best BMX chains 2024

Our top choices

Our Choice

our choice
our pick Fly Bikes

Fly Bikes Tractor

The Fly Bikes tractor chain features extra thick 1.3mm plates for added strength, hollow CrMo pins with chromium heat treatment and pre installed half link. The hollow pins are far stronger and lighter than regular chain pins

Check Price


cheapest choice
KMC cheapest chain


KMC are known to be a competent brand when it comes to making cycling chains. The KMC name is attached to this chain proudly while still keeping the price extremely low. I'd say that gives it a high likelyhood of being a well made chain.

Check Price

Upgrade Pick

upgrade pick
Shadow interlock upgrade pick

TSC Interlock Supreme

The Interlock Supreme chain is the king of BMX chains. It's so strong you'll have unlimited confidence when riding hard.

Check Price

BMX biking, a sport where every ounce and every gear counts, demands the best in every component - especially the chain. For BMX enthusiasts and professional riders, a chain is not just a part of the bike; it's the critical link that drives their passion.

Traditionally made from carbon or alloy steel, these chains have evolved significantly. The advent of nickel-plated chains, for instance, addresses the pain point of rusting, a common issue in harsh riding environments. Today's BMX chains are lighter and stronger, enhancing speed and agility, yet robust enough to withstand the rigors of intense BMX tricks and races.

The right chain can revolutionize your ride. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best BMX chain for your bike? We've done the research for you. Currently we've evaluated the Fly Bikes Tractor chain as our top pick. The Shadow Conspiracy Interlock chain is our upgrade pick.

Upgrade Pick

Shadow Interlock BMX Chain review

Shadow Interlock Supreme Bike Chain

    Exceptionally strong (over 1500kg capacity). Lightweight (under 400 grams). Improved forging process. Easy to adjust (two master pins). Reliable in demanding conditions.
    Higher price point. Wider than most chains. May not fit all bike setups. Limited budget-friendly appeal. Heavier than some standard chains.
Buy from Amazon
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The Shadow Interlock Chain has garnered attention in the BMX community for its robust design and performance capabilities. After years of using this chain on BMX and dirt jump bikes i've found that this chain stands out in certain key areas.

Firstly, its strength is a significant highlight. The Shadow Interlock Chain can withstand over 1500kg, positioning it as one of the strongest bike chains available. This remarkable strength is primarily due to Shadow's improved forging process, a testament to the brand's commitment to quality and innovation. Rider testimonies frequently underscore this strength, often noting its reliability in demanding BMX conditions.

However, superior strength does not come without a few trade-offs. The chain isn't the most budget-friendly option, priced between $60 and $70, which may be a consideration for some. Additionally, its design is notably wider than most chains. This might not be an issue for all riders, but it's an important consideration for those who prefer a more streamlined setup or have specific compatibility requirements with their bike components.

On the positive side, the Shadow Interlock Chain is user-friendly in terms of maintenance and adjustments. It features two master pins, simplifying the process of adjusting the chain's length – a handy feature for riders who prefer to do their own bike maintenance. Moreover, despite its substantial strength, the chain impresses with its relatively low weight, under 400 grams. This achievement in balancing strength and weight is notable, as it ensures the chain contributes to a high-performance ride without adding unnecessary bulk.

Overall this chain is robust, high-quality option for BMX enthusiasts. Its exceptional strength and manageable weight make it a top choice, though its width and price point may require consideration based on individual needs and budgets.

Shadow Interlock Specifications:

  • Tensile Strength: 1500kgs
  • Mushroomed Pins & Hardened Rollers
  • Link Count: 98 links, 2 master pins
  • Size: 1/8"
  • Weight: 314g

Installation Information - Shadow Interlock BMX Chain

Our Pick

fly bike tractor bmx chain

Fly Bikes Tractor Chain

  • Strong, durable design
  • Lightweight with hollow pins
  • Simple, efficient functionality
  • Easy to maintain and adjust
  • Unique thickness adds to strength
  • Aesthetic appeal is basic
  • Lacks additional features
  • Design may be too simple for some
  • Focuses on function over style
  • May not stand out visually
$39 from SourceBMX
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The Fly Bikes Tractor Chain, introduced in 2013, stands out in the BMX chain market primarily for its robust construction and functional simplicity. Its most notable feature is the thick 1.3 mm side plates, enhancing both its strength and durability. This thickness, along with the “FlyBikes” branding stamped on each plate, adds a unique aesthetic touch, though it leans towards a more functional rather than flashy design.

The chain's design prioritizes straightforward functionality. It eschews complex features for a more streamlined and efficient experience, which will appeal to riders who value performance over extra frills. The use of hollow pins in the chain is a clever design choice, serving to reduce its weight significantly. This reduction does not come at the cost of strength; in fact, these hollow pins contribute to the overall robustness of the chain.

While the Tractor Chain scores high on practical aspects, its aesthetic appeal might be underwhelming for those who prefer a more striking look. The process of de-linking the chain is quick and user-friendly, ensuring that maintenance is hassle-free.

Overall, the Fly Bikes Tractor Chain is a reliable, strong, and lightweight option for BMX enthusiasts, focusing on essential qualities like durability and ease of use.

Fly Bikes Tractor Specifications:

  • Plate Material: 4130 Heat Treated CrMo
  • Pin Material: Hollow 4130 CrMo
  • Links: 101
  • Weight: 325g

Salt Plus Warlock BMX chain

Salt Plus Warlock BMX Chain

    Strong and durable construction. Lightweight design. Unique color options, including oil slick. Embossed logos enhance style. Very affordable.
    Half-link design may not suit all preferences. Color options might be too bold for some. Focuses more on style than technical innovation. May not be the strongest in high-stress conditions. Limited appeal for riders preferring classic looks.
$48 from Danscomp
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The SaltPlus Warlock Chain represents a blend of strength, style, and affordability in the BMX chain market. A typical half-link chain, it stands out with its range of vibrant color options, including an eye-catching oil slick variant - a unique offering among top-tier chains.

Constructed from steel, the Warlock chain upholds the strength standards expected in BMX chains. Its robustness is complemented by a relatively light weight of 447g for 100 links, which ensures that it adds minimal heft to a BMX setup. This balance of strength and weight makes it a practical choice for riders who are conscious of their bike's overall weight.

Aesthetically, the Warlock chain makes a bold statement. The extravagant color options, especially the oil slick variant, cater to riders who seek to add a distinctive flair to their BMX bikes. Additionally, the embossed logos on the links add a touch of sophistication and brand identity, enhancing its visual appeal.

From a cost perspective, the SaltPlus Warlock is remarkably budget-friendly, priced under $50. This affordability, combined with its other attributes, makes it an attractive option for a wide range of BMX enthusiasts.

The SaltPlus Warlock Chain is a strong, lightweight, and stylish option for BMX riders, offered at an accessible price point. Its unique color options set it apart in the market, making it a go-to choice for those looking to combine functionality with a personalized touch.

Salt Plus Warlock Specifications:

  • Material: Steel, Chromized Treatment
  • Size: 1/2", 1/8"
  • Colors: Black, C.P, Oil Slick, Gold
  • Weight: 447g

bmx chain size

KMC Z1 Wide BMX Chain

  • Smooth operation and reduced noise
  • High tensile strength (1200 KG)
  • Affordable price point
  • Unique satisfaction warranty
  • Prevents chain drop with higher inner plates
  • Limited to single-speed use
  • Not suitable for dirt jump bikes
  • Maximum speed limitations
  • May not suit multi-gear setups
  • Limited to 112 links
Buy from Amazon
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The KMC Z1 Wide BMX Chain is highly regarded in various forums and discussions as one of the best chains available for BMX and single-speed bicycles. Its popularity stems from a combination of affordability, smooth operation, and robust construction.

One of the key features of the Z1 Wide Chain is its smoothness, which enhances the riding experience. The chain's design, including chamfered inner plates, significantly reduces sprocket rub noise. This reduction not only contributes to a quieter ride but also allows the sound of the hub to stand out more prominently. Additionally, the use of higher inner plates in the chain's design helps prevent chain drop, ensuring a more reliable and stable ride.

While the chain is exceptionally well-suited for single-speed setups, it has limitations in terms of compatibility with dirt jump bikes due to its maximum speed of one sprocket with 112 links. This aspect may restrict its use for certain riders or bike configurations.

In terms of durability, the KMC Z1 Wide Chain boasts an impressive tensile strength of 1200 KG, highlighting its robustness and reliability. Moreover, the chain comes with a unique satisfaction warranty, underscoring KMC's confidence in their product and commitment to quality.

The affordability of the chain is another significant plus. It offers exceptional quality at a low cost, making it an excellent value-for-money option for those seeking a high-quality, durable chain without a hefty price tag.

KMC Z1 Specifications:

  • Size: 1/2", 1/8"
  • Pin Length: 8.6mm
  • Weight: 451g
  • Link Count: 112
  • Colors: Gold, Silver

wipperman bmx chain

Wipperman 1G8 BMX Chain 2024

  • Exceptionally strong, designed for grinding
  • Reduces the risk of chain snapping
  • Durable for tough riding conditions
  • Suitable for hardcore park riders
  • Experienced chain manufacturer
  • Heavier than most BMX chains
  • Limited compatibility
  • May be overbuilt for some
  • Adds significant weight
  • Not ideal for riders preferring lighter setups
Buy from Amazon
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The Wippermann 1G8 BMX Chain is a product that stands out in the realm of BMX chains, particularly for its durability and design, tailored for grinding. Wippermann's experience in developing chains for various vehicles has evidently influenced their approach to the 1G8, making it a robust option for BMX riders.

One of the key aspects of the 1G8 chain is its specialized design for grinding. Park and street BMX riders often encounter situations where their chains get hit or scraped while grinding on ledges or rails. Regular chains might handle this in the short term, but repeated impacts can lead to damage or snapping. The Wippermann 1G8 addresses this issue with its exceptional strength, reducing the risk of chain failure during intense riding sessions.

However, this durability comes with a trade-off. The chain is notably heavier than most BMX chains, weighing in at 17oz with a width of 12mm. This added weight could be a drawback for riders who are sensitive to the overall weight of their bikes. Additionally, the chain's tight roll limits its compatibility with certain sprockets, particularly those with 9 teeth, making it crucial for potential buyers to check its compatibility with their gear ratios.

Despite these considerations, the Wippermann 1G8 is highly regarded by hardcore park riders who require a chain that can withstand substantial impacts. Its specialized design for grinding makes it a unique offering in the market. However, for riders not frequently engaging in high-impact riding, the need for such a heavy-duty chain might be less.

Wipperman 1G8 Specifications:

  • Material: nickel-plated
  • Breaking Load: 1.5t - 1/2" x 1/8"
  • Pin Length: 12.4mm
  • Weight: 659g
  • Link Count: 96

Strong BMX Chain

best half link bmx chain

KHE Hollow Pin Half Link Chain

  • Ideal for smaller gear ratios
  • Strong due to half-link design
  • Precise chain alignment
  • Suitable for single-speed and fixie bikes
  • Resilient against aggressive braking
  • Not specialized for extreme conditions
  • Standard weight, not ultra-light
  • May lack unique features
  • General-purpose, not specialized
  • Not focused on extreme strength
Buy from eBay
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The KHE Hollow Pin Chain is a well-regarded half-link chain in the BMX and single-speed bike community, known for its suitability for smaller gear ratios like 25/9t. This chain stands out for its precise alignment and robust design, making it a favored choice for single-speed and fixie bikes.

A key attribute of the KHE chain is its design tailored for half-link chains, which are recognized for their strength across brands. The half-link design essentially distributes stress more evenly across the chain, reducing the likelihood of weak points and enhancing overall durability. This makes the chain particularly resilient against aggressive braking, a common occurrence in single-speed and fixie riding.

While the KHE chain isn't specifically designed with an emphasis on either strength or weight, it strikes a balance that suits a wide range of riders. Its construction ensures that it is robust enough for regular use while maintaining a standard weight profile that doesn't overly burden the bike.

The precision in chain alignment is another significant advantage, especially for riders who are meticulous about their bike's performance and efficiency. Proper alignment is crucial for smooth pedaling and minimizing wear on other drivetrain components.

However, since it doesn't specifically excel in any particular area like ultra-lightweight design or extreme strength for grinding, the KHE chain may be seen as a 'jack-of-all-trades' option, suitable for general use but not specialized for extreme BMX conditions or styles.

KHW Hollow Pin Specifications:

  • Link Count: 100
  • Pin Material: CrMo, Hollow, Heat Treated
  • Size: 1/2", 3/32"
  • Weight: 300g

Parts of a Bike Chain

A generic roller chain is made from a repeating set of the same parts. Short cylindrical rollers are held together by two metal plates. These plates are shaped like the number eight, with the rollers being held at either end.

Each chain roller is approximately half an inch apart, enough space for a chainring tooth to gain traction. When the chain is fitted to the bike many of the chainring teeth mesh with the rollers of the chain, working together to propel the bike along.

Lots of chains now include a master link. This is a single link that acts as a quick release, to break the chain without specific tooling. A master link is built slightly differently from the rest. Both plates are built as normal but the rollers are different.

The rollers on a master link extend slightly further than normal. After passing through the secondary plate a weird looking clip is fitted to the two rollers, keeping both plates in place, while preventing them from falling off unexpectedly.

Types of BMX Bike Chain

All bicycle chains perform the same function, though they are all built very different from one another. Different styles of riding benefit from various improvements and manufacturers push this to the limit.

BMX chains are built for strength, hopefully preventing breakages when bumped on copings and grind rails. Mountain bike chains need to be durable in a different way. Inclement weather throws mud and water at the chain constantly. The best mountain bike chains need to deal with this dirt and water without wearing down.

The majority of bike chains are either single speed or between 6 and 11 speed lengths. It's quite important that you get the correct chain for the amount of gears you have on your bike. As you know, when you change gear the chain moves up and down the chainrings, altering the ratio between the front and rear chainrings.

The more gears you have the thinner the individual links need to be. After all there's much less space on a 11 speed bike than there is on a 6 speed bike. In general a correctly sized chain can work very well on either road bikes or mountain bikes.

6 speed chains are the widest at 7.8mm. Each size up will cause the chain to get thinner, resulting in about a 5.8mm chain on a 10 speed chain.

Best Brands for BMX Chains

Shadow Conspiracy

Shadow Conspiracy BMX chains are renowned for their unparalleled strength and durability. These chains are crafted using proprietary technologies, ensuring superior tensile strength which is essential in withstanding the rigors of BMX riding.

They also feature unique designs, like the interlocking plates, which not only enhance the chain's robustness but also add a distinct aesthetic appeal. Moreover, Shadow Conspiracy offers a wide range of colors and styles, catering to the personal preferences of riders.

Their commitment to innovation is evident in the continuous improvements and introductions of new features, keeping them at the forefront of BMX chain technology.

Fly Bikes

Fly create a lot of wonderful BMX products. Their chains have a lightweight design, creating impressive bike weight and speed. These chains are designed with precision and are known for their smooth performance, enhancing the overall riding experience.

The use of high-quality materials ensures long-lasting durability, resisting wear and tear from frequent use. Fly Bikes also focuses on compatibility, ensuring their chains fit seamlessly with various types of BMX bikes.

Their commitment to quality is reflected in their meticulous manufacturing process, where each chain undergoes rigorous testing to ensure reliability and performance. The brand's dedication to combining lightweight design with durability makes their BMX chains a preferred choice for riders who value efficiency and quality.

What to Look For When Buying a BMX Chain

There are important factors to consider when buying a new chain for a bike, whether it's a BMX or something else. While finding the aesthetics is important, a greater importance should be placed on whether you feel safe using the chain.

Below are a few factors I consider when buying any new BMX chain.

  1. Chain Size: Choose the correct size, typically either 1/8 inch or 3/32 inch. The 1/8 inch is more common and robust, suitable for freestyle and street riding, while the 3/32 inch is lighter, ideal for racing. Ensure compatibility with your bike's sprocket and cog.
  2. Material and Durability: Look for chains made from high-quality materials like hardened steel, which offer greater durability and strength. This is particularly important for BMX riding, which often involves high-impact maneuvers.
  3. Tensile Strength: Higher tensile strength means the chain can withstand greater force without breaking. This is crucial for BMX riding due to the stresses placed on the chain during tricks and jumps.
  4. Link Design: Some chains feature unique link designs for added strength or reduced weight. For instance, half-link chains allow for more precise adjustments in length and can be better for achieving the ideal chain tension.
  5. Weight: Consider the weight of the chain if performance is a priority. Lighter chains are preferable for racing, where efficiency and speed are key.
  6. Compatibility: Ensure the chain is compatible with the number of gears on your BMX bike. Single-speed chains are most common for BMX bikes.
  7. Ease of Installation: Look for chains that come with a quick link or a master link, which make installation and removal easier.
  8. Brand and Reviews: Research brands and read reviews to understand the chain's performance and reliability. Brands like Shadow Conspiracy and Fly Bikes are known for their quality BMX chains.
  9. Maintenance Requirements: Consider how much maintenance the chain will need. Some chains require regular lubrication and cleaning more than others.
  10. Aesthetic and Style: BMX is also about style. Many riders choose chains that complement the look of their bike with different colors and designs.

Notable Mentions

Below are several full and half link BMX chains that we've enjoyed testing but weren't quite good enough to feature on the list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all BMX chains the same size?

No, not all BMX chains are the same size. BMX chains typically come in two main sizes: 1/8 inch and 3/32 inch. The 1/8 inch chains are more common and are known for their durability, making them suitable for freestyle and street riding. The 3/32 inch chains are generally lighter and used for racing. It's important to match the chain size with the sprocket and cog sizes of your BMX bike for optimal performance.

How tight should a BMX chain be?

A BMX chain should be tight enough to prevent it from derailing but not so tight that it restricts the movement of the drivetrain. Ideally, there should be about 1/2 inch of play or vertical movement in the chain. Too tight a chain can cause excessive wear on the drivetrain components, while too loose a chain can increase the risk of it falling off during riding. Regularly checking and adjusting chain tension is important for maintaining your BMX bike's performance.

How many links are in a BMX chain?

The number of links in a BMX chain can vary depending on the size of the bike and the specific setup. Generally, BMX chains come with around 98 to 112 links. However, you may need to remove or add links to get the correct chain length for your bike. The right length ensures proper tension and alignment with the front and rear sprockets. It's crucial to adjust the chain length to match your bike's specifications for safe and efficient riding.

next article   Previous Article
Great BMX Wheels and Parts
Next Article  previous article
How to Sell T-Shirts Online