Track ends versus Horizontal front facing ends!

GaryGkn Posts: 1,199
edited August 2007 in Road general
I am sure this has been debated recently I just can't find the thread. What are the advantages of track ends? I have several bikes with track ends and all is well unless mudguards are fitted and a rear puncture occurs especially in the cold,dark and rain of a British winter or summer come to think of it.

I was thinking of a future build something like a Mercian Professional with 120 dropouts and track ends or front facing horizontal ends.


  • Pete Beer
    Pete Beer Posts: 604
    I'm for track ends, no particular reason. They look cleaner.
  • Tall Jon
    Tall Jon Posts: 168
    Horizontal drop outs are more practical for road use because of the ease of fixing punctures and also because (if you have a rear brake) that you don't need to realign the brake as the wheel moves (as the dropouts are slightly angled).

    I think that the main advantages of track ends are that you can get more adjustment room; the wheel can get closer to the ST and so you can get better handling and aero properties; and the fact that they are horizontal keeps the bike's angles the same when the wheel is moved (unlikely to be noticeable). Remember also that trackies are a traditional bunch (e.g. still using 1/8" chain) and that there is no real disadvantage to track dropouts on the track.
  • graham_g
    graham_g Posts: 652
    I do miss chain-tugs on the horizontal dropouts but removing the wheel is so much easier with mudguards on that I can live with it.
  • guess there's a risk your axle could pop out the front of the horizontal dropouts under load. but as someone pointed out eddy merckx's didn't so yours probably won't either

    and despite what they say on their website i reckon an on-one chaintug will work with horizontal dropouts
  • GaryGkn
    GaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    I have a Phil Corley, Ephgrave, Wearwell, Bob Jackson and a Condor with track ends. I like the look of track ends and all of these frames have drillings for front brake only. I guess I come under the traditionalist umbrella as all my fixed gear bikes run 1/8chains and I have not yet progressed from cages to clipless. I have converted a Carlton Clubman to fixed and this has horizontal ends. This bike has mudguards and really can fly it is actually a little heavyspecially by Reynolds 631 standards but it is responsive and can shift. The geometry is comfortable for longer rides and it does have a rear brake which i have occasionally used. I guess if I were to have the luxury of a new dream frame I would go for this type of bike with modern tubing either 631 or 725 and to keep the family happy a rear brake which i suppose would facilitate 120 horizontal rear ends.(Does anyone know where you can get the original geometry figures for a Carlton Clubman from?)

    I did notice that a few riders from the 50's and 60's like Coppi and Ferdinand Kübler and I have also seen a Merckx all with horizontal ends and not track ends.

    Also does anyone know where you can get chain tugs for horizontal ends? Cyclo dropout adjusters for use with a single gear, fixed or free or hub gear with standard forward facing dropouts as quoted by H. Stone on the dreaded bay this week.