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Buying a new BMX chain can provide a significant upgrade to the performance and look of your bike. In our guide on how to find the best BMX chains, we will review the top chains currently available on the market.
Whether you need a new chain for better performance or your existing BMX chain has broken, we have included chains to suit all budgets, preferences, and types of BMX riding.
For a quick snapshot of the BMX chains that made our list, have a look at the table below.
At a Glance: 7 of the Best BMX Chains in 2022
|BMX Chain||Best for…||Width||Weight||More Info|
|KMC Z410 BMX Bike Chain||Best overall BMX chain||1/8 Inch||317 grams||Find out more|
|KMC Z1 Wide Chain||Best brass plated BMX chain||1/2″, 1/8″||415 grams||Find out more|
|KMC K710 Kool Bicycle Chain||Best BMX chain for experienced riders||1/8 Inch||317 grams||Find out more|
|Wipperman 1Z1 Chain||Best BMX chain for strength||1/2″, 1/8″||403 grams||Find out more|
|ZONKIE Bike Chain Single-Speed||Best budget BMX chain||1/8 Inch||339 Grams||Find out more|
|Eastern Bikes BMX Chain Atom Series Half Link||Best chain for street riding||1/8 inch||408 Grams||Find out more|
|ODYSSEY Bluebird BMX Chain||Best lightweight BMX chain||1/8 inch||264 grams||Find out more|
With the vast number of BMX chains available to buy, we had to be very strict in our selection criteria. This is to ensure that only the best BMX chains made it onto our list. Some of the criteria we used includes:
- Half-link and Full-link – Some people prefer the traditional full-link chains, while others opt for half-link models. This is why we have included a mix of both.
- Weight – The BMX chains we have chosen range from 264 grams to 415 grams so that you can have the option of lightweight or heavier chains.
- Cost – While a BMX chain isn’t the most expensive component you can buy, we have included budget and pricier chains on our list.
Why Replace Your BMX Chain?
Replacing your chain with a new model can significantly impact the overall performance of your bike. This BMX component plays an integral part in your bike’s smooth running and affects several areas.
Riding with a BMX chain that has undergone a lot of wear and tear can cause your bike to shift poorly, and you will lose efficiency when riding. Also, the sprockets can wear out quickly with an inefficient chain.
As a general rule, you should look to replace your chain every 2000 miles; however, it might require changing prior to this for many reasons. This includes the chain breaking, or you notice an impact on the overall performance of your BMX.
Things to Consider Before Buying a BMX Chain
Regardless of the BMX part, you are buying, and whether it is a BMX chain or new cranks, you should consider some things about each component first before you make a purchase. For example, for BMX chains, the following should be taken into consideration.
Half Link vs Full Link
One of the main things to consider when buying a new BMX chain is the difference between a half-link and a full-link chain.
A half-link chain offers smaller links, which helps create a more robust overall component. The added strength comes from the fact that more links are included in the design, and the pressure spreads across the smaller links, so it is spread evenly on the chain.
Another advantage of a half-link chain is its adjustability; half-link chains can be adjusted easier at the rear end.
A full-link BMX chain is a more traditional design. This type of chain has fewer but larger links, which means that pressure and stress aren’t distributed as evenly. That isn’t to say that a full-link chain is necessarily inferior, but they generally aren’t as durable. One advantage of a full-link chain is that they normally weigh less.
Looking at a new BMX chain is all well and good; however, is it within your budget?
It can be easy to overspend when it comes to BMX parts, which can lead to future financial issues. Even if you are significantly upgrading the performance of your bike, you should still consider how much you can afford.
Set yourself a budget and look for a new BMX chain within that price range. If you can afford to spend a few extra dollars to get a better chain than you were initially looking at, this can lead to better efficiency but ensure you stay within your budget as much as possible.
BMX chains are primarily made from either carbon or alloy steel.
This ensures that the chain has a decent level of durability and can withstand the rigors you will put your BMX through. You may also find some chains that are finished with nickel, as this can help prevent rust.
Lastly, the sprocket thickness is something to think about, and this will be defined by the type of BMXing you do.
For most BMX bikes, the sprocket thickness is 1/8 of an inch, but you can find BMX chains that offer a sprocket thickness of 3/32. The major difference is that a chain with a sprocket thickness of 1/8 will fit on pretty much any BMX, whereas the 3/32 chains are more limited in their compatibility.
7 Best BMX Chains
KMC Z410 BMX Bike Chain – Best Overall BMX Chain
Our top pick to upgrade your BMX chain is the KMC Z410 BMX Bike Chain.
The reason this particular chain has come out on top is that it offers incredible value for money. It isn’t the cheapest on our list, but when you weigh up the performance enhancements for your BMX with its price, you won’t find better on the market.
The nickel-plated protection offers a significant amount of durability and will help to protect the chain against rust. As far as BMX riding goes, the ‘Dropbuster’ configuration also aids with landing and grinding.
The one downside is that it doesn’t come with a traditional master link but rather a snap-on model.
Overall this is a perfect chain to upgrade your BMX, and there aren’t many flaws with the KMC Z410.
- Provides overall great performance and durability
- Nickel-plated protection to protect against rust
- ‘Dropbuster’ configuration helps with landing and grinding
- A traditional master link isn’t provided
KMC Z1 Wide Chain – Best Brass Plated BMX Chain
The KMC Z1 Wide Chain is the heaviest chain on our list; however, much of this is down to its brass-plated finish, which helps to reinforce its durability. The strength is further assured with thick outer plates and a high pin power.
Although it isn’t our budget pick, you can pick this chain up at a very reasonable price. An advantage of using this chain is that it doesn’t produce much noise and the KMC Z1 offers ideal performance.
If you want a different aesthetic for your bike, this chain is available in two colors – gold and silver.
While it is on the heavy side, for many BMX riders, this chain can provide a significant performance upgrade at a fairly cheap cost.
- Brass-plated finish
- Strong and durable BMX chain
- Affordable price point
- This BMX chain is quite heavy
KMC K710 Kool Bicycle Chain – Best BMX Chain for Experienced Riders
For anyone that is experienced riding a BMX, the KMC K710 is very appealing.
This bike chain is fairly lightweight at 317 grams, and it is perfect for aggressive BMX riding such as street style and jumping. The thick side places at the high tensile strength add a lot of durability to this model, so you can rest easy knowing that it should last for quite a while.
You will also find a nickel-plated finish that helps to prevent rust from building up.
Some people have noticed that the chain makes a grinding noise which can be a bit distracting. However, this is another top offering from KMC, and if you want a chain that has been tailored for more aggressive and experienced BMX riding, this is it.
- Strong and durable BMX chain
- Perfect for aggressive riding
- Nickel-plated to protect against rust
- Some reports of a grinding noise when using this chain
Wipperman 1Z1 Chain – Best BMX Chain for Strength
The Wipperman 1Z1 Chain is incredibly durable and comes out as our pick if you want a BMX chain that has strength at its core. Crafted from German steel, this chain is built to last.
With this chain, you also get an anti-rust coating finish which further adds to its overall durability. Many people prefer this chain to the more popular KMC models, and you can see why given the performance and durability that it offers.
One downside is the weight. The Wipperman 1Z1 Chain weighs 403 grams, which is a very close second at the heaviest chain on our list. It might not bother you, but some people may be put off by the additional weight that it carries.
However, if you want a strong BMX chain that can withstand pretty much anything you throw at it, this is an ideal choice.
- Robust and durable BMX chain
- It has an anti-rust coating
- It will last for a long time
- This BMX chain is quite heavy compared to other models.
ZONKIE Bike Chain Single-Speed – Best Budget BMX Chain
If you find yourself a bit cash strapped and don’t have the means to plow much money into upgrading your BMX, we recommend opting for the ZONKIE Bike Chain Single-Speed.
Just because this chain is our budget pick, it still offers good performance. With an easy-to-install design and made from steel, it should last for a decent amount of time. Even if you do find that you need to replace this chain earlier than you think, the low cost ensures that this isn’t a big deal.
This ZONKIE chain is fairly lightweight too, which will appeal to many BMX riders.
You won’t find the same level of durability with this chain as you will with some others on our list, but it is a great budget pick and perfect if you don’t have much money to spend.
- Ideal BMX chain if you are on a budget
- Has reasonable durability and strength
- Easy to install
- It probably won’t last as long as other chains
Eastern Bikes BMX Chain Atom Series Half Link – Best Chain for Street Riding
BMX street racing and riding are incredibly popular, and you often need to find a chain that suits this particular hobby. This is why we have included the Eastern Bikes BMX Chain Atom Series Half Link on our list.
This BMX chain is specially designed for this purpose, and it also doubles up as a great chain to buy if you are a beginner. The additional weight can be a downside for other types of BMX riding, but this chain is for specific BMXing.
The durability is found in the thick inner and outer plates, and with this chain being a half-link model, you can adjust to the wheelbase.
This chain isn’t going to suit everyone, and it is tailored to specific BMX riders, but it does an outstanding job at what it is designed for.
- Perfect for BMX street riding and racing
- Also would suit beginners
- Half-link model, so you can make adjustments to the wheelbase
- This chain won’t suit other types of BMX
ODYSSEY Bluebird BMX Chain – Best Lightweight BMX Chain
If you are in the market for a lightweight BMX chain, the ODYSSEY Bluebird BMX Chain is the lightest on our list. Weighing just 264 grams, it beats all the other BMX chains by quite some distance.
You can pick up this chain at a low cost too, which further adds to its appeal. We also like the fact it comes in three color options (black, gold, and silver), as this gives you a decent amount of choice compared to some other brands.
The ODYSSEY Bluebird BMX Chain isn’t the most durable, with some riders commenting that it needs to be replaced at around 1000 miles, which is half the distance you would expect to replace your BMX chain. However, if you want a cost-effective model that is incredibly lightweight, this is the best on the market in this category.
- Very lightweight and weighs only 264 grams
- It is available in three colors
- You might need to replace this chain after 1000 miles
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Replacing your BMX chain can help with the overall efficiency and performance of your bike. This includes being able to shift easier and ensure that your sprockets don’t wear out as quickly.
Answer: You should aim to replace your BMX bike chain every 2000 miles. This is just a general rule, and you may need to replace it before this mileage if it is broken or becoming very inefficient.
Answer: BMX chains are usually made from either carbon or alloy steel. You can find some BMX chains with a nickel-plated finish, which can help prevent rust from developing.
Answer: Yes. How often you need to lubricate your BMX chain depends on how often you use your bike, and it should be carried out at least once per month; however, if you are a frequent BMX rider (several times per week), you should lubricate and clean your chain more often.
Answer: The majority of retailers who sell BMX chains will provide a warranty. The warranty period will differ depending on where you buy the chain, but some now offer a lifetime warranty.
Our Verdict: Which is the Best BMX Chain?
Our pick for the best BMX chain on the market is the KMC Z410 BMX Bike Chain.
There is very little that we don’t love about this chain. The lack of a traditional master link (a snap-on model is provided) is a disadvantage, but it is hard to beat this chain for performance. It has excellent durability due to its overall strength and the nickel-plated protection that helps to prevent rust.
The ‘Dropbuster’ configuration is a nice addition; while it is available in 13 colors, it gives you many choices if you want to add a different aesthetic to your BMX bike.
Overall this is our top pick for a combination of performance and value for money.