Do half link chains work on any bike?

What is the purpose of a half link chain?

I've noticed that only BMXers and DJers use them, and that leads me to believe there is a technical reason behind that.


From the internet:

"Half Link BMX chains were designed to help dial in the chain length on frames with short dropouts and small gearing, making sure your rear wheel is exactly where you want it. Dan's Comp offers a wide variety of half-link BMX chains for both race and freestyle."

Basically, you can break your chain at smaller increments to get a more precise chain length. 1/2" instead of 1".

Half link vs. Regular chain

Half link chains should work with most single speed set-ups, but not with any bike with multiple sprockets / chain rings.

| improve this answer | |
  • so only single speed bikes will work? – Kolob Canyon Jun 12 '18 at 20:28
  • Correct because they are not made for nor intended to work with derailleurs – Nate W Jun 12 '18 at 20:29
  • As I understand it, half link chains are 1/8" wide (inside) & with thicker plates, unlike modern multi-speed chains, which are 3/32" wide. Also, I don't imagine they would mesh well with the ramps on front chain rings. – renesis Jun 12 '18 at 20:32
  • chains are spec'd to the number of gears as well, so (unless you're super weight conscious) buy the cheapest appropriate gear chain (i.e. 8/9 speed, 10-spd, etc). – markd Jun 13 '18 at 15:15

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