it, plain and simple,
unless you're riding at the velodrome or in other extremely contolled
situations where no one else has any brakes, either.
--Tom Paterson

Tom Paterson

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Jan 19, 2004, 11:08:28 AM1/19/04
to
From Carl Fogel, inre brakeless FG riders:

>When informed of this bizarre cult, a friend
>of mine remarked that riding with deliberately
>ineffective braking offers all the exhilaration,
>sense of superiority, and irresponsibility of
>driving drunk without the hangover.
>
>I haven't thought of a good rebuttal yet.

It's sometimes difficult to rebut an accurate description.

One of the ordained came on our Sunday ride a while back. Road frame about
three or four sizes too big, no brake handles, carrying a duffel bag on a
shoulder strap, to boot. Wouldn't talk to anyone, etc.

Noted with another long time attendee that although impressed to some extent
with his riding skill, group riding with no brakes was so far out of the
picture that neither one of us would have thought of it in the first place.

The funny/sad part about the "superiority" deal is that, in addition to the
invisible "jingling medals", there's usually a pretty good representation of
"doctor lawyer indian chiefs" on this longstanding, open-to-all ride. This
group is also known to have recruited more than one "beginner" into more
advanced activity levels. We didn't seem to click with this guy for some
reason.

Ah well, his destiny lies elsewhere, apparently (sarcasm reset to standby).
--Tom Paterson

David L. Johnson

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Jan 19, 2004, 1:01:07 PM1/19/04
to
On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 00:05:34 -0600, A Muzi wrote:

> Carl Fogel wrote:
>> For reasons beyond the comprehension of
>> most people, many fixed-gear riders insist
>> on riding with no brakes. They just fight
>> the pedals and hope that their rear tire
>> alone will stop them or that they can dodge.
>> When informed of this bizarre cult, a friend
>> of mine remarked that riding with deliberately
>> ineffective braking offers all the exhilaration,
>> sense of superiority, and irresponsibility of
>> driving drunk without the hangover.
>> I haven't thought of a good rebuttal yet.
>
> It _is_ exhilarating.
> After a week or two of 'exhilarating' I added a front brake.
> It's been that way ever since.

I can't imagine being that exhilarated. Even 34 years ago, when I got my
first track bike (mostly for winter training), the first thing I did was
put a brake on it, before venturing out on the road.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve
_`\(,_ | death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?
(_)/ (_) | Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. -- J.
R. R. Tolkien

David Reuteler

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Jan 19, 2004, 4:29:06 PM1/19/04
to
David L. Johnson <david....@lehigh.edu> wrote:
: I can't imagine being that exhilarated. Even 34 years ago, when I got my

: first track bike (mostly for winter training), the first thing I did was
: put a brake on it, before venturing out on the road.

obviously not an adreneline junky.

well, neither am i. i did what you did. i would s/exhilarating/scary as shit/
and call it correct. i do recognize that some people seem to enjoy scaring
themselves into feeling alive. at least that has always been my take on it.

god i feel old when i say things like that.
--
david reuteler
reut...@visi.com

DiabloScott

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Jan 20, 2004, 10:51:35 AM1/20/04
to
OK, sorry for being such a dunce but what exactly does Locktite *do*? Is
it some kind of glue? Does it increase the amount of loosening torque
required by a factor of 2? 3? 10? 100? And what are the differences in
the various types available?

I don't think I'd trust it on a fixie without a lockring based on
everything I've read here and elsewhere and it seems like this thread
has run its course but I would like to understand Locktite better.

Where else would it be used on a bike? Bottom bracket cups? I've done
just about every mechanical thing you can do with a bike and have never
used Locktite.

--


B.C. Cletta

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Jan 20, 2004, 1:45:29 PM1/20/04
to
DiabloScott <NOSPAMdi...@terra.es> wrote in message news:<b8cPb.5799$zM5....@fe08.usenetserver.com>...

> OK, sorry for being such a dunce but what exactly does Locktite *do*? Is
> it some kind of glue? Does it increase the amount of loosening torque
> required by a factor of 2? 3? 10? 100? And what are the differences in
> the various types available?

<http://tinyurl.com/2llln>; or
<http://www.loctiteproducts.com/products/subcategory.asp?CatID=10&SubID=48>;
or
google "loctite threadlocker"
also, see the FAQs.



> I don't think I'd trust it on a fixie without a lockring based on
> everything I've read here and elsewhere and it seems like this thread
> has run its course but I would like to understand Locktite better.

and some people really should worry about catching fire on water.



> Where else would it be used on a bike? Bottom bracket cups? I've done
> just about every mechanical thing you can do with a bike and have never
> used Locktite.

it's nice to use on touring bikes, fenders, racks & stuff, but not
required. i used 'blue' setting-up on a friend's TranAm bike and it
POd the leader when he had to do something to the bike. go figure.

Carl Fogel

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Jan 20, 2004, 2:47:02 PM1/20/04
to
DiabloScott <NOSPAMdi...@terra.es> wrote in message news:<b8cPb.5799$zM5....@fe08.usenetserver.com>...

Dear Diablo,

I almost looked things up, but decided that
would be the coward's way out.

My guess is that the goo is a void-filler
and feeble adhesive with various grades
of stickiness.

By filling minute voids and providing a bit of
stickiness, it reduces the danger of threaded
fasteners working loose under vibration and
when tension varies because of mechanical changes
like metal parts expanding and contracting with
heat cycles and gaskets compressing under load
between metal parts.

Proper tension and thread design achieve the
same effect--that's what the right nuts and
bolts do with the help of washers.

The most adhesive grades of Loc-tite can set
to glue-like stiffness and provide enormous
resistance to turning--the trick usually mentioned
here on rec.bicycles.tech is to heat the part
and soften the goo.

The resistance may be partly due to the goo
expanding slightly while setting and therefore
gripping the bolt inside the nut, but for all
I know the stuff may contract.

In either case, the goo adds friction and
resistance to turning because it fills in
the tiny voids between the bolt and nut
threads.

A bare thread-to-thread contact has only the
friction where metal touches metal, with no
friction where the metal surfaces fail to meet.

Threads liberally smeared with Loc-tite have
most of these voids filled with long ribbons
of rubbery goo under compression wherever the
metal failed to touch. Press two flat pieces of
metal together and try to turn them--they turn
easily. Now sandwich a rubber mouse pad between
them and feel how the increased friction resists
turning.

Despite what we see on the outside, where the
goo often sticks to broad metal surfaces, there's
not likely to be much actual glue-like adhesion on
what are fairly polished metal threads, usually
so oily that not much really sticks to them.

When Loc-tite "sticks," it's usually just hanging
in a well-moulded embrace to a metal shape. A screw
with a smooth upper shaft will illustrate this.
The ring of Loc-tite on the threaded section seems
to grip, but so does a tight nut, which is hardly
"sticking" like glue. The same ring of Loc-tite
around the smooth metal shaft has no irregular
shape to mould to and is easily moved. And up
where the smooth shaft joins the screw head, the
Loc-tite may find some irregularities to cling
to and becomes a little stubborn again.

While the worst Loc-tite can help a screw or
bottom-bracket put up a fierce fight against
a screwdriver or a bottom-bracket pin-spanner,
it's unlikely to be a match for stress faced
by the lock-rings in this thread. I suspect
that they work loose as a matter of design.
A fixed-gear bike applies force both ways,
so it may work a threaded fastener loose,
Loc-tite or not.

Think of pedals, which have left and right
threads to prevent loosening under the
torque of normal pedalling. I don't recall
any posts about pedals working loose on
fixed-gear bikes, but the reason is probably
that the vast majority of fixed-gear pedalling
is in the normal direction and tends to
tighten things, while only the braking at
the end of a long session of forward pedalling
tends to loosen the pedals.

Cynically speaking, the primary purpose of
Loc-tite is to mark threaded objects that we
fear may loosen. When reluctantly applied by
the factory, it serves to highlight poor design.

Let's hope that my speculation provokes some
better-informed comments on the stuff. When
I looked just now, I found that I still have
a nearly thirty-year-old tube of the stuff,
so it may not be quite as necessary as I
thought when I was a teen-ager.

Now I'll search and find out how it's
really spelled.

Carl Fogel

Rick Onanian

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 4:03:54 PM1/20/04
to
On 20 Jan 2004 11:47:02 -0800, carl...@comcast.net (Carl Fogel)
wrote:

>By filling minute voids and providing a bit of
>stickiness, it reduces the danger of threaded
>fasteners working loose under vibration and
>when tension varies because of mechanical changes
>like metal parts expanding and contracting with
>heat cycles and gaskets compressing under load
>between metal parts.

This is, AFAIK, quite the point -- when vibrating, the fastener with
loctite vibrates with the fastenee, rather than against, so it does
not vibrate itself loose. The loctite acts as a cushion, too,
preventing one's vibration from knocking the other around. Or
something.

>Cynically speaking, the primary purpose of
>Loc-tite is to mark threaded objects that we
>fear may loosen. When reluctantly applied by
>the factory, it serves to highlight poor design.

I can report that it is effective against a badly designed pneumatic
roof nailer. From the factory or hand tightened as tight as
possible, there are two different bolts on Hitachi NV45AB nailers
that come out constantly. Lately, when repairing these, I've begun
using blue loctite on those bolts, even if I don't need to
disassemble those sections. The ones that have loctite do not
vibrate loose.

>Let's hope that my speculation provokes some
>better-informed comments on the stuff. When
>I looked just now, I found that I still have
>a nearly thirty-year-old tube of the stuff,
>so it may not be quite as necessary as I
>thought when I was a teen-ager.

It's a problem-solver, not something necessary by default, much like
a chain watcher (is that the correct name?) -- used on individual
bikes ("my bike does this..."), models ("your model is known to do
this..."), and styles ("single speed conversions with that type of
crank commonly have this problem...") known for dropping the chain
to the inside of the crank.

>Now I'll search and find out how it's
>really spelled.
>
>Carl Fogel

--
Rick Onanian

dvt

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 4:41:02 PM1/20/04
to
Carl Fogel wrote:

> Now I'll search and find out how it's
> really spelled.

www.loctite.com

Dave
dvt at psu dot edu

Sheldon Brown

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 5:00:03 PM1/20/04
to
Rick Onanian (my spell checker wanted to substitute "Nonagon") wrote:

> I can report that it is effective against a badly designed pneumatic
> roof nailer. From the factory or hand tightened as tight as
> possible, there are two different bolts on Hitachi NV45AB nailers
> that come out constantly. Lately, when repairing these, I've begun
> using blue loctite on those bolts, even if I don't need to
> disassemble those sections. The ones that have loctite do not
> vibrate loose.

Had you previously tried lubing the threads with oil or grease?

Dry threads are generally a bad idea, because they generate too much
friction when you tighten them. This prevents the threads from screwing
as tight as they should for a given amount of torque, because so much of
the torque is wasted overcoming the friction of the dry threads.

Sheldon "Rarely Loctites" Brown
+----------------------------------------+
| Do not do unto others as you would |
| that they should do unto you. |
| Their tastes may not be the same. |
| --George Bernard Shaw |
+----------------------------------------+
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
http://harriscyclery.com
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com

DiabloScott

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 8:51:53 PM1/20/04
to
Carl Fogel wrote:
> Dear Diablo,
> I almost looked things up, but decided that would be the coward's way
> out.
> <snip>

> While the worst Loc-tite can help a screw or bottom-bracket put up a
> fierce fight against a screwdriver or a bottom-bracket pin-spanner, it's
> unlikely to be a match for stress faced by the lock- rings in this

> thread. I suspect that they work loose as a matter of design. A fixed-
> gear bike applies force both ways, so it may work a threaded fastener
> loose, Loc-tite or not.
> Think of pedals, which have left and right threads to prevent loosening
> under the torque of normal pedalling. I don't recall any posts about
> pedals working loose on fixed-gear bikes, but the reason is probably
> that the vast majority of fixed-gear pedalling is in the normal
> direction and tends to tighten things, while only the braking at the end
> of a long session of forward pedalling tends to loosen the pedals.
> Carl Fogel

My dear esteemed colleague Carl:

Thanks for a pretty good lecture even if it was mostly conjecture. I did
find the Loctite website before posting earlier but there were so many
products there (everything from superglue type adhesives to caulk) that
I wasn't sure which ones people were using. Thanks to BCCleta for the
direct link to the threadlock page.

This thread though is supposed to be about the difference between using
Loctite on a cog without a lock ring, or a cog and lockring without
Loctite, surely Loctite on both the cog and the lockring would give
better results than either alone. I found an eBay guy who sells a lot of
converted road bikes and some of them had lockrings and others didn't. I
emailed him to ask why and he says that sometimes he puts 1/8" cogs on
(a track standard) and there's not enough room on a freewheel hub to put
a lockring on with that size cog. Sometimes he puts 3/32" (derailleur
standard) cogs on and those bikes get lockrings.

Thinking of pedals on fixed gear bikes, backward resistance doesn't
create any unscrewing forces because the bearings are still rotating in
the same direction.

--


Rick Onanian

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 9:44:37 PM1/20/04
to
>Rick Onanian (my spell checker wanted to substitute "Nonagon") wrote:

Hmm...I suppose "Nonagon" would be closer than many telemarketers
get.

>> I can report that it is effective against a badly designed pneumatic
>> roof nailer. From the factory or hand tightened as tight as

<snip>

On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 17:00:03 -0500, Sheldon Brown
<Capt...@sheldonbrown.com> wrote:
>Had you previously tried lubing the threads with oil or grease?

Good point; I had meant to mention that. They usually are quite
covered in oil -- and a point I had wanted to make was that the
loctite seems to work even when the bolt is oiled, so it's not
necessarily working by adhering to the bolt.

Some bolts are covered in tar and/or grit, too. The nailers are used
for fastening asphalt shingles, which gets tar all over everything.

>Dry threads are generally a bad idea, because they generate too much
>friction when you tighten them. This prevents the threads from screwing
>as tight as they should for a given amount of torque, because so much of
>the torque is wasted overcoming the friction of the dry threads.

I hadn't thought of that; I figured the oil was making it easier for
the bolts to come out, but if I never got them in well in the first
place, it wouldn't matter.

>Sheldon "Rarely Loctites" Brown
--
Rick "Loctites roof guns, anyway" Onanian

Tom Sherman

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 10:33:19 PM1/20/04
to
Rick Onanian wrote:

> ...


> Some bolts are covered in tar and/or grit, too. The nailers are used

> for fastening asphalt shingles, which gets tar all over everything....

Asphalt comes from petroleum and tar comes from coal. While
superficially similar, they are chemically different (asphalt will
dissolve in light petroleum based hydrocarbons such as toluene, while
tar will not).

Carl Fogel

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 10:37:36 PM1/20/04
to
Sheldon Brown <Capt...@sheldonbrown.com> wrote in message news:<400DA4E3...@sheldonbrown.com>...

> Rick Onanian (my spell checker wanted to substitute "Nonagon") wrote:
>
> > I can report that it is effective against a badly designed pneumatic
> > roof nailer. From the factory or hand tightened as tight as
> > possible, there are two different bolts on Hitachi NV45AB nailers
> > that come out constantly. Lately, when repairing these, I've begun
> > using blue loctite on those bolts, even if I don't need to
> > disassemble those sections. The ones that have loctite do not
> > vibrate loose.
>
> Had you previously tried lubing the threads with oil or grease?
>
> Dry threads are generally a bad idea, because they generate too much
> friction when you tighten them. This prevents the threads from screwing
> as tight as they should for a given amount of torque, because so much of
> the torque is wasted overcoming the friction of the dry threads.
>
> Sheldon "Rarely Loctites" Brown
> +----------------------------------------+
> | Do not do unto others as you would |
> | that they should do unto you. |
> | Their tastes may not be the same. |
> | --George Bernard Shaw |
> +----------------------------------------+

Dear Sheldon,

A beautifully counter-intuitive point.

Wish that I'd flushed it out from wherever
it was hiding.

Thanks,

Carl Fogel

Rick Onanian

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 11:05:02 PM1/20/04
to
On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 21:33:19 -0600, Tom Sherman
<tshe...@qconline.com> wrote:

>Rick Onanian wrote:
>> Some bolts are covered in tar and/or grit, too. The nailers are used
>> for fastening asphalt shingles, which gets tar all over everything....
>
>Asphalt comes from petroleum and tar comes from coal. While
>superficially similar, they are chemically different (asphalt will
>dissolve in light petroleum based hydrocarbons such as toluene, while
>tar will not).

Thank you. I had, at one time, searched for that knowledge, found
it, lost it, queried it, found it again, and subsequently fed it to
my cat. Okay, I only found it once, and forgot it after that.

In the absence of correct facts, I had defaulted back to my strange
imaginary construct of asphalt being a product manufactured using
tar along with other ingredients.

I'll try to remember to say "goo". ;)

>Tom Sherman - Quad Cities

--
Rick Onanian

A Muzi

unread,
Jan 20, 2004, 11:37:39 PM1/20/04
to
DiabloScott wrote:

It's an anaerobic adhesive. Once it is no longer in the
presence of air, it crystallizes. It ships with air space in
the top of the bottle.

There are many grades with varying strength and resistance
to various other environments/substances.

Most common grades (the ones we use here anyway) break down
with heat - moderate heat like a hair dryer.

It was originally developed to deal with vibration in
threaded fasteners. Other grades fill space in bearing case
bores. If you stop into an auto parts store there are free
pamphlets explaining the features and applications of the
various grades.
Loctite is a brand name and Canadian, Staybond is their
competitor. Both make a full range of products.

David L. Johnson

unread,
Jan 21, 2004, 1:34:00 AM1/21/04
to

Yes, but "tar" is a generic word. In my experience, what really gets all
over everything in roofing is "roofing cement", usually called muck.

"Tar" also refers to that lovely mix of God-knows-what in cigarette smoke
that we are always warned about. See one of the Superman movies for
Richard Prior's take on that.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Accept risk. Accept responsibility. Put a lawyer out of
_`\(,_ | business.
(_)/ (_) |

Rick Onanian

unread,
Jan 21, 2004, 4:20:23 PM1/21/04
to
On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 01:34:00 -0500, "David L. Johnson"
<david....@lehigh.edu> wrote:
>Yes, but "tar" is a generic word.

This is, in fact, very true.

>In my experience, what really gets all
>over everything in roofing is "roofing cement", usually called muck.

While roof cement has a tendency to get irremovably all over
everything, we use only where we can't do it better without; and we
often wait until the end of the job to apply it.

What gets all over the roof guns, as far as I can tell, is material
from the shingles themselves.

>"Tar" also refers to that lovely mix of God-knows-what in cigarette smoke
>that we are always warned about. See one of the Superman movies for
>Richard Prior's take on that.

Ick.
--
Rick Onanian

Carl Fogel

unread,
Jan 22, 2004, 1:23:44 AM1/22/04
to
DiabloScott <NOSPAMdi...@terra.es> wrote in message news:<ZWkPb.63116$ok6....@fe09.usenetserver.com>...

[snip relevant stuff and get to the good part]

>
> Thinking of pedals on fixed gear bikes, backward resistance doesn't
> create any unscrewing forces because the bearings are still rotating in
> the same direction.
>

Dear Diablo,

I sorta-kinda think that you're right, but
I'm not bright enough to work it out for sure.

If I follow you, you're saying that when a
fixed-gear bike starts braking by fighting
the pedals, the pedals themselves continue
rotating in the same direction (just slower),
so there's no unscrewing torque on the pedals?

Where I'm still puzzled (not disagreeing) is
why reversing the force between the crank and
the pedal should have no effect.

On the same fixed-gear bicycle, the rear tire
applies force in different directions, depending
on whether it's accelerating forward or braking.

Braking leads to unscrewing.

But the tire itself keeps rolling in the same
direction, just like the crank, so why wouldn't
the pedals unscrew if you braked all the way
down some huge descent?

I'm probably missing something here, so I'm
hoping that you or someone else will take the
trouble to walk me through it.

Thanks,

Carl Fogel

jim beam

unread,
Jan 22, 2004, 2:17:53 AM1/22/04
to
good question!

if the bearing torque were the dominant factor, then the "unscrewing"
force on the pedals is going in the direction to unscrew pedal threads
on both sides! but it's the rotational force on the spindle caused by
the shaft shifting around the hole that matters, and the direction for
that is /opposite/ to pedal rotation, so normal pedal motion requires
pedals to be threaded right for right, left for left.

correspondingly, resisting pedals in forward motion /does/ theoretically
cause unscrewing.

but is it an issue? on big trucks, the l/h wheel studs are all l/h
thread to help prevent unscrewing. but cars are not! why? because at
light loads and if properly torqued, they don't come loose. so it's
ignored regardless of the theoretical danger.

regarding pedal spindles, *if they are properly torqued*, there's no
human strong enough to make them unscrew, regardless of rotation
direction. we can therefore safely ignore this risk.

jb

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