Wrench Tip Wednesday: O-Ring or Standard Chain
The more you ride dirt bikes, the more you learn about how many different options there is out there. Lots of choices and for a newbie can certainly be overwhelming. When it comes to chains, there is two styles and tons of different brands available.
So, the question is which one is better? Manufacturers construct both chains quite similarly however you can tell the difference pretty quickly. The o-ring chain looks beefier and feels quite a bit heavier. On visual durability the o-ring chain would win every time. The o-rings, actually somewhat self-lubricating rubber inserts that fit in between the outside link plates and inside roller link plates, seal in lubrication and seal out dirt and debris around the pin and in between the plates. The added o-rings along with requiring longer pins bulks up the overall chain. Compared to a standard chain, the o-ring is more durable but does add more weight than a standard change would. For off road, weight is not a huge deal especially if you are mounting tons of guards to the dirt bike. There is a cost difference between the two types, o-ring will cost more. The longevity is worth the price difference. A good general rule of thumb is, the cheaper the price, the cheaper the product.
Let’s talk brands! Everyone has their own personal preference but mine leans towards WPS Firepower o-ring gold chain. I ride a lot and in a lot of different terrains and conditions. I have been using Firepower chains for over a year now and it seems to be the longest lasting brand I have ever used, the appearance is nice too. With a MSRP of $78.98, it is not super high and worth it!
Don’t forget to lubricate!! A rusty and badly treated chain will not be good. The rider risks the chance of snapping it and getting whipped in the back or ruining their case. Chain lube is cheap, use it! My favorite is the ultra-sticky Bel-Ray Blue Tac Chain Lube. It is very tacky and will stay on the chain and not all over the bike!