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For my thesis, I'm making a measurement prototype ruler with a bicycle chain. Check the imageenter image description here

At the moment there is a worn bicycle chain in the white paper from a bike with a derailleur. The purpose, the chain has to allow flex in the direction that a chain always folds together. But 90 degrees turned, it has to be as stiff as possible. So really not a chain for a derailleur. I heard from a friend that a half link chain might be what I'm looking for.

What do you guys think? The chain that I'm looking for has to be reasonably available. Not a million bucks. The chain links can't be to big.

  • Is this about bicycle chain measurement, or does it just happen to use a bicycle chain? – Criggie Mar 2 at 0:12
  • To minimise the sideways deflection as much as possible, you might end up making your own chain with longer side plates that have more overlap on the outside The inner plates could be the same. This could be expensive. – Criggie Mar 2 at 0:14
  • It just uses a bicycle chain, it is meant for horseback saddle measurements. – Robin Mar 4 at 14:41
  • I'd consider strapping tape to be a possible alternative. It may need a weight on the other side. – Criggie Mar 4 at 18:41
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If you want to use a bike chain you might try a single speed chain - a chain meant for use with a derailleur is intended to flex sideways a little. A very worn chain will flex a little more than a new one as well.

Half link chains aren't really used on bikes. You can buy half links individually for adjusting the length of chains in single speed systems, but a chain made of those would be expensive and probably flex no less than a normal chain. Half link chains on machinery can be very stiff laterally, but we don't know much about them here.

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    I've came across half-link chains several times. They are substantially more expensive that typical single-speed chain though. – Mike Mar 1 at 10:58
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    They are sold for BMX and fixie riders, probably more because of the looks than any functionality. – ojs Mar 3 at 8:35

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