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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-18-02, 10:05 AM   #1
SpotmaticF
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Fixed Gear Beater Chain

I need a fairly cheap/good chain for my fixed gear bike. Does anyone have an opinion that may help in my decision?

I am thinking of the following: SRAM PC58 $17-

Are there chains out there that are NOT designed for easy shifting? Track chains?

FYI I am running 3/32 rings and cogs.
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Old 11-18-02, 11:13 AM   #2
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All of the SRAM chains are good. I asked SRAM once and was told that there is almost no difference in the models except for the special feature of that model. The 5x (58, 59) is black/silver. The 69 all silver, 89 heavy duty for off road, 99 has perforated sideplates for weight saving. The basics are identical. I use mostly PC-69 just because I like the all silver look better, but I have used 59s, too. The 58 should be fine with 3/32 sprockets. BTW, all multispeed chains are 3/32 inside width.
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Old 11-18-02, 11:47 AM   #3
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Get a single speed chain, KMC 410 is a good one. Under $10 and will work with a 3/32 or a 1/8" chain. It's what I use on all of my single speed and fixed gear bikes. That make a really good one called the Rust Buster with a bulletproof grey coating on it and still under $10.

Rust Buster.
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Old 11-18-02, 03:48 PM   #4
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Stick with a pc-68 chain- a few bux more, but it won't rust. Also, sram chain can use a powerlink. If you put 2 powerlinks on, then you can easily shorten the chain for a smaller winter ring, then go back to a longer length for a larger summer ring. Those 1/8" chains should be left for track-specific cogs and rings.
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Old 11-19-02, 07:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info and opinions....


I've done some additional research and I think I have found an interesting chain that will fit the bill. It is specifically designed for non-shifting applications:

KMC
Z610HX (silver, bushingless); made specially for single-speed drivetrains - $15.00 At Business Cycles

http://www.businesscycles.com/trcomp.htm#chains

Below is the manufacturer's site. It appears that they make at least some of Shimano's chains.

http://rubber.24h.com.tw/mr86/kmc/speed/single.htm
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Old 11-19-02, 07:42 AM   #6
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I got that same chain at my LBS for $10. It's OK, but it's still a track chain, meaning-you must have a really straight chainline, and, since it's 1/8", you can only use the removable link that comes with it (and, is none too easy to use, either). Since my fixed-gear bike is less than perfectly aligned, and my Sovos flip-flop hub doesn't quite give me a perfectly similar cog placement, I've gone back to using a good Sram chain (PC-68) instead.
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Old 11-19-02, 08:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by D*Alex
It's OK, but it's still a track chain, meaning-you must have a really straight chainline, and, since it's 1/8", you can only use the removable link that comes with it (and, is none too easy to use, either).
Why would a "track chain" need a straighter chainline than a chain made for shifting? That makes no sense, w/ a 1/8" chain on 3/32 parts, you have more side-to-side play allowing more room for chainline error. Coupled with the fact that a single speed chain is not made for shifting and a 3/32" chain is, and the SS chain makes for the better option. The 610 however, is a single speed 3/32" chain. Removable link - bah, who needs 'em. Chainbreaking should be a skill every rider should have and takes all of 5 minutes to break and reassemble. Of course, just my $.02 about these matters.
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Old 11-19-02, 08:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
it's still a track chain, meaning-you must have a really straight chainline, and, since it's 1/8", you can only use the removable link that comes with it
According to the manufacturers website (KMC), this is indeed a 3/32, bushingless chain.

According to KMC

Compatible Bikes: BMX, Free Style, Beach Cruiser, Track Bike, Internal Gear Hub System, Electric Bike

StretchProof Mushroomed pin, enhanced durability
Anti-Drop design

My chainline is pretty good, except when I flop to the freewheel.
Could the "mushroomed pins" be a problem if I need to add and remove links occasionally?

The reason that I am resisting a "shifting" chain chain is that I really don't want to drop a chain while speeding over the railroad tracks at the bottom of the hill near my house.
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Old 11-19-02, 08:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpotmaticF
Could the "mushroomed pins" be a problem if I need to add and remove links occasionally?
I have never had any issues adding and removing links with the mushroomed pins. I would only be concerned about this with Shimano chains which have pins you are only supposed to use once.

One thing Spot, make sure you carry some extra links and a chainbreaker with your tools/patch kit. Unlike a derailluer equiped bike, you don't have any extra slack and tensioner if you break the chain, so you'll need to install those extra links to avoid walking home. I squeeze them right in my patch kit, fits perfectly. Only needed them once on an MTB ride, but it was sure nice to have it.
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Old 11-19-02, 03:49 PM   #10
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Bushingless chains have less curvature than regular chains. If your chainline is off (mine is...) then this seems to be the best way to go.
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Old 11-19-02, 04:01 PM   #11
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D*Alex, you may have mis-stated the following:

Quote:
Bushingless chains have less curvature than regular chains. If your chainline is off (mine is...) then this seems to be the best way to go.
I checked with Sheldon Brown's Chain Page and found the following:

Quote:
Since the "bushing" of a bushingless chain is made up of two halves that don't connect directly with each other, this type of chain is more flexible sideways than a conventional chain. This is because the two halves of the "bushing" have a bit of "wiggle room" with respect to each other.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

Gotta love Sheldon's Pages.

So, I'm going with a 3/32 bushingless chain that was designed for non-deraileur applications. Bushingless to accomadate any chainline problems (as suggested by D*Alex) and non-deraileur to help with any chain-dropping problems do to my uneven chain tension (which has a thread of its own).
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Old 11-20-02, 07:41 AM   #12
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Spot - as you can see, different things work for different people and everyone has their own opinion. So, digest the suggestions, use your best judgement and run what works for you. And add your own experiences when you've put some miles on your setup so everyone else has additional info to use in their decision making.
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Old 11-20-02, 02:55 PM   #13
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KMC stainless BMX chain is my own choice for a single speed road bike--why waste an expensive, fragile chain made for indexed shifting in a shift-free application? Same goes for tandem timing chains; anything cheap, heavy, and stiff is the best.
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Old 11-20-02, 03:50 PM   #14
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....yeah, i could never keep those straight....
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