Readers ask: What Size Chain Should I Use For My Single Speed Mountain Bike?

Are all single speed bike chains the same size?

All modern bicycle chains are made to the “one-half inch pitch” standard, meaning from rivet to rivet is nominally 0.5 inches. The sprocket teeth are cut for this same one-half inch standard to accept bicycle chains. However, this does not mean all makes and models of chains are interchangeable.

What size bike chain do I need single speed?

1/8″ chains are used exclusively for single speed setups. In addition to the other answers, I found it helpful to read that the nominal width of a chain (1/8 or 3/32) actually refers to the width of the sprocket.

How do I know what size mountain bike chain I need?

Begin by counting the number of teeth on the largest front sprocket and largest rear. These numbers are often printed right on the sprockets and cogs. Next, measure the distance between the middle of the crank bolt to the rear axle. This is also the chain stay length.

What is the best single speed gear ratio?

If you’re just starting out on your adventure on a single speed or fixed gear bike, a gear ratio of around 2.7-2.8 will be ideal.

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Can I use an 8 speed chain on a single speed bike?

Since single speed chain is by far the cheapest, there is no need to experiment with multi speed chains. However, 6 to 8 speed chains can fit some single speed bicycles – depending on the chainring width.

How often should I change my bike chain?

The 2,000-Mile Rule. To avoid this accelerated wear of your cassette and chainrings, a general rule of thumb is to replace your bike’s chain every 2,000 miles. Mind you, this is just a starting point. No two chains will wear at exactly the same rate because no two riders treat their chains the same.

How do I know what speed my bike is?

Multiply the front gear number by the rear gear number to get the number of speeds. For example, if you have two front gears and five back gears, you have a 10-speed bike. If you have one front gear and three back gears, you have a 3-speed bike.

How many links should be in a single speed chain?

A new bicycle chain usually comes with 116 links. This is long enough for the biggest chainrings and for most distances of the rear wheel from the front chainring. So for optimal length, a new chain is usually shortened from the 116 links that come in the box.

Are 11 and 12 speed chains the same?

12-speed chains can operate just fine with 11-speed cassettes. The main exception are Shimano’s new 12-speed HG+ models which are heavily optimized for downshifting and thus come with custom inner plates that don’t mix well with non-Shimano 12-speed components.

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How do I know if my bike chain is too short?

You should also see two slight bends at each jockey wheel of the rear derailleur. If the chain is too short, this shift is difficult to make and the derailleur cage is stretched out and almost parallel to the chainstay. If the chain is really short, then you might not even be able to shift into the largest cog.

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