Bike chains are used nowadays for more than forward motivation of bicycle and rider. The latest trend is adapting the special chain design to create mens bracelets. More innovation has led to necklaces and women/ladies bike chain jewelry. The latter uses a smaller width chain (also known as roller width in the bicycle world) for a feminine feel and comfort appeal. But what are the differences between a bike chain bracelet or necklace made specifically for jewelry use, and an actual bike chain? Read on to find out.
For starters, bike chains used for jewelry and bicycles/motorbikes:
A) are typically made with stainless steel
B) consist of a roller (which usually sits on the sprocket of a bike)
C) and inner and outer stainless steel plates.
Though the roller and plates covers most of the parts, thats where the similarities end.
Actual Chains Used in Bikes and Motorcycles
1. A bike chain used for its originally intended purpose may/or may not use bushings inside the rollers.
2. Pins (or rivets) are used to connect the links. Because the chain needs to be sturdy, the pin is designed to hold the roller firmly against the outside of the chain. No side to side play is allowed so that the chain glides perfectly on the sprocket of a bike.
3. No special finishes are applied, and grease is used to keep the chain bending smoothly as intended
4. Due to the rigid design, an actual bike chain is not very comfortable to wear.
Bike Chain Bracelets and Necklaces
1. No bushings are used in the rollers as it is not necessary when a bike chain is adapted for jewelry use.
2. To make bike chain jewelry comfortable and practical for daily wear, a hollow tube and a small pin are used to connect the links. There is a bit of sideways play allowed for the roller via this design which makes the chain more flexible. The result is increased comfort.
3. Extra machine polishing should be applied to the chains if the chain is properly designed and made for jewelry use. To further improve shine, a thin clearcoat may be applied in higher-end designs. Nickel plating is also used at times, so people with nickel allergies be sure to verify before purchasing.
4. No grease is needed or used
5. A fold-over clasp is the best method for a bracelet or necklace as its very secure. A lobster clasp is more brittle but is easier to use when taking on or off your jewelry.
The overall design appears to be the same, but for the many reasons listed here, the typical bike chain design requires a few changes before it can be used as daily jewelry. As with a regular bike or motorbike, changing the links of a bracelet or necklace can be demanding and require unconventional tools. This makes it hard to resize the length of the chain which will usually be necessary for a perfect fit.