vertical dropouts

Can you convert a road bike frame with vertical rear drops into a fixie?
looking to make a decent bike but just a bit confused about the vertical drops.
i understand you wouldn’t be able to adjust chain tension and only be able to use one rear cog, but would it work?


Surly make a chain tensioner.

That would be your solution I guess.

The thing Yimmy posted will cause your demise. I’ll let someone else explain, it’s too late…

Use this - keep it tight tho!

Those sorts of tensioners will work with singlespeeds but not fixed gears. The back pedalling from a fixed drive will rip the tensioner off. Lots of potential for damage to you and your bike.

There are two (maybe three) ways to make vertical dropouts work for a fixed gear.

  1. Find a magic gear (with or without half-links)
  2. Use an ENO hub
  3. File the dropouts


“You CanNOT use any sort of pulley type chain tensioner on a fixed gear bike!” - Sheldon Brown

Check this page out for other options

I use an Eno hub and it works well. Sheldon said they are great and I’ve no reason to disagree. The nice thing is it lets you use your frame of choice from the modern world :slight_smile: Too bad the Aussie $ has just dropped 25 cents US as the states is the best place to pick one up for about $130 USD plus postage.

You trying to kill the noobs?

Can someone explain this…
Surely those tensioners are just a jockey wheel on a springloaded arm which is just pushing down on the chain? If you back peddled it would just go up and the chain would do it’s thing. The issues I see here occurs with either either nothing to take the slack on the top section of chain or the tensioner hitting you chain stay (in which case it would possibly explode).

Obviously it’s not a suitable way of doing things, I just don’t understand why they would asplode.

When you pedal normal the chain is tight on top and slack underneath - which is
OK because the tensioner is taking the slack.

When you back pedal underneath is tight and the top is slack - but there is no tensioner to take up the slack. Anything could happen with the chain flappin’ around.

When you go to pedal forwards again all that slack has be taken up - you would free spin the cranks until the chain finally catches then BAM!!! asplode…


eccentric BBs are good too if you dont wanna build up a new wheel

Also (and probably more important if you have just paid for a chain tensioner) if you put enough backwards pressure on the pedals, and the bottom part of the chain tightens a lot (ie. skidding), you will bend the crap out of your chain tensioner…


thanks for all the help guys
i think im going to go for the eno hub
even though it will set me back a bit

they are really nice quality.

Here is my friends bike in London . He dedided to go single speed instead of fixed as he loved the frame so much even though it had vertical dropouts . Its a nice bike but the tensioner makes the drive-train look messy

get a new bike*

*apologies to craig c

Agreed. :roll:

Tough crowd. . . .

That’s awesome. He could try running the tensioner in ‘push up’ mode instead. It wraps the chain better on the cog and kind of tucks it up so it doesn’t stand out like dogs b@lls.

Put the gears back on it and throw it into the sun

and we shall never speak of it again.