If I change my 1x chainring from a 44 to a 42, do I need to shorten the chain? If so by how many links?

I am running a 44 with an 11-42 cassette (SRAM Apex1).

  • 3
    Probably not, and at most two links (the minimum). Depends on how tight the chain is to start with. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 5 '19 at 16:27
  • 1
    Just try it out. Shorten only if there is too much slack on the small cog. – Carel Nov 5 '19 at 17:43
  • You have a cassette and a derailleur - so any slack will be taken up by that, unless you're already near its limits. – Criggie Nov 6 '19 at 8:31

You are reducing the minimum length of chain required by 1 link. (i.e. 22 teeth vs 21 teeth on the front chainring.)

Unless the initial chain sizing was overly generous, you should not notice any significant difference in that small a chainring size change. Since you can only remove 2 links, not just the one link you are changing, you are likely already in the appropriate zone for chain length.

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