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  1. #1
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    Which chain size to pick?

    I'm building my first fixed/single flip flop bike from an old road bike from the late sixties. I want to buy new wheels, and I will probably have to get a new chainring as well. Is there any reason why I would want to go with 1/8" instead of 3/32" if I'm replacing chainring and getting a new wheel?
    I've tried to have a look around but I'm struggling to find the "pros and cons". Thanks!

  2. #2
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    If you are using the same crankset and multi-speed gearing - use a 3/32 chain. If you are using "fixie" single-speed parts, you will want to get a good 1/8th inch chain. Read the directions and specs before making a purchase.

    I hope you know that everytime someone cuts up a nice frame - God kills a kitten. And boy are they mad!

    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  3. #3
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The chain has to match your cogs and chain ring... 3/32 rings, cogs, and chains work just fine on a fixed gear.

    I have a few bikes with mismatched cogs so run 1/8 chain or simply run the 1/8 because I got such a great deal on it... the wider chain does not cause problems on a 3/32 chain ring or cog and is marginally stronger.

    People get really pissed (even the fg guys) when old and often valuable bikes get irrevocably altered when they get turned into fixed gear bikes... a good rule is not to do anything you can't undo.

    On that note... what kind of bike is it ?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingMob View Post
    I'm building my first fixed/single flip flop bike from an old road bike from the late sixties. I want to buy new wheels, and I will probably have to get a new chainring as well. Is there any reason why I would want to go with 1/8" instead of 3/32" if I'm replacing chainring and getting a new wheel?
    I've tried to have a look around but I'm struggling to find the "pros and cons". Thanks!
    1/8" chain and cogs are more durable simply because the load is spread over a larger area. So the parts won't need replacing as often and chain tension adjustments are less frequent. Some super heavy duty bikes even have 3/16" parts but these are much harder to find. 3/32" parts are slightly lighter, but the real reason for being is that they are required for derailleurs with 5 or more cogs on the wheel.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the advice!
    Panthers007: I have no plan to slaughter cats or frames!
    Sixty_Fiver: It's a late '60s Bertin bike that was rusting away at some guy who hoped he would get to retore it. I've picked it apart and am now trying to restore the various parts, starting with the frame. I hope to be able to use as much as possible, but I'm unsure how good I can make the brakes, the saddle has an ugly hole, the pedals are quite rusted and I would want to ride pre-built wheels before I make any effort in building a wheel myself. Sorry for the stupid question: Is this bike no doubt equipped with 3/32" ( I guess so since it has five gears on the back wheel)? Is there a way for me to measure this?
    bikingbrit: Thanks for that tip!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Proofide's Avatar
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    If it was built as a five speed or ten speed, it'll have a narrow derailleur chain. Only the ancient three speed derailleurs ran the wider chain. A further clue is that your chain will be continuous, and you'll need to drive out a rivet to split it. Eighth of an inch chain has a special link with a loose side plate secured by a spring clip. When building a single speed or fixed wheel bike, I'd want the heavier chain as long as I could get suitable sprockets and chainwheels to give me the ratio I wanted. The BMX world may be of assistance here, although all their parts have daft names implying violence and extreme activity.

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