chain length dilemma

ridgebackman

New Member
I bought a Ridgeback 365 commuter/hybrid last year.September 2019, from our local shop .I decided to buy a new chain this year.The bike was sold to me, fitted with 119 links.I went on the Ridgeback website( and other sites), and they all recommend chains with 116 links.I bought one, direct from Ridgeback, but am having second thoughts about fitting it.....surely, if I fitted a shorter chain, it would strain the derailleur.I have not tried that yet.....The shop weren't that helpful, when I questioned them, then tried to sell me a 122 link chain(horrendously expensive), then told me to shorten it …..I don't know what to do...has anyone got any good advice?
 
There are various websites that tell you how to calculate chain length. The approach I would take is if there’s nothing wrong with it don’t fix it ie. if it came with 119 links from the factory and it has worked ok then fit 119 links
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
If you’re not sure you can start from scratch. I like the Sheldon Brown (cycle guru) method. Thread the chain from the big ring on the front to the big cog on the cassette, not through the RD, plus two links (one link if using a power link). You can use this method to check your existing chain but if it came with 119 it will work again as @sleuthey says.

BTW welcome l to the forum :smile:

View: https://youtu.be/Vg2SoOOrpE8
 
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I like Skol

I don't think so, sonny!....
Location
Room 237
Unless there is a half link in it, it's impossible to have a 119 link chain fitted.

Have you maybe miscounted?
Most chains will count as an odd number now due to the fact they are being joined with a split link which forms the final even count.
 
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faster

Senior Member
Most chains will count as an odd number now due to the fact they are being joined with a split link which forms the final even count.
I just admit, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I realised how chains links were counted, but no - even with a split link there will be an even number of links.

All chains will have an even number of links unless it's a half link chain or is joined with a half link - both rare.

There's 2 links in a split link.
 

Once a Wheeler

Well-Known Member
I think it is very unlikely you would strain the gear mechanism if the setup has worked well in the past. Sometimes the individual setup on a bike just misses the maker's recommendation on chain length, leaving it slack or too tight at the extremes. Sometimes it is possible to purposely overwind the spring to add tension but usually plus or minus one or two links solves the problem.
 
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Plus one on Sheldon for the theory and there are a lot of YouTube videos for the more visually inclined.

The fact is that your chain is a consumable and will need to be replaced regularly. With that in mind, it's a good idea to bite the bullet and learn how to measure and adjust as necessary.

The satisfaction is immense as your skills build up.

Spoken as someone who couldn't fix a puncture when I started out. ^_^
 
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faster

Senior Member
You're probably right - in my head I think of pins as links, as in a fitted chain, it will be the same number.

What I'm pretty sure of, though, is that the original poster's bike didn't come fitted with a 119 link chain.
 
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R

ridgebackman

New Member
Thank you Lads!....this site is great! I didn't think I would get as quick and informative reaction as this! ….much appreciated....I am going to fit the one that Ridgeback recommended, A Shimano 10s Deore……. it comes with a short joining pin,about 5 or 6mm long.....do I now need a pin pushing device as well?
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
You’ll need a chain cutting tool, either a stand alone device or one combined in a multi tool which might also be useful for the other included tools. I’ve got one of these (Crank Bros):
524429
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
I am going to fit the one that Ridgeback recommended, a Shimano 10s Deore
Just bear in mind a Shimano chain which needs the joining pin pushed in (with a chain tool) is rather more of a challenge than a SRAM or a KMC which will have a 'quick/power link' and is a lot easier. If you do go for Shimano here's a video to help; you need to view from 2:57 (skip everything before that)
Just back from a long ride and passing through town, bloke outside the (closed of course on Sunday) bike shop. "You OK?" "Nope: snapped ;) chain"
Chain tool and quick link out, check chain long enough still for large/large, push out a link, install quick link, refit chain, "Ride on!" Thankful the Shimano chain was really clean (seemed new) and had seen no oil. Probably the joining pin had not been installed properly and that's what allowed the chain to part.
 
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