Best chain for single speed?

Hey guys,

I’m in the process of building a single speed, using a spacer kit with some road wheels. My question is what is the ultimate 3/32 chain to use? I’m assuming ultra modern 10 speed chains are too narrow, and a bit over kill. I have used almost exclusively Izumi chains on my track bikes- do they make a decent 3/32 one?
Another question is- does anyone here use 1/8 chains on 3/32 sprockets/chainrings?

Thanks :mrgreen:

I have used a giant blingy-looking 1/8inch super light Kool Chain on 3/32 sprockets…no dramas…just makes a wee bit of noise, even when totally clean.

They look pretty cool! Or should I say KOOL

Hands down, my fav chain is the SRAM PC-1. Way better than most chains on the market and pretty affordable. Not sure how much they run for you guys, but in the US, they are like $12 ($14 au). They are based off the old Sachs PC 7x track chain. Super silent and have a bit of flex for not so perfect chainlines, unlike DID, et al. Also, don’t break like KMC (kill more children) tend to do.

As for running them on 3/32, not an issue, but a little more noise.

The SRAM PC-1 is available in 3/32 and 1/8 yeah? I got the impression from a couple of sources that modern 3/32 chains are actually stronger (and lighter obviously). I can understand using a 1/8 chain on a fixie, but on a freewheeler is that kind of overkill?

I ran Connex, all-nickel, chain (3/32) on my two single speeds and they worked fine. Got them at Cecil Walkers from memory.

Me too. And they come with a good joining link.

A single speed 1/8 chain is no stronger than a single speed 3/32 chain if you are comparing similar models from the same brand. A well made single speed 3/32 chain is certainly going to be stronger than a crap single speed 1/8 chain. Use the chain that matches the size of your rings/cogs. I’ve been using KMC KOOL 3/32 chains (fixed and SS). If you keep the chain tension/chainline right and lube it regularly, you’ll probably break a chainring before you break your chain.


Izumi. Same as the track one, nice joiner link and like $20.

I’m running a thinner chainwheel that’s for a 3/32" road chain and have a flip flop hub running a 1/8" fixed wheel and 3/32" free (from when i had a 3/32 road chain). Running a 1/8 chain obviously… a SRAM PC-1 in fact! A little bit of noise on the 3/32 chain wheel but its light and sure is good for the price of 30bucks.

On a SS it doesn’t matter if you run a 1/8 chain with a 3/32 freewheel because you won’t be backpedalling / skid stopping like on a fixie and therefore there isn’t as much tension on the chain. We’ll at least that’s what the guy in the shop told me but i’m yet to ride SS cause fixed is way too fun!! I guess I’ll find out one day…

Doesn’t matter if it’s fixed or SS. A chain is just as strong in either direction.

+1 for the 8sp nickel wipperman (connex). I’ve been running the same one for about 3 years. It gets checked regularly and no sign of needing replacing yet.

I think he means the skids and skip stops exert a greater amount of force than anyone could possibly exert whilst pedalling forward.

I broke a crappy old chain once by skip stopping. Thing was, I hadn’t put it back together properly, since I didn’t have a chain tool, and the pin didn’t go right through one side, so I didn’t really break it so much as disassemble it by force.

If chainline is right I reckon you’d be hard pressed to break one.

I dunno about that. I mean if the pros can sprint on those flimsy 10sp chains made of processed cheese, I think the rest of us are pretty safe.


Yer Izumi makes a 3/32 chain. Got one for my ss from shifterbikes, otherwise KMC Z chain for fixie…costs like $9 and comes in stupid colours :lol:

You can’t get on FGG nowadays if you don’t have a coloured chain.

What I meant is a 1/8 chain and a 3/32 fixed cog may not be compatible - reason being the large force on the chain when suddenly skid stopping and amount of side movement in the chain may cause it to skip off. Correct me if i’m wrong.

This would be no problem on a SS of course

Dumb question but, the difference between 1/8 and 3/32 ’ is in the width of the chains- is this correct?
So if I want to run a 3/32 chain, what kind of cycleunderground chainring should I be getting, or is 3mm already 1/8 width? ie does cycleunderground do 3/32 chainrings at all? Confused… :?

CU do both 1/8 and 3/32 chainrings. the 3mm and 4mm relates to the thickness of the plate of the chaining (not the teeth).

so a 3mm OR 4mm 3/32 chainring would suit. i guess the 4mm are a little stiffer and look a little better, too.