How many chain links on a speed bike

Dimensions and markings

Manufacturer’s markings reveal all geometrical parameters of the chain. As an example. ½ “x3 / 16”. 120 links Pinlength 7,3 mm, where:

  • ½ is the step of the link, or the distance between the pins. It is constant at half an inch (12.7 mm).
  • 3/16 is the distance between the inner link plates. 1/8 ”- for single speed bikes and stunt models. 3/16 “- this size is practically out of use, even singlespeeds have bypassed it. 3/32 ”- for bicycles with 6.8-speed cassettes. 11/128 “- for cassettes with 9-11 stars.
  • 120 links. number of links in one chain.
  • Pinlength 7,3 mm. the length of the pin, along which a specific chain is selected. Pins that are too short (for, for example, an 8mm chain) will not fit a wider chain (for example, 9mm), it often disconnects when trying to give decent force when riding uphill or against the wind.

Chains often indicate the ultimate tensile strength. Multi-speed bikes use chains with 500-700 kg of allowable traction. For single-speed ones. 900-1100 kg, in fact, you can lift a small car on it.

Lettering such as 11S indicates 11-speed cassettes.

Selection Tips

To select the suitable bike chain, refer to the characteristics indicated in the marking. Correctly selected. specifically for your sprockets. the chain is the key to running more than one thousand kilometers before significant wear of parts is detected.

For children’s bicycles, the length (half) of the link may not be 12.7 mm, but somewhat less. for example, 11.4 mm. From such a chain, you will only take pins and rings as spare parts, but the plates will no longer fit the sprockets of an “adult” bike. The fact is that by putting at least a few “children’s” links on the “adult” chain, you will quickly grind the stars. And shortening the chain by at least 3 mm, like lengthening, can kill all parts for some 100-200 km, even when the transmission is cleaned and lubricated weekly.

Choosing a chain with anti-corrosion coating is not necessary at all. rather, it is a desire to impress those who do not yet have a bicycle. This coating can be successfully replaced with regular lubrication. even in rainy weather, your chain will not rust. The fact is that machine oil (or its analogue in the form of a semi-liquid lubricant), as well as spraying from another alloy, does not allow water to come to steel. The spraying itself will soon wear off, and you will come to the starting position. the need to regularly lubricate the chain.

Avoid fakes. They are used by Chinese manufacturers and some swindlers who produce chains and bearings from aluminum alloys with a low resource and service life. It happens that they breed steel with cheap additives, turning it into “plasticine”. as in the manufacture of low-quality hex keys, screwdrivers and bits. Violation of production technology did not lead to good. there are no longer numerous breakdowns to be avoided.

And it’s good if, when you fly off a newly broken chain and you are unable to use the foot brake on a single-speed bike, you will not drive into someone else’s foreign car parked on the side of the highway and you will not crash yourself.

Don’t put on an 11-speed bike a thicker bike chain designed for, say, 7-speed cassettes. It’s all about the number of stars in the cassette: the more there are, the narrower the gap between the planes, in each of which the tops (points) of the same asterisk lie. Conversely, a narrower chain can be fitted to a bike that has fewer speeds.

As an example: the author of these lines used a 6-speed chain on a simple “road” with one speed, where “tyazhmash” products of greater thickness are used. At the same time, the bike was new, he found a bicycle chain with a broken link in the park. and, shortening it by 2 half links, drove 9000 km on it, riding within a radius of up to 25 km from his city on roads of dubious quality, before another link broke The “native” product was taken on every trip as a spare. Do you need such difficulties. it’s up to each of you personally.


As a result, one pair of links. internal and external (the first goes into the second). forms a fragment from which you can make a chain of almost unlimited length. The size of the half link — internal or external — is half an inch. For Half-Link chains, one link enters the other on each pin in the same way. Each link is extended from one end to the other. Here, the links are no longer replaced in pairs, but one by one.

The conventional 108 link chain is used primarily in single speed transmissions where excess chain length is not required. In the assembled and ready-to-use chain transmission, the 108-link chain is rigidly attached to the front and rear sprockets and clearly transmits the movement.

Mountain Bike Chains Explained | Learn all about mtb bike chains | SRAM and Shimano chain link

Mechanical shifting on most bicycles uses a much longer chain (110-126 links). such a margin is required to cover the largest sprockets at the front and rear, and a spring-loaded roller with the same teeth, which is an even smaller sprocket, tightens the chain, eliminating slack and allowing the cyclist to ride at any of the available speeds. On high speed bikes, chain lengths are 114 or more links.

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Chains are subdivided by type into products for single-speed and multi-speed bicycles.

Single speed chains are made from thicker steel. This is primarily due to the absence of neighboring stars on the cassette with the rear sprocket. There is no limitation on free space that the manufacturer would otherwise save so that the rear of the frame and the bike itself would not “swell” to the right and the bike would not shift the center of gravity off the wheel.

With regular lubrication, at least with ordinary machine oil, this chain can travel 10 thousand km or more. it almost does not stretch, and the sprockets with their teeth enter the chain slots along the entire length, effectively distributing the load on the chain and transferring the force from the pedals to the rear wheel. These chains are found on road city bikes and women’s cruisers, fixed-gear bicycles, and on all children’s and many teenage models. The design of the chain link is extremely simple: outer and inner plates, pins, rollers (“glasses”). Chain width. 8-11 mm.

For multi-speed bikes, a narrower chain is used. As an additional part, the pin surrounds the inner glass, and it itself looks thinner. If you put a “single speed” chain on a multi-speed bike, then it will ride only on the largest sprockets. The design will become heavier by an extra kilogram due to the other stars and extra links that have become unnecessary. instead of 108, 126 links are used. Due to the saving of space between the sprockets, when trying to switch to smaller ones in diameter (and go in this gear), the chain will immediately fly off.

A narrower chain allows technological bending: if a bike with 3 forward and 6 reverse gears is used, then when a combination of 1-3, 2-5 and 3-6 is turned on, the plane in which the chain should be aligned will deviate to the side. which is not observed on single speed bikes. Due to the thinner steel and bending, the wear and elongation of the chain increases by an order of magnitude, and after a run of several hundred or a couple of thousand kilometers, it is changed. Chain width. 6.5-8 mm.

The lightweight bike chain has hollow pins and slotted plates. Reducing the mass of the chain is the lot of racing bicycles, where every gram counts, all the conditions for overtaking rivals on the track are given. But it stretches and breaks more often and faster than a conventional multi-speed.

Half-Link. contains the same repeating link, which is twice as easy to adjust to the overall length required for a particular bike. The plates of each link are curved into sharply defined slopes. It also undergoes destruction faster than a standard two-level chain and cannot be permanently applied for many thousands of kilometers. Such a chain is used on any bike, regardless of the number of speeds on it.

How to install?

To remove and install the bike chain, do the following.

  • Turn the bike over with the wheels up. Unscrew the nuts holding the rear wheel to the frame.
  • Remove the bolt holding the bushing “tab” by the special “eyelet” on the frame. This is the third pivot point to prevent the sleeve from turning. Without reliable fixation of the “foot” you will not go. the bushing mechanism will spin with the sprocket, or it will spin in a few revolutions, and the wheel will generally jam.
  • Remove the rear wheel. Together with it, a sleeve with a cassette will come out.
  • Remove the bike chain from the cassette. Using a squeeze, open any of the half-links by pushing the pin out of its seat. If there is a lock on the chain, it is not necessary to disassemble the chain in any other place. The chain lock is a special half-link with a detachable outer plate, opened with a screwdriver, hex key or any other object.
  • If one of the (semi) links is broken, and the chain fell off by itself, without removing the rear wheel. open the pins adjacent to the break point and remove the broken link.
  • If the old chain is replaced with a new one, remove the old chain from the chainring. Throw a new one on the same star (in the open state).
  • Using a squeeze, replace the broken (semi) link with a new one, tightening the pin at the end.
  • Put the bike chain over the rear sprocket, achieve full tension and fix the rear wheel in the same place, tightening all the bolts to the required torque.
  • Check if there is any lubricant on the new (or repaired) chain. If it is missing or completely dry, apply a new layer.

Spin the rear wheel with a pedal, check the acceleration and deceleration of the bike. If everything is done correctly, you can turn the bike back and continue driving.

Manufacturers overview

But everyone was outdone by the Soviet-Russian plant “Tyazhmash”. its chains consist of ordinary high-carbon steel, characterized by high wear resistance. This plant produced chains for Soviet road workers. He still specializes in single-speed bicycles, of which there are millions in the country. especially in rural areas and in small towns where a multi-speed bike is not required. Therefore, the production of these chains has not been discontinued. are among the lowest in the country.

Bicycle chains: varieties, selection, installation

The number of parts and functional units of a bicycle includes dozens of important elements, without which the bicycle will definitely not budge. In addition to the integrity of the wheels, brakes, steering wheel and pedals, the condition of the chain is also checked before each ride. A bicycle chain. like a motorcycle chain. is a vital part of the drivetrain along with the sprockets.

Chain quick links: A quick guide to easy connection

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Materials (edit)

Dark gray hardened bicycle chain. Such steel is used for the manufacture of hardened wire, which is easy to blunt even a bolt cutter, and most tools. for example, screwdrivers and screwdriver bits, where special strength is needed.

“Gold” color is an indicator of the presence of an anti-corrosion coating. The composition of the bronze-gold coating includes alloying additives of steel, for example, cobalt. This steel is used in the manufacture of multistage and conventional drills, has increased hardness and strength.

The aluminum chain is nonsense. It would break quickly if the cyclist pushed on the pedals for a quick start. Non-ferrous metal is not used here. it is too soft; any aluminum-based alloys are for frames and forks, not transmission parts. Only steel. and nothing more.

Reinforced chains are mostly single speed. They can be made from both hardened and (partly) stainless steel.

Titanium is very rare. Titanium itself is an expensive material, tens of times more expensive than iron. If, say, a frame for bicycles made of titanium would cost 3000-5000 rubles today, then the bicycle chain will be even more expensive in terms of costs.

The stainless chain can be made entirely of the same steel, or have a spraying of the same stainless steel. But all types of anti-corrosion coating are erased for several tens or a couple of hundred kilometers, and unprotected steel is exposed.

The best option is to lubricate the chain once a week or 100 km: the oil will protect as well as the metal coating, and will cost much less. It is not for nothing that the manufacturer applies a thin layer of oil to the chain before packing it into an airtight bag.

For mountain bike and bike hybrid

There are three main calculation methods when it comes to mountain bikes and bicycle hybrids.

  • Throw the chain over the largest sprockets at the back and front of the bike, pull the rear derailer leg to the maximum, so that it moves forward while doing this. this will be the ideal size for the bike chain. It should come out like this: the derailer’s body will be practically in line with the paw (this is the maximum, further. failure). Please note that it is recommended to install the foot at a slight slope.
  • As in the previous version, the chain is thrown onto the largest sprockets without involving the rear derailer. We write down or remember the required chain size, then add a couple more links to this parameter, and an acceptable length comes out. In principle, approximately the same as in the first method should come out.
  • Attach the chain in the front to the large sprocket and the smallest to the back and adjust the size so that the derailer’s foot is at right angles to the ground, i.e. the axes of the derailer rollers are under each other.

On a note! If you are the owner of a 2-outboard bike, then in this case it is necessary to measure the length of the chain with the shock absorber in a compressed state.

The main ways to determine the size

There are several basic ways to determine chain length. The first one can be called “big sprocket. big chain ring”. For this measurement method, the standard chain tension and slack must be used. Measured without passing through the switch. After tension, the trimming boundary is determined. Measure 1 inch from the nearest rivet and then cut the chain. Then run it through both switches and connect.

Mountain & Hybrid Chain Length

1 way. Place the chain on the largest chainrings on your bike (large front and large rear), pull the rear derailleur foot as far as possible to move it forward. this is your optimal chain length. You should get it so that the body of the switch lies almost on the same straight line with the foot (this is the limit, further. breakage). It will be correct to set the foot at a slight angle, as in

If you make a mistake and make the chain shorter than necessary, then in the event of an accidental inclusion of the two largest stars in the system, the length will not be enough, and the switch will tear off to hell.

How the derailleur should not be pulled when the chain is too short.

Method 2. The same as the first method, only we throw the chain onto the largest sprockets without using the rear derailleur and remember the desired chain length, after which we add 2 more links to this length and get the ideal length. In theory, you should get about the same as in method number 1.

Shimano Bicycle Chain Length Determination Method

A chain link is a chain element, a distance that is limited by two pins (axes) of the chain.

Bicycle chain link

Method 3. Place the chain on the smallest sprocket at the back and the largest at the front, and adjust the chain length so that the derailleur foot is perpendicular to the ground, i.e. the roller axles of the switch were under each other.

With the red line, I showed the perpendicularity of the switch rollers relative to the ground.

Attention! If you have a double suspension, then it is necessary to measure the length of the chain in this position of the rear shock absorber, when the driven stars are as far as possible from the carriage (when the shock absorber is compressed).

Basic sizing methods

There are two key tricks for determining a parameter such as chain length.

  • The most important thing is to install it on a large sprocket in the transmission system, at the same time it is necessary to install it on the smallest sprocket in the rear sprocket system (also known as the rear cassette). Then you need to pass it through the rear derailer (this is the name of the derailleur). After completing this work, tighten it so that the axle that passes through the center of the rollers of the rear derailleur is in an upright position. If the correct chain tension has been performed and it turns out to be longer, a certain amount of extra links will form at the connection section of the 2 ends. They can be easily removed by adjusting the chain length at the same time to fit your own bike.
  • The next method actually mirrors the sequence of steps of the previous method. That is, mount the chain on the smallest sprocket in the transmission system and the same sprocket in the rear sprocket system. At the same time, there should be a slight tension on the chain, that is, the bike chain should not be loosened. It follows that unnecessary links may also remain in the junction area, which must be removed.
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It should be further noted that in determining the optimal length of the bicycle chain, you can practice the first and second methods simultaneously. If in both versions the same number of unnecessary links came out, then it means that you can safely remove them.

When the number is different, then it is worth checking again, since it may be that a mistake was made in some of the options. If you remove the wrong number of links, there is a risk of getting a chain that is too long or too short. In such situations, driving on two-wheeled vehicles is risky, and the degree of reliability of the bicycle chain will significantly decrease.

Checking if the bike chain is too long

After you have chosen the chain length as described above, I recommend that you test the chain operation when using the two smallest chainrings at the front and back. If the foot is almost parallel to the ground, your chain is too long. It will likely jump off bumps frequently (as the switch will not be able to pull it properly). The foot should be at a slight angle. See the photo below for more details:

As you can see in the photo, the foot is set at an angle. This means the chain is tensioned by the derailleur and is the correct length.

The recommended distance from the top roller to the chain is 2.5 to 4.5 cm.In this case, the derailleur will work correctly.

I got about 2.5 here, since this bike has a very large 1 star on the cassette.

Chain length and tension on single-speed bicycles

Road bike chain length

For road bikes, there are usually 3 ways to determine chain length. This is a method in which the chain is placed on a large chainring and a small rear.


For road bikes, the size of the chain is usually not changed. boxed versions are suitable for them. However, the number of links in the chain purchased must still be recalculated. As a rule, it is better to determine the length by ordinary visual calculation or look in the product passport. For road bikes, the number of links ranges from 114 to 116.

When adjusting, the chain on the bike is installed on the large gear in front and the small rear. The calculation of the drive length is selected in such a way that the rear axle of the wheel and the axles of both tensioners are in the vertical plane.

Single speed models are the easiest to adjust. The bicycle chain is selected so that the axle of the rear wheel is in the cutouts of the bicycle frame, and then has the ability to move when pulling the chain drive during operation. Some users install a “half-link” chain for more precise positioning. It has an odd number of links, which greatly simplifies the task.

On road bike models, the number of links also varies from 114 to 116 pieces.

Who has priority when crossing the intersection with the cycle path?

The driver of which vehicle will pass the intersection second?

16.14. If the main road at an intersection changes direction, the drivers of vehicles moving along it must follow the rules for driving through intersections of equivalent roads.

This rule should be followed by each other and drivers driving on secondary roads.

16.14. If the main road at an intersection changes direction, the drivers of vehicles moving along it must follow the rules for driving through intersections of equivalent roads.

many, chain, links, speed, bike

This rule should be followed by each other and drivers driving on secondary roads.

DIY bike chain caliper

  • aluminum or duralumin plate with a thickness of 8 to 11 mm;
  • hacksaw and vice;
  • technical oil;
  • file and core;
  • drill or drilling machine;
  • hammer and drills;
  • sandpaper;
  • tap measuring M101 and its holders.

With the help of a marker, an old part is outlined on a metal blank, called a rooster, after which the central part of the hole is drilled. Further, the workpiece is sawn off as much as possible with a hacksaw and the external shape is brought to an ideal state with a file. Instead of a dropout, you can make a groove along the diameter of the shaft, which is subsequently inserted into the groove of the rooster. In the place where the rooster is installed in the frame, a difference is made in width. Its width on a thin section should be 4 mm, and on a thick one. 8 mm.

The hole can now be drilled out completely. Note that the drill diameter should be slightly smaller than the hole diameter. Especially if the metal is soft. It is best to use an electric drill, as a hand drill does not provide perfect accuracy. Then the thread is cut with forward-return movements.

Pass the test for knowledge of traffic rules for cyclists

Who should make way?


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Video. How to chain a bike