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  1. #1
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    Shimano XT crank requires Shimano Chain? SRAM rear compatibility

    I'm sure this is buried in this forum somewhere, but I didn't see it right off.

    I have an SB95 that shipped with a SRAM 3x10 drivetrain. I've replaced the cassette with a SRAM X0 cassette.

    I have never been happy with the crankset on this bike (it's an S-1000 or something?) - noisey, squealy, and has some play. I'd like to switch to a Shimano XT 3x10 crankset.

    I see something on the crankset saying 'HG-X Chain Only'.

    So a couple questions...

    Will my SRAM 10 speed chain not work with this crankset, do I need to switch to a Shimano chain?

    If so, will that Shimano chain get along fine with my SRAM cassette and rear/front derailleurs?

    I'm thinking I might need to swap the chain, but everything else should work, but want to confirm.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You don't need to brand match chains with drive train. You only need to worry about drive train type (ie 8 speed, 9 speed, 10 speed, 11 speed) So you can freely use whatever brand chain you would like on your Shimano/SRAM drivetrain as long as they are the same speed.

  3. #3
    usually cranky
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    ^+1. just shimano trying to squeeze a buck out of you.

  4. #4
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    Shimano chains will shift better but are not necessary.

  5. #5
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    I installed xt crankset on my bike and while I'm not a huge shimano fan all around, I give it thumbs up! Light, strong. No issues. I also used sram gear cluster and chain, works fine for me.

  6. #6
    dwt
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    Shimano XT crank requires Shimano Chain? SRAM rear compatibility

    IMO, any chain that doesn't use a quick link is a huge PIA. All my 10 speed chains are KMC. Road bike with Dura Ace front/ rear mech & Ultegra cassette; Tall Boy with XT front/ rear mech & cassette; Jamis 650B 2 with SRAM X9 crank, Wolf Tooth 30T direct mount ring; SRAM X0 type 2 rear mech, 1050 cassette (1X10).

    Everything works fine; chains easy on and off. Due to unusually wet June in NE, I even started waxing my chains. W/O quick link, couldn't do this without undue effort.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  7. #7
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    I actually have used the KMC quick links on my SRAM chain, and they work fine.

    Thanks for the replies - I was pretty sure that this was the case, but I wasn't sure if Shimano had actually gone and done something goofy this time.

    I'll probably grab a new chain with the crankset just because the one I have on there is low end and heavy.

  8. #8
    usually cranky
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    ime as long as you get a 10 sp link with a 10 sp chain or whatever everything will work fine. i have been running sram powerlinks on my shimano chain forever.

  9. #9
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    The SRAM 10 speed powerlinks I've had to destroy to get off before. I like the KMCs better because I can take them off and put them on without any issues.

  10. #10
    usually cranky
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    ^yeah, 10 sp powerlocks are meant for 1 use. if you are hellbent on reusing them you can open them with vice grips though.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    ^yeah, 10 sp powerlocks are meant for 1 use. if you are hellbent on reusing them you can open them with vice grips though.
    needle nose work better, or you can use a chain tool and drive the pin out of the power lock link.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Shimano chains will shift better but are not necessary.
    ^ Yep. Shimano XT chains are actually pretty good, but my favorites are KMC X9 or X10 SL. The KMC missing link is great to use on any chain.

  13. #13
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    Yup - XT cranks and SRAM OR KMC chains for me too.

    Not sure what the best chainrings are though. I usually stick to the XT/SLX rings but did try the TA specialites chinooks to see if they were any longer lived, but I noticed no difference.

  14. #14
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    I've been running xt drivetrain 10 speed with Sram 1071 chain and the KMC connecting link for a few years now. No problems whatsoever. I carry the Sram Powerlink as a spare. The KMC link makes life so much easier....

    Quote Originally Posted by Tea@Dimbola View Post
    Yup - XT cranks and SRAM OR KMC chains for me too.

    Not sure what the best chainrings are though. I usually stick to the XT/SLX rings but did try the TA specialites chinooks to see if they were any longer lived, but I noticed no difference.

  15. #15
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    I've also been using SRAM chains on my full XT 10 speed bikes for a couple of years now. Honestly, I feel like they are quieter, last a bit longer, and I like the quick link. I haven't noticed any problems with my chainrings or cassette.

    Strangely, when I bought my Superfly Elite with a full XT setup from Trek, and the XT chain on it had a SRAM quick link already installed.

  16. #16
    RTM
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    Shimano XT crank requires Shimano Chain? SRAM rear compatibility

    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    needle nose work better, or you can use a chain tool and drive the pin out of the power lock link.
    I just installed my first 10spd drivetrain, XT cassette, hg something chain, and used a SRAM powerlink. I was used to the 9 spd links that could be removed by hand and reused.

    I like to remove my chain frequently for cleaning, add to that a few times out of necessity. Am I weakening the link by removing it repeatedly with needle nose?


    - Rob
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

  17. #17
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    Re: Shimano XT crank requires Shimano Chain? SRAM rear compatibility

    I use the Park Tool MLP-1 to remove and snap ring pliers to install. I use on KMC and sram 10spd link chains.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 2
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  18. #18
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    I found the 10spd SRAM powerlinks to be very hard to remove as well. I switched to the KMC version and I am able to get them on and off by hand.

    I think what you are most likely risking with removing them by plier is the link weakening and being more likely to break while in use... But if you carry a spare, it might not be much of an issue.

  19. #19
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    Is there a significant difference between Shimano's HG95 and HG94 chains? There is a price difference, but which will last longer and shift better?

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