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How to Choose a Fixed Gear Bike Chains (Buyers Guide)

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Fixies basically use fixed gear chains, and that’s when the trouble starts. You see, fixed gear chains are a special kind of chains, and if it doesn’t have the right measurement, you’ll have a bad riding experience.

Besides, the typical ones tend to get rust and corrosion within few months. They’re not even that durable. Some of them don’t stay attached to the sprocket securely. All this pain for a gear chain? Really?

Get your hands on the best fixed gear chain right away simply by reading the reviews we’ve arranged. Rust-resistant feature, perfect measurement, heavy-duty construction, you name it, our gear chains have got everything.Table of Contents

Fixed gear chains are distinguished by their width and measure 1/8th inch and 3/32th inch.

Fixie bikes use both of these types of chains. Traditional fixies use the wider 1/8th inch chains, which are pretty good for the average cyclist. The 3/32 inch ones, on the other hand, are great options for fixie bikes for competitive cycling.

These chains allow fixies to use the original crankset while also providing smoother as well as quieter pedaling. And as these chains are thinner, they are lighter as well –making your bike riding experience buttery smooth, overall.

While the 3/32 inch ones are great, but we recommend the 1/8 inch ones as these are more widely available.

How Often Should You Change Your Bike Chain?

While you might think a bike chain is a pretty rugged piece of equipment, you do need to change it once in a while. Although it must not be done that frequently, you should be observant of it to see the chain needs changing.

A general rule of thumb is to change the bike chain after you’ve ridden it for 2000 miles. Now, this 2000 miles is a rough number, and you may have to replace it sooner or later, depending on the condition of the fixed gear bike chain that you will visibly notice.

Most cyclists ride their bikes up to about 60 miles per day. This means if you cycle every day for 60 miles per day, you should replace the chain every month or so. However, for non-professional cyclists, this number is not the same.

So, we’d say you should replace the chain of your fixie every 2-3 months.

What to Look for in a Fixed Gear Bike Chain? – Buying Guide

There are certain criteria a bike chain must check off in order to be a good chain for your fixed gear bike. To help you find the perfect one, we’ve brought you this comprehensive buying guide.

Bike Chain Parts

To know which bike chain is good for your fixie, it is crucial to know the anatomy of chains. Every good bike chain consists of 4 main parts.

  • Outer plates
  • Pins or rivets
  • Rollers
  • Inner plates

The outer plates are what we generally see in a chain, which has an inner plate in between each of them. Plus, the outer plate is connected to the inner plate using the rivets and rollers. That is basically how a bike chain is constructed.

Now that you know how it works, you must make sure each of these parts is well-functioning and offers great performance while riding the bike.

Build Quality

Bicycle chains are commonly made of stainless steel, carbon, nickel, or some sort of alloy. These are pretty solid and reliable materials and offer durability like no other.

The chain should provide smooth pedaling while riding your bike, or else what’s the point, right? This smoothness depends a lot on the build quality. Most KMC, Shimano, and SRAM single speed chains offer this kind of smoothness.

Type of Bike Chain

The best kind of chain for fixed gear bikes are the single speed bike chains. These chains typically are thicker and wider, which allows them to take on more strain on the drivetrain.

Size of the Chain

While there are two different sizes for fixie bike chains, we recommend going for a 1/8-inch fixie chain size. These will provide the proper drivetrain you need, as we mentioned above, and are rather widely available than the 3/32 inch sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make fixie bike chain smooth?

The best way to make fixie bike chains smooth is by lubricating them. Like any bike chain, you should use lubricants to do so. There are mainly two kinds of lubricants – dry lube and wet lube. We recommend using either type to make the chain smooth.How tight should a fixie chain be?

The fixie chain cannot be loose, as it may fall off. So, you need to make it tight enough to keep the bike running smoothly. However, make sure you tighten it without it binding, as tightening it too much might even break the chain.What chain should I use for single speed?

For single-speed bikes, you can use the 1/8 inch chains or the 3/32 inch chains. The chains that we reviewed above also fit this criterion, so you can check those out to save up on all the guesswork.How many links should be in a single speed chain?

Typically, single speed chains come with 114 links on average. However, some chains also come with 112 or 116 links, which are also pretty good.What size is a single speed chain?

A single-speed chain is generally 1/8 inches in terms of size.

Final Words

Picked the best fixed gear chain already? If you’re still having trouble picking one, you can go for the KMC Z410*. It’s one of our top priorities for some obvious reasons. Durability, rust-resistant feature, thickness, it has got everything to be the number 1.

And you’ve probably noticed that most of the products we’ve reviewed here are from KMC. Yep, the brand is that good. If you have any preference, of course, you can choose that. However, if you ask us, we’ll definitely give this brand a thumbs up.

Author avatar - Bradley Knight

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