The chain is one of the most integral parts of your BMX, which also wears down fastest next to your tyres and breaks. Maintaining it can definitely prolong its lifespan, but even then, it’s bound to wear down and you’ll just have to get a new one. Buying a BMX chain is quite different from buying a chain for a mountain or road bike. Most BMX chains are narrower than regular chains, and they’re single-speed.
BMX riders generally look for lightweight chains so that they can perform tricks and jumps easier and ride over rough terrain quicker. With that said, when looking for a BMX chain, make sure you’re getting one made of a lightweight alloy that features protective coating. There are two different types of BMX chains – traditional and half link BMX chain.
Traditional chains are the most common type found on BMX bikes, and they feature the same inner link-outer-link config as mountain and road bike chains. These chains consist of two half links. A half link BMX chain, on the other hand, has identical links that feature a thin and thick end. The thick end has a standard chain width, while the thinner end is the same size as the inner link of a traditional chain. Half link chains are easier to adjust more accurately, which is why they’re the preferred option of many professional BMX riders.
Some chains are easier to install than others, but that’s a relatively easy task if you’re handy with some basic tools and have some basic knowledge. Even if you don’t, there are many how-to videos and guides online that can guide you through the process. As long as you pick the right bike chain, you’re not going to have many issues using and installing it on your BMX.
Today’s BMX bikes use chains with half inch pitches. The pitch is the distance from one pin to the next. And while the width can vary, you can always rely on the half-inch pitch as a form of measurement. The roller width (the internal width between the inner plates) on bike chains is 4.8mm, 4mm, 3.2mm or 2.4mm. When getting a new chain, you shouldn’t be too hung up on its length. As long there are about 116 links, you’ll have more than enough to properly size your chain on your own. The easiest way to properly size it is to put it right next to your old chain and shorten it to match the old one.