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  #1  
Old 09-30-2008, 07:11 PM
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Question Single-speed chains

Got me recently a 1/2"x1/8" chain for my SS, since it is intended for "single speed" applications. Installed it just fine, chainline to almost perfect, not too much tension on the tensioner. Seems fine on the workbench, until;

I rode it a few meters and instantly, the chain slides sideways on either the cog or the chainring. The noise is a bit annoying. Haven't tried to look (while riding it) where it is sliding since it is an 18" frame and has a 32T chainring. Upon close inspection (dismounted), I noticed that the cog and chainring is thin kaya pala habang loaded 'yung pedaling talagang may tendency 'yung chain to move sideways.

Components are:
Cog: Da Bomb 18T 9-1 converter
Chainring: 32T FSA Gravity Light (22T removed)
Chain: 1/2"x1/8"

In the event, that the cog/chainring is too thin for the chain, meron bang available locally na SS cog and chainring that is compatible with a 1/2"x1/8" chain?

Thanks and godspeed!
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2008, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Single-speed chains

Paolo,

My comment about the cog that goes with the bomb 9-1 converter is it's too thin and shallow. Could be the reason of the chain slippage. Try to look for the A2Z brand, the sprocket included has taller teeth hence a more secure chain wrap.

Also, try to use your tensioner in push up position if you can. This way, the chain covers more teeth.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2008, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Single-speed chains

Bro, it might be the da bomb cog. I had that same problem before. Since it only comes with 2 spacers, sometimes you just might not be getting the right chain line thus it comes off.

You can try to fix the chain line first by looking for better spacers for more flexibility. The surly spacer kit is great. Or I know you can use some 1 1/8" pvc tubes but its a lot of trial and error.

Some people also try compensating with an additonal spacer in the crank

As to the cog, if the line is right but you should not have the chain come off. If you really want to change the cog, Surly and niner cogs are available in the market. I know there are more options but cant remember the other brands
  #4  
Old 09-30-2008, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Single-speed chains

Yup. Tensioner. Should guide the chain as it roller from bottom side of the rear cog then going clockwise back to the crank. The tensioner will basically acts as a guide, making sure the rear cog will receive an aligned chain. Usually the slippage happened at that part then everything falls apart.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Single-speed chains

I used to use KMC 510HX 1/2 x 1/8 too and it is noisy precisely because it is too wide for the 9 speed chainrings of most MTB type cranksets - mine annoyingly rubbed on my Holzfeller bashguard. I solved the problem by using KMC 810 instead which is 1/2 x 3/32 and by facing the chainlink lock away from the bashguard. The KMC 810 is very heavy duty and is easily the best chain I've ever used - its much tougher compared to 8 or 9 speed shimano or sram. I think it is much easier to use a 1/2 x 3/32 SS chain instead of trying to find 1/2 x 1/8 chainrings and cogs that will fit MTB type crankset and hub because most of the 1/2 x 1/8 stuff are for BMX use. Btw I also ditched my 9-1 da bomb converter for the FireEye kit precisely to have a thicker and more solid 16 / 14 cog. You wont feel the difference if you tend to spin leisurely with a light gearing but you will if you hammer on the pedals with 32x16 or bigger gear ratio while sprinting especially sprinting up a hill!
  #6  
Old 10-01-2008, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: Single-speed chains

for the time being use a 3/32" chain. I use a 1/8" KMC chain and it works great, but I don't use tensioners or bashguards. I also use BMX cogs and SS chainrings. if you compare the KMC 1/8" SS chain with other chains you can see that the link plates are wider and pins extend further than 3/32" chain. most tensioners and bashguards are designed for 9sp 3/32" chains which are very narrow.

Also, a chainline that's "almost perfect" isn't good enough sometimes. As manitou mentioned, get thinner spacers for a more precise chainline. I could be wrong, but I don't think it's a problem that the chain is wider than the cog and ring. I think the noise is coming from the tensioner/chain incompatibility.

does the chain derail when you pedal? or just noisy?
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Single-speed chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by manitou View Post
Bro, it might be the da bomb cog. I had that same problem before. Since it only comes with 2 spacers, sometimes you just might not be getting the right chain line thus it comes off.

You can try to fix the chain line first by looking for better spacers for more flexibility. The surly spacer kit is great. Or I know you can use some 1 1/8" pvc tubes but its a lot of trial and error.

Some people also try compensating with an additonal spacer in the crank

As to the cog, if the line is right but you should not have the chain come off. If you really want to change the cog, Surly and niner cogs are available in the market. I know there are more options but cant remember the other brands
White Industries also has cogs for SS..but I think Goyo of BTC still has to receive his orders..by the way, how would you know that your chain line is okay already? just wanted to make sure that I did the right thing..just finished building my SS..used Surly 17T cog and spacers, and the Singleator tensioner.......used my spare dura ace 9 speed chains..sayang bumili..but I guess It'll work fine..
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:53 AM
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dante,

me isyu yata ang 9 speed chain sa SS kasi makitid, why not try an IG chain instead or the more sturdy KMC.

HTH
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2008, 09:03 AM
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Same oBservation with Sir Arci, may issue nga ang 9spd chain for SS. Am using a KMC SS chain with Fireeye cog (18T) and XT Chain ring (32T), so far so good,.... no complain..


Quote:
Originally Posted by arci View Post
dante,

me isyu yata ang 9 speed chain sa SS kasi makitid, why not try an IG chain instead or the more sturdy KMC.

HTH
  #10  
Old 10-01-2008, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arci View Post
dante,

me isyu yata ang 9 speed chain sa SS kasi makitid, why not try an IG chain instead or the more sturdy KMC.

HTH

OO nga..ikinabit ko lang for the mean time habang di pa ako nakakaluwas..hehehe..atat na ako magamit eh...will buy a SS specific chain bro..
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2008, 02:11 PM
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Sir,

As far as I know, 1/2" x 1/8" chains are for BMX use, and are typically wider than the 9 speed chains. Since you are using a 9-1 converter cog and an FSA chain ring also designed for 9-speed use, the culprit to your problem is quite easy to point out.

I had a similar problem in the past but was able to solve it in phases. For your reference, here is my setup:

Cog: Shimano 1/2" x 1/8" 18-teeth BMX Free Wheel
Chainring: Truvativ Blaze Power Spline, 32 teeth
Chain: DID 1/2" x 1/8" BMX Chain
Tensioner: MOB RP2 Dual Pulley Chain Tensioner

Similar to your observation, my chainline was almost perfect too, tension on the tensioner is high (jockey cage between the two tensioner pulleys is close to parallel to the chain stay). It was also fine on the work stand, but after a very few rides, the chain was slipping as you have described it.

To solve the slipping chain issue, this was what Caloy of All Terra did: he simply transferred the spacers used on the chain ring bolts to mount the chain ring to the crank arm. The spacers were originally on the inner part, behind the chain ring; he moved it to the outer side, between the crank spiders and the chain ring. This effectively moved the chain ring out by about 3 to 4 mm, thereby improving my chain line too. No more slipping chain issues after that.

Next issue I had was the noise. Apparently, since I am using a BMX chain with a tensioner designed to accept 9-speed chains, my chain was rubbing on the inside of the jockey cage of the tensioner’s dual pulley assembly. Again a trip to Caloy fixed it, he widened the jockey cage a bit until the chain was not rubbing anymore. Noise is down to acceptable levels.

I had been using my SS since December 2006 on this set-up (and I usually ride it in Maarat with my sons regularly on Saturdays) with no problems.

Since both your chain ring and cog are 9-speed specific, you are really prone to this chain skipping if you have a wide chain. When I was building up my SS, both the SRAM single-speed specific PC-1 and PC-7x chains were available locally. I’m not sure if they still are right now. You may want to check Life Cycle in Greenhills, they are the SRAM distributor locally, they may be able to source the chain for you.

Finally, how old is your BB? If it’s a bit old already and is showing considerable play (alog) while you pedal, this may contribute to your problem too. A BB with significant play will temporarily alter your chain line as you pedal, and this momentary change in chain line will cause your chain to derail from your chain ring.

Safe rides!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordPAOLO View Post
Got me recently a 1/2"x1/8" chain for my SS, since it is intended for "single speed" applications. Installed it just fine, chainline to almost perfect, not too much tension on the tensioner. Seems fine on the workbench, until;

I rode it a few meters and instantly, the chain slides sideways on either the cog or the chainring. The noise is a bit annoying. Haven't tried to look (while riding it) where it is sliding since it is an 18" frame and has a 32T chainring. Upon close inspection (dismounted), I noticed that the cog and chainring is thin kaya pala habang loaded 'yung pedaling talagang may tendency 'yung chain to move sideways.

Components are:
Cog: Da Bomb 18T 9-1 converter
Chainring: 32T FSA Gravity Light (22T removed)
Chain: 1/2"x1/8"

In the event, that the cog/chainring is too thin for the chain, meron bang available locally na SS cog and chainring that is compatible with a 1/2"x1/8" chain?

Thanks and godspeed!
  #12  
Old 10-01-2008, 10:53 PM
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Thanks for the inputs guys! Just a clarification, the chain wouldn't derail off the cog or the chainring. It would just slide sideways as I pedal.

Here's some images of my set-up:

Crank and chain:


Notice how the chain is close to the polycarb bashguard. I checked it out and yup, even the chain pins wouldn't touch the guard.

Cog and chain:


Here, parang the problem is too obvious. This is might where the slipping occurs. I think you could put 1.5 more cogs in there.

Found my estimations incorrect and I now believe the Da Bomb converter is default on the 47.5mm chainline, however my crank is right smack 50mm so I had to place the 16T cog (notice the image) with the rest of the converter installation just to get that another ~1.5mm!

Looks like I'd better use a 3/32" chain or a more professional set of spacers and cogs.

If I go full Surly (cog and chainring) do you guys think it would fit more of the 1/8" chain? How about Rennen's?

Teka mas mura 'ata 'yung gumamit na lang ako ng 3/32" chain? Hehehe! 'Yun lang I really dig that gold blingy-thingy...
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:44 AM
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I noticed that your chain and cog are very clean... no lube. have you tried with riding with lube? it won't look very blingy with lube, but it will ride with less noise compared to a bone dry drivetrain. It really doesn't matter that the chain slides sideways from edge of plate to plate. What matters is that the chain doesn't make contact with the bashguard or tensioner retainer. I've used 1/8 chain with 9sp cogs/rings, but I don't use bashguards or tensioners.
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:15 AM
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Guys, just want to ask..I'm still not too familiar with the technical specs of most bike parts.. what's the difference between 1/2 x 1/8" , 1/2 x 3/32" chains? How does it compare to a 9 Speed specific chains (i.e shimano CN7701, etc.)?

Prior to building my own SS, I was on a simulated SSS rides in a 32x16 constant gear combination in my FS bike..no problem with the chains of course..Now, my SS rig is already built and I installed my spare CN7701 chains into it. Have used the rig once here in the road terrain of Subic to test it. Find no problem with it but I know there are some issues in using 9 speed specific chains to SS use. My set-up is:

Cranks : 32T Truvativ Stylo
Cog : 17T Surly
Spacers : Surly
Tensioner : Surly Singleator in push down mode. rethinking of converting it
to push up mode since I like the looks of a complete chain loop.
Frame : Giant XtC Team

Noise was very audible prior to my testing but I put lube into the drive train and the noise was mitigated. My SS runs smoothly..Would appreciate your comments and insights..
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:40 AM
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The difference between 1/2 x 1/8 and 1/2 x 3/32 is width. 1/2 x 1/8 is the standard for BMX and other singlespeed / fixie bikes. 1/2 x 3/32 is the standard for 8 speed bikes. 9 speed chains like the CN7701 is 1/2 x 11/128. Obviously CN7701 will work with SS setups using MTB specific chainring/cogs (like Truvativ Stylo + Surly cogs) which are meant to use this type of chain - it just wont last as long as dedicated SS chains which are tougher (designed for continuous high torque pedaling) and have thicker plates that take much longer to stretch.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperion View Post
The difference between 1/2 x 1/8 and 1/2 x 3/32 is width. 1/2 x 1/8 is the standard for BMX and other singlespeed / fixie bikes. 1/2 x 3/32 is the standard for 8 speed bikes. 9 speed chains like the CN7701 is 1/2 x 11/128. Obviously CN7701 will work with SS setups using MTB specific chainring/cogs (like Truvativ Stylo + Surly cogs) which are meant to use this type of chain - it just wont last as long as dedicated SS chains which are tougher (designed for continuous high torque pedaling) and have thicker plates that take much longer to stretch.
Okay bro..that's very clear..the reason my drive train works well for now..and based on your explanation above, the CN 7701 chain won't last long..What would you recommend then, the 1/2 x 1/8 or the 1/2 x 3/32? I guess the latter is much lighter than the former right?
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:49 PM
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i hope my 10spd DA chain don't break on me
logged relatively good mileage on it on gently rolling terrain. i always have a bmx chain on standby but i just find it too heavy for my legs
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:00 AM
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@makoy, you should be fine with the DA chain. I've used many different chains on my SS bikes, with direct drive and a straight chainline there's very little to go wrong. I've had best success with branded chains (Shimano, SRAM, KMC. 8sp, 9sp, 3/32, 1/8). I've never broken a chain, but did derail once when using a cog from a geared cassette.

I find that many inexpensive BMX chains don't seem to give me a lot of miles before they get "stretched". It seems the pins on these chains wear out quickly and are not as hardened or heat-treated as well as the branded chains. One chain in particular was a bling nickle plated ACS chain... it lasted less than 300 km before it became too long and started to wear out my chainring and cog. It cost half the price of SRAM, but the SRAM lasted 10x more miles.
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquifer View Post
Okay bro..that's very clear..the reason my drive train works well for now..and based on your explanation above, the CN 7701 chain won't last long..What would you recommend then, the 1/2 x 1/8 or the 1/2 x 3/32? I guess the latter is much lighter than the former right?
1/2 x 3/32 KMC Kool Chain K810 is my bulletproof recommendation if you don't want to worry about your chain. Here's some of its juicy specs:

* KMC K810H "K810 KOOL"
* 1/2 x 3/32"
* 112 Links
* Boxed
* Special dynamic configuration plates
* Stretchproof mushroomed pins
* Oversized outer plates and super tall inner plates
* Width: 7.8mm
* 410 grams
* Silver
* price is around P850 if I remember correctly - a very reasonable price for such a tough chain.



It is roughly 25% heavier than a CN7701 but when your legs become strong - it won't matter which is the whole point of going SS.
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:58 PM
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Default Problem solved.

Thanks again for the advices my fellow cyclists!

Got rid of the slipping problem, although an expensive one.

Bought a set of Surly spacers and an 18T Surly cog. Used a digital caliper. Applied basic math and voila! another quiet and agile single-speeder adds to the pile-up. The overbuilt Surly cog really meshes with the 1/8" chain. The caliper read approximately 51.87mm on the chainring and 51.84 on the outboard-offset cog. Talk about precision equipment. Hehe!

Tried the set-up on a ~200m. 30-40° uphill patch of road (Ultra, Pasig) and not a skip, slip, derail, nada! That's on a Surly tensioner on a pull-down mode?! Of course, my legs melted, lungs about to implode and I didn't make it all the way up but the drivetrain is exceptionally stable. I'm planning to convert the tensioner in a push-up configuration.

4-WCoastBo, dang! you're right, 32x16-18T is TOO small a ratio for the road but I guess it'll do for now. I need some cadence training anyway.

4-JCAtienza, I bought a set of 1/2"x1/8" chain that JensonUSA indicated as a "KMC Z410 Single Speed chain". The item came in a box and it is exactly how it appeared on the net, however the chain doesn't have any physical stamping of any kind that spells "KMC". It only has "Z" marks on every two links. I read in the box that it is manufactured by KMC International-something. Is this some sort of outsourcing of some kind but in essence made by KMC themselves? Compared this by the way, to a KMC X9SL. Am really looking forward to those K810 SS chains. Asteeg!

Thanks and godspeed!
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