I just bought a 21-speed hybrid bike (Wal-Mart grade Schwinn) and to try to customize/simplify things (other bike is a fixie road bike), I removed the front deraileur and bought a new single-speed front crank (Origin-8 Track/SS Crank) from my LBS. By local I mean 1hr away.

Got home, did the swap, and put the chain back on, and it doesn't fit on the chainring correctly. I measured my chain and the links are the standard 1/2", but it seems like the teeth in the sprocket are slightly longer than that; eventually as the chain goes around the ring, the rollers come out of the "valley" between teeth and a roller ends up on the tip of a tooth. (Photos below)

The shop is closed for the weekend and it's driving me crazy trying to find an answer. From my understanding, all bike chains have a standard 1/2" link length, it's just the width that varies. Anyone have any ideas?

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1 Answer 1


All chains are the same link length, but there are different widths. Some single speed components require a 1/8 inch chain, while the chain that come with your bike is probably 3/32. You will have to get a new chain or exchange the chaining for one that fits your chain.

  • 2
    Beware though, that your rear freewheel (7 speed) is designed for 3/32 chain...
    – Alexander
    May 17, 2014 at 23:21
  • 1
    I think the Op edited the question after this answer. To be clear: the front rings, chain, cassette, and if present the derailleur all need to be compatible with each other. As sold, these would have been compatible based on a 3/32 chain. I think Kibbee is right in that the Op has introduced a 1/8 chainring into the system. To this end exchanging the chainring would probably be easier than getting a 1/8 chain (which as @Alexander says would just introduce an incompatibility between chain and cassette (and possibly derailleur).
    – PeteH
    May 18, 2014 at 12:34
  • I wasn't sure what was going on with the back wheel vis-a-vis the cog/cassette. If it has the original 7 speed freewheel/cassette it's definitely easier to just exchange the chaining for a 3/32 one. If however if you plan to do a full single speed conversion, it's probably a good idea to use 1/8 inch drive train components as they will last a little longer.
    – Kibbee
    May 18, 2014 at 19:42
  • 1
    That is exactly the issue. Thanks for the answers. Went to LBS over ordering online for the expertise and got this... The kicker is the crankset I was looking at on the internet is 3/32 compatible, too. Edit: BTW, I'm the OP, don't know why it wasn't linked to my account
    – user11299
    May 19, 2014 at 7:20

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