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  1. #1
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    What chain do I have ?

    Hi. I own a MTB which has been converted to a SS a year or so ago. Unfortunately though, it has vertical drop outs and I am running the old derailer for chain tension. It also has a spacer kit and a 15 tooth cog on a shimano rear hub, and a Shimano 42 tooth Alivio crank set up front, with rings taken out for the SS conversion. It works fine. But reading up on 'magical gear' fixies has me intrigued. So im contemplating doing the same thing. I need a few tips though to hopefully make this work.

    I have no idea what chain I have as it was my LBS that done the conversion. I rang them for some advice but all they could come back with is 'we don't do those conversions, we recommend a chain tensioner'. They also couldnt give me any advice on what type of chain I have.

    I did tell them the stamped number on my chain, but they still couldn't help me. So im hoping someone here can tell me or at least point me towards a website that can.

    I have KMC 7H-2 stamped on the chain. Once I figure out exactly what chain I have I want to see if there is a half link available for it. If not, can anyone recommend a chain to buy and use with half link options ? Im liking the reviews on SRAM chains with their master link option and have thought about going with their chains, but im open to any suggestions.

    Also any other advice on setting this up would be helpful, as im new to this and still learning.

    Cheers

    Steve

  2. #2
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    When you had the conversion done did they sell you a chain? You may remember getting a bag of parts when you picked up your bike. I'm asking because it's likely that they used your original chain unless it was worn out. The 7h doesn't sound familiar. It might be an OEM version of one of their geared chains.

    If you are going to get a new chain, and your drivetrain is all 3/32" I would go with a KMC K610hx. It's not light, but it's bomber. I have the K510hx (1/8" version) on my cargo bike, and it has already outlasted the SRAM chain that was on it before. At the rate it's going I expect it to at least double the mileage of my SRAM PC830. I changed my freewheel to an old BMX 1/8", so I had to go with the wider version of the HX.

    For half link I would go with a couple of master links, and a Gusset Slink. You can get it in either 1/8", or 3/32". The KMC half links are cheap, and easy to get, but don't hold up.

    So to sum up. KMC K610HX, two 3/32" master links, and a Gusset Slink 3/32". Since your looking for a magic gear you won't have problems with the master links passing through the derailleur.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your advice jtrops. Ok. so how do I know if my chain is 3/32" ? What do I need to measure do confirm this ?

    You also mention master links. Are these the same as missing links ? If so which one do I get ? KMC has a few options. From my research the KMC K610HX is an 8 spped chain, which means I would require a KMC missing link for 8 speed chains 7.1mm.

    Are my calculations correct ?

  4. #4
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    I haven't ever used the KMC Missing links, but I've heard questionable reviews of them. I'm talking about a BMX style master link that has a plate with two pins on it, and another with two holes. Then there's a clip that goes on the outside and holds it all together. It's funny that they have the clip, and the plate in the wrong order in the photo.

    3/32" was the old standard "derailleur chain" before 9spd systems. 9's a little narrower, and 10's narrower still. So, 6, 7, 8 speed chain should fit a 3/32' chainwheel/cog. If the chain is the original, and your system was under 9 speed it's a fair bet that it's 3/32". If they changed the chain when they did the conversion they may have put a 1/8" cog in the back which would need a chain to fit. You can run the wider chain on the narrower system, but it's not ideal.

    I have the 510hx which comes with a master link. I don't know if hte 610hx comes with a missing link, or a master link. I will be going with the 610 when my current SS chain dies, so I should have first hand knowledge before long.

  5. #5
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    Ok cool. So where do you source those links ? Im unable to locate one in my searches so far. According to that websire they only ship within the U.S. Im in OZ.

    Yep chain was changed. They changed the entire rear wheel (from single wall to double wall,hub, has a spacer kit and a cog), chain, bottom bracket and front crank. They also ditched the front derailer and shifters. Looking back though, I should have kept the old parts. Im keeping all parts I remove from bikes now right down to every little nut and bolt. You never know when they can come in handy in the future, as Ive found out so far tinkering with bikes.

    Steve

  6. #6
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    I would go into your local bike shop. Master links are very common, and aren't expensive. It's a part that most bike shops will have in their small parts bins. Some shops won't have the 3/32" ones in stock, but they can get them. The larger size is more common because every kids coaster brake bike has one. Some shops aren't aware that the narrow size is available, but as you have seen, it is.

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