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Old 03-10-09, 11:58 AM   #1
datlas
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cheap chain source?

I found an old MTB on "trash day" that I am setting up for my wife. It has a 7 speed freewheel (or cassette) and is missing the chain. I don't really want to spend much money so I figured my best bet for a new chain is the "Bell" brand from Walmart....correct? It looks like the bottom of the line SRAM chains at the LBS cost twice as much as the wally world one.

Any suggestions welcomed.

Doug

ps here is the chain in question: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ct_id=10400600
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Old 03-10-09, 12:18 PM   #2
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If she is just going to use this as a casual around town bike, that "cheap" chain would work fine. If she is going to ride it as a mountain bike as in off road, I would recommend a better chain. Be sure to size it right. Check Sheldon Brown's site or Park Tools for specifics. My first choice would be this chain but I'm partial to longevity over low initial purchase price. If she rides the bike for a while and needs a replacement, your is wiped out.
http://www.blueskycycling.com/produc..._Powerlink.htm
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Old 03-10-09, 12:24 PM   #3
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Try a 7 speed SRAM chain. At the shop I am at, you can get one for about 14 bucks. It will last longer, and is not much more expensive
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Old 03-10-09, 12:31 PM   #4
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KMC Bike Chain - perfectly fine and less than $10.
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Old 03-10-09, 12:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the ideas, I will recheck the LBS, last time I was there the cheapest chain they had was an 8 speed SRAM for $19. I think this bike will be ridden rarely and gently (my wife is NOT a cyclist) so I figured the bargain basement chain would do.

Doug
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Old 03-10-09, 01:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Thanks for the ideas, I will recheck the LBS, last time I was there the cheapest chain they had was an 8 speed SRAM for $19. I think this bike will be ridden rarely and gently (my wife is NOT a cyclist) so I figured the bargain basement chain would do.

Doug
Under those circumstances, the Bell should be fine. Make sure you size it right. If you don't know how to do this or have a chain tool, have a shop do it and use their chain.
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Old 03-10-09, 02:59 PM   #7
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I fixed up a twenty-year-old beater Trek 820 this winter to have something to ride while in town visiting my parents. So far, the Bell chain is working fine.
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Old 03-10-09, 03:47 PM   #8
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You may need more than 1 from Wallyworld



I just purchased a Bell 1/8" x 1/2" chain from Walmart. If your luck is like mine you might as well buy 2 because the one I bought was about 15 +/- links shy of fitting.

I don't know what bike Bell has in mind, but it did not fit my SS Breeze.

By the time you buy 2 from Wally you have spent about the same or more than the price of one from the LBS. May as well shop there and get it right the first time.

Best regards,

MIke
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Old 03-10-09, 03:51 PM   #9
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Good point! Check the length. If it is too short as the pevious poster experienced, there goes your "savings"
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Old 03-10-09, 05:38 PM   #10
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Maybe the closest Walmart to me is different, but all I have seen there are single-speed chains. Wouldn't work well at all on a multi-speed bike.
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Old 03-10-09, 05:59 PM   #11
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Sometimes you can only cut corners so much.
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Old 03-10-09, 08:16 PM   #12
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Niagara sells 7 speed chain for around $6, KMC as I recall.
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Old 03-10-09, 08:53 PM   #13
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I purchased one Bell chain to try out when I flip a bike. The previously stated problem about Bell chains being too short is valid. I couldn't use the chain on a vintage road bike. I finally used it on a mountain bike that had short stays. I won't be pulling that stunt again. A $10 or $15 LBS chain, especially if it's for one of your own bikes, is a smart move.
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Old 03-10-09, 09:16 PM   #14
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I picked up the Bell chain for $7 on sale because I couldn't wait for mail order, but if you shop around, you can find decent SRAM 7/8 speed chains for about $10-11 each online, with the bonus that they include a reusable master link.
BTW, the Bell chain fit the smallish Trek 820 just fine.
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Old 03-10-09, 09:25 PM   #15
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KMC with the missing link for less than $10 at the LBS
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Old 03-10-09, 09:27 PM   #16
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You've probably got more margin for error on lower-end chains with 7-speed vs. 8 or 9. As long as the chain is set up right, it should be fine. I'm assuming your wife probably won't be putting a massive amount of torque on the chain.

Let's put it this way - I'm sure that chain is good for hundreds of miles even if it sucks (probably more like a few thousand). If your wife starts riding that regularly, she might end up wanting a different bike anyway.
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