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What's the best way to get a 118-link 9-speed chain?

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What's the best way to get a 118-link 9-speed chain?

Old 09-03-22, 07:20 PM
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What's the best way to get a 118-link 9-speed chain?

I'm piecing together a 9-speed bicycle that has relatively long chainstays. The correct number of chainlinks is 118 but the longest chain that I can find (without going to a $40, 140-link chain for cargo bicycles) is 116 links. I'd most like to use a KMC chain because of the quick-link but, I'm open to other brands if doing so is considerably more feasible.

Side question: Is it just me or, are 9-speed chains more difficult to splice together than 10-speed ones? Every time I alter the length of a 9-speed chain, the connection ends up stiff, whereas my 10-speed chain work has consistently been immediately successful.
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Old 09-03-22, 09:01 PM
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If it was me and I had a good 116-link chain I'd put it on the bicycle and see if it works on a 'worst case' scenario (front chainring/rear sprocket combo). If the 116 doesn't work I'd just buy the 140-link chain and shorten it. But if you haven't bought a chain yet, just buy the 140 and you'll be sure to have enough length/links.
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Old 09-03-22, 09:35 PM
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Sorry, thought I had a source for one with 122 links that I had seen but the ads text was misleading.

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Old 09-03-22, 09:39 PM
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If you have a local bike shop, swing by and ask if they have a couple extra links laying around, most will, and if you take them some brownies, then they'll probably put it together for you.
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Old 09-04-22, 12:01 AM
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'Worst-case scenario' is how I decided on 118-links.

I actually just found a $15 9-spd chain with exactly 118-links (and one is a quick-connector). The S-Ride M300. Glad I don't have to make brownies for it. I wonder if the connector link is the infamous single-use type.
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Old 09-04-22, 01:05 AM
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Well done.
They say "single use", I say "multi use" if a little care is taken upon removal / installation
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Old 09-04-22, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
I'm piecing together a 9-speed bicycle that has relatively long chainstays. The correct number of chainlinks is 118 but the longest chain that I can find (without going to a $40, 140-link chain for cargo bicycles) is 116 links. I'd most like to use a KMC chain because of the quick-link but, I'm open to other brands if doing so is considerably more feasible.

Side question: Is it just me or, are 9-speed chains more difficult to splice together than 10-speed ones? Every time I alter the length of a 9-speed chain, the connection ends up stiff, whereas my 10-speed chain work has consistently been immediately successful.
​​​​​​
did you use the time honoured and reliable method of not running chain through jockey wheels, putting it on big/big and adding two links?
If unfamiliar with this, look up the excellent parks tools vid on determining chain length.

You didn't mention how you came to the chain length conclusion, why I'm asking.
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Old 09-04-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
​​​​​​
did you use the time honoured and reliable method of not running chain through jockey wheels, putting it on big/big and adding two links?
If unfamiliar with this, look up the excellent parks tools vid on determining chain length.

You didn't mention how you came to the chain length conclusion, why I'm asking.
Thanks for that, I forgot what it was. Since the big chainring/big cassette ring method is more theoretical than something you'd actually use, I figure out what gear combo I would realisticaly use is the most extreme use of gear teeth and go with that, maybe throw in a few extra links for a long-cage RD.
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Old 09-04-22, 08:03 AM
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What is your largest chain Ring and rear cog ? How long are chain stays?

Watch the video thoroughly and try the easy no Rd method with your existing old chain to see how it works out, just in case a regular chain will be ok.
I'd have to look at the KMC 9 spd chains I have in box to see how many links they have, but usually have to take off at least 2 links. Even with a 50- 32 combo I've never had a problem with a regular chain.
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Old 09-04-22, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
​​​​​​
did you use the time honoured and reliable method of not running chain through jockey wheels, putting it on big/big and adding two links?
If unfamiliar with this, look up the excellent parks tools vid on determining chain length.

You didn't mention how you came to the chain length conclusion, why I'm asking.
Yes, exactly that method. The correct chain length is 118 links for this setup.

I have a chain of that length on right now, spliced from two different 9spd chains. I can't keep my spliced link from being too stiff. The chain will only shift on every-other click of the index and thus gives me access to only five of the nine cogs. There might be some other things going on that are causing the shift problem. Starting fresh with a factory chain will hopefully narrow down the number of variables. I'm glad to have found one.
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Old 09-04-22, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Yes, exactly that method. The correct chain length is 118 links for this setup.

I have a chain of that length on right now, spliced from two different 9spd chains. I can't keep my spliced link from being too stiff. The chain will only shift on every-other click of the index and thus gives me access to only five of the nine cogs. There might be some other things going on that are causing the shift problem. Starting fresh with a factory chain will hopefully narrow down the number of variables. I'm glad to have found one.
Good luck, if it's only shifting every other click, something is amiss.
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Old 09-05-22, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
What's the best way to get a 118-link 9-speed chain?
buy one!

KMC Z99 9-speed 118 Links + Sram Quick-Link MTB Road Chain for Shimano SRAM

$17.25 with free shipping from taiwanland.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/194992192768
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Old 09-07-22, 06:54 PM
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Or just buy an extra chain and take two links from it to add to a 116 link chain. Then when you change the chain, you can just take a couple more links.
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Old 09-08-22, 12:46 PM
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I think I remember seeing a spool with perhaps 50' of chain on it. The idea was kind of like chain in a hardware store -- pull off what you need and shorten the (bicycle) chain. Sorry, , but that's been a while and I don't remember who carried it.

OTOH, you'd have to ride the bike for a long time to make the spool pay off. If you've found one that's long enough, buy 4-5 chains now before they take them off the market!
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Old 09-26-22, 01:06 AM
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I received the S-Ride chain. It seems pretty good. Now, how do I get the shifting problem solved without resorting to the LBS? I'm using bar-end shifters and would like to use them in Index mode.
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Old 09-26-22, 04:27 AM
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Before you found one (your post below), I was going to say that with an extra quick link and one worn link from your old chain you have the extra two that you need.

I bought a single speed chain for my three speed that was a hair too short, I had to use a link and the old master link from the old chain to make it fit, as that bike had long chainstays. But a new quick link would be better than the old one if you had a spare lying around.

Also as noted by someone above, bike shop might have a few spare links that were cut from other chains, but it is my experience that those go in the recycle bin pretty fast. When a mechanic might be working on 8. 9. 10, 11, and 12 speed bikes in a day, and maybe a single speed, they likely do not want to have too many spare cut off links.

Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
'Worst-case scenario' is how I decided on 118-links.

I actually just found a $15 9-spd chain with exactly 118-links (and one is a quick-connector). The S-Ride M300. Glad I don't have to make brownies for it. I wonder if the connector link is the infamous single-use type.
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Old 09-26-22, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I think I remember seeing a spool with perhaps 50' of chain on it. The idea was kind of like chain in a hardware store -- pull off what you need and shorten the (bicycle) chain. Sorry, , but that's been a while and I don't remember who carried it.

OTOH, you'd have to ride the bike for a long time to make the spool pay off. If you've found one that's long enough, buy 4-5 chains now before they take them off the market!
You can find places that sell chain by the foot. Also there is chain on big (50 meter?) spools. Selection may be pretty limited. Google searches for "bicycle chain by the roll" and "bulk bicycle chain" yeild some results. The latter often are multi-packs of 114 link chains though.

Of course when you buy a lot of anything you risk the fact that the technology might change. I figure buying a 10 year supply of something guarantees they will make a much better version of it or otherwise make it obsolete. Also for some of us are getting to the age to start wondering how many chains we will still be able to wear out.
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Old 09-26-22, 08:19 AM
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I built up my first year of production LHT in 2004, at that time a lot of chains were sold for smaller cassettes and bikes with short chainstays. And the chains I bought for that bike were a few links too short.

But the world has gone to bigger cassettes. And longer chainstays are more frequent than they used to be, so I think the chain companies started making chains a few links longer than a decade or two ago.

Over a decade ago Nashbar had some eight speed tandem chains on a clearance sale. I bought several. Not as convenient as a long spool of chain, but I got a lot of chains out of it by combining the cut off parts together. But I had to buy the quick links separately.
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