Fixies basically use fixed gear chains, and that’s when the trouble starts. You see, fixed gear chains are a special kind of chains, and if it doesn’t have the right measurement, you’ll have a bad riding experience.
Besides, the typical ones tend to get rust and corrosion within few months. They’re not even that durable. Some of them don’t stay attached to the sprocket securely. All this pain for a gear chain? Really?
Get your hands on the best fixed gear chain right away simply by reading the reviews we’ve arranged. Rust-resistant feature, perfect measurement, heavy-duty construction, you name it, our gear chains have got everything.
What Type of Bike Chain Do You Need for Fixie?
Fixed gear chains are distinguished by their width and measure 1/8th inch and 3/32th inch.
Fixie bikes use both of these types of chains. Traditional fixies use the wider 1/8th inch chains, which are pretty good for the average cyclist. The 3/32 inch ones, on the other hand, are great options for fixie bikes for competitive cycling.
These chains allow fixies to use the original crankset while also providing smoother as well as quieter pedaling. And as these chains are thinner, they are lighter as well –making your bike riding experience buttery smooth, overall.
While the 3/32 inch ones are great, but we recommend the 1/8 inch ones as these are more widely available.
How Often Should You Change Your Bike Chain?
While you might think a bike chain is a pretty rugged piece of equipment, you do need to change it once in a while. Although it must not be done that frequently, you should be observant of it to see the chain needs changing.
A general rule of thumb is to change the bike chain after you’ve ridden it for 2000 miles. Now, this 2000 miles is a rough number, and you may have to replace it sooner or later, depending on the condition of the fixed gear bike chain that you will visibly notice.
Most cyclists ride their bikes up to about 60 miles per day. This means if you cycle every day for 60 miles per day, you should replace the chain every month or so. However, for non-professional cyclists, this number is not the same.
So, we’d say you should replace the chain of your fixie every 2-3 months.
What to Look for in a Fixed Gear Bike Chain? – Buying Guide
There are certain criteria a bike chain must check off in order to be a good chain for your fixed gear bike. To help you find the perfect one, we’ve brought you this comprehensive buying guide.
Bike Chain Parts
To know which bike chain is good for your fixie, it is crucial to know the anatomy of chains. Every good bike chain consists of 4 main parts.
- Outer plates
- Pins or rivets
- Inner plates
The outer plates are what we generally see in a chain, which has an inner plate in between each of them. Plus, the outer plate is connected to the inner plate using the rivets and rollers. That is basically how a bike chain is constructed.
Now that you know how it works, you must make sure each of these parts is well-functioning and offers great performance while riding the bike.
Bicycle chains are commonly made of stainless steel, carbon, nickel, or some sort of alloy. These are pretty solid and reliable materials and offer durability like no other.
The chain should provide smooth pedaling while riding your bike, or else what’s the point, right? This smoothness depends a lot on the build quality. Most KMC, Shimano, and SRAM single speed chains offer this kind of smoothness.
Type of Bike Chain
The best kind of chain for fixed gear bikes are the single speed bike chains. These chains typically are thicker and wider, which allows them to take on more strain on the drivetrain.
Size of the Chain
While there are two different sizes for fixie bike chains, we recommend going for a 1/8-inch fixie chain size. These will provide the proper drivetrain you need, as we mentioned above, and are rather widely available than the 3/32 inch sizes.
Top 7 Fixie Chain Reviews
Now that you know what to look for in a good fixie bike chain, let’s take a look at our top picks on such bike chains. So, without further ado, let’s get on with the reviews!
KMC Z410 Fixie Chain
Right off the bat, we have one of the best fixie chains from KMC. The KMC Z410 is most certainly one of the best choices for a good fixed gear bike. KMC is known for producing high-quality cycling products, and this chain surely lives up to that reputation.
This bike chain comes at a size of 1/8 inch with 112 links. The chain is made of rust-resistant nickel and has a heavy-duty construction. It is a single-speed bike chain, and we think it is a great choice for any fixie.
So, if you think this heavy-duty bicycle chain is the perfect one for your bike, definitely check it out!
- Chain is pretty thick and wide
- Made of rust-resistant nickel
- Boasts a heavy-duty construction
- Great option for different bike types, including fixies
- Does not come in 3/32 inch size
- Comes with a snap-on master link
Schwinn Bike Chain
At number 2, we have this single speed bike chain by Schwinn. The Schwinn fixie chain is a very similar chain to the KMC one, but better. How is it better? You get the same features but at a slightly more affordable price.
This bike chain comes with a ½ x 1/8-inch size with 112 links, just like the KMC Z410. This chain features an anti-drop design and heavy-duty construction. It is also made of rust-proof nickel and offers the durability you require in a good chain.
Moreover, this chain does use a good master link as opposed to the KMC one, so if you think this would be a better option, check this one out!
- Offers a wide size
- Built with rust-resistant nickel
- Features an anti-drop design
- Comes with a traditional masterlink
- Not ideal for long-distance cycling
- Wears out easily
SRAM Power Chain 2
Are you looking for a good SRAM single speed chain? Allow us to help you with that and review it while we’re at it. The SRAM power chain ii is one of the best chains for fixies out there.
This chain is made of nickel-plated steel that is chrome-hardened to offer the ruggedness and durability you need. The chain is connected using power lock links and comes with a 2-piece snap-lock. Also, the width of this chain is 1/8 inches, and it has 114 links (more than the previous two), making this one a longer chain.
SRAM is known to deliver excellent quality bike chains and other cycling products, so be sure to check the power chain 2 out!
- Made of nickel-plated steel that is chrome-hardened
- Comes with 2 pieces snap-on lock
- Connected using power lock
- It is a great option for single-speed BMX, mountain, or track bikes
- Some customers thought it is not durable enough
- The chain may make some noise at times
KMC K710 Fixie Chain
We have another fixie chain by KMC on this list, which is the KMC K710. If you didn’t like the previous chains on this list, you will surely like this one. The KMC K710 chain was made for aggressive cycling on the street and definitely for fixed gear bikes.
It comes in the usual size of ½ inch x 1/8 inch and is great for single-speed bikes. Similar to the second chain that we reviewed, this one also features an anti-drop design. This chain comes with long plates that aid in keeping the chain on the bike’s sprocket.
- This chain comes with an anti-drop design
- Offers the perfect size for fixies
- Long plates for staying attached to the sprocket
- Great for aggressive cycling
- Can be a little noisy
- Some customers had trouble fitting the chain with the teeth
Zonkie Bicycle Chain
Our best bike chains reviews would stay incomplete without the Zonkie Bicycle Chain (yes, we know the brand name sounds like a French guy saying donkey, but you can’t say that).
Jokes apart, the Zonkie chain comes at a size of 1/8 inches and has 116 links. This single-speed bicycle chain is rust and corrosion-free, as it is constructed from special forged steel. The durability and ruggedness of this chain are what make it stand out so much.
It is perfect for fixed gear bikes and is certainly an option that is worth considering. We definitely recommend this rugged fixie chain for your bike.
- Extremely durable and long-lasting
- Optimum width and length for fixed gear bikes
- Rust resistant
- Some customers did not receive the chain with clasp
- The instruction manual for installing the chain is poorly written
KMC 710SL Fixie Chain
Is it just us, or is KMC dominating this list? Right now, we have the 710SL by KMC, which is a heavy-duty single-speed one.
This bike chain comes at a 1/8 inch size and is perfect for BMX and track bikes with fixed gear. Some impressive features include the anti-drop design, hollowed plates and pins, and a flat outer surface.
The chain comes with 100 links in total and one master link. To some customers, this may seem slightly less, but for smaller-sized bikes, this is perfect.
In terms of quality and durability, you can put your trust in this bad boy. So, if you think this would be the perfect chain for your fixie, be sure to check it out!
- Standard chain size
- Features anti-drop design and a flat outer surface
- Very durable and high-quality
- Great value for the money
- The chain seems too small for a few
- Some customers received the chain with a broken master link
KMC City Hunter-1
And for the final product on this list of reviews, we have the KMC City Hunter-1 fixed gear bike chain. Seeing all these reviews on KMC chains, you can tell that they produce quality cycling gear.
The City Hunter-1 features 112 links and size of ½ inch x 1/8 inches. This fully nickel-plated steel chain dons a heavy-duty construction and an anti-drop design. To make it look attractive, the inner plates are orange in color.
This fixie chain is an ideal choice for single speed bikes, which is why we highly recommend this product. If you don’t want to take our word for it, try it out for yourself!
- Boasts a heavy-duty structure
- Comes with an anti-drop design
- Ruggedness provided by nickel-plated steel construction
- Looks sporty
- Not the best for bike racing
- Some customers received chains with no orange color in the inner plates
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to make fixie bike chains smooth is by lubricating them. Like any bike chain, you should use lubricants to do so. There are mainly two kinds of lubricants – dry lube and wet lube. We recommend using either type to make the chain smooth.
The fixie chain cannot be loose, as it may fall off. So, you need to make it tight enough to keep the bike running smoothly. However, make sure you tighten it without it binding, as tightening it too much might even break the chain.
For single-speed bikes, you can use the 1/8 inch chains or the 3/32 inch chains. The chains that we reviewed above also fit this criterion, so you can check those out to save up on all the guesswork.
Typically, single speed chains come with 114 links on average. However, some chains also come with 112 or 116 links, which are also pretty good.
A single-speed chain is generally 1/8 inches in terms of size.
Picked the best fixed gear chain already? If you’re still having trouble picking one, you can go for the KMC Z410. It’s one of our top priorities for some obvious reasons. Durability, rust-resistant feature, thickness, it has got everything to be the number 1.
And you’ve probably noticed that most of the products we’ve reviewed here are from KMC. Yep, the brand is that good. If you have any preference, of course, you can choose that. However, if you ask us, we’ll definitely give this brand a thumbs up.