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New chain size question

Old 03-11-16, 04:58 PM
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m00nset
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New chain size question

I have a quick question. Just bought a new chain and I am a bit perplexed. Hopefully you guys can help me out.

Just bought a new chain from my LBS. I have swapped chains a few times before on other bikes with no issues, just never have done it on this bike. This is a fairly new bike and this is it's first new chain. The bike has a 10 speed rear hub, so I bought a 10 speed chain (SRAM PC1071 to be exact). However, as I compared it to the bike's old chain, the new chain is shorter! It is too short by two full links. Is this common? I can't imagine that it is, and it was my understanding that new chains are almost always too long so that links can be removed to achieve the correct size. Can anyone shed some light on this situation? Or is it simply a fluke and I go return the new chain.

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-16, 05:04 PM
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CliffordK
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Many new chains normally specify the number of links which can vary. Chains can be short for a few reasons like larger than average cogs or chainrings. Or, perhaps long chainstays. Tandems, cargo bikes, and etc often splice chains.

Make sure you're accounting for chain stretch when measuring your old chain, it can be as much as one link or so. Plus, also add in a quick link if you're using one.

If you're still short, call your LBS and ask if they have a longer one.
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Old 03-11-16, 05:04 PM
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Generally new in the box chains will come in 104, 110 or 116 links long. If you're able to return the chain to where you purchased it, ask for 116 links. That length will cover 99.99% of the bikes out there. Then cut to size.
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Old 03-11-16, 05:13 PM
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m00nset
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Okay, good info, thanks guys. I did not account for chain stretch, guess I didn't think it would be that significant. Will check again.

The new chain I purchased has 114 links. I'll check for stretch and update.
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Old 03-11-16, 05:33 PM
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Checked for stretch, it was insignificant. Upon further inspection, the new chain is short by one full link. I do have a spare power-link, but I don't see that adding length unless I am mistaken.
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Old 03-11-16, 05:41 PM
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I was able to find out the chain that came stock on this bike and it, indeed, is a 116 link chain. KMC X10 if you're interested. Looks like I'm headed back to the shop tomorrow.
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Old 03-11-16, 05:58 PM
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How do you know the chain on the bike isn't longer than needed?

All you need is to loop the chain over the largest ring and largest cog.
DON'T go through the RDER.

All you need is for the ends to meet +1" <2".

Is this a road bike or mountain bike?
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Old 03-11-16, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
How do you know the chain on the bike isn't longer than needed?

All you need is to loop the chain over the largest ring and largest cog.
DON'T go through the RDER.

All you need is for the ends to meet +1" <2".

Is this a road bike or mountain bike?
I hadn't considered that the chain that came stock could be too long. I will check the new chain based on your info, but could explain further what you mean by +1"<2". Appreciate it!

This is a touring bike, current model Novara Randonee - https://www.rei.com/product/875004/n...onee-bike-2016
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Old 03-11-16, 06:24 PM
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You want at least 1" extra.
You don't want 2" or more extra
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Old 03-11-16, 06:28 PM
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Derailer Adjustment

Sheldon explains chain sizing in this article, with this method giving the shortest possible chain length that will safely shift to the largest chainring/largest cog combination.
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Old 03-11-16, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by m00nset View Post
I hadn't considered that the chain that came stock could be too long. I will check the new chain based on your info, but could explain further what you mean by +1"<2". Appreciate it!
The sizing technique consists of simultaneously looping the chain over the largest chainring and the largest rear cog without running it through the rear derailleur. Overlap the ends and add 2 half-links (i.e. 1" of additional chain) cut the chain at that point or add an additional half link as needed to have the ends match properly. This is commonly known as big-big+1".
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Old 03-11-16, 06:32 PM
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I just go by the position of the pulleys. If the chain is on the smallest cog (in back) and the largest chainring, and the pulleys are somewhat perpendicular to the floor, you should be fine.
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Old 03-11-16, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
I just go by the position of the pulleys. If the chain is on the smallest cog (in back) and the largest chainring, and the pulleys are somewhat perpendicular to the floor, you should be fine.
If you are within the chain wrap capacity of your rear derailleur you are probably ok. However, I always want to be CERTAIN the bike will shift into big-big and the big-big+1 technique does assure it will.
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Old 03-11-16, 06:51 PM
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Thanks for that info on the big+big+1 method. It confirmed that this chain is indeed too short. Looks like I need the 116 link.
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Old 03-11-16, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
I just go by the position of the pulleys. If the chain is on the smallest cog (in back) and the largest chainring, and the pulleys are somewhat perpendicular to the floor, you should be fine.
It's critical the chain is long enough for big-big. Big-small does not check that your chain is long enough, which could result in frame & wheel damage.
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Old 03-11-16, 07:58 PM
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I'm the odball, and I check by running the chain through the derailleur, and big-big. Then I am 100% sure it's long enough.
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