|17th June 2009||#2|
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Modern bicycles use roller chain to connect the cranks to the rear wheel. Chain drives are among the most efficient means of power transmission known. Chain size is specified by pitch and width. The pitch is the distance between rollers (1/2" on all modern bicycle chain). The width is the internal width where the sprocket teeth fit in. Bicycle chain comes in two basic widths:
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|17th June 2009||#22|
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|18th June 2009||#23|
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1/8" = Less wear, as components are wider.
More high end kit available
3/32 = Lighter
More forgiving of bad chainline (sideways flex)
Both should be the same in terms of strengh, as its the gap between the side plates of the chain that are thicker on 1/8" not the side plates themselves.
|24th June 2009||#24|
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from my recent experience in a conversion, I made the decision to go with 3/32" transmission (and I really don't remember why) - but i subsequently found that this was quite limiting in terms of availability of sprockets and even more so in chainrings where i was already limited by having to find something with right teeth and right bcd for my cranks
next time it will be 1/8" for me
|28th December 2012||#26|
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Why do I get the feeling I am going to regret reviving this thread?
New bike comes with 1/8 chainring, 1/8 chain and 1/8 fixed cog, and looking to put a White Industries Dos Eno double freewheel on other side (I don't ride fixed, and having a bit of flexibility in gearing suits what I want the bike to do)
Trouble is the Dos Eno freewheel is 3/32 - with switching between the two cogs chainline may never be perfect, and biggest fear is whether this will be enough to affect drive, or end up derailing chain
1/32 is a tiny difference in chain width, but is it going to screw up my plan for a simple ratio change? next best option is a custom free/free hub (Phil Woods or similar) but the tyres I plan to run are directional so not really an option
|29th December 2012||#32|
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A 3/32" chain is designed to work with derailleur gears which means an often staggered chainline. It will flex more easily than a 1/8" chain to allow this.
Given that the chainline will always be slightly off with the Dos you can see why they went for 3/32".
A 1/8" chain will happily sit over a 3/32" cog and will have some side to side play - possibly enough to allow for the difference in chainline but depending on how close together the cogs are a 1/8" chain may foul the larger cog when used on the smaller one. (Try putting a 1/8" chain onto a 9 or 10 speed cassette to see what I mean).
So, it'll probably work with an 1/8" chain, would almost certainly work better with a 3/32" chain but will never work as well as a single cog/perfectly straight chainline regardless of what chain you use anyway.
|29th December 2012||#35|
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Dont think Ive ever seen a definitive reason to choose 1 over the other besides 1/8" having more surface contact area between chain and cogs so less deformation on the chainring teeth as the force is spread out more.
The Japanese keirin riders only ever use 1/8" but there are 3/32" dura ace chainrings available and Id have to double check but they may have njs stamps on them.
both chain types have the same side plate thickness so share same tensile strength, not sure how much lighter 3/32" is,
ill weigh equal lenghts of new kmc 510hx and 610hx some time for comparisson. The lighter weight would prob offer negligble acceleration advantage, the chainrings are same thickness up until the support ridges at the edges were the teeth begin.
Shimano had their Dura Ace 10cm pitch but overall it wasnt much of a weight saving.
in conclusion 3/32" looks funny on a fixed/track bike, it looks weak and skinny. 1/8" should always be used with the largest chainring possible
|30th December 2012||#37|
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I've heard it said that at least at the lower end of the price scale, 3/32" chain is more actually stronger and more reliable than 1/8". This would supposedly be due to singlespeed drivetrains being somewhat outdated and thus, chain manufacturers would be investing time, effort, research etc into multispeed chains.
Pretty sure this would be invalid by the time you got to talking about NJS stamped chains.
My experience, never had a totally 1/8" drivetrain skip or jump or miss a beat but when I fitted a 3/32" cog to my otherwise 1/8" track bike's drivetrain (should be compatible) it ran like shit, catching and clicking and banging under load.
I've also had a fully 3/32" singlespeed setup drop a chain which almost put me under a transit van.
|23rd January 2013||#38|
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For 3/32" track/singlespeed you want a chain with bushings and 7.8mm wide. These are now at the fringe. HIghest end chains seem to be either old school 1/8" for elite track (Izumi and friends) or super narrow chains designed for fast gear changing in multi-gear systems. In the middle are 1/8" BMX chains. With BMX still going strong, singlespeed/fix-gear become cult and road cycling drifting off into sub 6mm spheres.. the pendulum has swung back strongly for 1/8".
I think the only argument for 3/32" left is the available of old Campa NR/SR 144 chainrings. While Campa made them with 42 to 70 teeth most of the NOS chainrings one will find are limited to a few popular sizes.
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