Thursday, September 25, 2008

Single Speed and Multi Speed Chains and Rings

I was recently asked what the difference is between a single speed chain and the multi-speed counterpart. I thought this was a good question and here is my answer. Hopefully you find it helpful.

Single Speed/BMX (1/8”) chains are designed for non-derailleur applications only. 1/8” chains have less deflection or lateral flex than multi-speed chains. Multi-speed chains are optimized to flow through the various cogs and chainrings as the rider shifts gears. The light colored chain is 1/8" the darker chain is 3/32"

The Single Speed/non-derailleur chain has an internal width of 1/8” (where the teeth of the chainring nests inside see photo) which is wider than the 3/32” internal width of a derailleur equipped bicycle chain. As you might have surmised, the width of the chainring compliments the width of the chain so single speed chainrings are wider than multi-speed chainrings. While the widths of the chains differ the pitch (distance between the rollers) both chains measures ½”.

Most modern multi-speed chainrings are equipped with ramps and pins (see photo photo above) which are designed to facilitate smoother more accurate shifting. Single speed rings of course lack these features.

Bicycles with internally geared mechanisms (usually hubs) will often use the 1/8” chain since there is no derailleur on the bike and the chain remains fixed on one chainring and one rear cog.

Often you will see a 1/8” chain on a single speed bicycle with 3/32” cog and chainring. The wider chain on the skinnier rings poses no problems. Some feel the wider chain is stronger and they choose this set-up hoping for a more robust drive train. Others prefer the 3/32” chain and rings for single speed applications. These riders may spec their bikes in this way to save a bit of weight or to exploit the increased deflection of the 3/32” chain which may run quieter and smoother in set-ups where the chain line is not quite perfect.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Giant Frantic Winner

Last week we supported Friends of Frederick County by donating a bike for the organization to raffle off at their booth during the Great Frederick Fair. The bike was an ultra cool Giant Frantic 20" wheel kid's bike and Maggie was the winner. Congratulations Maggie!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Car Free Day

There is a goal to make September 22, 2008 a car free day. If at all possible please help with this goal. Ride your bike, telecommute, car pool, take a day off, quite your job, etc. What ever it takes. If you would like to participate you can sign up here.

The featured car free logo was designed by: pretty cool huh!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oury Oury Oury

I have been riding Oury grips since the mid 1990s. There is just something about their squishiness that pleases me. I always try to stock all their wonderful grip flavors and recently two new limited edition colors were released and delivered to The Bicycle Escape: Lilac and Burgundy. My excitement culminated in a good old fashion grip bath.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Predator

Some how we have been getting lots of old school BMX bikes lately. Here is the latest blast from the past. It is a 1985 Schwinn Predator Qualifier. Most of the parts are original. The few that have been replaced are period correct except the seat of course. We have more pictures on our Flickr album:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Old School

We just finished tuning and doing a little refurb’ work on this old school BMX bike. The frame is a Diamond Back Hot Streak. The chrome frame is complete with built in foot platforms. I figure enough people who remember bikes like this will stumble across the blog so I wanted to share the nostalgia.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Septemer 2008 Photo Ride

The 2008 Photo ride was met with record numbers and perfect weather. 21 cyclists congregated at The Bicycle Escape for a casual ride with plenty of stops to shoot some photos. We left the shop and headed toward the covered bridge on Utica Road before reversing direction and heading back to the store. Thanks to all the riders and Maili for organizing the event. Here are some pictures to make you jealous if you missed out on the fun.