Half Links - Single links or just buy a chain?

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  • When I had my burls bikes made I got the chainstays just the right length so that I could use regular links with my preferred ratio.
    My track bike also behaves with a 50x15.
    My commuter however demands that I use a half link. Up until now I’ve been buying individual links for about £5 a pop which is half what I pay for a chain.
    Is there fundamentally any reason not to just buy a half link chain and just split a link off every time I fit a new chain?

  • Individual half links originate from half link chains. The factory makes the chain and a man with a tool splits them up. His union won’t like it but if you buy a chain and split it yourself, you will cut out the middle man.

  • Sounds good; thanks.

  • In my experience, half link chains are a cunt and a half to split. It's like the pins are peened more thoroughly or something and I don't know that I've ever managed to split one and remake the joint.

  • Hmmm, maybe I’ll just change the ratio for something that works; it’s only a 20 miles a day bike so doesn’t have to be perfect. I normally ride 48x19 on the road but 45x18 will work with full links and it’s almost the same.

  • Do you discard the half link every time you change the chain?

    I think I’ve assumed that in the average chain of >100 links, a worn half link was <2% of the ‘system’ and wasn’t enough to worry about.

    As per the other thread about chains though, I do also replace my chain pretty frequently so it’s not like my half links would ever get really knackered.

  • Good point; I do indeed discard them. I also change chains frequently. Probably about every 1000 miles on average; less on the winter bike and that’s still with meticulous cleaning.
    I’ve never got how people claim to get thousands of miles out of chains on fixed.
    I use a geared bike on zwift and while it obviously doesn’t go outside, the chain has done at least 15k miles now and is still good according to the gauge…

  • How’s the tension on your fg?

  • As loose as is safe on the road going bikes. Positively baggy on the track bike.

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Half Links - Single links or just buy a chain?

Posted by Avatar for aniki @aniki