I noticed while at an amusement park that on the roller coaster, each link of the chain has what can be considered a combination inner and outer plate. The side plates are somewhat diagonal so they start as an outer then become an inner. So my question is if these work well for roller coasters which have a lot of load, why not use a similar scaled down design for bikes so that odd length chains are possible?
Here is a pic of a roller coaster chain so you can see what I am talking about: (you can click on it for a more detailed larger pic).
Maybe this design wont shift well? I wonder what the main reason is. Motorcycles also do not use it. Maybe large pitch chains require it cuz being 2 links too long or short is a big difference but with a short pitch chain (1/2 inch or so), it is not so critical?