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  1. #1
    Senior Member amckimmey's Avatar
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    My new chain is 2 links short?

    I got a new chain and I discovered it's 1in short(1 inner and 1 outer).

    This is the chain I got
    SRAM 9-speed PC-971 its 114 link, the same chain that comes with the Surly LongHaulTrucker(they say on the site though which I just found
    "SRAM PC-971 , Silver. 116 links"
    I didn't know till now that it was 2 links to short. Why do they do this? I guess I don't really know what I am asking anymore. But why?

    It seems most all SRAM chains come 114, which is to short for my gear ratio. but all Shimano come 116 which is perfect.

    I guess I could go with a Shimano but I liked the SRAM chain it came with because of the masterlink its easier to deal with.
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  2. #2
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    amckimmey: Your LBS probably has short lengths of chain left from shortening customers' chains you could get for cheap/free. You'll need another master link to splice it in.

    Why do they make them as short as they can get away with? Same reason GM always shipped their cars 2 quarts of oil low when I worked for the Buick dealer; they make more money that way.
    Last edited by dsbrantjr; 09-27-11 at 09:13 PM. Reason: add comment

  3. #3
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    I ran into the same thing when I went to replace the chain on my LHT. The original chain was a SRAM PC-971, so I just picked up another. After I installed it, I discovered the "missing links". I didn't think 2 links would make much of a difference, but it was definitely too short in some of the gear combinations if you weren't paying attention.

    I called SRAM and asked if they had the PC-971 with 116 links. They said no, but I could buy two chains and connect them if I wanted the extra links.....

    I later took the chain off and put it on a friend's bike. The chain on the LHT now is a Shimano CN-7701 with 116 links, and a SRAM Powerlink. I've also used Wipperman Connex links with that same model chain on another bike. Both the SRAM and Wipperman links seem to work fine on the Shimano chain.

    I guess for most bikes, 114 links is more than enough, but for the LHT you need to read the package and get the longer chain. I imagine at the factory where the LHT is assembled, they have the chain in bulk and just cut it to length.

  4. #4
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    At 46 cm, those chainstays are longer than just about anything else out there, by a long shot.
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  5. #5
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    Years ago most derailleur chains were supplied 116 links. Over the years chainstays got shorter, and makers found that rarely, if ever did, anyone need 116 links, so they shortened to 114. Even then most chains still are cut further when installed (my commuter uses only 108 links).

    Going to 114 makes sense. It saves the maker about 1% (no savings on labor or packaging), and reduces solid waste by almost 2%, so it's even green.

    If your bike needs 116 links, I suggest you beg 2 links (1 + connector) that would be tossed anyway, but in the future buy another brand of chain which is supplied long enough to start with.
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  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have long old chainstays on my old Stumpie, always have to get a few more links..

  7. #7
    Senior Member amckimmey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Riding View Post
    I ran into the same thing when I went to replace the chain on my LHT. The original chain was a SRAM PC-971, so I just picked up another. After I installed it, I discovered the "missing links". I didn't think 2 links would make much of a difference, but it was definitely too short in some of the gear combinations if you weren't paying attention.

    I called SRAM and asked if they had the PC-971 with 116 links. They said no, but I could buy two chains and connect them if I wanted the extra links.....

    I later took the chain off and put it on a friend's bike. The chain on the LHT now is a Shimano CN-7701 with 116 links, and a SRAM Powerlink. I've also used Wipperman Connex links with that same model chain on another bike. Both the SRAM and Wipperman links seem to work fine on the Shimano chain.

    I guess for most bikes, 114 links is more than enough, but for the LHT you need to read the package and get the longer chain. I imagine at the factory where the LHT is assembled, they have the chain in bulk and just cut it to length.
    It's nice to see that someone had they same thought which turned into the same problem as me. I had gotten the chain at whole sale so it's not a big loss probably sell it on Craigslist for the same price. I well probably get the same Shimano CN-7701 chain sense it seems its fine with your LHT setup. The bike has almost 3000 miles on it and no wear in the drive train really.
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  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vredstein View Post
    At 46 cm, those chainstays are longer than just about anything else out there, by a long shot.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

    This +1

    Chain manufacturers ship packages with length sufficient for most bikes. It would significantly add to their costs if they had to accommodate the extreme length of the LHT on every chain they ship. Your LBS should be able to scare up a couple more links for you.

  9. #9
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    Shimano chains usually come at 116 links but the package for the HG70 6/7/8-speed chain I have in my parts supply has check boxes for 112,114,116 and 118 links. Mine is checked at 116. The Shimano CN-6600 10-speed chain I also have in stock doesn't have alternative available lengths listed on the box and is labeled "CN-6600 116" which should mean 116 links.

    Finally, a Wippermann 10S8 chain I have is listed as 114 links including the Conex master link in that count and does not mention any other options.

  10. #10
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

    This +1

    Chain manufacturers ship packages with length sufficient for most bikes. It would significantly add to their costs if they had to accommodate the extreme length of the LHT on every chain they ship.
    +1 and let's not forget where that extra cost would come from--us. I'd rather pay less per chain and not have an excessive amount of unused, leftover links. For the occasions when I need more links, I'm sure I could scrounge up a few from the LBS or others who have those extra unused links.
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  11. #11
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    KMC makes 116 link 9 speed chains.
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