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Colourful components are all the rage amongst the single speed and fixer fraternity and Gusset’s slink half-link design certainly won’t disappoint those looking for a great value chain delivering comparable performance to the bigger players. However, the weight penalty may deter some. If fancy colours aren't your thing and you just want a well-priced half-link chain there is a silver option which is even cheaper.
Made from head treated steel and with strength equal to that of YKN’s MK918N the slink is available in a choice of narrow 3/32 or time honoured 1/8th inch. Our lighter 3/32 test model took all the punishment I could inflict without batting an eyelid. 102 links feature clever cutaway inner plate edges to provide better sprocket alignment, translating into a more refined transmission-especially on smaller sprockets or when running “magic” gears. This also helps counteract sag without recourse to chain devices on frames with vertical ends.
There was just sufficient length to run a 48x16 configuration on my road path bike and refinement seems equal to that of costlier designs thanks to greatly improved rigidity, inspiring confidence when transmission braking or track-standing in the wet. Phenomenal rigidity makes for greater efficiency when sprinting away from the lights or putting the hammer down on the open road. It’s a competent performer on the trails too-serenely quiet and absolutely bombproof so well suited to the rigours of single speed cyclo cross.
Tested through a wet July with only the drizzle of factory lube hasn’t impaired performance and the finish seems better than I expected-a bonus on single speed bikes likely to be ridden in the worst conditions. When all’s said and done, it won’t disappoint if you’re on a modest budget, like the look of half link designs and turn moderate gears.
Bargain chain well suited to single speed and fixer conversions.
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Make and model: Gusset Slink Chain coloured
Size tested: 3/32\\
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Gusset's Slink (like most half-link chains of this ilk) is primarily a BMX/Trials chain but the narrower 3/32 makes a very easy transition to aggressive singlespeed and fixer duties.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
102 heat treated steel links with clever cutaway inner plate edges give better alignment and counteract chain sag when used with smaller sprockets.
A whopping 360g
Very much a bargain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's no doubt the Slink compares favourably with costlier designs. Phenomenal rigidy offers explosive getaways at the lights and easy trackstands while you're waiting for them to change. Quality of construction generally seems excellent, although time will tell as to the finish's durability when ridden through salt strewn winter roads.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, Price and high quality construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
In keeping with the breed, a little short and fairly hefty.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)