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Shut up legs!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this so I have no idea and would like to get some idea in my head before I put things together.

A new Shimano chain comes in 116 links. Will I need all that linkage if I am running 53 front and 23 rear; double chainring in front only. If not, how many is enough for this 53/23 setup (approximately). My frame is 58cm if that helps in determining.

thanks for your help
 

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Shut up legs!
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1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am building a new bike so I don't have an old chain to compare to. And I just sold my old bike before I had a chance to count how mainly links it has.

I just want to know how many links you guys have under a 53/23 combination.. just for myself to have an idea and not to take it as an absolute
 

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chain length...

If you set it up right, then proper chain length will be the same if your largest cog is a 21, 23 or a 27. Here's the right way to adjust chain length.

Two simple tests will determine if the chain is the correct length. First, it must not hang loose in the little ring, little cog combination. If there is no tension on the chain in the little ring, little cog combination; remove two links (one inch) at a time, until there is. When the ends of the chain are brought together, some movement of the lower pulley should occur, indicating tension is being applied. Two more links (another inch) may need to be removed, beyond the point of absolute minimum tension, to keep the chain from rubbing on itself or the chain guide tab as it passes under the upper derailleur pulley. If you want to see how much lower pulley movement will occur, without removing the extra inch of chain, shift up four teeth (11 to 15 or 12 to 16). This has the same effect as removing two links. Once this is done, the chain is set to the maximum useable length. Removing additional links will do nothing but reduce the derailleur's capacity.

Second, the chain must be long enough to avoid over-extending the rear derailleur when shifted to the big ring and biggest cog combination. If the chain is set to the maximum length as described, it should always pass this test, unless your setup exceeds the derailleur's stated wrap capacity. If you deliberately exceed the derailleur's capacity and the derailleur is over-extended in the big ring/largest cog combo, then you must either avoid that combo or add another inch and avoid using the little chainring and the smallest 3 or 4 cogs (since the chain will hang loose).
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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Here's the rule of thumb:

Run the cahiaim between the largest ring and the largest cog (not in the dreailleur cage, BTW). Determine the minimum # of links needed. Add 1 and only 1 to that number.
 

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I'm w/Dave. Done it that way on every bike I've built

Dave_Stohler said:
Here's the rule of thumb:

Run the cahiaim between the largest ring and the largest cog (not in the dreailleur cage, BTW). Determine the minimum # of links needed. Add 1 and only 1 to that number.

I've been doing it like this for more than 30 years and never had a problem. FWIW, I don't think it makes any difference if you go through the derailleur or not. The cage stretches out flat so it doesn't change the measurement much, if at all.
 
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