Fixed Gear Friday: Two speed fixie?

Yes! This is possible with the use of Surly’s ‘Dingle Cog’

From Surly‘s site:

Dingle Cogs are part of a different concept for fixed-gear drivetrains. Having two cogs on the back means you have more options for gear changes when the conditions demand it. For instance, say you want to ride your off-road fixie from your house to the trailhead, but your gear combo is either too high for the dirt or too low for the road. With a 17/19t Dingle on the back, pick two chainrings that are 2 teeth apart, like a 44t and a 42t. When you change from the outer (44:17t) gear combo to the inner (42:19t), you’ll have a much better off-road gear and your wheel position will not change.

Anyone out there riding with this setup?


  1. Steve January 4, 2008 11:33 am 

    I’m planning on building up a Surly cross check with a dingle and double chainring set-up in the next couple of weeks. I can send some pictures when I’m done. I think this guy had a similar set up and then switched to a nexus hub.

  2. theScarletManuka January 4, 2008 11:55 am 

    I took one of these to my first century attempt – Taupo, NZ – so that I’d have a bailout gear if the climbs got too steep. I did use it on the largest single climb, by which time I’d completed most of the ~1500m overall climbing and was knackered. (In the end I ran out of juice on the flat, so if I try next year will consider a lower gear to start with but shifting up for the flat second half instead of down for the steeps.)

    Changeover took a couple of minutes, requiring me to get the spanner out and reposition the wheel. I was running 42/17 and 36/21 due to forgetfulness about what spare parts I had, but the angled dropouts on my fixie conversion just fitted the difference. I don’t know if you could change by hand with matching front and back cog differences, but it seemed to me that this would require too much slack in the chain and consequently sloppy push/brake transitions.

    The cog is a bit wider than usual, so left less space for the ‘suicide lockring’. (In case anybody is searching like I did before purchase, those english bb lockrings are wider than the recessed area on the front surface.) I got a bit more lockring grip with the smaller cog on the wheel side, but ended up riding successfully with it the more familiar way round.

    (The lower gear ratio naturally gives more braking torque and that popped the lockring once. With a proper fixed hub and a lockring you should be fine, although Surly will happily sell you an adapted lockring. That’s probably more an issue of gearing than this cog, but I haven’t got the parts to confirm this where the lockring can thread on completely.)

    I started riding fixed last year, but never ride further than to the shops or the supermarket. Had been considering fixed for this century, then my geared bike died anyhow. I appreciated the peace of mind the dingle cog brought venturing into a hilly century with just one gear that might or might not be suitable.

  3. Noah January 4, 2008 11:56 am 

    I was gonna mention Doug in MN as well. This concept is not THAT new, however, it’s now becoming more popular and I think surly might have been first or early to market it this way.

  4. Ghost Rider January 4, 2008 12:37 pm 

    Yeah, the concept isn’t new…Sturmey-Archer made 2 and 3 speed fixed hubs way back when (ASC?). Even less chain-futzing with those hubs.

    The Dingle is a cool component, and would make a great ninja weapon!

  5. Quinn January 4, 2008 3:03 pm 

    I wish they made a double free wheel/cassette cog,, I created my own from SS conv kit, ID like to see something that would fit a Single Duty hub.
    with my new Inbred I am working on something diff, a 4 speed (2×2), using that 2 spd SS kit and rings on inner and middle of a 105 Crank. its going to be manual and prob 2 chain.

  6. Ghost Rider January 4, 2008 3:23 pm 

    White Industries makes a double freewheel. It’s called the “Dos”. It’s expensive but everyone I know says that White’s Eno/Dos freewheels are THE BOMB.

    Quinn, I don’t understand something in your comment….are you going to be running two chains?!?

  7. James January 4, 2008 3:24 pm 

    Quinn, White Industries makes a double freewheel:

    Both it and the Surly Dingle are steel, so will last ages. Both it and the Surly Dingle come in 17/19 teeth, among others, so you can keep a consistent chain tension.

    That was my plan, but Sunrace Sturmy-Archer are going to bring back the ASC 3-speed fixed hub. If the reviews are reasonable, that’s my new plan.

  8. Dwainedibbly January 4, 2008 3:31 pm 

    I’m using a 17/19 Dos ENO on my commuter with 40/42 up front. The bike has fenders so flipping the wheel is a PITA. Highly recommended!

    S-A hasn’t committed to bringing back the ASC, as far as I can tell. They’re just in “thinking about it” mode. Right?

  9. James January 4, 2008 4:11 pm 

    Dwainedibbly, hard to say how far past ‘thinking about it’ they are, but there is an awful lot of buzz around: just Google “Sturmey Archer ASC”. Given the numbers of fixie-riders, and buzz about internal hubs and commuter bikes, they’d be daft to miss the opportunity.

  10. Dwainedibbly January 5, 2008 3:28 am 

    James: I emailed S-A about it over 6 months ago. A few months after that I received an email back from them, sort of a one question survey related to how much sloppiness would be acceptable in a modern version of the ASC. They’re certainly thinking about it (maybe even to the point where the engineers are working out details), and I realize that there’s a lot of buzz. My real point is that if you want >1 gear on a fixie anytime soon, a new ASC might be a ways off. I hope I’m wrong.

    I agree with you that they’d be nuckin’ futs to pass this up. If they do a production run, I’m in for at least one.

  11. Doug January 5, 2008 8:43 am 

    I did ride a dingle set-up for about a month last year. See this post for pics:

    I wanted a lower gear on my fixed gear Surly Cross Check to help get up the local hills in slippery conditions. The set-up worked great. However, I found I needed a lower gear for snowy conditions and switched to a Nexus internally geared 8-speed. The dingle may return in the spring.

  12. Motley September 8, 2008 11:44 pm 

    Then people will look for 3 gear cogs then 4. Eventually, they will go back to multi-gears and those dreadful cumbersome derailleurs, freewheels, brakes and shifters. It’s just natural. Fixed gear just doesn’t cut it and makes no sense on a commute where hills are involved. Sure you can ride it, look cool and have a sense of accomplishment that you are able to do it on a less tech advance bike. Eventually the novelty wears off and you’ll say to yourself fixed gear just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s inefficient and energy-robbing.

  13. Ghost Rider September 9, 2008 3:27 am 

    Motley, while I agree that fixed gears make little sense in terms of a bicycle’s versatility and even less sense in very hilly areas, it is neither “inefficient” nor energy-robbing.

    Direct-drive (fixed) is the most efficient bicycle drivetrain available — set at the proper chain tension, a fixed gear drivetrain BLOWS AWAY a derailleur or internally-geared drivetrain system in terms of friction losses. Anytime you loop a chain around pulleys, you’re introducing friction. Fixed gear has none of this.

    And, don’t forget the “flywheel effect” of that spinning rear wheel — when it is coupled directly to the chainring, that rear wheel’s flywheel effect makes zooming up small hills a thing of wonder.

    If you meant “energy-robbing” in terms of making a rider tired after grunting up hills, well, sure, that’s probably true, but it is the purest, least-friction drivetrain out there.

  14. tom sherman September 4, 2010 12:33 pm 

    y not have 2 fixed gears & a freewheel u can shift two when needed to relax?. all u need is chain drives on both sides of the bike where the rear sprockets freewheel in both directions.
    there is then a simple way to lock one of the rear spockets to drive the bike while the other freewheels or visa versa. or one can shift to to a simple non driving freewheel. (3 “speeds”)

  15. Raiyn September 5, 2010 8:17 am 

    Probably for the same reason you feel the need to use “TXT SPK” in a blog reply.

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