It sometimes happens that I end up with two bikes at work. Some inequality in rides too and from caused by side trips, lifts, taxis and business trips conspire to create this imbalance. For the most part I just wait it out, and it usually corrects itself, but the situation had been going on for weeks, and didn’t seem to be resolving.

So I went with the rather unwieldy option of strapping the fixie to the Radish. This requires removing the wheels, strapping the frame down via the chain stays, and putting the wheels into the panniers. On this occasion I also had rather a lot of other things to carry, so I had to tuck both wheels into the same pannier, which was not 100% straightforward. Still, I managed, and arrived home without mishap.

Or so I thought. When I can to reassemble the fixie, I realised that one of the wheel nuts had gone missing from the front wheel. Damn lawyers. Evidently I had left the nut rather unscrewed, and it had worked loose and dropped off.

I effected a temporary fix by ‘borrowing’ one of the nuts from one of the junior Dan's bikes (sadly she doesn’t ride it much; she’s more a dedicated scooter girl), and then set about ordering a new nut.

Now, this is when it got unbelievably complicated. Apparently no-one knows what size regular bike wheel nuts are. Attempting to google it yields hundreds of threads in hundreds of bike forums with people asking this exact question, and then receiving as many answers as there are types of nut – both literally and figuratively. I was literally unable to find this out. Hub manufactures don’t put in in the specs. Bike shops don’t tell you (and don’t stock them). Even my LBS was unable to help, trying a few nuts out halfheartedly (none of them fit), and then saying they would have to ‘look into it’. Apparently it could be an M10. Or a 3/8″. It might have 24 or 26 threads per inch, or perhaps a pitch of 1.25, or maybe 1.5.  Probably not 1.0, except on some bikes. The front and back hubs might be different. Unless they are the same. And BMX and coaster brakes have different nuts. Sometimes. Or perhaps not. It might be 14mm. Or 15mm. Or M9. Or M9.5.

Usually, answers go through a range of options for what it could be, and airily finish with ‘they are all standard, so you’ll have no problem getting one”. Ha! I tried every nut available in Bunnings, and not one of them fit.

Finally, I found the answer. Thank you, Moruya Bicycles. Both for having the information, and selling the damn things. 3/8″ with 26 threads per inch. Outside dimensions 15mm. (Which seems weird to me; a non-metric nut that fits a metric spanner).

Apparently coaster brakes are slightly different, as they had 24 threads per inch. Except junior Dan's bike has a coaster brake, and the nut fits my hub perfectly. I’ve ordered one of each size, to be sure. Now I’m just praying that when they arrive, one of them will fit…


The nuts came this morning. So it seems the nut on my bike is a 3/8" 24 tpi. So it's junior Chillikebab's bike that is 'normal'. If anyone wants a 3/8" nut with 26 tpi, I've got one going spare...!

Views: 237

Comment by Warren Hudson on February 9, 2017 at 5:18am
Dan, G'day. For your future reference.

Now you know what you need, you can go to a specialty fasteners store and leave with the missing nut, rather than wait.

I worked as a boatwright for many years and during that time I refitted lots of bits and changed antiquated hardware for the latest high tech stuff. Mixing and matching unknown threads to keep things compatible, was what it was about. I used to take the offending parts to a specialty fasteners store and they had all the different gauges and combs that they would place on the offending threads and tell me exactly what it was ... not once did I leave disappointed nor have to wait.


Comment by timothy.clifford on February 9, 2017 at 1:14pm

When I first started out cycle commuting, a colleague told me about Moruya Bicycles. If I couldn't find a part then check with Moruya. If they don't stock it then ask, they'll find it.

Also I'm pretty sure I have a few spare fixie nuts somewhere in the garage...

Comment by PeterT on February 16, 2017 at 11:57pm

It doesn't get less murky in the non fixie world.

BB compatibility (or lack of). ThruAxle compatibilities. Post mount vs flat mount disc brakes... are just some of the things I had to research and track down recently

Comment by Neil Alexander on February 17, 2017 at 1:03pm

I knew there was a good reason I am never going to buy a fixie... almost like I was never going to buy a 700C hybrid

Comment by Mark on February 22, 2017 at 1:54pm

When I tow bikes with the Yubas (mundo and Boda Boda similar to the Radish) I put the front wheel of the towed bike on the pannier (put it in the bag or just use some straps and bungies) and just tow the other bike along. I've not done this for more than 4-5 ks but it works pretty well providing you attach the wheel securely enough, an extra bungie up to the handlebar also helps keep the towed bike upright. I guess with the Fixie you might want to drop the chain to stop the cranks getting in the way.

Worst compatability? Seat posts, I have 9 bikes and about 6-7 different seat post sizes. Plus 1 for Moruya Bikes! Was for sale some time back not sure if it sold or with the same people.


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