For those living in the northern hemisphere, fall has settled. Perhaps you've even got a Pumpkin on the porch already.
Fall also means that the Track Season is upon us! The UCI Track champions League is just about to start! If you are fortunate enough to have a velodrome in your area, you should not waste any time to get your bike ready to roll on the wooden planks.
When was the last time you tuned your track bike? How about that old chain that you installed years ago, Still good?
A track bike drivetrain does not wear out like your road or mountain bike. There is no lateral wear, because your chain is always perfectly aligned (at least it should be).
But maybe you want to upgrade your drivetrain efficiency.
Perhaps you need a longer chain because you just bought a new Digirit chainring. Or maybe the fixed gear criterium season was rough on your bike and the chain is rusty and dirty.
Whatever the reason could be for you to shop for a new chain, we have your back!
So how can you figure out what chain to get for the new season?
Track chains are usually very long lasting. An inexpensive chain might last for a very long time depending on your riding style and how many laps you do in a season. So why not always purchase an inexpensive chain if they last so long? Well, it might lack in performance causing high drivetrain drag, be super heavy or even noisy.
An entry level chain might even wear out your chainrings and cogs faster because of the high tolerance of parts that were allowed during conception and production.
If you are into fancy chainrings and cogs, we would recommend a higher quality chain.
Here is a quick rundown of our chain selection:
Most Economical - IZUMI 410TG "ECO" chain.
Looking for the bust durability for the price? The Izumi 410TG ECO comes in black, with 116 links, 1/2 x 1/8 (standard track chain pitch). Not NJS, but offers superior wear and rust prevention, and honestly no better price for a legit track chain. 411g.
Also available in Gold and Jet Black/Gold
The Underdog - HKK Vertex chain
The Vertex Blue chain from HKK is the highest selling chain amongst Keirin pro track riders. Why? Because it gives superior performance, and ultimate wear resistance. By far one of the most affordable NJS option available without compromise on performance. This is our favourite chain! Comes in 106 links, 1/2 x 1/8 (NJS-standard). 306g
Top Performing - IZUMI-V Super Toughness
The reference for track performance and NJS-certified to ensure ultimate strength. The proprietary surface treatment increases abrasion resistance and creates the striking contrast of gold outer plates against midnight-blue inner plates.
Comes in 106 links, 1/2 x 1/8 (NJS-standard). 306g
What is NJS?
We keep talking about NJS, but what does it mean to have a track bike component NJS certified? Should it weigh in your decision to purchase one or another chain?
N.J.S. (Nihon Jitensha Shinkokai) means: the Japanese Bicycling Association*. It is also the governing body of Keirin racing.
It imposes very strict quality and manufacturing standards to manufacturers. The intention is to prevent mechanical failure and limit possible unfair advantages of using higher end equipment in competition thus making the equipment secondary in the athletes performance.
It does not mean that a non NJS product is not well made. there are many examples on the market (Most aero carbon wheels are not NJS certified).
But when it comes to drivetrain components, an NJS certified part absolutely means it's a high quality component.
*Since 2008, the NJS was replaced by the Japan Keirin Autorace Foundation.
- The Track Loft -