What Size Bike Chain Do I Need?

Are bike chains a standard size?

All modern bicycle chains are made to the “one-half inch pitch” standard, meaning from rivet to rivet is nominally 0.5 inches. However, this does not mean all makes and models of chains are interchangeable. There are two basic types of bicycle chains: “one-speed” chains, and derailleur chains.

How do I know what chain size to get?

To measure the chain size, if you have just the sprocket, use calipers to measure between the teeth. Measure from center to center of where the chain roller would set between the teeth that will give you the pitch. Once you know the pitch you can determine what chain size you would need.

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.

How do I choose a chain sprocket size?

Determine the number of teeth of the small sprocket. The number of teeth for the large sprocket is determined by multiplying the number of teeth for the small sprocket by the speed ratio. More than 15 teeth on the small sprocket is recommended. The number of teeth on the large sprocket should be less than 120.

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Are 10 and 11 speed chains the same?

Since 10 and 11 speed chains are almost the same width, as well as cassette teeth, 10 speed chain can be used in stead of 11 speed one, without it jamming between the sprockets. However, this will still not work perfectly and will cause premature sprocket wear, so better to avoid it.

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