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From Sheldon Browns site.

1/8" or 3/32" Chain?

Many track bicycles use a wider chain than is common on multi-speed bicycles. Derailer-type chain has a nominal internal width of 3/32". Single-speed bicycles, including most track bicycles, use the wider 1/8" size. You can buy fixed-gear sprockets in both sizes.

(Some people mistakenly refer to the width as "pitch", speaking of "road pitch" or "track pitch". This is an error. The pitch is the distance between the rollers, and all modern bicycle chain has the same pitch, 1/2"/12.7 mm.)

I would generally advise using the 3/32" (derailer) size. It is lighter, more compatible with your existing chainwheels, and likely to run smoother if the chainline is less than perfect, due to beveled side plates. In my experience, 3/32" chain is no less durable or reliable than 1/8".

For the true retro fan, another option is 1" x 3/16" chain. This used to be common on track bikes. This requires special sprockets with only half as many teeth as standard 1/2" pitch sprockets. Serious old-time trackies used "block" chain, which had no rollers. This is no longer available. Roller chain is still sometimes findable in this size.

Chains explained:
http://www.branfordbike.com/cgi-bin...ispage=chains/chains4.html&ORDER_ID=835841906
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
3/32"

Thanks for the reply. I have a cheap Shimano 6/7/8, maybe I should just buy a few pins for when I have to add/subtract a link or two. Currently running 42/16 on my gravel road bike (would like to be able to switch to a 39T), and a 42/14 on my road fixie (maybe switch to a 16T on the back).
 

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J-No said:
I'm looking for a simple, no pins, no wierd links, chain for my fixies. They are both forward facing semi horizontal bikes, so I do not have unlimited adjustment.

Thanks.
Shimano uses pins while Sram has the link. The local shop adivsed me not to use the Sram link on a Shimano chain. When the time came and I needed to connect a Shimano chain, I had a dificult time locking the Sram link. I should have bought a shimano pin instead. Also, Sram links comes color coded for 10, 9 & 8 speed Sram chains if you need to buty just the link. I believe the Shimano pins also are specific as to 10 or 9/8 speeds. So if you need to buy just the pin, specify what chain you will use it for.

True 3/32 chains are not so pinicky as to a perfect chain line as geared bikes are almost always cross geared.
 
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