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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 10-15-09, 08:59 PM   #1
spaceballs
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3/32" Chain question

Since I put my bike together, I have been using a KMC z610hx chain and I didn't have any problems until I cleaned it last night. I let it soak in Purple Power for a few hours, then pulled it off, rinsed in soapy water, then water, and then shaken and hung out to dry. I figured it would be nice and dry tonight, and it is. There is also rust around the bushings now...

After putting it back together, lubing it, and spinning the cranks, I have noticed that this chain is also very loud now. My chainline might be off by 2mm at most, which is close enough. In the past it hasn't made noise like that.

So now I am planning on replacing the chain, since they are cheap. I didn't really like the KMC z610hx because it wouldn't fit in my Park Chain tool [the smaller one], so I am looking for a 3/32" chain to get and had a couple of questions about chains.

Is there any advantage to using a single speed specific chain [like the z610] versus a regular old 8 or 9 speed chain? Multi-speed chains aren't ramped and pinned or anything like that, are they?

I have been meaning to upgrade the chain on my road bike [from a SRAM 10-speed chain to the lightweight 10-speed premium chain from KMC]. Is there any reason why using a new 10-speed chain would be a terribly bad idea?
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Old 10-15-09, 10:06 PM   #2
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Lesson learned: make sure the last thing to touch your chain isn't water. Dry it with a towel, then lube it right after, WD-40 if nothing else.

I have no idea about the differences between a single speed chain and a 9-10 speed chain, so I won't run my uneducated mouth about one or the other like most of the people in this forum.

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Old 10-15-09, 10:35 PM   #3
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taking the chain off for degreasing or cleaning is usually a waste of time. and always avoid WD40 -- the previous poster is wrong. no need to discuss this yet again -- search the forums on why WD40 is discouraged.

rust will happen if you leave the chain unprotected and wet like that.

how come your chain doesnt work with your chain tool? I do not understand. the park chain tool should handle a 3/32 chain.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:37 PM   #4
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how come your chain doesnt work with your chain tool? I do not understand. the park chain tool should handle a 3/32 chain.
The z610hx is a BMX chain with thicker sideplates. It doesn't quite fit in that smallest chain tool.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:40 PM   #5
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well, either get a new chaintool or get a different chain.

a 8 or 9 speed chain will be fine. some are better or worse than others -- just like anything else.
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Old 10-16-09, 04:17 AM   #6
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Your chain is noisy because you cleaned all the lube out of the inner workings of the chain. Don't do that. Lube it profusely and spin the cranks for 30-50 revolutions. Then clean off the excess lube. It should be fine. The tiny bit of rust from sitting wet overnight is harmless and will wear off very fast.
I wouldn't bother with a 10 speed chain because they are expensive and will wear faster. Any 8 or 9 speed chain will work, but these chains are designed to be easily derailed and will more easily be derailed than a real ss chain like the KMC z610HX.

BTW, those park chain cleaners suck. They are flimsy, they make a mess, and there is no need to fully degrease your chain unless you let it get severely gunked up. Just wipe off the excesse lube and grime whenever it accumulates on the outside of your chain and before you relube. Your chain will be just as clean and last just as long.

Last edited by mihlbach; 10-16-09 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 10-16-09, 05:21 AM   #7
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Yea, always towel off and lube the chain. Everyone is spot on. DO NOT use WD-40. If you want to thoroughly clean your chain, do not walk - run to the grocery and pick up your favorite flavor of Dawn dishwashing foam. pump that stuff all over your chain, give it a handful of spins to let it get deep in the crevices and then walk away for 10 minutes. When you come back, give it another handful of spins and hose that puppy off. I always point the hose on the lower section of the chain and spin it around. Take some old, nasty piece of towel - like something in your car washing bucket and towel it off. After that, I pick up the rear of the bike, bounce it a few times, towel off the chain again and lube. Nothing could be easier.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:19 AM   #8
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SMulti-speed chains aren't ramped and pinned or anything like that, are they?
you are funny.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:27 AM   #9
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I usually just take my chain off, run a shop rag down it until it's not leaving too much grease behind, spray it w brake parts cleaner, re lube.

I used to pack my chains with phil grease and wipe off the excess. This will give you an amazingly quiet drivetrain for about 4 miles, then the grease turns into an abrasive slurry. Now I just use Ice Wax to lube.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:33 AM   #10
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What is up with all the hatred and fear of WD40? It is both a water repellant and a mild lubricant. Its not a good substitute for chain lube, but there is nothing wrong with using it to clean and dry your chain, or even as a temporary lube. Its not going to melt your chain or explode when it contacts other lubes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40
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Old 10-16-09, 08:45 AM   #11
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I too don't really understand what the deal is.

I'll usually squirt a chain with it after it's been cleaned if I'm not going to use it again anytime soon and it's going to be stored.

I'll lube it up right before I put it on the bike.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:49 AM   #12
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I remember when I was a kid, my dad would bring a can of WD-40 to the park and spray it on the slides, which back in the day, were all made of stainless steel. That was fun.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:52 AM   #13
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Didn't you get WD40 all over your clothes?

Not like it matters; I love the way WD40 smells.
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Old 10-16-09, 09:22 AM   #14
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I love the smell of WD40 in the morning....

... it smells like victory!

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Old 10-16-09, 10:00 AM   #15
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Didn't you get WD40 all over your clothes?
Well, we gave it a few minutes to dry, and I'm sure there was some oily residue, but it was well worth the added speed.
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Old 10-16-09, 10:02 AM   #16
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you are funny.
This was part of my original question: is a multi-speed chain that different than a single speed chain other than length? How is a multi-speed chain designed to be easier to derail?
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Old 10-16-09, 12:41 PM   #17
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What is up with all the hatred and fear of WD40? It is both a water repellant and a mild lubricant. Its not a good substitute for chain lube, but there is nothing wrong with using it to clean and dry your chain, or even as a temporary lube. Its not going to melt your chain or explode when it contacts other lubes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40
obviously wd40 isnt going to destroy your chain in some dramatic fashion, but it certainly is not the best thing for a chain since it basically acts as a penetrating oil and will dry your chain out -- perhaps even further than the cleaning process described in this thread already did. And if you can go through the trouble of using wd40, why not just use a normal lube? and if you dont have any lube (even just a little to squirt on the chain to prevent rust on your dried out chain), you shouldnt even bother degreasing your chain anyways...and should be more concerned about investing in a $9 bottle of chain lube.

actually, the whole "take the chain off and soak it" thing is just silly. there really isnt much need to do that. just regularly wipe with a rag & relube. why people insist on making simple things complicated and difficult is beyond me.
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Old 10-16-09, 01:17 PM   #18
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Lesson learned.

Does anyone know for sure the difference between the single speed and multi-speed specific chains?
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Old 10-16-09, 01:27 PM   #19
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Multi speed chains have beveled side plates so that the chain can operate smoothly and quietly on a derailleur equipped bike in a less than optimal chainline.

psirue, I think the only way to really clean your chain well is to take it off. It also gives you the opportunity to wipe down the old lube off your chainring and cog.

Sheldon likes to clean his chains in a soak. Here's his article:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

Check out the "cleaning chains" part.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:52 AM   #20
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Can anyone recommend a 3/32 single speed chain?

Mine wouldn't take the additional lube...
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Old 10-18-09, 09:56 AM   #21
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Perhaps your chain is worn. Replace it with a KMC Z610HX chain. Its extremely strong, long lasting, and silent, and handles poor weather well. I don't think you can buy a better chain for the price.
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Old 10-18-09, 12:42 PM   #22
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Perhaps your chain is worn. Replace it with a KMC Z610HX chain. Its extremely strong, long lasting, and silent, and handles poor weather well. I don't think you can buy a better chain for the price.
This is the chain I just pulled off. I had a hard time using it with my Park CT-5 chain tool. Am I the only one that has had this problem?
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Old 10-18-09, 01:52 PM   #23
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This is the chain I just pulled off. I had a hard time using it with my Park CT-5 chain tool. Am I the only one that has had this problem?
Apparently, you are. The Z610HX chain is a very good SS chain. I've never had a problem using it with my Park chain tool, which I think is a CT-5. Let me go and check....

edit: yes, I have the same tool. Thats strange, I don't have a problem fitting a Z610HX chain into my Park CT-5. I can even fit 1/8" chains (Z710, Z510HX, SRAM PC-1, etc) into it and have been doing so for years. I don't mean to suggest you are stupid, but are you sure you are using it correctly?

Last edited by mihlbach; 10-18-09 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 10-18-09, 01:59 PM   #24
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perhaps this is a dumb question, but are you putting the chain into the correct slot?
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Old 10-18-09, 02:34 PM   #25
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I use WD40 to clean my chain.

I take the chain off the bike and soak it in WD40 for awhile.

Then I wash the chain in hot soap and water and immediately WD40 it again in order to displace the water.

I then use paper towels to absorb as much of the WD40 as possible out of the chain, and then I over-lube the chain with blue oil and again get as much lube out of the chain as possible with paper towels.

On my two 3/32 machines I use only the 610 chain (probably the best chain for the money).

If you have troubles breaking a 610 chain, take another look at the tool and how you use it.

Take a throwaway section of chain and practice breaking it until you find the technique that works for you.

I start breaking my chain with the chain in one position in the chain breaker, and then half way through the process I move the chain to another position that better supports the chain plate on the side away from the pin-driver.

I have three different chain breakers, from cheap to expensive, and with 3/32 chain I find that my Crank Brothers 19-in-one pocket tool does the best job.
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