Chains: Singlespeed vs 9-speed?



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I'm running a Rohloff in the rear, but using the 9-speed chains that I had left over from when I was
using a cluster.

When it's time to get a new chain, is there any benefit to staying with 9-speed chains? They're
definately more expensive and I'm guessing they make some sort of compromise for the
narrowness...albeit they've got to be a little lighter.

One thing that draws me to the singlespeed chains is their chain-tool friendliness.
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Pete Cresswell
 
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Ryan Cousineau

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In article <[email protected]>, "(Pete Cresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:

> I'm running a Rohloff in the rear, but using the 9-speed chains that I had left over from when I
> was using a cluster.
>
> When it's time to get a new chain, is there any benefit to staying with 9-speed chains? They're
> definately more expensive and I'm guessing they make some sort of compromise for the
> narrowness...albeit they've got to be a little lighter.
>
> One thing that draws me to the singlespeed chains is their chain-tool friendliness.

The advantage of 9-speed chains is that they are designed to be easily shifted from gear to gear,
which is another way of saying that they are derail-prone. Use a singlespeed (aka "BMX") chain.

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
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J. Kendziera

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Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> In article <[email protected]>, "(Pete Cresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > I'm running a Rohloff in the rear, but using the 9-speed chains that I had left over from when I
> > was using a cluster.
> >
> > When it's time to get a new chain, is there any benefit to staying with 9-speed chains? They're
> > definately more expensive and I'm guessing they make some sort of compromise for the
> > narrowness...albeit they've got to be a little lighter.
> >
> > One thing that draws me to the singlespeed chains is their chain-tool friendliness.
>
> The advantage of 9-speed chains is that they are designed to be easily shifted from gear to gear,
> which is another way of saying that they are derail-prone. Use a singlespeed (aka "BMX") chain.

Anouther reason to use a 1/8" chain is that they are still available with bushings also known as
roller chains. Modern (derailleur) chains have switched to a bushingless construction (whats a
bushing? See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html) to make the chain shift properly (and save
weight I suppose). Without the bushings they shift great, but dont last near as long. A classic
chain can last 3 times (or more with good care) longer than modern bushingless chains. Reason being
that the bushings provide a larger bearing surface, are better sealed from contaminants, and hold
lubrication better. Search old messages or look in the faq. Jobst Brandt has alot of good things to
say on this topic.

One argument given for modern (bushingless) chains is that they are typicaly stronger (higher
tensile strength and thus resist breakage). Maybe true if you compare a modern SRAM/Shim/etc
derauller chain to a cheap 1/8" KMC BMX chain. However...I think the real deal for single speed
mtn/road/fixie commuter/whatever bikes are real track chains. These are strong (I suspect nearly as
strong as modern derauller chains, but I have not seen any numbers) and best of all are constructed
with bushings. Track racers are pretty particular and wouldnt use a chain prone to breaking.

For nice (but expensive $30-70) look for pro track chains from HKK or Izumi, or I believe Wipperman
makes a nice chain called the White Star (Weibstern) for something closer to $15.

Cheaper 1/8" chains like ones offered by KMC, or SRAM don't have bushings and I find that they just
don't last.

Anyway, thats what I think...

Jon (bushings make me wet) K.
 
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