A big part of the fun for many fixed gear bicycle riders is the opportunity to build your own from a standard frame. Choosing the best fixed gear wheelset is probably the most pivotal part of any successful build. Apart from the range of wheelset that are available in the market, it is equally important fundamental components of any set of wheels, and where you should focus your attention when you shop.
Basic Components of Fixed Gear Wheelset
All fixie wheels, from the best to the worst, contain the same basic components that set them apart from a traditional set. Here is what you will find out there.
Fixed Rear Hub
While the front wheel isn't really any different, the rear wheel features a special hub with a specific function. The rear cog is literally fixed to the wheel. That means that, unlike most freewheel bikes, it doesn't freely spin backwards. This means you can't coast, and the pedals, wheels and drivetrain
All fixed gear hubs require a lock ring to keep the chain cog firmly in place (or else force would work the cog loose). Lock ring quality is important; if it strips or fails, you won't be able to pedal.
This is the toothed ring that the chain runs across. They typically range between 15 and 18 teeth.
Even if you've got a top quality fixed gear wheelset, you can still have a lousy experience with your ride if you don't tune it up properly. Here are some tips to get you rolling in the right direction.
Chain line is important. You basically need to make sure that your chain is nice and straight from the rear cog to the chainring, or at least as straight as possible. If it's too far off, you'll get a lot of clicking and unnecessary wear and tear. This may require a few spacers. If you aren't sure how to remedy it, take it in to your local bike shop for some advice.
You'll also want to make sure that the chain is taut. There is way too many saggy chains on fixed gear bikes! The saggier your chain, the less responsive your bike will be. Not only will it be less fun to ride, it's potentially dangerous. But don't over tighten it either, that will create a clicking sound and excess wear.