chain questions

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ric Peregrino, Feb 18, 2003.

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  1. Hi,

    I have some questions about bike chains. Please excuse my ignorance.

    As I see it, chains have a fixed set of defining dimensions:

    roller outside diameter roller spacing roller thickness inside link height width and length outside
    link height width and length

    Did I leave any measures out? If so, what? How do contemporary bike chains differ wrt to
    these measures?

    Lets say I want to change the rear cluster from a 5-speed this make and model to a 7-speed that make
    and model. Do the chain dimensions requirements change? Which ones?

    As I see it, I'm guessing the roller diameter thickness and spacing don't change, but the link
    dimensions change. Is there a spec on max inside clearance slop? Or what?

    Thanks for any help, Ric
     
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  2. Ric Peregrino wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have some questions about bike chains. Please excuse my ignorance.
    >
    > As I see it, chains have a fixed set of defining dimensions:
    >
    > roller outside diameter

    .306"

    > roller spacing

    1/2" This dimension is called the "pitch" of the chain.

    > roller thickness

    to clear sprocket width. Standard multispeed sprockets are 3/32" (about 2 mm.) Single-speed bikes
    often use a wider size, 1/8" (about 3 mm.)

    > inside link height width and length outside link height width and length
    >
    > Did I leave any measures out? If so, what? How do contemporary bike chains differ wrt to these
    > measures?
    >
    > Lets say I want to change the rear cluster from a 5-speed this make and model to a 7-speed that
    > make and model. Do the chain dimensions requirements change? Which ones?

    The main dimension that interacts with this is the overall width, which generally coincides with the
    length of the pins. As you increase the number of sprockets they get closer together, so you need
    narrower chains to avoid interference between adjacent sprockets. The interior dimension of the
    chain doesn't much vary, though. The narrow chains will work with systems designed for wider chains,
    though they may not shift as well.

    > As I see it, I'm guessing the roller diameter thickness and spacing don't change, but the link
    > dimensions change. Is there a spec on max inside clearance slop? Or what?

    No, there isn't. The rollers are the parts that matter for driving. Different side plate designs may
    facilitate derailer shifting, these are determined by the manufacturer based on proprietary designs.

    If you're serious about this you should look for a very fat, very wonderful book called "Machinery's
    Handbook" (Industrial Press, Inc.) It has a lot of information about industrial chain drives, though
    nothing related to derailer shifting, because that is used nowhere else than bicycles.

    Sheldon "<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0831126256/qid=1045630997/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_2-
    /102-3530900-6722560?v=glance&s=books&n=507846>" Brown
    +--------------------------------------------+
    | When my computer isn't busy, it looks for |
    | intelligence elsewhere in the galaxy. |
    | Yours could too! See: |
    | http://www.setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu |
    +--------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
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