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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may be OCD about my drive train but I want it smooth and quiet as it can be. On the other hand don't want to drop a lot of coin. (ocd and cheap, what a combination) Running a 48/17 fixed on a Steamroller. Put about 3K miles on the chain that came with the bike. Seems like it would start to make noise every ride after about 20 miles. Had to clean and lube after every ride just to keep it somewhat quiet. Went to LBS and asked for a chain. They sold me a 1/8" single speed chain. After 1 ride of 30 miles it seems to have gotten better. Do chains "break in"? Seem like it was sort of "grinding" when I started the ride and then started to quied down. Using "white lighting" lube and careful to not have chain over-tight. After all that my question is... is there a better chain I can use and do you think the problem is in the chain?

Lew
 

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I don't know what chain came on your bike, but the most common out there seems to be the KMC Z410, their least expensive chain. It costs around $10. It's the one that also comes in colors.

I've been running the more expensive S10 stainless, with good results. Can be had for about $20. Extremely quiet on both my conversions with 3/32" cogs, one with a slightly less than perfect chainline due to having to space the bb out 2mm.

One of our mechanics bought the Masi Speciale Fixed and was disappointed with the noisy drivetrain from the get go. Sure enough, it had the black Z410. We replaced it with the stainless and...silence.

And while there is great disagreement about chainlubes (I like Finish Line Dry myself) there seems to be some consensus that White Lightening sucks. I've tried it in the past and the results were disappointing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Richard, great info. School me on width, 1/8" vs 3/32. Is one better than the other? Is one quieter? Does it have to match the cog?
As far as the lube goes, I may switch and try that. I use thw WL on my geared bike because oit is clean but I need to apply every 100 miles or sooner.
 

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LEW 3 said:
Thanks Richard, great info. School me on width, 1/8" vs 3/32. Is one better than the other? Is one quieter? Does it have to match the cog?
As far as the lube goes, I may switch and try that. I use thw WL on my geared bike because oit is clean but I need to apply every 100 miles or sooner.
Get rid of the WL...it is not clean (dirty wax chunks everywhere) and it doesn't last. Try some Prolink.
 

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Single speed chains are 1/8". Multi-speed chains from the old 6/7/8 era are 3/32".

My experience is, given a choice, go with a 3/32" cog and a 1/8" chain. You can run a 1/8 chain on a 3/32" cog but not vice-versa. And you can run a 1/8" on any chainring.

On the conversion I mentioned above, the chainline was a bit off and with a 1/8" cog and the stainless chain, it was noisy. I replaced that with a 3/32" DuraAce cog and solved the problem. No scientific backup, but I think the wider chain on the thinner teeth allows the chain to engage and disengage easier.

Our shop's experience has also shown that cheap cogs can be noisy as well as having poorly machined threads. We actually had to warranty out a customers wheel - which we sold and on which we properly installed a $12 low-end cog - when the cog "peeled" the threads off the hub body. We stock nothing below a $30 hardened chromoly and DuraAce now.

Maybe a little more money up front, but my experience is that better quality chains and cogs will last longer and run quieter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Special Update

Changed lubes and new chain. Quiet drivetrain, lovin it. Could not leave well enough alone. Thought a stainless chain would up the cool factor. Purchased a S10 stainless a sugested. Noisy from the get go. Went ahead and left it on for 200 miles and no change. Changed back to steel chain yesterday and quiet bliss. Thoughts?

Thanks again for everyones help
Lew
 
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