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Anyone riding skip tooth or 1" Pitch?

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Anyone riding skip tooth or 1" Pitch?

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Old 02-09-16, 09:11 PM
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Anyone riding skip tooth or 1" Pitch?

I am out of my element on this subject and not even sure the topic is correct , but will be looking to complete one of my fixed/ss builds like this. Any benefits or drawbacks? Anyone still ride or have a pic to post up? I think it's pretty cool. Just not sure why it's not used a little more often.
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Old 02-09-16, 09:31 PM
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I think inch pitch is cool too. When I was just getting into track racing, 40+ years ago, there were still some guys using inch pitch gears/chains. To my knowledge it was a stiffer stronger chain, to go along with the 1/8 inch width track gear and steel stem and bars. A sprinters thing.

But then there were also other riders sporting 3/32" gears and chains.

The inch pitch block chains were the cool ones. Wipperman made a good one.
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Old 02-09-16, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikerider007 View Post
I am out of my element on this subject and not even sure the topic is correct , but will be looking to complete one of my fixed/ss builds like this. Any benefits or drawbacks? Anyone still ride or have a pic to post up? I think it's pretty cool. Just not sure why it's not used a little more often.
I will be as soon as I finish building my frame.
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Old 02-09-16, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I think inch pitch is cool too. When I was just getting into track racing, 40+ years ago, there were still some guys using inch pitch gears/chains. To my knowledge it was a stiffer stronger chain, to go along with the 1/8 inch width track gear and steel stem and bars. A sprinters thing.

The inch pitch block chains were the cool ones. Wipperman made a good one.
Thanks big chairing, glad to hear I am not the only one. I do know one thing, it's not cheap for a nice vintage setup and I am getting a good deal from a friend of a friend, that is now a friend. haha

Originally Posted by exxongraftek View Post
I will be as soon as I finish building my frame.
I just checked out your frame before responding, looks good man, exciting to be making progress. I will be following your build.

I have been accruing parts so I am not far off, right now time is what I need. Still have this older Olmo I am trying to get right and work is crazy busy.
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Old 02-10-16, 07:01 AM
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The inch pitch drive train is not cheap. It makes a different noise. I can't think of anything else.

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Old 02-10-16, 07:35 AM
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They were very popular at the NAHBS shows I went to, among a certain crowd. None of that was C&V, though, but the "skip-tooth" fans were abundant.
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Old 02-10-16, 08:43 AM
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Old 02-10-16, 09:57 AM
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Gearing will be less flexible since cogs and chainrings effectively are equivalent to 1/2" stuff with even numbers of teeth.
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Old 02-10-16, 10:02 AM
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Huh. Consider the day lost in which you learn nothing. What's the benefit?
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Old 02-10-16, 10:16 AM
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I recently got an inch-pitch chainring, chain, and cog for a 40's project, just to try something different. Haven't finished it yet.
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Old 02-10-16, 10:51 AM
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I briefly owned an Avanti track bike in 1973 (wedding present from my wife's brother), but since the original chain was worn out, I always used a half-inch pitch chain on the inch-pitch chainring. To me, the biggest drawback of inch pitch is the loss of what would be odd tooth counts, as mentioned above.
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Old 02-10-16, 11:07 AM
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Funny how this is basically reinvented as narrow-wide teeth for 1x11 mountain bikes.
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Old 02-10-16, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
They were very popular at the NAHBS shows I went to, among a certain crowd. None of that was C&V, though, but the "skip-tooth" fans were abundant.
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Funny how this is basically reinvented as narrow-wide teeth for 1x11 mountain bikes.
Sounds like a full on comeback is brewing. I better finish this bike so everyone thinks I am cool.
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Old 02-10-16, 12:54 PM
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Inch pitch sounds different and it feels different. You will never be in any doubt which chain you are riding. The chain has a lot less lateral flex than 1/8" or 3/32" chain. Really a lot less flex than modern 12.7mm eleven speed chains. You want very good or perfect chainline, sorta kinda good enough for most purposes chainline will probably work but it will be loud and snatchy.

Inch pitch works best on stiff bikes. Any track bike qualifies. If you're converting an old road bike or if you have a very vintage road/path be prepared for a failed experiment. I'm not saying your attempt will fail, just that it might. Are you planning to ride this on the road? Be prepared for what happens on hills. You are on a single fixed gear, you can't shift down, so you start grinding up that hill. During high torque grinding everything is going to flex and get out of line. And the chain will complain. You get used to that but it never feels quite right. The only available tactics are to gear low and spin like mad everywhere except that hill, or you just have to go full attack on every hill and keep your speed up.

I rode a few years on an old Gloria (decades before anyone knew they were collectible) that came with a Magistroni inch pitch. There's nothing wrong with Magistroni cranks and I would love to have some again. Certainly the Magistronis have been used in high level competition by riders much stronger than I ever was. Every hard acceleration and every hill above 1% the chain popped and snatched and acted angry. Then I got a set of Campy inch pitch cranks and it was like a new bike. Hills I would've avoided were suddenly fun. Simply because the Campy crank and ring were so much more rigid.

Bikes I've ridden briefly since then that have inch pitch there are always details of bike design or setup that give the drive train a unique feel, little things that would blur out of existence on regular chain matter more with inch pitch. This is a good thing in my mind. No matter how you set up your bike it will be like no other. Just be prepared to do some tuning.

Unless you hit a perfect gear combination on the first try you will need both chainrings and cogs to get a choice of gears without really huge jumps between them. Most people change cogs with a vise, the cog teeth are big enough to take it. If you prefer a chain whip you get to make your own.
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Old 02-10-16, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Viscontea 001 by iabisdb, on Flickr
Very nice Iab, thanks for the pics.

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Inch pitch sounds different and it feels different. You will never be in any doubt which chain you are riding. The chain has a lot less lateral flex than 1/8" or 3/32" chain. Really a lot less flex than modern 12.7mm eleven speed chains. You want very good or perfect chainline, sorta kinda good enough for most purposes chainline will probably work but it will be loud and snatchy.

Inch pitch works best on stiff bikes. Any track bike qualifies. If you're converting an old road bike or if you have a very vintage road/path be prepared for a failed experiment. I'm not saying your attempt will fail, just that it might. Are you planning to ride this on the road? Be prepared for what happens on hills. You are on a single fixed gear, you can't shift down, so you start grinding up that hill. During high torque grinding everything is going to flex and get out of line. And the chain will complain. You get used to that but it never feels quite right. The only available tactics are to gear low and spin like mad everywhere except that hill, or you just have to go full attack on every hill and keep your speed up.

I rode a few years on an old Gloria (decades before anyone knew they were collectible) that came with a Magistroni inch pitch. There's nothing wrong with Magistroni cranks and I would love to have some again. Certainly the Magistronis have been used in high level competition by riders much stronger than I ever was. Every hard acceleration and every hill above 1% the chain popped and snatched and acted angry. Then I got a set of Campy inch pitch cranks and it was like a new bike. Hills I would've avoided were suddenly fun. Simply because the Campy crank and ring were so much more rigid.

Bikes I've ridden briefly since then that have inch pitch there are always details of bike design or setup that give the drive train a unique feel, little things that would blur out of existence on regular chain matter more with inch pitch. This is a good thing in my mind. No matter how you set up your bike it will be like no other. Just be prepared to do some tuning.

Unless you hit a perfect gear combination on the first try you will need both chainrings and cogs to get a choice of gears without really huge jumps between them. Most people change cogs with a vise, the cog teeth are big enough to take it. If you prefer a chain whip you get to make your own.
Great info and what I was looking to learn, some lessons that I don't have to go through the hard way. It is a track frame and I live in a valley surrounded by mountains, but not much in the way of hills that are paved.
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Old 02-10-16, 06:29 PM
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There is no mechanical reason to roll the clock back 100 years and go 1" pitch. In fact, depending on the type of chain used it may be materially less efficient.

OTOH - there's significant cool factor, and if that matters to you, go with it.
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Old 02-10-16, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There is no mechanical reason to roll the clock back 100 years and go 1" pitch. In fact, depending on the type of chain used it may be materially less efficient.

OTOH - there's significant cool factor, and if that matters to you, go with it.
I'm pretty sure we all know this.

In around 1990, I went into Kopp's Cycle Shop in Princeton, NJ, the oldest bike shop in the US. Old man Kopp was still running it. I'm sure he's dead now. There was an old track bike in the window. I said, "Oh wow, an inch-pitch chain." His head swung around fast, and he immediately liked me for recognizing it.
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Old 02-10-16, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm pretty sure we all know this.

In around 1990, I went into Kopp's Cycle Shop in Princeton, NJ, the oldest bike shop in the US. Old man Kopp was still running it. I'm sure he's dead now. There was an old track bike in the window. I said, "Oh wow, an inch-pitch chain." His head swung around fast, and he immediately liked me for recognizing it.
The old man you met at Kopp's wasn't old man Kopp who would have had to be over 100 (the shop was 99 years old at the time). It was likely Fritz Kuhn who purchased the store from Mr. Kopp sometime in the 40's. Fritz was a real lover of bikes, and a good friend in his lifetime. The store is still in the Kuhn family and run by his son Charlie.
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Old 02-10-16, 07:14 PM
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Thanks for setting the record straight about the names. Fritz seemed like a great guy. Rest in peace.
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Old 02-10-16, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
OTOH - there's significant cool factor, and if that matters to you, go with it.
This is the goal FBinNy. I really just wanted to make sure there are no real pitfalls to inch pitch. I have some respectable, nice and classy bikes, but this one is really about the look and style. It will function great but honestly that is secondary, shoot I don't even live near a track .
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Old 02-11-16, 11:19 PM
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I'm learning a lot here today.

Did someone say you could run any old 1/2"x1/8" singlespeed chain on inch-pitch sprockets?

I looked around and didn't find any inch-pitch chains being made and sold anymore, so I don't ride my '50 Schwinn for fear of breaking the old chain on our hilly roads.

A modern chain replacement for my Schwinn would be great!


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Old 02-11-16, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I'm learning a lot here today.

Did someone say you could run any old 1/2"x1/8" singlespeed chain on inch-pitch sprockets?.....
Someone did, but he's wrong. 1" pitch chains are 3/16" wide vs. 1/8" for modern 1/2" pitch chains. Also the tooth is larger. If you look closely at a 1" pitch chain, you'll see that it's spacing isn't like a 1/2" pitch. The inner link is shorter than the outer, which allows for a thicker tooth.

Try a 1/2" pitch on a 1" pitch sprocket and it's jam and blow apart as the wider tooth forces the outer plates off the pins.

BTW- I hear but haven't confirmed that they are making modern skip tooth chains and sprockets for a retro look. If so, you need to be careful to confirm whether these are really 1/2" pitch with alternating teeth removed to create the retro look, or true 1" x 3/16"
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Old 02-12-16, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Someone did, but he's wrong. 1" pitch chains are 3/16" wide vs. 1/8" for modern 1/2" pitch chains. Also the tooth is larger. If you look closely at a 1" pitch chain, you'll see that it's spacing isn't like a 1/2" pitch. The inner link is shorter than the outer, which allows for a thicker tooth.

Try a 1/2" pitch on a 1" pitch sprocket and it's jam and blow apart as the wider tooth forces the outer plates off the pins.

BTW- I hear but haven't confirmed that they are making modern skip tooth chains and sprockets for a retro look. If so, you need to be careful to confirm whether these are really 1/2" pitch with alternating teeth removed to create the retro look, or true 1" x 3/16"
3/16" BMX chains are available, would one of those do the trick?
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Old 02-12-16, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tombc View Post
3/16" BMX chains are available, would one of those do the trick?
It depends on the spacing. If they're half inch pitch, then no, because the inner link is too long to fit into the gap, and the outer too short for the teeth. Again, look at the photo of a 1"x3/16" chain and note the alternating short inner/long outer links, rather than uniform 1/2" inner and outer links.

In simple terms, a 1" x 3/16" chain and sprocket is NOT the same as a 1/2" chain with alternate teeth cut from the sprocket.
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Old 02-12-16, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Did someone say you could run any old 1/2"x1/8" singlespeed chain on inch-pitch sprockets?

I don't ride my '50 Schwinn for fear of breaking the old chain on our hilly roads.
Nah. The teeth are too wide for the modern chain. I think the teeth go in the wide links. I tried it once and it didn't work. I forget all the reasons.
Just ride the damn thing. That old chain is tough and you can still find replacements. Or get a 1/2" chainset. I've got some 1/2" rings and cogs in the old box if that helps.
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