A preface: I am aware of another thread that deals very closely with this topic (Anyone try a Torker giraffe yet? why so cheap?), but I felt that this research was deserving of its own thread.
I needed a new wheel for my performance giraffe, and I had been debating with myself about whether to order a Level components track hub (bolt-on cogs) and be stuck using their cogs forever, or a new White Industries Track Hubset (which uses a splined cog interface, but still a standard thread-on lockring), or to buy a high-quality standard track hub like a Phil Wood, Miche, Surly, or Campagnolo.
I decided to buy a double-sided fixed/fixed Surly hub based on my past experiences with the company’s products and the level of quality for the price. My reasoning was that I could begin by setting up the wheel as a single-chain giraffe and evaluate cog slippage (if any), and then if I had problems, I could always upgrade to a double-chain design because I have the option of adding a second fixed cog and lockring on the other side (and of course upgrade the crank arms to have chainwheels on both sides)
I built the wheel as strong as possible because I didn’t want to have another rebuild down the road- Surly New Track Hub, 20" Sun RhynoLite rim, 36 straight-guage DT Swiss spokes with brass nipples, 3X spoke lacing, Velox rim tape, a quality tube, a Maxxis Hookworm tire, a 21 tooth Surly 1/8" track cog, and a Surly stainless steel lockring. I had the cog and lockring installed at my favorite LBS, Salvagetti in Denver (they also ordered all of the parts I needed and were very helpful in finding the correct sizes, materials, and colors of everything).
I trust the mechanics at Salvagetti explicitly for doing things right, I am a professionally trained bicycle mechanic myself (I attended Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs, CO) and am very pleased with the level and quality of service at Salvagetti.
I rode my giraffe very hard for about a week, running mounts, forwards riding, backwards riding, idling, hopping, and had no problems until today- I was performing in Washington Park and I felt the cog slip- a familiar sensation from riding track bikes hard enough to break cogs, chains, hubs, and wheels. I immediately stopped riding and verified that the cog was indeed slipping.
Based on the level of attention I put into making sure that everything was right, I cannot blame the components (top-quality) or the labor (done completely by the book), so the only rational conclusion is that the single-chain giraffe with a threaded lockring is not suitable for safe use by persons who enjoy being safe and in one piece a the end of the day.
I am going to tighten up the loose cog and lockring and add a second cog and lockring on the left side of the giraffe along with upgrading my crank arms so I have left-and-right drive chains. I will ride my giraffe as a double-chain version and report back any problems or observations.