King of the Hipsters
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
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I recently had a new frame made and at the same time switched from 3/32 to 1/8.
A fellow forumite, knowing of my switch to 1/8, asked me in a PM which chain I chose and what I thought of it.
I've chosen to answer in a public thread.
For about four years I rode with either a KMC 610 or 810, depending on my interests at the time.
In the end I settled on the 610 as doing everything the 810 did but with a little less noise and weight.
I found with the proper attention to chain line and tension that the 610 gave me a dead silent drive train.
When it came time to choose a 1/8 chain, I definitely wanted a chain with a spring clip connector link.
I settled on Wipperman and tried to find out the difference between the $16.50 Wipperman White Star and the $29.50 Wipperman 1R8 Racing Chain.
For lack of information, I went with the 1R8.
I have a Phil bottom bracket, Phil hubs and sprocket, and a Sugino 75 crank set.
This combination gave me a perfectly even chain tension all the way around, and a perfect chain line.
Despite all this "perfection," I found the 1/8 Wipperman 1R8 noisy, or at least so compared to the 3/32 610 setup on my other bike.
I also noted that the 1/8 bushed chain weighed significantly more than the 3/32 bushingless chain.
I wanted to make a small change in my drive train that required another link in my chain, so I ordered another Wipperman 1R8.
My local bike shop got the order a little wrong, and I wound up with the Wipperman BMX chain, which I didn't even know existed.
Something about this super heavy-duty BMX chain interested me, and so I bought it anyway and put it on my bike.
I have to say that visually the BMX chain looks nice on my bike.
I mean, it looks REALLY nice.
However, I think it weighs twice as much as a 3/32 610, and it makes as much noise as the 1/8 1R8.
Now, let's put this "noise" into perspective.
Riding around on the noisy chain, I don't really hear it unless I go riding with my younger son and he rides my older bike with the 610 chain on it, and then my new bike with the 1/8 chain becomes noisy in comparison to the dead silent 610 bike.
Also, putting the new bike on the work stand in the garage and spinning the crank produces a lot of chain noise; whereas the old bike remains completely silent.
I attribute the noise to the bushings in the 1/8 chain.
Now that I've experimented with the 610, 810, 1R8 and BMX chains, I feel no difference in riding quality except for noise.
The 610 chain costs the least, weighs the least and makes the least noise (no noise at all).
If I build a new bike in two years, I'll go with a Dura Ace drive train in 3/32 and a 610 chain.
I'd like to know what kind of experience 510 (bushingless 1/8 chain) riders have had with their chain.