Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

1/8" vs. 3/32" for fixed applications

Notices
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)

1/8" vs. 3/32" for fixed applications

Old 03-07-08, 06:37 PM
  #1  
danimal4lovin
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 36

Bikes: Soma Rush

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
1/8" vs. 3/32" for fixed applications

What do you think is better for a fixed gear, 1/8" chains or 3/32", in terms of noise and function?
danimal4lovin is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 06:40 PM
  #2  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
3/32" is lighter, cheaper and more readily available (although BMX chains are 1/8", and are pretty cheap and common). 1/8" is a relic from a by-gone era that still happens to be a standard for track racing.

Go with 3/32".

Last edited by bonechilling; 03-07-08 at 09:11 PM.
bonechilling is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 06:42 PM
  #3  
EivlEvo
Look at all these buttons
 
EivlEvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Eh... I say neither.

If you have all 1/8" components then 1/8" is better. If you have all 3/32" components then 3/32" is better.

I mean... I suppose 1/8" is "stronger" but I'd be surprised if that many people were actually busting properly setup 3/32" chains.
EivlEvo is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 06:50 PM
  #4  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by EivlEvo View Post
Eh... I say neither.
Neither? So how do you pedal?
bonechilling is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 06:52 PM
  #5  
reedreeder
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
i have a 3/32 on my conversion, only because i bought a cog with hopes of using my old cranks, chainring, and chain. It turned out to not matter, since i ended up replacing everything anyway, but it works just fine.
 
Old 03-07-08, 07:15 PM
  #6  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by danimal4lovin View Post
What do you think is better for a fixed gear, 1/8" chains or 3/32", in terms of noise and function?
Noise wise, go 3/32. There's almost no reason to go 1/8 except for longevity of drivetrain. It also weighs more. If you have a track crank you might not even have a choice.
operator is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:21 PM
  #7  
Boss Moniker
It's an old photo
 
Boss Moniker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Entropia
Posts: 774

Bikes: Cannondale R500, Specialized Hardrock

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/300756-3-32-chainring-1-8-chain-1-8-cog.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/281355-1-8-chain-3-32-cog.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/283788-dumb-question-do-i-have-1-8-3-32-chain.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/283923-1-8-vrs-3-32-chains-freewheels.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/293519-any-downside-using-3-32-cog-1-8-chain.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/298948-running-3-32-ring-1-8-chain-cog.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/318627-1-8-vs-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/321891-1-8-vs-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/349792-would-1-8-chain-less-noisy-than-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/353218-can-you-use-1-8-chain-3-32-rear-cog.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/353222-better-fixie-1-8-3-32-chain.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/366725-will-running-1-8-chain-cause-premature-wear-3-32-chainring.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/373877-cogs-work-work-3-32-1-8-chains.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/376423-1-8-3-32-again.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/376824-1-8-chain-3-32-chainring.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/388395-chris-king-cog-3-32-1-8-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=395222
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/212385-tech-tip-convert-3-32-chain-whip-fit-1-8-3-32-cogs.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/32411-1-8-3-32-chain.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/54556-3-32-chain-breaker-1-8-chain.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/107664-2005-bianchi-pista-1-8-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/122111-1-8-cog-3-32-chain.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/123765-1-8-vs-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/125728-3-32-cog-1-8-chain.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/140030-1-8-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/152953-1-8-vs-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/156807-1-8-chain-3-32-cog-chainring.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/186501-mixing-1-8-3-32-bad.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/202148-1-8-3-32-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/212059-different-chain-whip-3-32-vs-1-8-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bmx/216641-1-8-chain-3-32-parts.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cycling-velodrome-racing-training-area/220927-mixing-3-32-1-8-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/222824-3-32-cog-1-8-chain-ok-use.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/231503-stock-iro-crankset-chainring-3-32-1-8-a.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/240013-1-8-3-32-what-do-yall-use.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/248662-1-8-chain-3-32-chain-wheel-cog.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/255363-running-1-8-chain-3-32-chainring.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/270289-1-8-chain-3-32-chainring.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/271957-will-3-32-wide-chainring-work-1-8-wide-chain-cog.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/273546-3-32-chain-cog-1-8-c-ring.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/356438-chain-width-question.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/240832-chain-width-question.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/181720-what-s-chain-width-fuji-track.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/56588-chain-width.html
Boss Moniker is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:21 PM
  #8  
reptar douglass
Custom User Title
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
has anyone ever heard of either size chain breaking or failing on a fixed?
reptar douglass is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:24 PM
  #9  
Re-Cycle
<3s bikes
 
Re-Cycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: CA
Posts: 1,063

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Haaaaaahahah Boss
Re-Cycle is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:27 PM
  #10  
roadfix
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 18,610
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 15 Posts
I run 1/8 chain only because I'm always running a mix of 3/32 & 1/8 cogs and rings on different bikes.
roadfix is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:28 PM
  #11  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by reptar douglass View Post
has anyone ever heard of either size chain breaking or failing on a fixed?
Chains break or fail all the time, but it being fixed or not is irrelevant.
bonechilling is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:29 PM
  #12  
mihlbach
Senior Member
 
mihlbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,607
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by Boss Moniker View Post
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=300756
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=281355
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=283788
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=283923
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=293519
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=298948
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=318627
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=321891
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=349792
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=353218
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=353222
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=366725
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=373877
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=376423
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=376824
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=388395
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=395222
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=212385
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=32411
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=54556
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=107664
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=122111
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=123765
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=125728
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=140030
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=152953
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=156807
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=186501
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=202148
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=212059
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=216641
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=220927
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=222824
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=231503
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=240013
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=248662
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=255363
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=270289
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=271957
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=273546
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=356438
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=240832
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=181720
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=56588
Can anyone tell me what bb for my sugino 75 cranks?
mihlbach is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:30 PM
  #13  
EivlEvo
Look at all these buttons
 
EivlEvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
Neither? So how do you pedal?
HAHAHAHA! I meant neither is better.
EivlEvo is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:32 PM
  #14  
reptar douglass
Custom User Title
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
Chains break or fail all the time, but it being fixed or not is irrelevant.
it serves relevant when braking is involved.
i guess to be more specific i'm just curious if anyone has rode fixed, had a chain break on them, and now swears by hand brakes.
reptar douglass is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:33 PM
  #15  
EivlEvo
Look at all these buttons
 
EivlEvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by reptar douglass View Post
it serves relevant when braking is involved.
i guess to be more specific i'm just curious if anyone has rode fixed, had a chain break on them, and now swears by hand brakes.
I haven't... but Im trying REALLY hard to get that to happen.
EivlEvo is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:50 PM
  #16  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by reptar douglass View Post
it serves relevant when braking is involved.
i guess to be more specific i'm just curious if anyone has rode fixed, had a chain break on them, and now swears by hand brakes.
Way to miss the point. He means that whether or not a chain is being used in a geared application or a no-gear application has no bearing on chain failure. As usual chain failure is caused by several things.

1) installation error
2) extreme wear
3) external damage
4) manufacturing defect

1 and 2 is by far the most comomn.

If you suck at wrenching or really don't want to take the chance then run a brake, or be 100% vigilant everywhere, all the time.

Last edited by operator; 03-07-08 at 08:14 PM.
operator is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 07:59 PM
  #17  
balonya
Senior Member
 
balonya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: funky town
Posts: 112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by operator View Post
Way to miss the point. He means that whether or not a chain is being used in a geared application or a no-gear application has no bearing on chain failure. As usual chain failure is caused by several things.

1) installation error
2) extreme wear
3) external damage
4) manufacturing defect

1 and 2 is by far the most comomn.

If you suck at wrenching or really don't want to take the chance then run a brake, or be 100% vigilant everywhere, all the time.
I had a 3 week old chain break (dont remember brand or size) going down a long steep hill in traffic! I was efing shocked, I chalk it up to number 4 ^. I run a break so there was no panic.
balonya is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 09:03 PM
  #18  
shasta
F'ing A
 
shasta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SJ
Posts: 321

Bikes: 08 tommaso augusta, 88 specialized sirrus, random cruisers and stuff

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use 1/8 because 1/8 single speed chains can be had at any bike shop for 10 bucks. Also, I can use either the 1/8 or 3/32 cogs and chain rings that I have been accumulating. I'm not sure if you can use a 3/32 chain with a 1/8 cog.
shasta is offline  
Old 03-07-08, 09:08 PM
  #19  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shasta View Post
I'm not sure if you can use a 3/32 chain with a 1/8 cog.
You can't. It's smart to buy 3/32" components, because they're cheap and common, and run them with a 1/8" BMX chains, for the same reason. Also, 3/32" components with a 1/8" chain allows you a little more wiggle room if you have an imperfect chainline.
bonechilling is offline  
Old 03-08-08, 03:44 AM
  #20  
fanta510
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
1/8 chain, whatever ring/cog.
fanta510 is offline  
Old 03-08-08, 10:26 AM
  #21  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by shasta View Post
I use 1/8 because 1/8 single speed chains can be had at any bike shop for 10 bucks.
3/32 chains can also be had at any bike shop for $10.
operator is offline  
Old 03-08-08, 11:03 AM
  #22  
shasta
F'ing A
 
shasta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SJ
Posts: 321

Bikes: 08 tommaso augusta, 88 specialized sirrus, random cruisers and stuff

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Its sort of a pain in the ass to get a 3/32 single speed chain and I have never liked the idea that the 8 speed chains are designed to derail.
shasta is offline  
Old 03-08-08, 11:10 AM
  #23  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by shasta View Post
Its sort of a pain in the ass to get a 3/32 single speed chain and I have never liked the idea that the 8 speed chains are designed to derail.
Whoa way to be misinformed. A 3/32 single speed chain is functionally no different than ones labelled for 7, 8, 9 or 10 speed. Road chains that are designed to be shifted only differ in that they have greater strength when they are flexed sideways due to shifting loads - this makes it stronger not weaker. And it does not mean that they "derail" more because of this, which is what I think your concern is.

There's no reason to go and specifically look for a "single-speed" specific chain when 7/8 speed "road" chains do the same job but better and are widely available.
operator is offline  
Old 03-08-08, 11:10 AM
  #24  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by operator View Post
3/32 chains can also be had at any bike shop for $10.
Not in my experience. They're usually like $20+, compared to $7-$10 for a KMC BMX chain.
bonechilling is offline  
Old 03-08-08, 11:13 AM
  #25  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
Not in my experience. They're usually like $20+, compared to $7-$10 for a KMC BMX chain.
Time to frequent better, well stocked shops.
operator is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.