Possible to run 10 speed chain for 9 speed?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Possible to run 10 speed chain for 9 speed?

    I came across a KMC 10SL new road chain in my stash as I need a chain for an XC bike build and it looks like at first glance that the chain fits my 9 speed cogs fine. The only noticeable difference is the chain width itself if you measure the width (i.e. the pin width) it's about 1 mm less than a 9 speed chain.

    Have people run 10 speed chains in 9 speed applications with success? Are there downsides, such as poor shifting and reduced strength?

  2. #2
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    KMC's 9 and 10 speed chains both conform to the same 11/128th inner plate witdh standard.
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  3. #3
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    Yes and 10-speed chains are stronger. I only use Shimano's top end chains now after trying all the rest...

  4. #4
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    sweet, thanks for the info.

  5. #5
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    I use the KMC SL10 gold color chain on nine speed. No problems at all

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldass
    Yes and 10-speed chains are stronger. I only use Shimano's top end chains now after trying all the rest...


    WOW - if this is really the case I think I will start using 10 speed chains - I usually go through 2 in a season.

    Anyone else have thoughts on which is stronger?

  7. #7
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    It makes sense. The pins are shorter on a 10-spd chain. This means they are stronger and subject to less leverage.

  8. #8
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    Wouldn't the plates be thinner too though? Making the chain potentially weaker?
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  9. #9
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Stronger doesn't mean more durable... chains wear out by stretching usually, not breaking the pins.
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  10. #10
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    so if both the 9 and 10 spd chains have the same inner plate width, why do they even market a different chain for 9&10 spd drivetrains especially since the 10spd is lighter?

  11. #11
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    ok I checked and the pins seem the same width. There goes that assumption. As far as I can see the 10spd chain is the same as the 9 - at least for big S. I will pull some links apart tomorrow and measure...

  12. #12
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    I second Broseph's question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  13. #13
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    One never knows with marketing people. They are like lawyers, only more underhanded.

  14. #14
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    I've used 10 speed Wippermann chains with good results. I thought I saw somewhere that the outer width was a hair narrower on a 10 speed. From the internet:
    9-speed drivetrains use chains up to 6.8mm wide. These are typically explicitly marketed as 9-speed chains.
    10-speed drivetrains use chains up to 6.2mm or so wide. Again, these are marketed as 10-speed chains.
    It is always possible to use a narrower chain on a fewer-speeds drivetrain.

  15. #15
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    I have a 10 speed KMC X10 SL on my 9 speed MTB and its great. My cassette is a Dura ace 12:27, Token Shuriken chainrings, XTR rear derailleur, XTR front Derailleur, and shifters are Grip Shift Plasma.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennasdad
    It is always possible to use a narrower chain on a fewer-speeds drivetrain.
    Wouldn't a 9 speed chain not work on an eight speed drivechain due to the cogs being be too thick?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some Guy
    Wouldn't a 9 speed chain not work on an eight speed drivechain due to the cogs being be too thick?
    Correct. The difference between 9 and 10 is very negligible though.

  18. #18
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    Just throwing this out there, but I had major front derailleur shifting problems when using a 10 speed KMC X10SL with an XT crankset. I switched to a 9 speed, and it shifted perfectly. Maybe it was just me, and this is an isolated case, but I'm sure it was just the chain. I say roll with the 9 speeder.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonyisdope
    Just throwing this out there, but I had major front derailleur shifting problems when using a 10 speed KMC X10SL with an XT crankset. I switched to a 9 speed, and it shifted perfectly. Maybe it was just me, and this is an isolated case, but I'm sure it was just the chain. I say roll with the 9 speeder.

    I agree. I've tried the X10SL on 9spd drive trains and it shifts horrible.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the heads up. I appreciate it.

  21. #21
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    That's probably because you're using full index front shifters with those chains that its working poorly whereas sonyisdope uses a front shifter that's essentially a friction shifter with a bunch of click-detents to give an audio indication of the shifting. Those of us who KNOW how to use these sorts of shifters, prefer them.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    That's probably because you're using full index front shifters with those chains that its working poorly whereas sonyisdope uses a front shifter that's essentially a friction shifter with a bunch of click-detents to give an audio indication of the shifting. Those of us who KNOW how to use these sorts of shifters, prefer them.
    I'm using a Sram Attack shifter. I know how use it, as well as adjust it properly. The Chain was actually falling in between the big and middle ring.

  23. #23
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    And besides friction shifting is so 80's...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irrenarzt
    And besides friction shifting is so 80's...
    And besides, front derailleurs are so 90's...

  25. #25
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    did you need to cut the chain down.... how did you do this, I wanna run the 10sl on my xtr cassette and crank

  26. #26
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    I counted links and my old chain on my mojo was 114 links and the new KMC 10SL was 115. I popped one link with a chain tool. Seems to be working fine.

  27. #27
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    If its falling between the rings then I'd say you don't have 9speed rings somewhere in that equation... or at least, proper 9speed SPACING rings. Shimano shortened the ring center to center distance when they introduced 9speed cogsets and explained that in certain situations, a 9speed chain which is narrower in outside width (the 10 speed chain even more so) than an 8speed chain could get jammed in the space between the rings on an 8-speed ring spaced crankset. Problem is, a LOT of crank and chainring makers offer these 8/9 speed compatible chainrings, which have the 9speed tooth width, but the 8speed ring spacing. You can end up with the opposite problem with 8speed chains on 9speed crankset, in that case in jams into the ring without lifting up properly to clear the teeth because its too wide for the gap.
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  28. #28
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    Thanks for your help... I was talking to my local shop,, and they told me there was no way it would work..As usual... I know they only go for what books tell them. I am excited to try it...

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