Bushingless Bicycle Chain Construction

  Bicycle Chains, like all bicycle parts have undergone a number of fabrication upgrades. Historically older traditional chains were made up of 10 different components:

  • 2 inner plates *
  • held together by two independent hollow bushings
  • The hollow bushings are hidden by two rollers **
  • with two outer plates ***
  • held in place with two rivets ****

giving you 10 individual pieces to make up one bicycle chain link.

Bushingless Bicycle Chains:
bushingless bicycle chainEvolution has created a chain link with only 8 pieces, combining the inner plates* with the hollow bushings as you see in the picture to the right.: The holes in both ends of the inner plate are knurled up to create a "half bushing" that meets in the middle of the roller, but not quite touching.

This new generation of bicycle chains are referred to as "bushingless" chains.


  1. Lighter weight, with less metal between the two inner side plates.
  2. Smooth outer face on the inner plates, reducing rub and associated wear between the inner and outer plates.
  3. Because the inner plates are not rigidly connected with a bushing, the chain has more flexibility
  4. one piece fabrication of the "bushing-inner plate" stamping creates a smaller hole in the inner plate then when an independent bushing is used, adding greater strength to the overall chain design.
  5. Greater Durability. The one piece design creates a smooth rounded edge where the inner plate rubs on the rivet as the chain flexes. The rounded interface causes less wear of the rivet pins than the older hollow bushing design.
  6. Gapping between the two half bushings allows dirt caught between rollers and bushings to escape.
  7. The inner plate now has a distinct inside and outside, and fabricators often machine a bevel on the inside edges at the same time they create the "half bushing" profile. This allows for easier and smoother gear shifting.

The bushingless design has now become the deface method of bicycle chain construction for all derailleur chains, mountain (MTB) and/or road bicycle .

Bicycle Chains: What's Best to Buy etc.

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Bushingless Bicycle Chain

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copyright Jan. 2007