Recent experiences with half-link chain?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Recent experiences with half-link chain?

    Does anyone have good or bad experiences to share with half-link chains recently? I know when they first came out people were saying they stretched quickly. Is that the case still?
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  2. #2
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    Why use an entire chain made of half links? I've used a Gusset 3/32 Slink half-link connected to 8 speed or 3/32 single speed chain using two master links.

    Also the KMC Z610HX is a 3/32 single speed chain with a single half link pre-installed on one end. This chain is heavier than 8 speed chain though.

  3. #3
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    I have heard the same thing about stretching, but the last Gussett Slink I used on a GT Peace SS lasted over 4 years(many, many miles), probably would have gone longer but the steel cog and chainring were so sharktoothed I think it snapped the chain. That bike had very limited fore aft adjustment so any stretch would have showed up immediately. I used it to get the wheel tucked in a bit more with the limited travel that was there really short track ends.

    I did replace it with another but don't use the bike too much anymore. I seem to remember having to splice 2 chains together first time, but second time I think I found one with enough links where ther were only a couple spare. It's something to watch out for as these chains were meant for BMX so they're usually are shorter than normal.

    Visible in this old pic, the full half link looks pretty cool also.

    Recent experiences with half-link chain?-ss_calvera.jpg
    Canfield Riot SS
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  4. #4
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    This bike, a dingle speed, has a half link chain, and after four years and 100's of steep cranking rides, rides beautifully. Sorry I can't recall the brand, but it is the most brightly polished steel chain I ever saw. It never rusted. I loved it.

    I too read many negative comments about them on this forum and others before buying and installing the chain. But, I said screw it, I want to try this, if only to experience it, and obtain the optimum chain length for this dingle build with a flip flop hub to run fixed on the other side.

    To be fair, while I had no noticeable chain stretch (chain gauge indicates none either, which amazes me), I was frequently adjusting the chain-tug thumb screws going through the three configurations, low/high/fixed, and micro adjustments just happened.

    The experience has been very pleasant secure smooth pedaling throughout. If it's any smoother than a regular chain, it's probably my imagination though.

    Main initial concern was snapping the chain mashing up a steep hill. I used a chain tool to shorten the chain and set the rivet. As someone who for the most part uses SRAM chains quick links, the idea of joining a chain back together with the chain tool seemed questionable, inconvenient, and risky. Yet I've been riding bikes and replacing my chains since the 70's, and so for many years rode with riveted and reliable chains. But I didn't single speed back then.

    What's for certain and negative is the increased weight of a half link chain. No weight weenie can approve these chains.

    Aesthetically the half-link chain is beautiful to behold. The chain has received compliments for it's purposeful looks and I've had to explain it on the trail.

    This bike now resides on the other side of the nation serving as a beach cruiser.

    I would trust a half-link chain. But I will always prefer a cheap SRAM single speed chain.

    I've used other chains such as KMC and UST, but the master links on the non SRAM chains are not easier to use, and the shapes of the master links sometimes changes the way the chain moves over the sprockets, which I can hear, and don't like.

    Looking into the future, the only reason I will use a full half-link single speeding a non-single-speed frame with magic gear. I fully intend to do that eventually, when I am ready, and I find a cheap used high quality modern geometry plus sized 29er.

    Until then, I don't see any rational advantage to using a half link chain. They are more expensive too.


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  5. #5
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    Here are pictures to go with the post.

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  6. #6
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    I really liked this bike. It wasn't altogether expensive, but it had some quality, and it fit me. I liked the unorthodox drivetrain, handlebars, 180 XTR m952, the red Michelin 2.5 UST tires. Hated the saddle though.

    The chain was never a disappointment.

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  7. #7
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    In that last photo, check out the barely clearing chainstay/smaller chainring clearance. It never rubbed! The paint remained unmolested. If the frame was titanium it would have flexed enough to rub I bet with that tiny gap. To the credit of this boxy section stayed aluminum frame, it didn't budge. I was always in awe of that.

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