Author Topic: A chain is a chain is a chain....or is it?  (Read 7800 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Crescendo

A chain is a chain is a chain....or is it?
« on: September 07, 2005, 12:06:47 pm »
I know this probably a nOOb question, but hey, I'm a nOOb, so...

My bike shop peeps told me I'm going to need a new chain for my bicycle soon. Are all chains alike? Should I be looking for anything in particular when purchasing a new one? (you know, aside from one that's a proper fit)

Ta.




Offline George

A chain is a chain is a chain....or is it?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2005, 10:41:05 pm »
The thing to remember is that a derailleur chain is no longer simply a "10-speed chain", as it used to be. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 speed all require slightly different widths, and there were even several versions of the Shimano 8-speed chain, as they changed exactly how the teeth on their cassettes were done.

Best bet is to get the chain from the shop (after doijng it once, feel free to mail-oder, if you like).

Even Lance Armstrong was a n00b once upon a time ...


Offline DaveB

A chain is a chain is a chain....or is it?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2005, 12:13:08 pm »
For practical purposes, specific 5 and 6-speed chains aren't available anymore. They both can use "8-speed" chains with no problems.

7 and 8-speed setups use the same chains which are now referred to as 8-speed chains.  Shimano's HG (road) and IG (MTB) 8-speed chains both work fine with road components.  HG 8-speed chains aren't recommended for MTB use but do work.

9-speed drivetrains need a 9-speed chain which is narrower than the others and 10-speeds need a 10-speed chain which is narrower still.

There are no road or MTB specific 9-speed chains and no 10-speed MTB components at all.

Shimano chains require a special pin to install and reinstall if they are removed.  SRAM and Wipperman chains come with a masterlink that allows removal and replacement without tools.  All chains require a good chain tool to shorten them, if required, when they are first installed.  

Buy the middle quality model in any maker's line.  The cheapest aren't as durable and the most expensive are generally just the mid-line chain with a prettier finish.

For your first replacement chain, buy from your dealer and have them install it. Once you know what to buy, have the proper tool and know how to use it, you can replace them yourself.

One other warning.  If you have a lot of miles on your chain, it is quite possible the new chain will skip badly on your current cassette cogs, particularly the cogs you use the most.  You may want to consider changing the chain and cassette together.  


Offline Crescendo

A chain is a chain is a chain....or is it?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2005, 04:30:00 pm »
Thanks--I had just learned about chains that don't have a master link. The guys at the bike shop are really cool, and they told me they'd show me how to do these kinds of things I know absolutely nothing about. I appreciate the good advice about the "cheapo" vs. "top of the line" chains too. Ya learn something new every day!  ;)

This message was edited by Crescendo on 9-8-05 @ 12:30 PM

Offline like2bike

A chain is a chain is a chain....or is it?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2005, 11:20:53 pm »
I agree with the comments above.

You might be interested, however, in replacing one of your links with a Wipperman Connex link.

This is the high-tech equivalent of a master link, and it makes removing the chain really easy - so it's easy to clean (rather than using the "on-the-sprockets" chain-cleaning machines.

I've run mine for several thousand miles without a problem.

Mark


Offline Imhyper2u

A chain is a chain is a chain....or is it?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2006, 11:53:55 am »
Pay attention to the width as well as the spread of the links. That can make a differance in shifting capabilities

Pedal pusher 4ever
Pedal pusher 4ever