>What would be suitable new (currently manufactured) chains t
>o use with 5 speed, ultra 6 and ultra 7 freewheels? Seems a shame to have t
>o go vintage on a chain for a "rider" bike.
KMC makes a variety of chains in a variety of widths. They have 3-speed chains (good for 1930s bikes), 5/6-speed chains, etc. They are cheap ($ 7 retail for the 5/6-speed), and they work well. I have been using them on most of my bikes and tandems for years.
Depending on your drivetrain, you may find that a stiffer 5/6-speed chain works a lot better, or a lot worse, than a narrower chain. Fortunately, chains need replacing often, so you won't be stuck with a poorly-shifting chain for long.
Finally, I never have found a difference in performance or durability between cheap and expensive chains. Wider chains obviously last longer (more wear surface in the rollers), and at the prices above, I don't mind replacing them every 1200 miles to prevent drivetrain wear.
Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com