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chain question for NR non-index drivetrain

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chain question for NR non-index drivetrain

Old 11-15-15, 03:55 PM
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chain question for NR non-index drivetrain

I currently have an 8 spd chain on a Campy non-indexed 6 spd. It seems to shift way worse than it did when it had a 6 spd chain. Problem is, several idle years have passed between chain swaps and I don't know if memory is serving me correctly. Any thoughts on one working better than the other?
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Old 11-15-15, 04:05 PM
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What kind of chain. I find that in general, modern 8-speed chains with chamfered side plates shift better than the old fashioned 5/6-speed chains. Of course, I'm also running newer ramped freewheels that also contribute to improved shifting, even using a Campy NR derailleur (not known for shifting quality). Also, how do you have your derailleur set up? Chain length can make a big difference in shifting quality since on a NR derailleur it governs how far the jockey wheel is from the freewheel cogs.
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Old 11-15-15, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler_fred
I currently have an 8 spd chain on a Campy non-indexed 6 spd. It seems to shift way worse than it did when it had a 6 spd chain. Problem is, several idle years have passed between chain swaps and I don't know if memory is serving me correctly. Any thoughts on one working better than the other?
There was a lost art of matching chains to freewheels and other drivetrain components, it had to do with chain flexibility and width, I think. The classic for Campy friction in 5-speed was a vintage Regina chain. There were quite a few models. They would have the right width for a freewheel that has the same cog to cog pitch as a traditional 5-speed freewheel. It should work with other block-tooth (Regina or MM Atom or similar) tooth shapes, wide 6-speeds, and wide 7-speeds. SunTour brought out an "Ultra-6," which had 6 cogs squeezed into the space of a conventional 5-speed, and needs a narrower chain. I'm not sure if any (or all?) 7-s use the same narrow pitch, but I'd expect them to also need the narrower chain of the day.

I'm trying to think through the little bit I knew about matching. Someone else will probably find me wrong. That's ok.
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Old 11-15-15, 04:51 PM
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What kind of freewheel is it? Sure it's campy?? Most all campy bikes ran regina freewheels and often regina chains. Toward the end of the 6 speed freewheel era, many if not most people were running sedisport chains, which were narrow and comparable to an 8 speed chain. Maybe SRAM has a modern equivalent. I don't know.
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Old 11-15-15, 05:05 PM
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for what it's worth, I've got 3 bikes running Campy NR/SR rear derailleurs with 6 speed SunTour Ultra freewheels, and using SRAM PC-48 eight speed chains. They shift just fine.

I also have one bike with Campy NR rear derailleur, a 5 speed SunTour freewheel, and the bike's original Reynolds 3/32 bushing chain. It shifts just like it was brand new.. i.e. rather slow and noisy. (the bike only has about 1k or 2k miles on it)

Steve in Peoria
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Old 11-15-15, 05:15 PM
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I run SRAM PC8 with my NR, have found its a big improvement over a 6 speed chain. Maybe you're remembering it wrong?
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Old 11-15-15, 08:59 PM
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After much experimentation on several bikes, I find the combination of a Shimano UG freewheel, 10 speed chain fit big/big + two links, and either Shimano or Bullseye jockey wheels to result in the best shifting. Gotta use all 3 together to get it right.

Ask anyone who was on the April or September L'Hombra rides set up by Rudi in NJ. Rode the Cinelli in April and the Serotta in September, and they each shifted flawlessly for the entire 100 miles, both times. Run the same setup on my Richard Sachs, same results. No skating, no missed shifts, just move the lever and go.
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Old 11-15-15, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
After much experimentation on several bikes, I find the combination of a Shimano UG freewheel, 10 speed chain fit big/big + two links, and either Shimano or Bullseye jockey wheels to result in the best shifting. Gotta use all 3 together to get it right.

Ask anyone who was on the April or September L'Hombra rides set up by Rudi in NJ. Rode the Cinelli in April and the Serotta in September, and they each shifted flawlessly for the entire 100 miles, both times. Run the same setup on my Richard Sachs, same results. No skating, no missed shifts, just move the lever and go.
Awesome, I'm going to try this! I would've thought 10 speed would be too narrow. Glad to hear it's not because they're lighter and available in gold!
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Old 11-16-15, 11:56 AM
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The bike has a Shimano 13-26 freewheel, Campy NR derailleur and SRAM chain. I suppose I was thinking that a 6spd chain would have longer pins and therefore would require less precise shift adjustment to center on each cog.
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Old 11-16-15, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler_fred
The bike has a Shimano 13-26 freewheel, Campy NR derailleur and SRAM chain. I suppose I was thinking that a 6spd chain would have longer pins and therefore would require less precise shift adjustment to center on each cog.

Chains have an inside width which grabs the teeth, complemented by bulged-outward sideplates.

Increased outer width of the pins requires MORE precise shift lever movements to prevent contact with the next-larger adjacent cog.

7-8s chain works really well on Japanese 6s freewheels, but not on all European freewheels.

9s chain is the bee's knees for use on Japanese 7s and especially Ultra-6 freewheels.

I haven't tried 10s chain on vintage bikes, but at some point narrower chain does not play nice with certain brands of older chainring spacings.

Narrower chain is lighter, wears very well with only scant lubrication, and gives greater clearance within the front derailer cage.

Shimano's 7-8s HG chain is slightly wider than SRAM's or KMC's, still great for use on any standard-spaced Japanese 5 or 6s freewheel.

Shimano's 9s chain has the greatest width at the outer sideplate bulges versus the pin width, so is especially well-designed for aggressive tooth-grabbing capability, as when shifting quickly under load.
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