Half link worth the trouble?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Half link worth the trouble?

    I just installed some new wheels and tires (Blunt 35 rims, Maxxis Ardent 2.4s) on a Karate Monkey. Previously, I'd had 2.2 rear tires on 22mm external rims, and the rear axle was all the way forward in the dropouts. If it matters, I'm running an oval 34T chainring and a 22T cog. I could just barely get the chain around the ring/cog, and I had to use masterlink pliers to get the chain off. I had very little clearance around the tire, but I loved the way the bike handled with the shortest possible chainstays.

    After installing the new/bigger wheels and tires, I've needed to back up the rear wheel. I installed a new chain one link longer, and all is well...except that now the rear axle sits about in the middle of the dropouts and the handling is not as quick. So here's my question: is a half-link worth the trouble to get the rear wheel a little closer? I've seen 3/32 KMC half-links that would work for my 8.93 chain. I've just never tried a half-link and am wondering if it'll hold up under SS pedaling loads. How have they worked for you folks?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    jja
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    No, a half-link is not "worth the trouble" for your situation, IMHO. If you're half-way in the fork end then you're golden and right where you "should" be. Are you sure it's not the new wider tires & rims that are affecting the handling more than 5 or 10mm of effective chainstay length?

    Yes, the 3/32 KMC half-link works great. I use them with SRAM 8-speed chains on singlespeeds and fixed gears. I think the half-link is best for vertical dropouts to either find a magic gear or to shorten the amount of slack that the tensioner is required to take up.

  3. #3
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    If you are running oval chain ring ,is it narrow wide teeth? half link wont work with narrow wide. I run 34x22 on my monkey slammed forward work perfect it can be a bit tricky getting the wheel in and out . Best thing I ever did was get a Hope bolt on hub. Just remove bolts and drop wheel out the bottom.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the response. Yes, I'm running an Absolute Black 34T oval narrow-wide. I hadn't considered that factor.

  5. #5
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    I'm having trouble seeing how such a tiny change in effective chainstay length can actually affect your ride...are you sure you're not just seeing the results that you _expect_ to see? I've never ever noticed a handling difference in one of my SS bikes dependent on where exactly in the dropout I've got things lined up...unless you have like 2" long dropouts or something...which would beg certain other questions.

  6. #6
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    The handling difference would be more down to wider tyres.

  7. #7
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    Good point. I'm not sure what I'm feeling--tires, chainstays, etc. Maybe it is the fat tires with about 5 psi less than I used to have. Maybe I'm just being fussy now that I'm paying attention to the change...

  8. #8
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    For what its worth I absolutely can feel the difference between the wheel slammed forward and half way back. Ive been on monkeys for 12 years and have some experience playing with this.

  9. #9
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    I used the Gusset Slink Half Link (3/32) with a KMC 8.93 chain on my old bike with no problems. Since it is pre-assembled, you can connect it to your chain with 2 KMC master links. This makes it mostly foolproof.

    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...s.php?id=22297

  10. #10
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    I've been wanting to add a half-link to my 1x1 to slam the wheel a little further forward, the shorter wheelbase is definitely worth the effort. I can't run 32x18 on the trails I ride, but when the wheel was slammed with that ratio, I could for sure feel a difference. I'm on 32x20 now.

    I have had trouble finding dedicated SS chainrings these days, and apparently half links will not work with narrow wide rings. That's the sole issue with doing this right now. I don't feel like dropping cash on a new chainring and chain.

  11. #11
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    I generally don't think they're worth the hassle, but I do have a half link chain which I rob for links to enable friends to singlespeed their standard frames.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  12. #12
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    For me, shortening the chain with a half-link, to get the shortest possible chainstay length was well worth it. I ride tight 'n' twisty singletrack, so using a half link to shorten the chain is really noticable.

    I even filed the horrizontal dropouts on my Scandal, to allow me to go even shorter!

    FYI if you're looking for a non NW oval chainring, check out the Rotor SS Q-Ring. I've been running it for a few years now:
    https://rotorbike.com/products/ss-4x...ngle-speed_173

    Also this company makes a steel or Ti oval ring:
    https://www.facebook.com/Rivello-276093745786282/
    rivellobikes on eBay

    You just need to email them what size you need.
    Lapierre XR29ei, Chris King LB Carbon, XTR 1 X 10
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    Chiner 29er SS

  13. #13
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    Half links are pretty easy and I've used them to get the shortest stays possible. The only downside is you can't use them with the narrow-wide rings.

  14. #14
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    I tend to agree that the difference you feel may indeed be the change in wheel & tire. Much wider setup which is probably a good thing, but probably heavier.

    That said, nothing wrong with using a half link to shorten the stays if there is room. I've used them in the past with no problems.

    But as pointed out, a half link is a no go with a narrow-wide chain ring. Don't really need a narrow-wide on ss though....

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  15. #15
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    There is a very real difference between all the way forward and all the way back on my monocog. I am currently in the middle of the dropout with a half link. I'm running 32/17. The middle is best on my frame.

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