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:
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"
- Lighter weight, with less metal between the two inner side
- Smooth outer face on the inner plates, reducing rub and associated
wear between the inner and outer plates.
- Because the inner plates are not rigidly connected with a
bushing, the chain has more flexibility
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
- 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.
- Gapping between the two half bushings allows dirt caught between
rollers and bushings to escape.
- 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.