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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 05-25-06, 11:23 PM   #1
sr20det
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My Chain Questions:

Here's my load of questions regarding chains:

1) Whats so wrong w/ them chains made COMPLETELY of Half-Links? Someone said its dangerous for fixies because its unidirectional. I don't get it.

2) Whats wrong with Master Links?

3) Do you guys use a new rivet each time you break and put the chain back together?
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Old 05-25-06, 11:31 PM   #2
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1) apparently they stretch quicker because they were not meant to have stress applied from both directions. if you look at them it kinda makes sense. however I've known quite a few people who ride the shadow conspiracy chains and love them and I've yet to hear of any problems.

2) i've heard horror stories of them not put on correctly, and then popping off under stress.

3) pshhh. naw.
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Old 05-25-06, 11:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
1) apparently they stretch quicker because they were not meant to have stress applied from both directions. if you look at them it kinda makes sense.

Huh?

Tension is tension. The only thing that could possibly be different would be the direction of force applied to the pin by the roller.

EDIT: I just looked a picture of these and they don't appear to be built asymmetrically, or have instructions to be installed in a specific direction. How then, would one know what direction to install this unidirectional chain?
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Old 05-25-06, 11:56 PM   #4
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I thought the directionality was just important for sliding and BMX trick crap.
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Old 05-26-06, 01:08 AM   #5
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Yeah, there's a thread I started a while back about the unidirectionality thing. Only important if you're doing grinds and ****, really.
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Old 05-26-06, 01:13 AM   #6
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yea. i wouldnt worry about using a half link chain. i think they look pretty bad ass, to boot.
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Old 05-26-06, 02:22 AM   #7
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The problem with the half-link chain is that instead of alternating inner and outer plates that are straight, every single side plate has a slight S bend to it, which wants to straighten out under tension. This leads to genuine chain stretch, as well as the traditional elongation of the bushings due to mechanical wear that every chain will experience. There is no such thing as directionality with a bike chain for the purposes of what we are doing with them. Pulling on something, by definition, means there is a force going each way, so who is to say which way is forwards or backwards? I think it's more the case that the chain on a fixie is more likely to be stressed harder than chains used on other styles of bikes du to the rider mashing hard from a standstill and skipping the wheel. This extra force will try to straighten the bends in the side plates, making them each slightly longer than they used to be.
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Old 05-26-06, 03:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
The problem with the half-link chain is that instead of alternating inner and outer plates that are straight, every single side plate has a slight S bend to it, which wants to straighten out under tension. This leads to genuine chain stretch, as well as the traditional elongation of the bushings due to mechanical wear that every chain will experience. There is no such thing as directionality with a bike chain for the purposes of what we are doing with them. Pulling on something, by definition, means there is a force going each way, so who is to say which way is forwards or backwards? I think it's more the case that the chain on a fixie is more likely to be stressed harder than chains used on other styles of bikes du to the rider mashing hard from a standstill and skipping the wheel. This extra force will try to straighten the bends in the side plates, making them each slightly longer than they used to be.
Not that I know any better you, but I was under the impression that side plates did not stretch at all. I mean, it seems like it would take A LOT of force to stretch a side plate. Normal chain wear does not stretch side plates, so that makes me question if this half-link design would.

Can't someone just link to a damn Sheldon article and end this debate?
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Old 05-26-06, 04:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
I mean, it seems like it would take A LOT of force to stretch a side plate. Normal chain wear does not stretch side plates, so that makes me question if this half-link design would.
Normal side plates are straight and made of steel so (as the great SB says) take a lot of force to stretch because you would have to elongate the sideplate. Half link sideplates have an s-bend, as said above, so the force you are applying is trying to straighten out the bend, which is a hell of a lot easier to do than to stretch a straight piece of steel.

The chains look cool though.
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Old 05-26-06, 07:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr20det
Here's my load of questions regarding chains:

3) Do you guys use a new rivet each time you break and put the chain back together?
I only break the chain twice- when it goes on the bike, and when it comes off to go into the trash. Repeatedly breaking the chain is asking for trouble.
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Old 05-26-06, 10:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momentum
Normal side plates are straight and made of steel so (as the great SB says) take a lot of force to stretch because you would have to elongate the sideplate. Half link sideplates have an s-bend, as said above, so the force you are applying is trying to straighten out the bend, which is a hell of a lot easier to do than to stretch a straight piece of steel.

The chains look cool though.
ah, ok. I understand what now. Elongation because the bend is straightened, not stretch.
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Old 05-26-06, 10:42 AM   #12
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2) Install it correctly and you should be fine.
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Old 05-26-06, 10:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
ah, ok. I understand what now. Elongation because the bend is straightened, not stretch.
exactly. Traditonal chains are not affected by this because the plates are all flat and straight. When you start with something that has a bunch of small bends in it and apply a lot of force over time, the bends will begin to straighten out and make the links effectively longer. I agree though that the all-halflink chains look pretty sweet purely based on aesthetics.

Regarding rivets, it depends on the type of chain. derailer chain is almost always designed to be reassembled with a special pin, especially narrow 9 and 10 speed chains. The reason is that the rivet pins are designed to fit so tightly into the side plates that when you try to drive a pin back through the hole in the plate, you are pretty much guaranteed to either stretch the hole out a bit, or more commonly, to slice a shard of metal out of the hole with the edge of the rivet, making a loose fit. This also can leave a tiny curled shard of metal hanging off of the side plate in question, so when you slide your fingers over it to see if the rivet is protruding the correct amount, it slices you open like a razor and you bleed all over the place. Trust me on that one...

The reason derailer chains are designed with such tight fitting rivets is probably because multispeed drivetrains are built these days to be shifted under load. (Shimano's Hyperglide, etc.) This causes side plates of the chain to get snagged over one tooth on a larger cog sometimes during a shift, and the rider's full weight might be pulling on that snagged plate and it could pop the plate off of the rest of the chain and cause a failure. You could argue that since a 1x1 drivetrain doesn't experience this intense sideways loading of the plates in the chain that it's not as critical to have tight-fitting rivets. Your call.

With 1/8" chains, the rivet pins often protrude through the plates further than on derailer chain, and the fit is not usually so tight to begin with. This is why you will probably never encounter a 1/8" chain that is supposed to be reassembled with a special pin. I still would try to avoid breaking the chain at the same rivet repeatedly, but it is not as much of a concern as with a 3/32" multispeed chain.
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Old 05-26-06, 11:04 AM   #14
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Which is why chain mail armor only lasted one, maybe two crusades before it stretched down to a marauder's knees. It's a problem when you're wading through savages' carcases all day long. They tend to pick up all kinds of gore.
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Old 05-26-06, 11:14 AM   #15
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You should check your chain mail for stretch every now and then. If it has stretched more than 1/16" over one foot, you need to replace it or it might not properly engage your belt and sheath, leading to chain mail suck. Look it up. I recommend the Park Tools chain mail checker for this, but if you're a cheap*** like me, just use the 12" rule.
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Old 05-26-06, 11:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sr20det
3) Do you guys use a new rivet each time you break and put the chain back together?
Only when I break a shimano chain.
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