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Solo Velo - Fixed Gear Bikes

Be Safe

Track racing and recreational riding with a fixed gear bike are not for beginner riders. Before riding with a fixed gear bike, you should be a proficient cyclist and should be comfortable riding in a variety of conditions with normal road equipment. Fixed gear bikes should be used only on clear, dry pavement or velodrome track surfaces. Off-road cycling with a fixed gear is strongly discouraged due to the difficulty in handling a bike on a poor surface. Solo Velo recommends that you seek the advice of experienced riders who can help you get started with a fixed gear bike and learn the subtle, and not-so-subtle, differences between riding with a fixed gear and a freewheel. Solo Velo strongly recommends that your fixed gear bike should be properly equiped with both front and rear brakes for street riding.

Since you cannot "coast" with a fixed gear bike, it is especially important to avoid getting anything caught in the chain, cranks, wheels, or pedals while riding. Do not ride with loose pant legs, shoe laces, or other articles of clothing which could get tangled with moving parts of the bike. This can be hazardous even with a normal, freewheel-bike, and it can cause serious injury or damage with a fixed gear bike.

One of the greatest opportunities for injury is when a fixed gear bike is supported off the ground, as on a bike repair stand. The moving chain, chainring and cog present a serious "pinch" hazard, especially for fingers. Be especially cautious when the chain is moving, and keep fingers and anything else away from the pinch-points. A freewheel-bike chain will usually stop moving when things get caught in the gears, but the momentum of a fixed wheel can cause serious cuts and could even remove a finger tip. Be careful when performing maintenance or cleaning your fixed gear bike. This hazard also exists while riding. Keep your hands away from the moving chain.

Most fixed gear riders also use a freewheel bike at times. When switching to a fixed gear, be especially vigilant and remind yourself that while you are moving, you can't stop pedalling. The bike will also remind you, and it can seriously interfere with your normal riding balance if you inadvertantly try to stop pedalling. This point may be obvious, but it's easy to forget when you're thinking about other things or distracted trying to avoid normal road hazards.
Pay attention.

Correct chainline and chain tension with a fixed gear are extremely important for both safety and wear. Incorrect alignment of the front chainring and rear cog will not only increase wear of the components, it can also contribute to derailment of the chain. If the chain derails and becomes caught in the wheel or otherwise interferes with riding, the consequences can cause a crash and injury. Equally important is proper chain tension. With proper fore/aft positioning adjustment of the rear axle, the chain should be as tight as possible without binding. Chainrings and cogs typically are not perfectly round, and it is common for the chain tension to be looser in some parts of the revolution and tighter in others. Chain tension should be adjusted to avoid binding in the tightest part of the revolution. If the chain is excessively loose in other parts of the revolution, inspect the chainring and cog for damage or manufacturing defects and replace the components with parts that have acceptable roundness. Make sure the axle nuts or quick release on the rear axle are adequately tigntened to prevent the axle from slipping, which can both reduce chain tension and also cause the tire to rub or bind against the left chainstay.

Crank length is another important safety issue with a fixed gear bike. The height of the bottom bracket above the ground is determined by the frame dimensions and wheel size. If long cranks are used with a bike which has a low bottom bracket, the risk of striking the pedal against the pavement while pedalling during a turn increases. Pedal strike could cause a crash and injury. To miminize the risk of pedal strike, avoid the use of long cranks or a low bottom bracket with a fixed gear bike.

Bicycle riding is an inherently dangerous activity. Always wear a helmet and avoid riding when visability is limited or when conditions are uncertain. Use good judgement to reduce your chances of getting hurt. Always be sure that your bike is properly assembled and maintained, and frequently check for loose components and damaged equipment. Immediately replace any defective equipment. If you have any doubts about your ability to evaluate or repair your bike, or if you are unsure about the extent of wear or need for maintenance, get the advice and help of a qualifed, professional bicycle mechanic. Don't ride a bike that doesn't fit. As always, follow the rules of the road and obey all traffic laws.

Solo Velo Warranty

Solo Velo warrants against defects in workmanship or materials used in the fabrication and construction of Solo Velo framesets, which includes the frame and fork. Solo Velo will either repair defects or replace a defective frame or fork, at the option of Solo Velo.

The level of quality, alignment, and appearance of a new Solo Velo frameset upon receipt at the date of purchase is guaranteed to be consistent with general bicycle industry standards and customer expectations. If a new, custom-built Solo Velo frameset at the time of delivery fails to meet a customer's expectations, Solo Velo will repair, replace, or refund the full price (less shipping charges), at the option of Solo Velo. After receipt, incidental and cosmetic damage such as chips in the paint finish or dings in the tubing due to normal use are not covered by this warranty.

Solo Velo framesets are warranted against structural failure due to defects in materials or workmanship for a period of 3 years from the date of purchase. Durability and actual useful life for any bicycle frame will depend on many factors which are not included under this warranty, such as breakage or failures due to abuse, accidents, crashes, improper assembly with components, improper maintenance, defective components, extreme riding including stunt riding or other abnormal conditions of use.

Solo Velo frames are designed for normal recreational riding and standard track-racing training and competition on smooth, dry, paved surfaces and velodromes. Off-road use of Solo Velo frames is not covered under this warranty.

Other bicycle equipment and components such as headsets, cranksets, chain, pedals, bottom bracket, wheels, handlebars, stem, seat post, saddle, brakes, etc. which are purchased from Solo Velo with a Solo Velo frameset have a one year warrantly against materials or manufacturing defects. This warrantly does not include damage due to improper assembly, inadequate maintenance, modifications, crashes, normal wear, or abnormal riding conditions.

This warranty is void if any frame repairs or modifications are made by anyone other than Solo Velo. This warranty does not cover repairs done by anyone other than Solo Velo to correct defects or damage.

Sale or transfer of ownership of a Solo Velo frameset or components from the original owner voids this warranty.


Richard DiGennaro, framebuilder
e-mail: FixedGear @ SoloVelo . com

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