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New fixie project - 1/8" or 3/32" drivetrain(9 posts)

New fixie project - 1/8" or 3/32" drivetraincarpe_podium
May 28, 2003 6:17 PM
Is there a big durability difference between the two sizes? I need to buy a crank and can't make up my mind which width to get. Anyone have any info on the Miche Pista gruppo? I'm going to turn an older Bianchi into a fixed gear and would appreciate any help.
re: New fixie project - 1/8" or 3/32" drivetrainDave Hickey
May 28, 2003 6:27 PM
If your entire setup is 1/8, it will be fine. If a chainring or cog is 3/32 with an 1/8" chain, it's noisy as hell. I never got used to looking down at an 1/8" chain. It looks huge compared to 3/32". Chucksbikes has the Miche group for a great price. I don't know much about it other than I heard the rear hub only works with a Miche cog. This was second hand info and I don't know if it's true. You might want to ask as replacement parts could be a problem if it's true.
I'm assured they both work fine ...Humma Hah
May 28, 2003 6:27 PM
... I lean toward 1/8" myself, for special reasons:

1) The cruiser's stock drivetrain is strictly 1/8" hardware. I could convert it to a modern crank by inserting BB adapters, and use a 3/32 freewheel in the back, which would be a technical improvement over the present one-piece crank and steel chainwheel, but choose not to for reasons of keeping it as stock as practical.

2) To be true to what the vintage Paramount would have been equipped with if it were a fixie when new, I opted for Pista cranks, which would have been equipped with a 1/8" chainring.

There's probably a small durability issue with the chainwheels and cogs, but made up for with lower price and greater availability with the more common 3/32 hardware.
re: New fixie project - 1/8" or 3/32" drivetraineddie m
May 28, 2003 7:21 PM
If I were buying all new stuff, I'd look hard at 1/8". It should be more durable, you can use high quality track chains or cheap BMX chains, and you can find half-links for the chain if your dropouts don't allow enough adjustment.
What is a "half link"? (nm)LC
May 29, 2003 1:35 PM
A misnomer for a special link ...Humma Hah
May 30, 2003 6:12 AM
... You can't normally remove a single link, they have to come off in pairs, because each link pair is an inside link joined to the next by outside plates.

A "half-link" is a bent-up little link that's inside on one end, outside on the other. So if, say, 110 links is too long, and 108 links is too short, you can make a 109-link chain.

These things are as scarce as hen's teeth. I checked Sheldon Brown's website, couldn't even find them there (although I'd have sworn that's where I'd seen them before).
even more scarece than hen's teeth isSteve_0
May 30, 2003 12:00 PM
proper use of the word 'misnomer'. Thanks HH.
re: New fixie project - 1/8" or 3/32" drivetrainChris3212
Jun 1, 2003 11:27 AM
I think the only reason that 1/8 chains and cogs are still available is that trakies (especially old-timers) can be very tradition-bound and they're still in demand, just like high-flange hubs, although they're not necessary.
re: New fixie project - 1/8" or 3/32" drivetrainvictorthewombat
Jun 6, 2003 9:08 AM
carpe_podium;

I use to be rigid about using 3/32" on my fixie, but I just converted to 1/8" myself. I flip flop fixed and freewheel.

My experience has been that chainlife is just not an issue either size you are gonna be replacing chains. For trackies- 1/8" chainwheels are bit easier to find especially if do not have a sophisticated LBS. I still hold as fact and my personal experience that the chain manufacturers put thier best materials and engineering into 3/32" parts thus 3/32" chains are by and large better.

But here is the rub - in an emergency if you go into a bike shop and ask for a chainwheel 3/32" w/o ramps you are going to be laughed right out. 1/8" has a lot better chance of being in stock for a single chain ring. I personally keep a good supply of both sizes being careful not to mix the two. Also, once you use an 1/8" chain on a freewheel you should continue to do so.

I use to maintain that 1/8" chains are boat anchors, augh, I am just not strident about the issue anymore. Both work and just fine.