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Thread: 1/8 or 3/32?

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    midnight biker dmarcoul's Avatar
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    1/8 or 3/32?

    i dont know which one to go with for my first build. id be commuting on it and not riding competitively or really hard. any suggestions?

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    move along seasponge's Avatar
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    do you already have cranks?

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    midnight biker dmarcoul's Avatar
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    yeah. 130bcd. but i dont have chain rings or cogs yet.

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    troglodyte ryan_c's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't think it matters for a darn in terms of performance.
    However, if you go with 1/8", you have a wider variety of SS-oriented chains available, including the availability of dirt-cheap crappy BMX chains if you're going to be running the bike as a beater. Of course, the spectrum goes the other way too, you can get some really great track and hefty BMX chains. My guess would be that the majority of GOOD 3/32" chains would be derailleur-oriented (although technically that probably doesn't matter either).

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    I was greatly disappointed to see that Bianchi Pistas apparently come with 3/32" chains today. 1/8" is the way to go with all the neat track and BMX stuff available.

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    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    Go with 3/32.

    The man Sheldon Brown sez, "I would generally advise using the 3/32" (derailer) size. It is lighter, more compatible with your existing chainwheels, and likely to run smoother if the chainline is less than perfect, due to beveled side plates. In my experience, 3/32" chain is no less durable or reliable than 1/8"."

    I've been using SRAM 8-speed chains on both my single speed mountain bike and my fixed gear bike for years with no problems whatsoever. I think it might also be more generally available than BMX or track specific chain.

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    i buy vinyl
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    if you go with 3/32 chainring and cog you can use 3/32 or 1/8 chain without a problem

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    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmarcoul
    yeah. 130bcd. but i dont have chain rings or cogs yet.
    your choices of 1/8" chainrings in 130BCD are quite limited. I think only TA make them. Stronglight maybe too.
    In any case, they're pretty hard to find.

    Just go with 3/32"

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    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmarcoul
    yeah. 130bcd. but i dont have chain rings or cogs yet.
    130 BCD is Shimano road standard- go with 3/32" - it is a no-brainer.

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    LF for the accentdeprived
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    Go with 3/32.

    The man Sheldon Brown sez, "I would generally advise using the 3/32" (derailer) size. It is lighter, more compatible with your existing chainwheels, and likely to run smoother if the chainline is less than perfect, due to beveled side plates. In my experience, 3/32" chain is no less durable or reliable than 1/8"."
    The Sram PC-1 1/8 chain has beveled side plates. Nice and silent, dirt cheap, and has a master link that actually works.

    And 1/8 is sexy.

    Edit: it surprises me that Sheldon mentions the weight difference. How much can it be? 10 grams? Ok, it's a moving part, but there is no way that sort of minute weight difference is more relevant than the small, but definitely existing durability difference.
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    ganbatte! sashae's Avatar
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    As bostontrevor said though, unless you're running 144BCD cranks, the selection of chainrings in 1/8" is slim. May as well go with 3/32 and replace your chain a little more often

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    I Voted for the Green M&M South Fulcrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilHinault
    I was greatly disappointed to see that Bianchi Pistas apparently come with 3/32" chains today. 1/8" is the way to go with all the neat track and BMX stuff available.
    I find it odd that most (if not all) companies make track cogs in 3/32, but they don't seem to make 3/32 chainrigs (highend) for track cranks. I know that 3/32 is not NJS and all, but... I think I forgot where I was going with this. Anyone else know where this was going? Sorry.
    Well at least I'm housebroken.

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    i don't stop travsi's Avatar
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    i think another important consideration is if you're riding brakeless or not. i've heard people swearing that 3/32 is just as strong as 1/8, but i just don't see how a thin-plated 3/32 chain can have the same strength as a heavy-plated 1/8 bmx chain.
    ...so if you're riding with a brake, then it probably doesn't matter as long as its a quality chain. but without brakes i would go for something massive.

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    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by South Fulcrum
    I find it odd that most (if not all) companies make track cogs in 3/32, but they don't seem to make 3/32 chainrigs (highend) for track cranks. I know that 3/32 is not NJS and all, but... I think I forgot where I was going with this. Anyone else know where this was going? Sorry.
    whatchatalkinboutWillis?

    you can get DA, Sugino, Salsa, Blackspire..... track rings in 3/32"

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    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    Also, if you want to cop your replacement chainrings from old ten- and twelve-speeds, 3/32 lets you do that (although this pretty much limits you to 39, 40, 42, 50, 51, or 52 teeth; but that's actually plenty of options).

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    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travsi
    i think another important consideration is if you're riding brakeless or not. i've heard people swearing that 3/32 is just as strong as 1/8, but i just don't see how a thin-plated 3/32 chain can have the same strength as a heavy-plated 1/8 bmx chain.
    ...so if you're riding with a brake, then it probably doesn't matter as long as its a quality chain. but without brakes i would go for something massive.
    when was the last time you saw someone snap a side-plate of a 3/32" chain?
    I'm willing to bet....never.

    Chains generally fail at the rivets. Generally due to improper assembly.

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    some dude jayrooney's Avatar
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    sideways movement with derailleurs and gear clusters can break chains.
    i don't think you have to worry about that on a fixed or ss.

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    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxtefer
    whatchatalkinboutWillis?

    you can get DA, Sugino, Salsa, Blackspire..... track rings in 3/32"
    Yup and even NJS approved. I have a sugino 3/32 NJS chainring.
    Strange I know, since I never heard of a 3/32 NJS chain.
    I run it with the KMC Z610HX chain. It was developed for BMX and is one of the strongest chains out there. Very quiet too.
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    I Voted for the Green M&M South Fulcrum's Avatar
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    Well *****...
    Well at least I'm housebroken.

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    i don't stop travsi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxtefer
    when was the last time you saw someone snap a side-plate of a 3/32" chain?
    I'm willing to bet....never.

    Chains generally fail at the rivets. Generally due to improper assembly.
    well, i have seen a side-plate snap ...but the rivet or pin is anchored in the side plate and the failing of the pin usually involves the pin coming out of the side-plate. i think the thicker the side-plate, the less likely it is that the pin will be able to be pulled out due to a shearing force.

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    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    it depends on the chain. I have seen pins coming loose in a regina high end track chain the way you describe it. It was a 1/8th. Sideplate thickness does not equal strength. It is the type and treatment of metal (generally steel) that is the determining factor when it comes to strength. Same with pins some chains use mushroomed pins that will stay in a lot better than some that use straight pins. Pins working out of links often has to do with improper chainline. The KMC chain I talked about above is made for both 3/32 and 1/8. Both are rated to the exact same tensile strength. Both are equally strong. If you think about it the main difference betw. 3/32 and 1/8 is pin and roller length. Why would a shorter pin be weaker?
    Of course the main problem with most 3/32 chains are that they are made for shifty bikes where weight and shifteability is of great concern. I used some PC48 once and that thing stretched like bubblegum. I used some cheapo Izumi 1/8 and that stretched too. It is not a matter of width, but of construction. The KMC Z610hx lasted me 8 months of daily handbrakeless riding. They cost 15 bux or so. here is some reading on it: http://www.aggrobikes.com/product_in...roducts_id=132

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    Hello. crushkilldstroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46x17
    Pins working out of links often has to do with improper chainline.
    or some drunken hack not paying attention to his work with the chain breaker.

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    I don't know waht you guys are tlaking about. 3/32" chain is as strong as 1/8".
    Pins do not "fall out of side plates", unless you really **** up the install.

    Chains are subject to a much higher torque on derailleur equipped bikes than on a fixed gear.

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    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crushkilldstroy
    or some drunken hack not paying attention to his work with the chain breaker.
    That too of course!!

    But, with that regina chain that was not the case. The pins were very lose in general. You could almost push them out by hand. Same is true for the bolt and screw master links on some of the high end izumis. Good for the track I guess but i would not trust it on the street because it can work loose. Unless you locktite it or something. Then again why bother, chainbreaker does the trick.
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
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    Beausage is Beautiful Fugazi Dave's Avatar
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    To sort of piggyback, is there any difference on the speed with which 3/32" cogs and chainrings wear down as compared to 1/8" cogs and chainrings? It's probably not enough to make a big difference, but with 1/8" stuff the same amount of force is put on a bigger contact area than on 3/31", which to me would make it wear down more slowly.

    Or am I just insane?

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