We all use our bikes for several varying reasons such as sport, exercise, transportation, and leisure. The chain is the main power source and it is important to be keen on any performance or physical changes that require a replacement. Here are the best bike chains for fixed gear.Â Â
A good chain adds fun, safety, and speed to your rides and I have experienced this first-hand. Last year I had my single-track bike still running on 7-speed gear. Frankly, I loved my bike and I cherished all the adventures I have been on.
However, I was always among the last to finish our friendly races and I couldnâ€™t take it anymore. Besides, the old chain was starting to show signs of weakness and I had to do something about that fast. So, I naturally gravitated and researched a ton about fixed chains.
I finally got my replacement and I immediately came third in our next race. I was so proud of my achievement and so inspired to tell all about it and so I did.
Hereâ€™s what I know.
Best Bike Chain for Fixed Gear â€“ A Comparison Table
Ultegra CN-6701 Chain
CSL H11-CR Chain
Best Bike Chain for Fixed Gear – Comparison Overview
Z-72 ChainÂ[amazon box=”B07CYV1HRS” template=”horizontal” ]
This is the most awesome fixed chain I have ever worked with. I found that it operated smoothly and quietly and I loved the missing link feature because it saves you the trouble of having to buy separate master links as is the case with most brands.
If you own a 6, 7, or 8-speed bike and you need a chain to replace your broken one with, then pick on this KMC Z-72. The installation and removal process is easy and it features 116 links which are adjustable to match your specific bikeâ€™s speeds.
- 116 links
- Missing Link
- Steel Alloy frame
- 12.5 ounces in weight
- Dimensions 3.5×3.5×0.8 inches
This model of the fixed chain is built with durable alloy steel which is revered for its resilience and sturdiness. An EXDU treatment has also been applied to this frame to make it indestructible. You may find this model available in brown or gray color options.
- Fits 6 and 7-speed bikes
- Installation needs no tools
- Features a missing link
- Made of steel
- Limited lifespan
This fixed chain is suitable for both road and mountain bikes and it is generally an awesome unit with awesome features and benefits. It is also considered a budget chain and I as well as other pro cyclists believe it to be a great 8-speed bike replacement.
This chain is made from zinc alloy and features a symmetrically designed plate which creates a smooth glide in between the sprocketâ€™s teeth. It weighs 8.3 ounces and has 116 links to it.
The surface of the bike has been treated with the SIL-Tec technology to enhance its durability, reduce friction and gives riders an enjoyable riding experience
Installation instructions are provided and it comes with a locking pin that eases the replacement process. All you need is a pair of pliers and a good chain-break tool to fix up your chain.
- Great performance
This 10-speed bike favorite chain possesses an awesome shifting mechanism that produces close to no friction concerning the outer and inner links. Whether you are a roadie fan or a mountain biking champion, this is the perfect model to take out for a spin.
- Easy installation
- Treated surface
- Reduces friction
- Lasts long
- Quality and quiet shifting
- Works without derailleur
- Might suffer from stretches initially
This fixed chain model by Shimano is the ideal choice for 10-speed bikes and it is designed to minimize friction in the plates which ensures the quiet shifting. Having a surface treated bike also maximizes its lifespan.
Z410 ChainÂ[amazon box=”B00NBOFCDM” template=”horizontal” ]
This single-speed alternative has 112 links and has perfect features and benefits to comfortably and effectively serve most bikes. If you love color selections, you will be happy with the available hues like blue, silver, yellow, white, and brown.
This bike chain will give you no problems in terms of maintenance as it comes already lubricated from the manufacturer so you should be able to set up and get out riding. if you own a BMX, beach cruiser, or track bike, consider buying this chain.
- Stainless steel build
- Color options available
- Master Link
- 7,8,9 and 10-speed chain
This chain is made of steel metal which makes it strong and long-lasting over time. Though the bike comes with a master link, you will still require a chain tool that helps shorten the chain length to fit your bike dimensions.
- Best for single speeds
- Has a master link
- Easy to install
- Multi-color options
- Not great for multiple gears
Because this chain comes to you already lubricated, it is a great benefit, especially for first-time chain replacement cyclists. The several colors available in this model make it desirable to many.
CN-HG53 ChainÂ[amazon box=”B01M5ARK68/?tag=village5-20″ template=”horizontal” ]
This is Shimanoâ€™s iconic model thatâ€™s both efficient and affordable to the wider population. Chamfered plates swift by the 11-speed setups testify verified and impressive test results. A bayonet â€œQuick Linkâ€ is an added feature that helps put you out of the misery of snapping your chain together by the use of a rivet.
This chain features bigger gaps that load well with the waxed lubes. This chain is designed to last long so regular maintenance every time before and after your bike ride will guarantee you many years of service.
- Runs smooth and quiet
- Durable 9-speed option
- Connecting pin
- Bigger gaps
For installation, reset the link with a chain tool to adjust the new chain to fit the measurements that are fit for your bike type. It is lightweight and reliable.
- Has power and is long-lasting
- Easy to install and adjust
- Operates smoothly
- Best for 9-speed bikes
- Awesome for Mountain bikes
- Needs chain tool for installation
For those who like to traverse through steep terrain, this is the best chain option for you because it is built of strong and sturdy zinc alloy. It features a narrow construction design that gives it its smooth-shifting performance ideal for 9-speed bikes.
Z51 ChainÂ[amazon box=”B01F4IZ1RE” template=”horizontal” ]
This chain features minimal teeth jumps in between cogs and thin spacing in the sprockets. To install the chain, the ultra-link pin system makes it effortless. The pins are aligned to the outer linkâ€™s surface.
The minimal spacing between the sprockets minimizes contact with the chainring and this provides a smooth and quiet ride with a quick-shifting mechanism. Contributing to this further is the re-shaped hollow pins and the outer links.
- Outer-Aligned pins
- Harmony with sprocket and chainring
- Lighter and thinner chain
A special lubricant has been administered to the chain to make it more efficient and to secure a top-notch quality performance known by Campagnolo users. With the chain being lighter, it would surprise you to find out that this makes the link stronger.
- The strong and narrow chain
- Hollow pins
- Smooth and quiet shifting
- Many gear system
- Prone to rusting
This hardy bike chain guarantees its rider a powerful performance and a quiet ride with a reliable shifting system. While you need to buy the chain tool for installation, this chain can work with gears ranging from 6 to 24 speeds.
Ultegra CN-6701 ChainÂ[amazon box=”B004X9BYV8″ template=”horizontal” ]
This is a 10-speed MTB chain. It features 116 links with perforated bolts which makes them super durable and even more responsive and effective in energy transfer.
This Shimano model works efficiently with its branded cassettes and they run smoothly and safely giving an amazing riding experience. You may need a chain breaker to break apart the pins but once done installation should be a breeze.
- 164 Links
- 10-speed chain
- Non-directional design
- Double X Durability
- Nickel Plated
Unlike other premium 10-speed MTB chains, these Super Light model by Shimano does not feature the directional design. This is identified when one side of the chain is colored and the other not. Correct fixing of the chain dictates that the colored side should be outward-facing.
Otherwise, your chain would be backward and it could lead to terrible accidents. Thankfully, you donâ€™t have to worry about that with this chain type.
- Lightweight chain
- Compatible with multiple drivetrains
- Super durable
- Quiet and quicker gear shifting
- Easy to mount
- Includes connecting link
- Requires chain tool
I love the fact that I can use this chain on different bike types and gears for both road and mountain bikes. Outer and inner plates have innovative designs that enhance glide and performance. Coupled with its shimmery silver color, itâ€™s lightweight and ease of installation, this chain is real steel.
SchwinnÂ ChainÂ[amazon box=”B00H2H4TIS” template=”horizontal” ]
This is a long-lasting chain alternative to pick from because it is compatible with several complete bikes and it works seamlessly. It is designed for 8,9 and 10-speed bikes but it can work just as effectively on a 21-speed bike.
Rusting, however, is well mitigated by the use of the steel metal frame with a sleek finishing to match Schwinnâ€™s high standards of quality.
- Slotted links
- Lightweight chain
- Medium durability
While the slotted links add to the aesthetic and lightweight aspects of the chain, they also leave it a bit too weak and susceptible to crunches and extreme torque power.
- Lightweight design
- Smooth easy rides
- Doesnâ€™t break
- Technical installation process
- Poor shifting performance
This slotted link chain takes into consideration the weight and aesthetic factors while leaving out the functionality and performance elements. This chain is best suited to riders who like to go fast for fun but not necessarily to race or win a competition.
This type of chain is capable of fulfilling the needs of almost any rider out there. This high-performance 11-speed self-lubricating chain proves superior resistance against stretch. With this benefit, there is less wear through the entire drivetrain contact surfaces.
With less resistance, comes more accurate shifting. Connecting and disconnecting the chain is quite easy to do even for a beginner because there is a quick-release link that facilitates that.
- Hollow plate
- Self-lubricating technology
- Quick Release link
While still in manufacturing the chain is thoroughly lubricated on all the moving parts to minimize wear and the need for regular chain lubrication. This chain is then coated with a treatment of Teflon which has great adhesive properties to keep it together.
- Protective chromium plating
- Needs no frequent lubrication
- Easy to mount and unmount
- Requires maintenance
Although this chain has been built with a self-lubricating mechanism, it doesnâ€™t rule out the need to check your chain and do a little extra maintenance. This will prolong the life of the chain and ensure that it is always operating optimally.
Emphasis should be placed on buying a chain that is of the same brand as your bikeâ€™s cassette. This will eliminate any hiccups in terms of setting up your new chain.
Z-72 Chain, in my opinion, seems to be the most versatile in design and featured benefits. It is made of stainless steel material, has an EXDU treated frame, and simply helps you go faster by facilitating quick and immediate system responses.
The chain is the prime source of power that enables your bike to move with ease. A great bike chain improves your riding experience and adds an element of fun to it. If you are stuck trying to make a selection, you could use this review as a guide.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Bike Chain for Fixed Gear
Based on the number of cogs I the rear cassette, different chains will be suitable for varied bikes. Most cogs require a narrow chain to fit in the gaps and the narrower the chain is, the longer it lasts. Because the links on a single-speed chain are less likely to rub on the adjacent cogs, they are said to last longer.
As a general practice, most brands create their chainrings and cassettes to work in tandem and itâ€™s a great idea to pick the chains that are brand specific to your bike. Some bike equipment may be harder than the type of chain you select for your bike and this leads to quicker wear and poor performance.
However, many chain brands are built to work well with multiple bike brands.
Adjusting your bike gears and the responsiveness of your bike chain to these prompts sets a huge difference between fast and slow-performing bike chains. A change in a chainplate shape and tooth profiles on both the chainrings and cassettes influences quick and smooth transfer.
A link chain produces over 30,000 surface-against-surface movements per minute at a normal pedaling rate. This presents a lot of friction on the bearing surfaces and that means that even hot an dusty summer roads could bring in grit and dirt.
Some chains are anti-cold or wet environments and would fail when introduced to snow, rain, mud which would result in chain creaks, rusting, and grinding. While it is responsible to consider riding conditions, it is best to select a chain that can handle multiple situations.
While some enthusiastic riders may want to consider every painstaking aspect of their biking experience, saving watts through minimizing mechanical drag is not quite significant. With a tried, tested, and reported 2% difference in watts saved, itâ€™s best to rather focus on the chainâ€™s durability.
Any passionate cyclist takes pride in their bike and dedicates considerable time, money, and energy towards keeping it in tip-top shape. The chain has the potential of being the most ignored component of a bike.
To save yourself the embarrassment of having to disrupt the whole groupâ€™s activity because your rusty chain got blown up, you must regularly scrub and wax your chainrings and cassettes.
Pitch & WidthÂ
The pitch on a chain is the distance from one barrel to the next and itâ€™s always been an eight-inch. The most difference between them is the outer and inner width.
Single-speed MTBs were top-notch and they featured the same eight-inch pitch but a different width. That wider width works best on a single-speed chain with the wider chainrings but cannot be compatible with the geared MTBs because the chain wonâ€™t sit on the teeth.
At this level of purchase, your decision should largely be dependent on your bikeâ€™s brand.
How long do I go before replacing my fixed chain?
When you get close to theÂ 2000 milesÂ mark, it is time to start planning on your next bike chain. Of course, this is determined by your riding style and frequency. Most professional cyclists tend to replace their chains between three weeks to a month.