11s vs. 12s chain width, compatibility- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    11s vs. 12s chain width, compatibility

    Hello,

    I know, that 12 speed Eagle chains are narrower, than 11 speed, but I don't have any info, if only the outer plates are thinner, or also the inner gap is less.
    I wonder, becuase I want to use a cranset with 11 speed chainring with an Eagle GX 12 set (casette, RD and chain).
    Can anyone confirm I it will work or not?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Search for a thread called 'Eagle chain on 11 speed cassette'. There seem to be many riders doing it. There have been many comments about the chain being the biggest tech upgrade of Eagle. It has the same inside measurements of an 11s chain and with the changes to the design it should shift better and last longer. YMMV.

  3. #3
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    Hello Andy,
    Thanks, I was searching for it, and I cannot find info about chain+chainring combo, only from chain+casette.
    So seems, 12s chain will work with 11s chainring.

  4. #4
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Correct. The inner dimension of the bicycle chain hasn't changed in 30+ years.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbahool View Post
    Hello Andy,
    Thanks, I was searching for it, and I cannot find info about chain+chainring combo, only from chain+casette.
    So seems, 12s chain will work with 11s chainring.
    Official SRAM support says the 12s chain is not backwards compatible with 11s, but this is not the experience of people actually doing this. It seems to work.

    Likewise, SRAM says not to use 11s CR with 12s SRAM, BUT I'm certain there are many 11s CR that can/will work fine w/12s. Just check the width of the older CR and research whether that might cause an issue, but I think most newer narrow/wide CR's should work.

    Monitoring your chain wear/stretch and CR tooth wear will certain give excellent clues as to how well it is working.

  6. #6
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    As others have mentioned the inner width of the two chains are the same. I've been running a GX Eagle chain on an XG1150 cassette and Rival 1 11spd crankset for a while now without issues, and actually the Eagle chain smoothed things out a bit.

    You don't have to do any research or monitor anything, 11spd chainrings will work perfectly.
    Most aftermarket companies list their chainrings as 10-11-12spd compatible anyways.

    Eagle chain on an 11spd drivetrain in action:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Datny92SLL8

  7. #7
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    How about the other way around; can an 11-speed chain be used with a 12-speed chainring?

    In particular, can I use the new Shimano 12-speed cranksets and their chainrings with my current 11-speed Shimano XT drivetrain and its 11-speed chain?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Rider View Post
    How about the other way around; can an 11-speed chain be used with a 12-speed chainring?

    In particular, can I use the new Shimano 12-speed cranksets and their chainrings with my current 11-speed Shimano XT drivetrain and its 11-speed chain?
    The chainring on a 1x system will only "see" the internal of the chain, so yes, a 11 speed chain will work fine with a 12 speed chainring (that's usually 11/12sp chainring).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmendes View Post
    The chainring on a 1x system will only "see" the internal of the chain, so yes, a 11 speed chain will work fine with a 12 speed chainring (that's usually 11/12sp chainring).
    But Shimano created a new tooth profile for their 12-speed chainrings that matches the internal parts of their new 12-speed chains.

    So this new chainring tooth profile is still going to be compatible with the internal parts of traditional 11-speed chains?

    Why the new tooth profile then?

  10. #10
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    Any update on that last question?
    I'm thinking about a new 12 speed shimano crankset but want to use it with my current 11 speed chain.
    Anyone have good success running an 11 speed chain on a 12 speed chainring? Any abnormal wear or other issues?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxMustang50 View Post
    Anyone have good success running an 11 speed chain on a 12 speed chainring? Any abnormal wear or other issues?
    Do not do that. 12s on an 11s system is OK and works great, not so much the other way around. the 11s chain is too thick for 12s gearing

  12. #12
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outhouse View Post
    Do not do that. 12s on an 11s system is OK and works great, not so much the other way around. the 11s chain is too thick for 12s gearing
    I think the question Jax is only asking to use a 12spd chainring(new crankset maybe) on his 11 spd setup and not run an 11spd chain on 12spd components. At least that's what I read into his inquiry.

  13. #13
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    JMac is correct.
    I need to get a new crankset but don't want to change everything to 12 speed just yet as I share wheelsets among bikes. And frankly, I have no problems with 11 speed.
    I can get a great deal on a new 7100 crank and thought it may be good to future-proof with it as well.
    I have seen a few posts of people running a 12 speed chainring with 11 speed chain with good results, however I'm wondering about what their long term result was.

  14. #14
    NedwannaB
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    I'm in same thought. 11 spd still good. I have new component setup ready to go on one of bikes. New bike coming with 1x12 SX so I will run that as at first then possibly upgrade shifter and then cassette when I upgrade to better wheels. The only compatibility issue I've seen recently was using new 12 speed Shimano chain on the new12 speed e13 crankset rings.
    Last edited by JMac47; 04-24-2020 at 09:11 PM. Reason: more info

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxMustang50 View Post
    JMac is correct.
    I need to get a new crankset but don't want to change everything to 12 speed just yet as I share wheelsets among bikes. And frankly, I have no problems with 11 speed.
    I can get a great deal on a new 7100 crank and thought it may be good to future-proof with it as well.
    I have seen a few posts of people running a 12 speed chainring with 11 speed chain with good results, however I'm wondering about what their long term result was.
    hi, Im exactly thinking the same & catching up on the info....
    Perhaps can you share your experience with this set up (11 speed everything, but 12 speed chainring - Shimano) ??
    V2 COVERT on GTI MK5

  16. #16
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    I just took my first ride on a new 7100 crank running an 11 speed KMC chain (11 speed cassette). Seems to work just fine. FWIW, I've got their 30 tooth chainring mounted.

    I'll probably end up going back to an oval ring in the near future though, most likely a Wolftooth DropStop A. This is different than their Dropstop ST, which they say is specifically for HG+ chains (not that this is particularly relevant info...but whatever..).
    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  17. #17
    NedwannaB
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    Yes..... In

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Handlebar View Post
    I just took my first ride on a new 7100 crank running an 11 speed KMC chain (11 speed cassette). Seems to work just fine. FWIW, I've got their 30 tooth chainring mounted.

    I'll probably end up going back to an oval ring in the near future though, most likely a Wolftooth DropStop A. This is different than their Dropstop ST, which they say is specifically for HG+ chains (not that this is partipcularly relevant info...but whatever..).
    Correct. Not paticuraly relevant...😎

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