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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)

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Old 10-04-09, 06:49 PM   #1
Scrodzilla
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1/8" or 3/32"?

I should probably already know the answer by now but.......

What are the real advantages of one over the other? I know 3/32 is a little lighter. Is 1/8 stuff a lot stronger?
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Old 10-04-09, 08:54 PM   #2
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I like 1/8" but for no reason other than it feels stronger

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Old 10-04-09, 08:58 PM   #3
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I've never ridden a bike set up with 1/8, which is why I ask.

I know...I'm really not trying to open a can of worms or cause any arguments. I'm just curious to see some different takes on it.
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Old 10-04-09, 09:08 PM   #4
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3/32 is better in pretty much all regards. That said, I haven't noticed any reason to switch from the 1/8 my bike came with.
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Old 10-04-09, 09:14 PM   #5
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I have a 3/32" 50T chainring on my otherwise 1/8" setup and it seems to be working just fine.

I know it's only in my head but makes me feel safer since I ride brakeless but that's another thread topic. n.n
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Old 10-04-09, 10:11 PM   #6
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1/8" chain lets you mix and match 1/8" and 3/32" cogs and chainrings. 3/32" chain will only work with 3/32" cogs and chainrings.
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Old 10-04-09, 10:17 PM   #7
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3/32 is faster lighter and faster. There isn't really any reason to run 1/8 other than for tradition.
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Old 10-04-09, 10:25 PM   #8
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you need 1/8 inch for strength because cavendish is always snapping 3/32 inch chains.
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Old 10-04-09, 10:32 PM   #9
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you need 1/8 inch for strength because cavendish is always snapping 3/32 inch chains.
A guy on a mountain bike would be a much better example but w/e
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Old 10-04-09, 11:23 PM   #10
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1/8" chain lets you mix and match 1/8" and 3/32" cogs and chainrings. 3/32" chain will only work with 3/32" cogs and chainrings.
You know, that's a good point, and I never thought about it that way before.

But it does make me ask

Why have 1/8th anyway, if the only point of it is to be compatible with 3/32 and itself. It doesn't really seem to add anything.
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Old 10-04-09, 11:34 PM   #11
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You know, that's a good point, and I never thought about it that way before.

But it does make me ask

Why have 1/8th anyway, if the only point of it is to be compatible with 3/32 and itself. It doesn't really seem to add anything.
Because it came out before 3/32, a lot of parts are still made for 1/8, and because there's nothing wrong with it.
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Old 10-05-09, 12:16 AM   #12
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From what I understand, the general consensus is that the tiny bit of extra weight/noise from 1/8" parts is offset by the slight increase in strength? In reality, it probably doesn't make a whole lot of difference, but I've been building my fg/ss with 1/8" drivetrains.
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Old 10-05-09, 04:21 AM   #13
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There is no difference in strength. For instance, KMC Z510 (1/8") and Z610 (3/32") have the exact same tensile strength. 1/8" chainrings and cogs and thicker and hence more wear resistant. You can buy very high quality 1/8" chainrings that are the roundest available and will eliminate tight/loose spots, although these days you can find good 3/32" chainrings too. I haven't ever noticed a noise difference between chains that was attributable width differences. 3/32" chains are slightly more tolerant of messed up chainlines.
Sad that there's so much misunderstanding about this We've been over this a million times before.

Last edited by mihlbach; 10-05-09 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 10-05-09, 05:22 AM   #14
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Sad that there's so much misunderstanding about this We've been over this a million times before.

Apologies for having missed it. Searching resulted in days and days of threads that had nothing at all to do with my question and like I said, I really wasn't trying to stir sh*t up by asking an old question.

mihlbach - your response was the one I was looking for. Thanks.

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Old 10-05-09, 05:42 AM   #15
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A guy on a mountain bike would be a much better example but w/e
it would not be much better.
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Old 10-05-09, 06:07 AM   #16
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I remember reading someplace that 3/32 is the way to go because that is what is used on the vast majority of performance oriented bicycles so 3/32 gets all the engineering coin and therefore any advances are seen first on 3/32. That said, I'm running 1/8 on my current and next steed. I don't know if anyone makes a 1/8 with a master link. That would be nice.
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Old 10-05-09, 07:05 AM   #17
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Which is better for street riding.... both, either, whatever one you already have on your bike.
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Old 10-05-09, 07:12 AM   #18
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it would not be much better.
It would actually. The small chainring on a mountain bike lets a cyclist put far more power to the chain than a sprinter in the big ring. Basic physics dude
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Old 10-05-09, 07:22 AM   #19
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Yeah but think about the average 'mountain bike' type dude.

OFG - a lot of 1/8" bmx chains have a master link. Check Dan's Comp or acebmx.com
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Old 10-05-09, 08:00 AM   #20
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Yeah but think about the average 'mountain bike' type dude.

OFG - a lot of 1/8" bmx chains have a master link. Check Dan's Comp or acebmx.com
Think about your average "roadie" type dude, I can't say I honestly believe top level mountain bike riders are less athletic than top level roadies, I'm not sure where you get that impression.

And my KMC chain was a masterlink as well. I assumed just about all chains did
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Old 10-05-09, 08:16 AM   #21
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Haha...I am in no way talking about anything that has to do with athletic ability. Where I live, the average mountain bike rider is your typical burned out, middle aged halfway house dweller.

Quit being so damn serious!
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Old 10-05-09, 08:45 AM   #22
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Hah, true, but really if you think about most people on bikes the majority are pretty half assed cyclists. There are more roadies who are white collar pansies than there are roadies who ride 500km per week and train year round.
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Old 10-05-09, 08:47 AM   #23
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3/32 weighs considerably less when one takes into account the entire drive train, from chain ring to chain to cog.

Some 1/8 components made for BMX and the highest levels of track racing actually do have more strength, or ability to withstand abuse (big weight penalty), but, in general, no strength difference between 3/32 and 1/8 exists.

Some 1/8 chains have greater lateral stiffness, which makes them slightly less likely to come off the chain ring or cog, but the bushings rather than the dimensions create this stiffness (and bushings add weight).

1/8 offers a greater variety of high-quality (round, strong and light...and expensive) chain rings than does 3/32, but not a greater enough variety to justify 1/8 on that basis alone.

That said, on my most recent build, I went with 1/8 because I could not match all the qualities (aesthetics, roundness, and tooth count) I wanted in 3/32, but this had nothing to do with the inherent differences or lack of differences between 3/32 and 1/8.
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Old 10-05-09, 09:06 AM   #24
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I like 1/8 because it looks beastly and could kick the **** out of something. 3/32 looks like a wimpering little ***** in the corner.
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Old 10-05-09, 09:13 AM   #25
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whoops

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