It’s been a while since I wrote a tech post so when I started to overhaul a second hand Islabike Cnoc for my son I discovered I needed to replace the chain. The first question I asked was what Islabike chain did I need. The most obvious choice would be a single speed chain. The bike looks like it comes with a BMX sprocket so something like a Sram PC1 should do it. On the other hand what if Islabike chains were different, what if they had tried to save weight with a 8 or 9 speed chain that would have a different gauge? Then I cast my mind back to when I had been trying to source replacement v-brake noodles for the old Cnoc 14 my son is riding and remembered the excellent customer service I had received when I had contacted them directly before.
A quick phone call confirmed that there were indeed different Islabike chains for the Cnoc 16 dependent on the year it was made. My Cnoc 16 was second hand but I remembered the previous owner telling me that thy had owned the bike for 4 years so took a guess as to it’s age. Unfortunately this was around the time islabike changed the chain type on the Cnoc moving from a single speed chain to an 8 speed. We decided it was most likely going to be an 8 speed and 24 hours later the chain dropped through the letterbox. Sadly when it came to fitting it became obvious that the bike I owned was a little older than I first thought and the Islabike chain I had bought was the wrong one. A quick phone call confirmed that a refund was possible. Islabike we out of Sram PC1 chains so the local bike shop got my custom and with a chain splitter and 20 mins in the garage the chain was fitted and good to go.
So what have I learnt from this? The first thing is that Islabike chains come in different gauges, there pursuit of a better bike sees components change and you do need to check. The second thing is that Islabike customer service is second to none! I even got a message on my answer machine after the chain was returned confirming the refund and a generous contribution towards the postage. The last thing is that measuring the chain would have solved the problem. A quick check of the legendary Sheldon Brown’s website uncovered that an 8 speed chain has a gauge of 3/32 where as a single speed chain has a gauge of 1/8. So if you want to be certain just measure the old one.
What’s in the stand: The Condor Acciaio is having a good clean and re-grease!