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Old 06-17-10, 11:25 AM   #1
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6 speed fussy about chain width

I've recently had a couple problems with 6 speed rear set ups not shifting well that has me questioning the proper chain width for them.

One is my Bridgestone 400 that has Suntour Accushift with barcons. I used to run a Sram PC58 on it with no problems. The chain is worn and when I went to replace my LBS said to use a Sram 830 or 850 chain. He said 7/8 speed but the Sram website says 8/9 speed. The narrower chain does not work well and I resorted to an old wider one to avoid endless chatter in the rear because it just wouldn't adjust.

My other issue is with a 6 speed friction Zebrakenko with a SuperMaxy crank. The chain tends to hang between the large and small chain rings and slips. I'm assuming something wider will work better.

Bottom line - what do you folks use as replacement chains for 6 speed bikes? I've tried Nashbar in the past but their master links are a joke and don't hold.

Any suggestions for a good source or brand/model?
Thanks!
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Old 06-17-10, 12:25 PM   #2
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1) Use Nashbar w/o the masterlink, as I do w/ SRAM.
2) If your SuperMaxy crank mounts the inner chainring to an integral spider/outer, replace the spacers with slightly narrower ones.
3) I have heard of 7-8 speed chains, which also work well with ultra-6 and most "standard" 5- and 6-speed rigs, and I have heard of 9-speed chains, but never 8/9.
4) Are your cogs and/or your derailleur pulleys worn? This could be the source of your chatter.
5) I use SRAM PC-58s on all of my standard-6 and ultra-6/7 freewheels without problems, although I can make the chains skate over the teeth of both Regina standard-6 and (ultra)-7 freewheels. This may be a function fo the 2-tooth progressions I tend to favor (13-15-17-19-21-23 and 13-15-17-19-21-24-28).
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Old 06-17-10, 01:01 PM   #3
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1) Use Nashbar w/o the masterlink, as I do w/ SRAM.
John, are you saying you use something like a PC-971 and just use the pins instead of the masterlink to join the chain? those sram chains are noisy and clunky due to those crappy masterlinks, and i've been considering just removing it.
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Old 06-17-10, 01:27 PM   #4
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I use a SRAM pc-41 with a powerlink on my 5 speed freewheels, but I'm not sure that is available anymore. I think that was supposed to be a 7 speed era chain, and it shifts wonderfully on my Bottecchia Giro d'Italia.
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Old 06-17-10, 01:40 PM   #5
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I don't follow your explanation. Is the Bridgestone's issues at the rear freewheel, while the Zebrakenko's issue is chainskate at the crankset? What freewheel is on the Bridgestone at present?

I'd recommend a 1980's Shimano UG (impossible to find) or a modern 5/6-speed TAYA (look for a Bell-branded geared chain - claiming 7-speed compatibility - with bulged side plates; it is generally available at Wal-Fart) for the Zebrakenko. I don't know enough about the Bridgestone's issue yet to make a recommendation.

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Old 06-17-10, 02:05 PM   #6
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I got a deal on Shimano HG-50 116 link chains ( $4.00 ea) and use them on most of my 5-7 speeds without issues no matter the drive train.
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Old 06-17-10, 02:40 PM   #7
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I don't follow your explanation. Is the Bridgestone's issues at the rear freewheel, while the Zebrakenko's issue is chainskate at the crankset? What freewheel is on the Bridgestone at present?
Yes the Bridgestone is in the rear and it seems like the indexed movement of the shifter/derailleur isn't enough to make clean shifts either up or down. I've adjusted the cable barrel but couldn't seem to make it happy. I'll double check the freewheel but I know it has Shimano 105 hubs so I'd bet it is a Shimano. I know it could be a freewheel spacing issue but I'm happily running a similar Suntour barcon/derailleur and Shimano cassette on my Expedition and it shifts like a dream. The change to a wider chain on the Bridgestone last night did make a huge improvement. I just didn't know where to find new ones any more.

The Zebra is in the front only and probably relates to a combo of narrow and worn chain and the spacers as John E mentioned.

I'll look for the Bell chain at the big box and give that a try on the Zebra which is a flipper- thanks for the tip on the source. Probably one of the last places I would have thought to look.

BTW it does seem like the Sram PC 870 is the successor for the old PC58 I used to use. That may be an option for the Bridgestone which I plan to keep.

Thanks for the info and help.
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