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Chains

Old 08-17-18, 11:35 PM
  #126  
taras0000
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Originally Posted by rustymongrel View Post
Just FYI chains don't stretch over time. Chains are subject to stretch when load is applied but it's not something that changes over time. What people commonly refer to as "chain stretch" is caused by wear on the rollers both outside where they contact the cog/chainrings and on the inside where they contact the bushing (or in the case of a bushingless chain, the inner plates).

At this point I feel 1/8" chains, like thread on cogs, are simply a tradition thing. Given improvements in steel quality and manufacturing a 3/32" or even narrower chain can likely be stronger than a 1/8" chain could be 30+ years ago. Mountain bikes use 11 and 12 speed drive trains these days and see all kinds of extreme torque.

A modern 1/8th chain is still going to be stronger than a modern 3/32nds chain. And thread on cogs are used because overall it allows for a system of attaching cogs that doesn't have as many drawbacks as other systems. You can get a 12 tooth thread on cog, but you can't get 12 teeth with a spline carrier or bolt on cog.

And yes, chains do stretch more with time. The more wear on the chain, the more it stretches. Buy yourself a new chain and a good chain checker, and measure the wear at regular intervals. You can watch a chain "grow" if you do this. And a large load is not needed to check for stretch. One only needs to load the chain with enough tension to get all the worn surfaces to seat against each other. This can be achieved with just the weight of the chain as it hangs. The amount of chain stretch directly correlates with the amount of wear on the rollers and pins. Use the ProGold/ProLink gauge. Unlike most gauges which have two scales calibrated for .75% and 1.0% chain wear, this one is graded from from 0.5% to 1.0% on the same scale. You can watch the gauge dip deeper into the chain as it gets more worn, unlike the other kinds which act more like a "go/no-go" gauge.



Last edited by taras0000; 08-17-18 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 08-18-18, 05:34 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by rustymongrel View Post
……………………………………...
At this point I feel 1/8" chains, like thread on cogs, are simply a tradition thing. Given improvements in steel quality and manufacturing a 3/32" or even narrower chain can likely be stronger than a 1/8" chain could be 30+ years ago. Mountain bikes use 11 and 12 speed drive trains these days and see all kinds of extreme torque.
Another factor to consider regarding chain width is the bearing stress imposed on drive train components. For a given chain load the bearing stress on a 3/32" cog tooth is around 30% higher than on a 1/8" cog. Thus a 3/32" chain will reduce the life of a cog. I also believe there will be more wear on the chain and also increased friction in the drive train.
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Old 08-18-18, 09:44 PM
  #128  
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Small chain line deviations would lead to 3/32 chainrings lateral bend in some high torque - stand startings - situations... so, for enduros, maybe it's the same - not for sprinters.
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Old 03-06-19, 11:11 AM
  #129  
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Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead.
Its seems lots of you are enjoying teh KMC 710 / SL. I have been using this chain and think its great - it just has one problem. Its too short!

At only 100 links the chain is just too short for big/big chainring cog combinations. Whats the next favourite chain thats a reasonable cost?

I can get Izumi Standard chains for £12 in the bare steel "black" colour. They are slightly more for silver finish. ( i think this is the same as the Izumi Eco? Im really not sure, Izumi naming of products is very inconsistent and i dont see the Eco name used anywhere in the UK).
The KMC X101 looks like a decent contender for the 710 crown, but that would set me back £30+.

Any opinions gratefully recieved
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Old 03-06-19, 01:07 PM
  #130  
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Even though this is an old thread, chains don't change that much. I'm sure that the chains mentioned here are all still just as valid as they were before.

There is talk of some riders using Dura Ace 3/32" road chains for weight reasons. So, that may be new. But, I don't know much about that. It was mentioned in another thread.
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Old 03-06-19, 04:19 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Kaben View Post
Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead.
Its seems lots of you are enjoying teh KMC 710 / SL. I have been using this chain and think its great - it just has one problem. Its too short!

At only 100 links the chain is just too short for big/big chainring cog combinations. Whats the next favourite chain thats a reasonable cost?

I can get Izumi Standard chains for £12 in the bare steel "black" colour. They are slightly more for silver finish. ( i think this is the same as the Izumi Eco? Im really not sure, Izumi naming of products is very inconsistent and i dont see the Eco name used anywhere in the UK).
The KMC X101 looks like a decent contender for the 710 crown, but that would set me back £30+.

Any opinions gratefully recieved
Why not just get 2 of the KMC chains and an extra master link?
PI
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Old 03-07-19, 05:51 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Even though this is an old thread, chains don't change that much. I'm sure that the chains mentioned here are all still just as valid as they were before.

There is talk of some riders using Dura Ace 3/32" road chains for weight reasons. So, that may be new. But, I don't know much about that. It was mentioned in another thread.
That’s fair enough regarding the tech not changing a lot.

On my other point though - is the “standard” Izumi chain the same as the eco which is mentioned in the beginning of this thread?
I can’t see the eco chain referenced anywhere or on the Izumi site. Is it possibly named differently in the states? ( or had its name changed?)

I have one of these standard chains which came in a green packet ( see pic). Is this the same as the "eco" which you refer to as a reference chain in your original post Carleton?
The reason i ask is that the standard chain on the izumi site is described as : "The ordinary chains which conform to international standards and are widely used in baby carriages,
sports cycles, minibicycles,etc." and i want to make sure im not going out sprinting with something not up to the task. Whilst im unlikely to ever break a chain the peace of mind is definitely beneficial to performance. ( i would rather not use the super toughness chains as they are very expensive and id have to buy two, one for big chainring combos and one for smaller - the dropouts on my Dolan DF4 are too short to be able to use a long chain for all combos).

Thanks for your help.



Last edited by Kaben; 03-07-19 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 03-07-19, 01:24 PM
  #133  
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I simply don't know.

I do know that you won't break the one you posted above...unless you can generate over 1,000 lbs of force If you could do that, your chainring would taco or you'd snap off a pedal axle long before the chain would break.

The differences mainly come down to the construction style and fit and finish. Maybe find notes on the construction and compare them to what you can find on the ECO.
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Old 03-07-19, 08:49 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by Kaben View Post


That’s fair enough regarding the tech not changing a lot.

On my other point though - is the “standard” Izumi chain the same as the eco which is mentioned in the beginning of this thread?
I can’t see the eco chain referenced anywhere or on the Izumi site. Is it possibly named differently in the states? ( or had its name changed?)

I have one of these standard chains which came in a green packet ( see pic). Is this the same as the "eco" which you refer to as a reference chain in your original post Carleton?
The reason i ask is that the standard chain on the izumi site is described as : "The ordinary chains which conform to international standards and are widely used in baby carriages,
sports cycles, minibicycles,etc." and i want to make sure im not going out sprinting with something not up to the task. Whilst im unlikely to ever break a chain the peace of mind is definitely beneficial to performance. ( i would rather not use the super toughness chains as they are very expensive and id have to buy two, one for big chainring combos and one for smaller - the dropouts on my Dolan DF4 are too short to be able to use a long chain for all combos).

Thanks for your help.


Well, I asked Izumi and they told me that the eco, jet black, and standard chain are all the same except for color and surface coating. In terms of strength, durability, and longevity they should all be equal given reasonable care.
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Old 03-07-19, 10:37 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
We chatter a lot about frames, wheels, etc... but not so much about Chains.

Chains are the bass player in our band: Not out in front or flashy, but a founding component and definitely should not be overlooked.

In the track world, there are 2 chain size standards:
- 1/8 inch wide (AKA: 1/8"; "Wide"). This is the Track bike standard.
- 3/32 inch wide (AKA: 3/32" or "Narrow"). This is the Road bike standard.
- 1/8 = 4/32 = 0.125
- 3/32 = 0.09375

Using the same materials, 1/8" chainrings are stiffer and heavier than 3/32".

This measurement is the width of the gap between the plates of the chain where the chain fits over the teeth of the chainrings and cogs. As you may have guessed, chainrings and cogs come in 1/8" and 3/32" sizes. Ideally, you want your entire chainring, cog, chain system to be of the same width (1/8 or 3/32).

"Can I mix and match??" Yes. But in a mixed system, the chain MUST be 1/8" to fit over 1/8" or 3/32" chainrings and cogs.

Think of it this way: A man's LARGE shirt will fit on his size SMALL wife, but her size SMALL shirt will not fit on him.

When buying equipment, because 3/32 is less popular on the track scene, it may be on sale or may come on some budget bikes.

TL;DR: My suggestion is to make (and keep) everything 1/8".

Also, being on the "track standard" makes loaning and borrowing chainrings/cogs easier.

I read a bike-check article years ago where Sarah Hammer's 1st generation TK1 was outfitted with Dura Ace 3/32". I'm sure she had a great reason, but the article didn't mention it. Maybe to save weight?

Qualities you want from a chain:
- Resistance to fatigue. You don't want it to stretch. A stretched chain grinds down your more expensive chainrings and cogs faster than a non-stretched chain would.
- Strength. You don't want it to break. This sort of goes without saying, but it needs to be on the list.

Qualities you don't want from a chain:
- Lateral movement. Milti-speed chains for road bikes are designed to move laterally to climb and descend cogs and chainrings in order to shift gears. There is none of that on a track bike. So, while a road chain will work on a track bike (assuming you have an all 3/32" setup) it is not advised. Multi-speed chains are generally weaker than a comparable single-speed chain for this reason. Also the same rider will apply much more force through his/her chain on a track bike than on his/her road bike via standing starts. On the road, one gears-down for rapid acceleration. On the track, you lay the hammer down.
- If you have a flexy frame and a flexy chain, a standing start may flex the frame so much that the chain will drop off the chainring. I had this happen when climbing a hill on a street fixed-gear.

What chain should you get?

I'm not familiar with every chain out there. I'd love for you guys to comment on chains that you have experience with.

I group chains into 3 buckets:

- Less than $15
- $15 - $40
- Over $40

Every chain that I've used or encountered in the less than $15 range was prone to stretching and not strong enough for standing start work. These usually come stock on off-the-rack bikes. I always suggest that people replace these soon.

$15-30 seems to be the sweet spot of value/price. These are the KMC-K710, Izumi ECO, DID NJS, etc... chains. I've poured 350NM of force and over 2100W (I can feel my Dura Ace pedal spindles flexing) into these chains and they didn't stretch. BTW, chain-checkers are inexpensive and easy to use.
Park Tool Co. » CC-3.2 : Chain Wear Indicator : Chain
Park Tool Co. » CC-2 : Chain Checker : Chain

Over $40 are past the point of diminishing returns. I've used the Izumi V Supertoughness ($80+) and interchanged it with the Izumi ECO ($30) and didn't notice a difference in feel. And actually the ECO was more quiet. They weighed about the same. But, the V has the cool screw-pin master link whereas the ECO (as with most other chains) has the c-clip master link. The V is more of a bling thing for me, I have to admit.

Some random thoughts:
- The chain is an integral part of your drivetrain (and brakes). It connect the chainring to the cog. Its importance cannot be overstated.
- You should care for your chain as it moves as much as your wheels do. This means learning to remove, clean, lubricate, and reinstall it.
- The master link is your friend. Learn how to use it.
- Most (if not all) modern chains are NOT designed to have pins removed and re-added. USE THE MASTER LINK. Old-school chains were designed for this. Every chain failure that I know of personally was with a chain that had a pin removed and reinstalled. If you cut your chain too short, don't re-add the links.
- There are several tutorials online about chain cleaning and oiling.
- My favorite oil is Dumonde Tech Lite. Easy to find, smells good, very light and not sticky. Track is not like road, CX, or MTB. Less grit and grime out there.
- I have several chains. I keep them in ziplock bags in my tool box to keep the oxygen out.


PLEASE post your thoughts and comments about things that I have missed. Also post about chains that you like and don't like and why.
This post is 5 years old but a great starter for anyone planning to complete fix gear. I don't. Never will, But I love riding fix gears, have done it for over 40 years and been up and down many hills (and more than a couple larger than hills). Observations, many of which should apply here - chains that are silky smooth and have sexy rounded side plates are more likely to get thrown. I know this because I ride 2 bikes with 110 BCD (at my age, I need mountain gearing to ride mountains- 25 was a LONG time ago). Few 110 BDD crank setups are anywhere near as round as say a Sugino 75. So I may well be spinning a 42-17 at 35+. My crazy years I used to go down Oakland's Juaquin Millar far faster. And now sometimes I gut out short descents in my 42-23 climbing gear. So high RPM and less than smooth pedaling happen. I really want a drive train that doesn't derail.

I am a huge fan of 1/8" EurAsian cogs and Izumi ECO chains for the same reason. Everything is cut square. No rounding anywhere. Yes, noisy, but I hear that noise as security. I bought one (cheap) KMC. Quiet and scary. Also a Surly cog. Again smooth and scary. I only run it now on my Sugino 75 bike because flipping a wheel and dialing in the chain slack takes way to much time with a lesser crankset..

Ben
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Old 03-07-19, 11:13 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by Kaben View Post


That’s fair enough regarding the tech not changing a lot.

On my other point though - is the “standard” Izumi chain the same as the eco which is mentioned in the beginning of this thread?
I can’t see the eco chain referenced anywhere or on the Izumi site. Is it possibly named differently in the states? ( or had its name changed?)

I have one of these standard chains which came in a green packet ( see pic). Is this the same as the "eco" which you refer to as a reference chain in your original post Carleton?
The reason i ask is that the standard chain on the izumi site is described as : "The ordinary chains which conform to international standards and are widely used in baby carriages,
sports cycles, minibicycles,etc." and i want to make sure im not going out sprinting with something not up to the task. Whilst im unlikely to ever break a chain the peace of mind is definitely beneficial to performance. ( i would rather not use the super toughness chains as they are very expensive and id have to buy two, one for big chainring combos and one for smaller - the dropouts on my Dolan DF4 are too short to be able to use a long chain for all combos).

Thanks for your help.


I ran into this same question when I first heard the ECO name. The easy rule of thumb - if it cost ~$20 its an ECO, with or without the name. Seems a lot of Japanese toys have very high quality chains! "ECO" is new. Izumi was founded to make chains 103 years ago. They figured this out a long time ago. I suspect the same chains sold in Japan don't say "ECO". Japan being a more stable market (because of all the non-bike stuff), I suspect when rushes on the chains happen in the States, they supplement their shipments with domestic non-ECO chains.

In other words. don't worry. If you get change from a $10 and a $20, its what you want. (Another way to look at it - Izumi is never going on a marketing campaign like Trek or Specialized. They just make chains and let them sell themselves. I"ll bet they guys on the floor making the chains simply think "ECO"? Why?

Ben
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Old 03-08-19, 01:19 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by tobukog View Post
Well, I asked Izumi and they told me that the eco, jet black, and standard chain are all the same except for color and surface coating. In terms of strength, durability, and longevity they should all be equal given reasonable care.
Thank you!

I sent them an email last week but had recieved no reply. Thanks for your help to clear this up.
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Old 03-11-19, 02:29 AM
  #138  
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Sorry 79pMooney, completely missed your posts for some reason. That’s really helpful info thanks a lot!
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