Best track chain - common questions
Who makes the best bicycle chain?
- KMC X8. 99 BICYCLE CHAIN. KMC X8.99 BICYCLE CHAIN.
- KMC Z50 BICYCLE CHAIN. No products found.
- SHIMANO ULTEGRA CN-6701 CHAIN. SHIMANO ULTEGRA CN-6701 CHAIN.
- Shimano XT 10-Speed Chain CN-HG95. Sale.
- Zonkie 6/7/8 Speed Bike Chain. This bike chain is very easy to install.
I've been riding belt-drive bikes across continents since 2010 and after more than 100,000 kilometers in 100 countries, I'm ready to tell you that there is no better touring, bikepacking or commuting drive. I have belts through the hottest deserts, into icy snowfields, through dense jungle, along beaches, on muddy paths and to the top of the highest road in the world. I suspect there are few people on earth with the same real world experience as me.
In this article we look at what belt drive is, what the pros and cons are, and then I'll go through the frequently asked questions to make sure no stone is left unturned. Oh and this is not a sponsored article, I haven't invested in belt drive companies and I can always use chains on my bikes. I'm just a big fan of belts and I hope you can see why soon.
So what is belt drive? Belts are used to power the fans of 10,000 horsepower racing engines, the drivetrains of 150 horsepower motorcycles and, more recently, the drivetrains of many bicycles. Gates Corporation invented their first automotive screws about a century ago, and today they are the most popular brand of belt systems for bicycles. The straps themselves are made of a polymer reinforced with several carbon fiber cords.
They are then usually paired with stainless steel gears and durable aluminum chainrings. And why do I think belts are the best drive train? First, belts have a very long life. You can expect a belt drive to last three to four times longer than a typical chain.
That's more than 30,000 kilometers, even in the poor driving conditions in which I am often thrown around! In addition, they are insensitive to water and salt, so that there is no rust here even after months of cycling through intense rainy seasons. Number two is that belts require little to no maintenance. Belts don't stretch, they don't need lubrication, they never grease, and they clean the mud amazingly well.
A splash of water is usually enough to keep them going. Number three, belt drives are absolutely noiseless. Do you know when your chain is freshly cleaned and lubricated and runs absolutely noiselessly? Well, that's pretty much all of the time! Number four, belts are lighter than chains.
You can count on a weight saving of between 100 and 300 grams compared to a chain drive. The pros look damn good, but what about the cons? First, you can't use a belt drive with derailleurs. A belt is designed to run in a perfectly straight line.
That means it cannot be combined with derailleurs, chainrings or cassettes, but it can be used with a gearbox on the crankset or a gear hub on the rear wheel. Number two, you need a strap compatible frame! Since straps are usually one-piece, your frame must be equipped with a belt splitter in the rear so that you can attach a strap to your bike. The frame must also undergo a 'stiffness test' to ensure that the frame does not flex too far and the belt slipping off the rear sprocket.
Number three, replacement parts and not found in typical bike stores. Personally, I have never seen this as a problem, buy all my spare parts online and always have a spare belt with me in case of emergencies. I usually travel 18 months before I even think about ordering parts.
Number four, there are higher upfront costs. The Abelt drivetrain isn't super cheap, but it is cost effective, provided you get the full mileage out of your belt drivetrain. I estimated you would travel 125 kilometers for the dollar.
This is the equivalent of a chain drive that will cost you about $ 60 per 7,500 kilometers. For reference, that's the same price as the longest-lasting chain we have, which wears between 5,000 and 7,000 kilometers. And number 5, it's a less efficient powertrain.
Derailleurs are undoubtedly the most efficient drive trains available with an average drive efficiency across all gears between 95 and 98 percent. Since you have to use a transmission on a bicycle with a belt, there is always additional friction loss. According to the data available to us, Shimano hubs and Pinion gears are a little over 90 percent efficient, while the Rohloff hubs increase to over 94 percent.
The efficiency discrepancy is one of the reasons why you rarely see gears and belt drives on racing bikes. Additional resistance can also occur on the belt, but this is much less than that of the transmission itself. Now we come to all of the frequently asked questions about belt drives.
How does the Gates Carbon Drive feel? It drives like a well-lubricated chain, but has a slightly different hum. And despite its looks, it feels just as stiff and solid as a chain. How do you fix a belt? It is very easy to remove a chain link along the way.
Belts, on the other hand, are designed to be replaced. Instead of carrying a chain tool, it is advisable to bring a spare strap that rolls up to a small enough size. I've only broken 19,000 miles of old belts in the last 10 years, so changing an emergency belt never comes to mind.
When do you know a belt is too worn out? Surprisingly, it is the rear gear that wears out the fastest on a belt drive, the teeth can get very, very sharp! Since I digress quite a bit from service, I replaced my entire drivetrain as a precaution after about 30,000 kilometers. I've never found the true limit of distance where the belts would stop working, but it looks like life has just increased as Gates introduced a new high-strength steel gear this week! What's up with the belt resistance? You may have seen articles of people stacking weights on pedals to show the difference in drive resistance between a belt and a chain. These tests are a little misleading as the friction between the chain and belt increases at different rates - the incline of the belt is actually four times less steep.
There is a transition point where a belt becomes more efficient than a chain when you pedal at two hundred and twelve watts. This is a bit higher than typical bumps from a cyclist, so expect about half a watt of slack in the belt system under ideal riding conditions, but likely better efficiency in adverse conditions due to the way a belt can remove dirt from the gears. However, if you are using a particularly stiff frame, you can lower the belt tension below the recommendation.
You haven't heard this from me, but I've been slowly reducing the belt tension on my Koga over the past year and frankly it's getting ridiculous. My belt can now touch my chain stay, it's so far above the minimum that I can't even measure it! And I'm a very strong driver, with a very heavy load driving up incredibly steep mountain roads. At my approximate belt tension and the force outputs I am pushing, my belt is likely running the same or less friction than a chain.
I only recommend trying this with a strap damper attached, which will ensure the strap stays on even if the strap skips. What does the actual maintenance look like? When riding in adverse conditions, it is a good idea to use a toothbrush and water to clean any debris from the system - if only to reduce the wear and tear on your gears. In dry conditions with very fine dust, a belt drive can sometimes cause an annoying squeak.
This can be easily remedied with a silicone spray that dries on your belt instantly. I'm currently experimenting with treadmill silicone lubricant, which stays wet a little longer and attracts more sand in the short term, but it seems to require fewer uses. The biodegradable chain lubricant Rohloff is known to work in a similar manner.
Just forget about the Hanseline belt care stick, it's extremely sticky and frankly a terrible product for a belt. How to Adjust Belt Tension Unlike chains, belts do not lengthen over time, resulting in a true set and forget drivetrain. There are two typical ways to adjust the tension on a belt.
Some bikes use sliding rear dropouts, but when talking to a handful of bike engineers it sounds like an eccentric bottom bracket shell allows for the stiffest possible rear triangle to run the lowest possible belt tension. You can use your smartphone to determine the tension of your belts accordingly. By plucking the belt, your smartphone app decodes the tension frequency and determines whether your belt tension is correct.
As you can see my belt falls below the frequency range. But if we tighten everything, we can read. Don't belts destroy the bearings? It is possible that a bicycle with belts at maximum belt tension could wear out the bearings prematurely.
But on a bike designed for straps, the frame is stiff enough for the tension to match that of a rider using a chain and pedaling at 250 watts, which is not at all unusual. Aren't there limited gear ratios? There are four rear gears, four pinion sizes and twenty belt lengths to choose from. This should by no means be limiting for touring and commuting.
Can you convert a frame for a belt drive? I took two touring frames to a custom frame builder to have the rear belt splits built into the rear triangle. They worked fine, but I had to use high belt tension as the back triangles had more side-to-side curvature than a dedicated belt frame. Are there any other belt manufacturers? Gates completely dominates the market when it comes to belt drives, but there are few manufacturers offering alternatives including Veer, Accord and Driveline.
Veer seems to be the most promising and has one big advantage over Gates - their straps can split, which means they can be attached to any bike! Since the rear end of a typical bicycle is not particularly stiff, I suspect that the Veer system has a high level of friction when retrofitting a bicycle. But that means you still get all of the benefits of belt drive, so I think it's a really cool product if you're belt curious and don't want a completely new bike. Let's sum that up! I hope this information hit all sorts of talking points in the belt.
I've been driving belt drives through the wringers and taking them to the most remote places in the world for 10 years, and I'm sure there is no better drive for touring, bikepacking, and commuting. If the idea of a gear system like Rohloff or Pinion convinces you, be sure to skip the chain option and combine it with a belt drive. They are incredibly durable, practically maintenance-free, light and quiet to drive.
You can support this content on Patreon, you can follow me @ cyclingabout on Instagram and Facebook, check out the Bikepacking Bike Buyer's Guide and the Touring Bicycle Buyer's Guide, find out cool things on CyclingAbout.com, leave a comment below and here's a Challenge - convince me that chains are better than belts!
What is a track chain?
A Track Chain is used by the Track Cycling Chainset to connect the forward motion generated by pedalling to the sprocket/rear wheel to generate forward movement.
Previously, when we discussed curves, we discussed that the ideal line through a curve has a much larger radius than any path that follows the curve itself. Let's now take a closer look at the ideal line itself and how it works, is that you can drive faster through a curve with a larger radius than through a tight curve with a very small radius. This is related to how much lateral grip a car has, something that is tied to more factors than just tire rubber.
Downforce, suspension and traction are among the many elements that help a Carits twist grip. This car is going in circles as fast as possible, say 40 mph. It can maintain the circular path because the side friction from the handle of the car pulls it inward toward the center of the circle, while the propulsion of the car and its sustained momentum cause it to continue in the direction it is pointing.
These two forces combine to create a circular motion, and as we discussed last time, corners are just small circles. The radius of this circle, its size, is defined by the car's grip at that speed. If the car accelerated a little now, to 80 km / h, it would not be able to keep this tight loop.
It would begin to slide and drift outward into a larger circular path. And as it gets faster and faster, the car drifts into ever wider arcs. All of this should now underpin the idea that a larger arc, a larger radius curve, a longer curve will go faster looking back at our corner: a simple corner with a single radius, with no complicated fasteners or whatever we're in discussed last article.
If we want to find the fastest line through this curve, we just need to find the circle that will take us from the outside of the track, cut the inside in the middle, and then take us back to the outside of the track on the other side, right? , not quite as luck would have it. While you can calculate and plot the ideal mathematical line just discussed with all the dimensions of a curve, things are not that simple. Let's talk about the vertex for a second.
Well, the apex, when mentioned by drivers and commentators, is the innermost point of a curve that cars pass on their line. Our math line finds the true vertex, or geometric vertex, the point at the absolute center of the curve, and actually creates a symmetrical line through the curve, hopefully we're fine so far. Although this ideal line gives you the fastest route through the curve, it is often not the best line.
Remember, you are not trying to maximize your speed through a corner, you are trying to maximize your speed over the entire route. Taking the curve between point A and point B as quickly as possible could even have a detrimental effect on the way to point C on the next straight. So how do we maximize our speed from A to C? So this part here is a straight line, and what are straight lines, but acceleration zones.
A wasted moment of not accelerating will hurt you getting faster speeds at the end of the straight, which can lead to some pretty massive deficits. So a driver actually brakes a little later and harder, turns into the curve later, but straightens up much earlier. You'll be swiping the inside of the curve through the curve later in what is known as the late apex, all to create a much straighter line out of the curve.
So now we can all hoofed out of the corner from this point, so we should be much faster by the end of the straight at point C. On our normal line, we're still straightening the car here, so we're leaving the curve more slowly than at a later apex. Entering a late apex is more effective the slower the curve is.
This is because when starting off from a lower speed and starting from a higher speed you have a much greater potential for acceleration. That is why straight hairpin turns are driven with such a late apex approach, distorting the ideal line much more than the faster, gentle turns. However, the exit speed is not everything.
You can turn what we just said upside down and climax early. If you want to maximize entry speed, toss the car in the corner and sacrifice exit speed to sort the car. Why should we ever do this? Well, what if our corner was not followed by a straight line, but by another corner or a sequence of corners? In this case, the starting speed from the first corner is not so important to us, as we are not trying to maximize the acceleration here.
Instead, we care about position and stability so that we can take the next corner as quickly as possible. In fact, in a sequence of turns, be it a chicane or some sort of complex, you are really trying to maximize your final exit acceleration while taking the fastest possible line through the center of all the turns. In which case, you'll likely take an early vertex, take our entrance to the complex, take the more mathematical path of least resistance through the center, and if possible get a nice, late vertex at the exit, maybe you don't want an early turn as far as possible, instead you may need to keep the pace steady and prepare for the next turn.
All sequences are different and figuring out which corners are most important to keep the speed going is a driver's skill. By now you may have spoken to commentators about the kart track, so what is it? Well, for reasons I don't need to go into in this article, it is often quicker for karts not to hit the apex through some corners, but instead take a wider line. You see, carts go faster when they keep their momentum instead of braking hard, turning and accelerating, as they are inherently very slippery and unstable.
Why should a Formula 1 car ever take this line? One reason is when his tires are absolutely dead. Another could be when it rains. When the track is wet there are two good reasons to choose a wider line.
One has a very similar reason to the karts: it's better and faster to keep your momentum through the corner than trying to brake hard, turn quickly, and accelerate from low speeds on slippery surfaces. The car is much more likely to get away from you if you use it a little dramatically and employ techniques designed for grip on a dry track. Second, if it has run dry, the dry racing line is covered with a layer of rubber.
This rubber gets super slippery when wet, much more so than the track itself, which has the grit and texture to displace and absorb the water. Taking a wider kart line will avoid the rubber through the slipperiest parts of the turn, and this is especially important on slow corners that rely heavily on good traction. So these are the basics of racing lines, but believe me, everything is very good on paper, but on the track it gets a lot more complicated and the inside of the corner affects the choice of pass.
Changes to the track surface, the curvature and the height are brought into play. How are the curbs? Does the corner exit have an asphalt runoff, gravel bed, grass or a large, strong barrier in front of it? In the end, the lines through the corners will endure the many qualities of the nature of it all. You could pick up the Ascari chicane variant from Monza and get stuck in Monaco and people would take it very differently.
Watch the cars go through the corners and try to work out the riders' decisions as they take their lines. And I haven't even mentioned how the lines change again when you're not alone but in a fight with another rider. But that's for another time.
Thanks for watching this article. This concludes our short series on curves and ideal lines and the like. If you want to know more about anything I haven't covered, let me know in the comments because next week we will continue with how Pirelli chooses their tire choices, thank you to my subscribers on Patreon, you will now see their names in front of you blink, and if you'd like to join me on Patreon there is a link above and we'll see you next week for our trip back to the tires before we dive into aero.
Are Izumi Chains worth it?
Best chain ever for track/fixie. Too bad it is a little bit pricey, but well worth it. I am glad I do not have to worry too much about a broken chain with this Izumi Super Toughness Chain. It is certified for use by the NJS.
Watch this article to learn how to install a chain on a two-sprocket drivetrain. We cover sizing, installation and tensioning. Hi, I'm Ben with Park Tool.
People like the simplicity of two-pinion drivetrains like BMX, fixed-gear singlespeed or old-style cruisers. You can also find them on internally geared hubs. Typical tools and accessories include a wrench to remove and install the axle nut - usually 15mm, a torque wrench to properly secure the axle nut, needle-nose pliers for the main link, and a chain tool.
The Park Tool CT-3.2 has a floating shelf which is useful as many singlespeed chains are thick and some other chain tools may not fit so we started removing the old chain from the bike loosen the axle nuts to relieve the chain. Use needle-nose pliers to remove the C-clip and master link.
Then remove the chain another type of masterlink, similar to derailleur chains. Unfasten this masterlink with mas terlink pliers. If you don't see a master link, your chain uses a connecting rivet.
If you have this type of chain go to the one shown Time for instructions, if your old chain was the right size just place it next to the new chain on a workbench and adjust the rivets side by side to keep your length. We cut the chain on this rivet. Now we're going to show you how to resize a change from scratch.
For horizontal dropouts, place the axle all the way forward in the slot for the dropout. For forward-facing dropouts, secure the axle nuts so that they fully engage the dropouts, but as far forward as possible. Wrap the chain around the front and rear sprocket rings to snap them into place at about the two or three o'clock position.
Draw in any master link to include all links when determining chain length. Pull the chain as tight as you can, noting that the outer tab attaching to the inner tab needs to be a little loose. Ideally, the chain ends meet at an inner and outer link, as shown here you call this rivet the reference rivet.
It is possible for two outer plates to meet, as shown in this example. Here we add a pin so that the appropriate chain ends meet. This is the reference rivet.
From the reference rivet we will add two more pins or an inch to the chain length. We do this because the extra inch allows enough slack for the chain to lift out of the ring to remove the wheel. It also increases flexibility for larger tires.
Remove the appropriate rivet to shorten the chain. Use a chain tool such as the CT-3.2 to remove the rivet.
When the chain is properly through the frame, connect the chain ends. Pull the wheel into the dropouts and center the wheel between the chainstays, tighten the axle nuts but don't tighten them all the way as we need to check the chain tension first, for safety, only touch the outer circumference of the chain Many mechanics have at least one story of someone trapping a finger on the inside. To check the tension, check the chain by sliding the chain up and down the middle.
The chain should have about a half inch or 12 mm of travel up and down, at a point halfway between the front and rear sprockets. This example is too loose. You can see the slack in the chain when the bike is pedaling.
This example is too narrow. Listen to the sound of the chain clinging to the rear sprocket. To change the tension, loosen one of the axle nuts and move the wheel slightly forwards or backwards.
Tighten it again. Then loosen, adjust and tighten the other nut, making sure the wheel is centered in the frame. Check the voltage again.
A chain tensioner can make the process easier. Tightening this screw tightens the chain. We make sure the wheel is centered in the frame and adjust our tension we tighten the axle nut here and finally on the other side, if the tension is adequate we now turn the crank and check the tension again, if If you see loose and tight spots when you turn the sprocket, it means that the sprockets are out of round.
This is not uncommon, just adjust the chain so it has 1/4 inch of movement at the narrowest point. A final test is to place side loads on the chain at a point between the front and rear sprockets. The chain makes a rattling noise, but it shouldn't derail.
If the chain loosens at either the front or rear of the sprocket, increase the tension and test again. With the chain on, fully secure the axle nuts to the manufacturer's recommended torque, typically about 25 Newton meters. With a hand wrench, use the perceived force of the wrench 5 'from the axle.
If the bike uses a coaster brake or band brake, attach the brake arm to the bike frame. And that's it for installing two sprockets. Remember, a clean bike is a happy bike Don't miss our article on cleaning and greasing chains.
Check out the Park Tool Guide to Chains for a quick rundown of our other chain-related articles that doesn't have a master link. Instead, it is connected with a special connecting rivet. It looks a little different from the rest of the rivets.
First we are going to walk you through a couple of procedural differences, if you have this type of chain, then we will send you back to where we left off and you will follow the folks on the Master Link Chain. But really, the only difference is how to connect and disconnect the chain. To separate the chain, choose a rivet that is not a connecting rivet and drive it completely off the chain.
Remove the chain tool from the chain, then remove the chain from your bike. To connect your properly sized and cut chain, lubricate the connecting rivets. Attach the rivet from the inside of the bike in the chain towards the mechanic.
Install the chain tool. Insert the connecting rivet into the chain. When the pilot goes through and you first run the pin through the chain you will feel a little resistance and the resistance will let go of something.
You can then just press on it sticks all the way in and then you will feel the resistance increase as the pin begins to go through the outer plates. You can feel it, there is a standstill and there you want to kind of retreat and then you can look where the overhang is and if it is the same on both sides of the chain it means it is good. Then you can cancel the pilot and your chain is installed.
Break the pilot point of the connecting rivet with it. from the chain tool or the pliers. the chain tool or the pliers Pedal the bike and check for solid links.
When you find one, use your hands to bend the chain back and forth to loosen it. and follow the steps; the size and tension procedures are the same regardless of your chain type. Thanks again for watching and remember: keep the rubber side down.
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What chain should I use for single speed?
If you have a single-speed bike or one with internal gears, the chain type will be 1/8? in internal width. In this category you will find cruiser bikes, urban bikes, fixies or models with internal gears, among others. If you have a bike with a derailleur, with 2 to 11 sprockets, you will need chains of 3/32?.
Are expensive bike chains worth it?
No. The only advantage of expensive chains within a specific brand is the minor reduction in weight. The ones with extra plating do look nicer and provide some corrosion resistance, but it takes almost no effort to keep your chain rust free.11 . 2015 .
Which is better KMC or Shimano chain?
Summary. The difference between the Shimano chain and the KMC is marginal; your choice will always come to personal preference. Despite the inconvenience of adjusting the chain, the Shimano runs a lot smoother and will provide you with long-lasting use.
Why a grove is cut on the handles of chains?
To enable the reading of fractions of a chain without much difficulty, tallies are fixed at every meter length for chains of 5 and 10 m length. To facilitate holding of arrows in position with the handle of the chain, a groove is cut on the outside surface of the handle.
Are Izumi Chains loud?
Izumi chains are pretty rattly in my experience. Mine is fairly loud as well... I've also had the same experience with IZUMI. Perhaps using a thick chain lube such as Chain-L may help quiet things down a bit.
Are 6 7 8 speed chains the same?
5, 6, 7 and 8 speed chains
Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo all use the same chain with 8 speeds. Chain for 7 speeds is a bit wider 7.3 mm, while a 6 speed one is substantially wider 7.8 mm.
Are 9 and 10 speed chains compatible?
10-speed chains have the same inner/roller width as 9-speed chains while being narrower. Therefore, a 10-speed chain meets the compatibility requirements because it has enough inner space for a 9-speed sprocket and doesn't cause rubbing due to its slimmer profile.
How are track Chains used in track cycling?
Track Chains. A Track Chain is used by the Track Cycling Chainset to connect the forward motion generated by pedalling to the sprocket/rear wheel to generate forward movement.
What should the pitch of a track chain be?
Innovative materials, new geometries and special heat treatments on all components (pins, bushings and links) guarantee maximum performance and longer wear life. Track Chains ranging from link pitch 90 mm to link pitch 350 mm - and above for cast monoblock designs.
Which is the best mountain bike chain to buy?
Compatible with 6 or 7 speeds and measuring ½” x 3/32”, and 116 links, this chain might very well become your new favorite best mountain bike chain. We love this bike chain because it’s durable and we know what to expect from the KMC name. 3. SHIMANO ULTEGRA CN-6701 CHAIN