Why 10-speed chainrings sell at much higher than 9-speed chainrings- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upset Why 10-speed chainrings sell at much higher than 9-speed chainrings

    I really can't understand this. As many reports on this forum indicate, 9-speed chainrings do work on 10-speed drivetrains (BTW I have a 10-speed drivetrain with a Shimano XT FC-M785 double cranckset with two custom 9-speed chainrings, and everything works flawlessly).

    I would say 9-speed and 10-speed chainrings are the same, as in a 10-speed drivetrain the chain is thinner externally, but not internally. Therefore, 10-speed rings and cogs have the same width as 9-speed ones.

    While in a cassette the arrangement of cogs is different between 10- and 9-speed configuration (10-speed cassettes have cogs closer to each other), I don't see how this can possibly be relevant for chainrings.

    So, why 10-speed chainrings sell at much higher than 9-speed chainrings? Consider for instance Specialites TA Chinook chainrings:



    I sent an email to Starbike and asked what's the technical difference between the two options, and they answered the 10-speed chainrings are slightly thinner. But this can't be true since, as I said above, the inner width of a 10-speed chain is the same as the width of a 9-speed chain.

    Is this only marketing hype?

  2. #2
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    The cost difference is probably marketing or supply & demand. I doubt there is a significant difference in cost to manufacture.

  3. #3
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    In the specific case of the Specialites TA rings, another online shop admitted the two versions have

    no real difference! Just the name to make it clear that they work on 10 spd drive trains. You can use either 9 or 10spd chains on either ring!
    The finish is different - the 9spd are highly polished, with silver machined teeth on the black, the 10 spd rings are more of a matt black finish with black teeth!
    I prefer the polished finish for what it's worth!
    Hence I seriously doubt manufacturing cost is higher! ;-)

    I believe the higher price of 10-speed rings only depends on them being a new product, specifically aimed at 10-speed drivetrains.

    I'll defenitely go for the old model--a 50% price increase just for having a "10" instead of a "9" engraved (and a worse finishing IMHO) is waaaay too much!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    In the specific case of the Specialites TA rings, another online shop admitted the two versions have



    Hence I seriously doubt manufacturing cost is higher! ;-)

    I believe the higher price of 10-speed rings only depends on them being a new product, specifically aimed at 10-speed drivetrains.

    I'll defenitely go for the old model--a 50% price increase just for having a "10" instead of a "9" engraved (and a worse finishing IMHO) is waaaay too much!!
    Even if two chain rings have nearly identical designs if your making 100,000 of one and a million of the other. They are definitely not going to cost the same. Especially if the name on the chain ring doesn't match the name on the factory their being made in.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    Why 10-speed chainrings sell at much higher than 9-speed chainring
    Because that is how the bicycle industrial complex milks your wallet dry, if you let them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Even if two chain rings have nearly identical designs if your making 100,000 of one and a million of the other. They are definitely not going to cost the same.
    Well, they increased the price by 50+%, which to me seems really too much even accounting for different production volumes.

    And is there indeed such difference in production volumes between 10-speed and 9-speed drivetrains? BTW I would assume that at the moment are produced slightly more 10-speed than 9-speed drivetrains, not the other way round.

  7. #7
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    I think the difference is that 9 speed is listed in 1984 dollars from when it was last cutting edge. If you adjust for inflation they cost the same.

  8. #8
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    Sweet derisive thread necro, I'll give it a 9.2.

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