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  1. #1
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    Why 8-9 spd chain for SS chainring????

    In the process of converting my hardtail into SS. Very excited, yet confused. I am buying a Blackspire Mono Veloce chainring (as soon as I decide on 32 or 34t) and I noted that it says to use a 8-9 speed chain. Why? Wouldn't a 1-speed chain be better? I was looking to pick up a chain too, but am confused why it says to use an 8-9 speed chain?
    mountainbikefaq.com - See my 2x10 to 1x10 conversion (lots of pics!)

  2. #2
    meatier showers
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    Why not?

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Why not?

    --Sparty
    Why not is often the best answer!

    I like 8 speed chains, lighter, pretty cheap and have proven to be very durable.

  4. #4
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElbowScabs
    In the process of converting my hardtail into SS. Very excited, yet confused. I am buying a Blackspire Mono Veloce chainring (as soon as I decide on 32 or 34t) and I noted that it says to use a 8-9 speed chain. Why? Wouldn't a 1-speed chain be better? I was looking to pick up a chain too, but am confused why it says to use an 8-9 speed chain?
    What mtbyker said.

    I read somewhere (Surly blog? I forget) that with the popularity of multi-speed bikes (7, 8 ,9 -speed), chain manufacturers have poured their R&D efforts into making better multispeed (3/32") chains. The singlespeed chains, however, have been left on the wayside, and their quality and tech innovation (if there is such a thing) have fallen behind that of multispeed chains. That said, with the popularity of SS growing, some manufacturers (e.g., KMC) are starting to churn out better quality SS chains. Note that SS chains can come in either the BMX-type 1/8" chains, or the newer, narrow-type 3/32" chains.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  5. #5
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    Because 3/32 chains, for the most part, are just plain better all around. Unless you really want to run 1/8 stuff front and rear, I dont see any reason to use an 1/8 chain. You could get a really nice Izumi chain ($40-60) that *might* be stronger then say a SRAM PC 870 ($20), but its not like the 3/32 chain is dangerously weak.

  6. #6
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    Nothin but 3/32" here.

    1/8" chains are almost always an extreme of either chincy, heavy or expensive.

    And that's not to mention good old availability.
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  7. #7
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    K710SL-TI SuperLite Kool Chain 1 / 8". Get it and ask no other questions. I am a big guy with bigger legs. 3/32" is too weak when i mash it. I have been stretching 8 speed chains over an 1/8" every 100 miles or so.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughocker
    K710SL-TI SuperLite Kool Chain 1 / 8". Get it and ask no other questions. I am a big guy with bigger legs. 3/32" is too weak when i mash it. I have been stretching 8 speed chains over an 1/8" every 100 miles or so.
    You must be an animal! I've got who knows how many hundreds of miles on my 3/32" PC870; it's still only stretched 1/16th of an inch. In answer to OP, 3/32" chains mate better with a lot of SS components; Surly goes outta their way to recommend them for their chainrings and cogs, because that size mates with the teeth better than most 1/8" chains.I'm guessing Blackspire is also recommending them for the same reason.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughocker
    K710SL-TI SuperLite Kool Chain 1 / 8". Get it and ask no other questions. I am a big guy with bigger legs. 3/32" is too weak when i mash it. I have been stretching 8 speed chains over an 1/8" every 100 miles or so.
    There's no direct (or indirect, for that matter) correlation between chain width and durability. Totally arbitrary.

    There are great 1/8" chains available as well as $hitty 3/32" chains.

    In terms of compatibility, availability and overall reliability, 3/32" takes the lead with a huge gap.

    But it all comes back to: use whatever works for you!
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  10. #10
    You know, for kids
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    most 3/32" are stronger and lighter than 1/8"

    I've been using the same Izumi CIC 3/32" chain for almost two years now, starting to think about replacing it soon. That's good.
    disclaimer: I sell and repair bicycles

  11. #11
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    Weight, availability, and they're easier to work on. A lot of multi-tool chainbreaker won't fit 1/8" chains. I like sram 8 speed chains the best because they're easy to fix and find replacement powerlinks, making potential trail fixes easier. In 15 years of mountain biking (the last 8-9 on single speeds, although not exclusively) I've only broken 2 chains and neither were on a single speed..

    1/8" chains are generally more durable, but not because of their extra width. 1/8" chains are usually bushing-less because they're on single speeds with (ideally) straight chainlines, they don't need any side to side play.

    Most 3/32" chains are for multi-speed bikes with always changing chainlines, so they're built with bushings to handle the side load of a bad chainline a little easier. The bushings is where they wear, causing the stretch. Multi-speed chains will run a little smoother if your chainline is off too.

    There are some bushing-less 3/32" chains, but they're usually really low quality.

  12. #12
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    Uhhmmmm... aren't most modern chains of the bushingless variety? Or did I misunderstand Sheldon Brown HERE?


    Quote Originally Posted by Fancy Hat
    Weight, availability, and they're easier to work on. A lot of multi-tool chainbreaker won't fit 1/8" chains. I like sram 8 speed chains the best because they're easy to fix and find replacement powerlinks, making potential trail fixes easier. In 15 years of mountain biking (the last 8-9 on single speeds, although not exclusively) I've only broken 2 chains and neither were on a single speed..

    1/8" chains are generally more durable, but not because of their extra width. 1/8" chains are usually bushing-less because they're on single speeds with (ideally) straight chainlines, they don't need any side to side play.

    Most 3/32" chains are for multi-speed bikes with always changing chainlines, so they're built with bushings to handle the side load of a bad chainline a little easier. The bushings is where they wear, causing the stretch. Multi-speed chains will run a little smoother if your chainline is off too.

    There are some bushing-less 3/32" chains, but they're usually really low quality.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  13. #13
    Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1Gel
    Uhhmmmm... aren't most modern chains of the bushingless variety? Or did I misunderstand Sheldon Brown HERE?
    Yeah, Fancy Hat must be drinking some bad koolaide. All the top of the line chains with the exception of Connex are bushingless. Bushingless chains can be made at higher tolerences at a cheaper price. Also, while bushingless chains start off with less lateral stiffness than bushing chains, the bushing chains lateral stifness tends to degrade very quickly while the bushingless chain hold up much longer. This of course is all academic because lateral stiffness is pretty much a none issue with SS drivetrains, but it's cool. Anyway, it was my FAQ that talked about the R&D on multispeed chains and j e SS e is right when he says, when it comes to chains, size dosesn't matter when it comes to pull strength. Pull strength is not however the only measure of a chain. Big chunky chains tend to stay together better than thinner chains; the more you abuse a chain, the more a 1/8" chain might work better. So if you are using 3/32 chains and they are breaking, go chunkier.
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  14. #14
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    Alright, I was a little off in the facts, but the overall message was right.

    Singlespeed chains, most 1/8", are not designed for lateral play, so they can last a little longer, but the chainline has to be pretty straight. They're also a little heavier.

    Multi-speed chains, most 3/32", are designed to have some lateral play and tend to wear faster, but can keep things quieter if your chainline is off. They're also a little lighter.

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