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  1. #1
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    Derailing a Single speed chain vs 9 speed chain

    I tried a 9 speed chain today and derailed twice - one time taking a pretty good flying header. I need to tension the chain a bit more but I'm also wondering if a single speed chain (being more rigid) is less likely to derail. Anyone have experience with both?

  2. #2
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    I've used both, and dropped both. A straight chainline is super important, and if you are going with a 1/2x1/8 chain you will have better luck if your cog/chainwheel is made for it rather than for a 1/2x3/32 chain.

    Do you have a single speed cog/chainwheel?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5
    I tried a 9 speed chain today and derailed twice - one time taking a pretty good flying header. I need to tension the chain a bit more but I'm also wondering if a single speed chain (being more rigid) is less likely to derail. Anyone have experience with both?
    A so called single speed chain is not so because it is more rigid. Multi speed chains, or chains that are designed for shifting are usually constructed with "cambered outer link plates widen between the rollers with beveled inner surfaces on the top and bottom;" all designed to enhanced shifting. A single speed chain's outer link plates are flat, and although the plates tend to be thicker and heavier, they do not necessary create a stronger chain, but they certainly less likely to derail as easily as a multi speed chain. I would agree with jtrops that a good chain line will help keep you chain on, but there is a considerable difference of opinion on whether an 1/8" chain on a 3/32" drivetrain has any detriment and some believe it actually stays on better (there are also 3/32" singlespeed chains).
    Last edited by aka brad; 12-25-2010 at 07:29 PM.
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  4. #4
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    I was wondering about the single speed cog/chainwheel more because of tooth shape than for the chain width. Single speed gears have taller teeth, and aren't ramped. This makes them hold onto the chain better. Ramped teeth are made to facilitate faster gear changes, and will drop a chain more easily as a result.

  5. #5
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    I think I might try a pc 1 chain and see how that works. I have a 3/32 ss hub and freewheel so the chain line is pretty straight. Hopefully it was just a fluke and won't happen as often when I tension the chain

  6. #6
    Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrops
    I was wondering about the single speed cog/chainwheel more because of tooth shape than for the chain width. Single speed gears have taller teeth, and aren't ramped. This makes them hold onto the chain better. Ramped teeth are made to facilitate faster gear changes, and will drop a chain more easily as a result.
    I didn't get you were talking about SS chainrings and cogs, indeed the ramps facilitate easier chain drops and pickups, something that is undesirable with a single speed drivetrain. What most riders don't get is how the lack of derailleur makes the chainline uber important. There are lots of unramped chainrings out there that are non SS, but still work very well (ramps and funky tooth profiles on chainrings are actually a relatively new development, starting about the same time as 8 speed drivetrains. OTOH, you'd have to really search to find single ramped cogs and obviously all BMX freewheels are SS. All and all I agree, 1st chain line, 2nd drivetrain, 3rd chain..when it comes to setup.
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5
    I think I might try a pc 1 chain and see how that works. I have a 3/32 ss hub and freewheel so the chain line is pretty straight. Hopefully it was just a fluke and won't happen as often when I tension the chain
    A tighter chain will make for a happier drivetrain.
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  8. #8
    Let's ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5
    I think I might try a pc 1 chain and see how that works. I have a 3/32 ss hub and freewheel so the chain line is pretty straight. Hopefully it was just a fluke and won't happen as often when I tension the chain
    PC1 work terribly for me. Try a sram pc7, or a wipperman whitestar. I switched from the PC1 and ALL my chain drops went away.

  9. #9
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    A single speed chainring is the preferred set up. They have taller teeth and they are not ramped. I ran into the same problem with my first conversion. You also need a PERFECT chainline. Your LBS can dial it for you with a Park CL-2 chainline indicator. Keep proper chain tension at all times and you will be fine. Your chain should not matter. I run 1/8" KMC BMX chains all the time. Change 'em twice a season. They're cheap. They don't break.
    Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    A tighter chain will make for a happier drivetrain.



    Mmmmm, tighter is GOOD

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