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  1. #1
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    Chain Tensioner VS. Half Link Chain

    I'm seriously considering getting a half link as I'm tired of my POS Surly. So let's hear some opinions on half link chains!

  2. #2
    Meh.
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    A half link will only offer so much fine tuning. Do you have vertical dropouts? You should try a Rennen or DMR tensioner that doesn't pivot. Or zip tie the Surly Tensioner to the chainstay so that it can't flop around.

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    Yeah....I've got vertical dropouts. I was looking at the DMR's. They seemed nice....but just needing the chain and nothing else seems so enticing and simple.

  4. #4
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    Unless you have a magic ratio, you'll probably still need a tensioner. Try it. You can order single half-links too.

  5. #5
    Yo!
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    Will,

    Give me your thoughts; I just got some 24" specific drops and I need to dial in my chain to the half link to really get it right, and I see the the individual KHC half links are for 3/32nd chains; I don't think these will work with my sram PC-1, unless I'm confused?

    I have a Blackspire 36t DH chainring for SS, and a Surly 17t 3/32 stainless rear cassette cog.

    I have the Sram PC-1 SS chain, and I like it bc it's really wide and burly; it's specs are 7.8mm wide and 1/2x1/8.

    What would be a comparable half link to my PC-1 that's around $30?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo!
    Will,

    Give me your thoughts; I just got some 24" specific drops and I need to dial in my chain to the half link to really get it right, and I see the the individual KHC half links are for 3/32nd chains; I don't think these will work with my sram PC-1, unless I'm confused?

    I have a Blackspire 36t DH chainring for SS, and a Surly 17t 3/32 stainless rear cassette cog.

    I have the Sram PC-1 SS chain, and I like it bc it's really wide and burly; it's specs are 7.8mm wide and 1/2x1/8.

    What would be a comparable half link to my PC-1 that's around $30?
    try this one

    i use a 1/8 half-link on my normal chain, but can't remember where i got the big half link from.

    personally i think magic gears are terrible...all my experience with one has been hard wheel removals and sudden chain derailments. i know some of you have use them with success...but i think one is really better off with a tensioner at least.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  7. #7
    Yo!
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    Well I have sliding drops, and I can't take advantage of keeping them totally slammed without a half link.

    Not to mention my rear hookworm is 2.5", and where it sits right now is in a position where the widest part of the tire is between the narrowest part of the chainstay yolk, so that's just not enough clearance. It's like 1mm an either side.

    I can get nearly .75 of an inch more off my chainstay if I can just find the right halflink.

    The actual KHC halflinks for sale are too small to work with my PC-1 I believe.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo!
    Will,

    Give me your thoughts; I just got some 24" specific drops and I need to dial in my chain to the half link to really get it right, and I see the the individual KHC half links are for 3/32nd chains; I don't think these will work with my sram PC-1, unless I'm confused?

    I have a Blackspire 36t DH chainring for SS, and a Surly 17t 3/32 stainless rear cassette cog.

    I have the Sram PC-1 SS chain, and I like it bc it's really wide and burly; it's specs are 7.8mm wide and 1/2x1/8.

    What would be a comparable half link to my PC-1 that's around $30?
    Thanks for hijacking my thread.

  9. #9
    Yo!
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    My bad. They're both relevant questions pertaining to half links, are they not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo!
    My bad. They're both relevant questions pertaining to half links, are they not?
    Yeah. I was half joking. I'm just annoyed that it's going to probably be a bigger pain in the ass to run a half-link without a tensioner than it would be to run a normal chain with a tensioner.

  11. #11
    Yo!
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow
    Yeah. I was half joking. I'm just annoyed that it's going to probably be a bigger pain in the ass to run a half-link without a tensioner than it would be to run a normal chain with a tensioner.
    You should see which option is the least expensive. If you're running an 3/32" chain you should go with the individual half links first bc it seems that most bike shops carry them, and they're $3.50 a piece.

    I also heard the Rohloff style tensioners are really good, but that's from guys riding FS Doubles, so Will's suggestion of the DMR/Rennen will probably be better for you.

    You may even have to use both a halflink and tensioner like me if you really want to dial in if you don't have a magic ratio; if you want to go balls out you can always look at an eccentric hub, like the ENO from White Industries or something to that effect. Expect to spend $200 for a hub/freewheel though.

    It all depends on if you want to pull the trigger on a dedicated SS ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo!
    You should see which option is the least expensive. If you're running an 3/32" chain you should go with the individual half links first bc it seems that most bike shops carry them, and they're $3.50 a piece.

    I also heard the Rohloff style tensioners are really good, but that's from guys riding FS Doubles, so Will's suggestion of the DMR/Rennen will probably be better for you.

    You may even have to use both a halflink and tensioner like me if you really want to dial in if you don't have a magic ratio; if you want to go balls out you can always look at an eccentric hub, like the ENO from White Industries or something to that effect. Expect to spend $200 for a hub/freewheel though.

    It all depends on if you want to pull the trigger on a dedicated SS ride.
    I'm unsure as to what I want to do now. I have a Jamis Eureka. It's cheaply converted to SS. The surly I use just doesn't cut it. I really like the look of bikes without tensioners but I am unwilling to spend 200 bucks. I guess I'll just suck it up and get a new tensioner. I was looking at the DMR's......Do you guys have any experience with them? I've seen good reviews but also some terrible reviews. I'm unsure of which to believe. I also happen to need a new chain.....So can you recommend me a brand that's strong but also has a good stylish look to it? I mean...I know it's just a chain but I'm trying to make my ugly bike look better cheaply. lol.

  13. #13
    Yo!
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    Dude for SS there's no substitute for the Sram PC-1. It's like a freakin motocross chain.

    And it's $10.

    EDIT: I just found a shop here in town with a Shadow Conspiracy halflink. Picking it up after work, but it's $40. That's getting bent over. But I guess they're really solid halflinks.

    Anyone got any experience with these?
    Last edited by Yo!; 03-17-2009 at 01:17 PM.

  14. #14
    Yo!
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow
    I'm unsure as to what I want to do now. I have a Jamis Eureka. It's cheaply converted to SS. The surly I use just doesn't cut it. I really like the look of bikes without tensioners but I am unwilling to spend 200 bucks. I guess I'll just suck it up and get a new tensioner. I was looking at the DMR's......Do you guys have any experience with them? I've seen good reviews but also some terrible reviews. I'm unsure of which to believe. I also happen to need a new chain.....So can you recommend me a brand that's strong but also has a good stylish look to it? I mean...I know it's just a chain but I'm trying to make my ugly bike look better cheaply. lol.
    You know Sheldon Brown offered a few methods to get a magic ratio or dial in those last remaining quarter inches. He even suggests flattening a section of the axle to allow it to pull back just that much more. Couldn't hurt to see what he says about it.

    www.sheldonbrown.com

  15. #15
    dirt rules
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    Halflink chains suck.
    Expensive, and they seem to wear your chainring down faster.
    A half link moves the axle about 1/4" a full link about 1/2".
    Between chain and sprocket wear, you'll have a really hard time keeping decent chain tension, EVEN IF (not likely) you find that magic combination that lets you get away without a tensioner.
    Save yourself a lot of grief, and just buy a Rennen.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow
    So can you recommend me a brand that's strong but also has a good stylish look to it? I mean...I know it's just a chain but I'm trying to make my ugly bike look better cheaply. lol.
    http://www.rennendesigngroup.com/Rollenlager_Desc.htm


  17. #17
    Yo!
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    Well what do you think about a half link chain on a setup with sliding dropouts?

    I want to keep running 24"s and I just bought the drops to keep it 24" specific, and I can get at least a 1/2 to 3/4 an inch off my chainstay if I throw a half link in the mix. I simply can't get my PC-1 short enough to keep the drops slammed, and there's no individual half links available to fit my 1/8 PC-1.

    Would you say that chainring wear happens more frequently when running half links w microgearing?

  18. #18
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    The PC1 is actually available in 2 versions. And it is hardly the end-all to SS chains. A single half link will allow you to adjust by 1/4 inch. A full half link chain is expensive and usually heavier. Get the single half link. There are 1/8 half links available. KMC, Izumi, and Gusset all make one.

    EndersShadow, a non-spring loaded tensioner is your best bet. You could always zip tie your current tensioner to the stay to keep it from flopping around. Or you can run a ghost ring.

  19. #19
    Yo!
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    can you post a pic of a ghost ring setup?

  20. #20
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  21. #21
    Yo!
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    I bought the Shadow half link and a single 1/8" half link yesterday. The single 1/8" worked with the PC-1, but it still left about a 1/4" of available chainstay.

    That was ok by me; that half link chain, although $40, is amazing. It looks badass for one, but the thing is a beast and allowed me to slide my drops completely forward while still keeping great tension. I only needed to use the tugnuts to center up the back wheel. With the 15.25" chainstay, the difference feels like a sedan vs. a coupe, and the bike pops into manual with the flick of the cranks. It's amazing.

    I'll keep my PC-1 as a back up, but I definitely think the shadow half link is a high quality part. Make sure you have a burly chainbreaker though.

  22. #22
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    I personally use a DMR on my converted ss xc bike and it works great never had a problem at all. I run 2 different gears in the back and always have a tool with me so depending where i am riding i just switch the chain over an retighten the DMR

  23. #23
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    with vertical dropouts i would say go with a tensioner.
    as you use the chain it 'stretches'. so your once perfectly tensioned chain is slack. horizontal dropouts are a bit more forgiving in that aspect
    i ride my bi*ch hard

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