Do Shimano 12 speed chains work with regular NW chainrings?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do Shimano 12 speed chains work with regular NW chainrings?

    Just like the title reads? Has anyone tested out the new Shimano 12 speed chains on a standard narrow wide chainring (non Shimano hyperglide).
    I'm curious if there really is a compatibility issue or if it's all Shimano marketing?

    I should clarify that my new bike came spec'd with a FSA gradient crankset but Shimano xt back end. The chain they spec'd was a kmc x12 and I'm not a fan of kmc chains.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    West Chester, PA
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    Yes. But on some of them you have to use an eagle master link.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Yes. But on some of them you have to use an eagle master link.
    Really!? What's the reason behind that do you know I'm curious?

  4. #4
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    Since you have an FSA crankset, are you using a Megatooth chainring? I am using the BCD 104 Megatooth in 32 & 34 teeth and even a brand new ones worked with the Shimano quick link. They have a different profile than my RaceFace and Kore chainrings. I mention new since some have gotten the Shimano QL with other narrow wides that were slightly worn/broken in where new ones of that type may not have worked and would need the Eagle QL.

  5. #5
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    So I do want to add my findings to this thread.

    First the reason I asked this question is because I don't really care for KMC chains and I was having shifting problems.
    So to be trueful...The shifting problems I was experiencing turned out to be caused by a loose hanger (badly assembled by the shop).

    However I will say that after swapping the chain to the XT chain (since I already had ordered it and received anyway) my drivetrain now shifts smoother than any drivetrain I have owned before.
    So for those who own the new Shimano 12 speed group set and maybe using another brands chain... I will say that,..." yes" the Shimano 12 speed will work with most chains. However, if you choose to use Shimano's 12 speed chains you will notice much quieter and crisper shifting. It is not all just marketing after all.

    Additionally it did work with my FSA megatooth chainring just fine

  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
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    This is documented all over hell. There are some massive discussions in the drivetrain forum about this. I've personally been on 12spd XTR for almost a year. Others have been using it longer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    This is documented all over hell. There are some massive discussions in the drivetrain forum about this. I've personally been on 12spd XTR for almost a year. Others have been using it longer.
    Well I must have been using wrong key search words then. I did find alot of comments telling me it was different... But not many details in each of those threads but just what I said... It's different.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20mmrain View Post
    Well I must have been using wrong key search words then. I did find alot of comments telling me it was different... But not many details in each of those threads but just what I said... It's different.
    You did the right thing by starting the thread for your problem.

    I've test fit my Shimano 12-spd chain to a Sram 11/12 spd chainring and they fit well. I'm contemplating swapping my M9100 cranks for some XX1 Dub cranks. The Shimano chain definitely makes a difference, shifting much better than the KMC that came stock.
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  9. #9
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    92gli is right, a SRAM Eagle link works. I just changed to one this evening, on SLX 12-speed chain and SLX 10-51 cassette and SLX derailleur, with a Hope 30T narrow wide chain ring, all new.
    I started with the Shimano quick link that came with the brand new chain and drive train. I noticed when fitting it that the quick link seemed very slightly longer because it would rock in the chain ring, like a worn chain would. It also bound slightly on the wide teeth but I thought that was just the paint on the new ring.
    First ride, I started to get intermittent noises every 20 revs or so, and then the link parted and dropped the chain.

    It seems the Shimano quick link is narrower than the typical outer link and so it binds on the wide teeth and sucks in. If you have the rear mech clutch engaged, you may not notice this effect. Maybe Shimano chain rings are a touch slimmer.

    The SRAM link works a treat and runs perfectly through the whole train. It is snug in the chain ring just like the other links.
    And they are way cheaper than the Shimano items!
    A bit obvious in looks but that will come in handy.

    Shift quality, even with the wrong link, is amazing by the way.

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