Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got back from my LBS and they recommended I put a 10 speed chain on my 9 speed when it comes time to replace it. They said it would give me smoother shifts. Has anyone heard of this and do you recommend it.
 

·
Maaaaan
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
It will matter a lot!
The 10 speed chains are narrower than a 9 speed chain and will not hook onto adjacent rings and cogs as well when shifting.
The spacing between rings and cogs is closer on a ten speed setup than on a nine speed.
You also will probably get major chain-suck, in which case, I'm sure they will be ready to sell you a whole new drive train.
The ten speed chain will wedge itself onto the wider nine speed gear teeth.
 

·
Big Boned
Joined
·
1,535 Posts
If it improves your shifting at all, it's not going to be that much. And in the abstract, it seems to me that a 10-sp. chain will actually make front shifts sloppier because your front D will have to move a bit farther to engage the narrow chain and move it over. Hence why 10-sp. front D's have such narrow cages.

And even if it does somehow improve your shifting marginally, are you having such awful shifting problems right now that you can't fix them with proper adjustment? Did you lose a World Cup race in a sprint because you dropped a shift, and you're looking for a fix so you can put Absalon in his place next time?

Why is such a small potential improvement in shifting so important? And couldn't you improve your shifting even more by, say, upgrading to 08 XTR or XO instead, and eliminating your worries?

Save yourself the hassle, save yourself a few bucks (10-speed chains are more $$$ than cheapo 9-speed chains), and find a new shop and get the right chain for your bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,041 Posts
Ericmopar said:
It will matter a lot!
The 10 speed chains are narrower than a 9 speed chain and will not hook onto adjacent rings and cogs as well when shifting.
The spacing between rings and cogs is closer on a ten speed setup than on a nine speed.
You also will probably get major chain-suck, in which case, I'm sure they will be ready to sell you a whole new drive train.
The ten speed chain will wedge itself onto the wider nine speed gear teeth.
Actually this sounds like a shop that has the ability to think outside the box. 10 speed chains have been known to shift better especially when your cassette get gunk from mud and such and since it will have less side to side play on the rings/cogs, it tends to be a little smoother (but thats just folklore). They are more expensive, but thats never stopped many from spending more on a bike. People that have tried it like it. Those that haven't typically criticize it.

And chain suck? Seriously. The difference in width is so minuscule, that it isn't going to make a bit of difference. :rolleyes:
 

·
Maaaaan
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
Treybiker said:
Actually this sounds like a shop that has the ability to think outside the box. 10 speed chains have been known to shift better especially when your cassette get gunk from mud and such and since it will have less side to side play on the rings/cogs, it tends to be a little smoother (but thats just folklore). They are more expensive, but thats never stopped many from spending more on a bike. People that have tried it like it. Those that haven't typically criticize it.

And chain suck? Seriously. The difference in width is so minuscule, that it isn't going to make a bit of difference. :rolleyes:
It's the other way around. The narrower 10 speed chain will will get stuck onto the fatter 9 speed gear teeth especially when things get dirty.

The same problems happened a few years ago, when the manufacturers started coming out with nine speed stuff.
People would mistakingly put 9 speed chains onto full 8 speed rings and cassettes, which at the time, the 8 speed teeth, were slightly wider than the current 9 and 8 speed stuff, and the chains would wedge onto the gear teeth.
The 9 speed chains, also got stuck frequently between the crank's rings. That problem stopped, when they standardized 9 and 8 speed crankset spacing and made all rings with narrower teeth.
That's also why the older full on 8 speed stuff, used to wear better and shift better than the current 9 speed stuff. It's also why the current 8 speed gearing, isn't as good as the older stuff. (because the teeth are narrower). :madman:

Sometimes it pays, to be older and more experienced. :D
 

·
Weekend Warrior
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
I know a few people who upgraded their 8sp to 9sp, but they only changed the cassette and the chain, and the chain does NOT get stuck at all in the front, as a matter of fact it shifts easier and quicker in the front.

On the other hand, I heard that because the thinner is also slightly weaker (given the same price/build quality) they say that under extreme pressure (or shifting while climbing under full torque) it is more prone to breakage. I am very rough on my gears so I'm sticking to an 8 speed setup. If I just could find any more of those 8sp XTR cassettes......
 

·
What could go wrong ...
Joined
·
1,996 Posts
yeah when you consider that on an 8 speed or 9 speed setup your top and bottom gears are usually identical all you are getting is closer ratios thru the shifts at the expense of a thinner chain ... makes no sense to me ... and they have plenty of XT and XTR 8 speed cassettes on ebay ... im watching 3 of them now
 

·
Its got what plants crave
Joined
·
5,933 Posts
daleksic said:
I know a few people who upgraded their 8sp to 9sp, but they only changed the cassette and the chain, and the chain does NOT get stuck at all in the front, as a matter of fact it shifts easier and quicker in the front.

On the other hand, I heard that because the thinner is also slightly weaker (given the same price/build quality) they say that under extreme pressure (or shifting while climbing under full torque) it is more prone to breakage. I am very rough on my gears so I'm sticking to an 8 speed setup. If I just could find any more of those 8sp XTR cassettes......
Yeah I'm sticking with my Biopace chainrings and Girvin Flex-Stem.
 

·
bi-winning
Joined
·
11,109 Posts
I see a lot of speculation and guessing here. My first though was that the employee was an idiot, but without evidence, i cannot say that it won't work well.
 

·
Maaaaan
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
daleksic said:
I know a few people who upgraded their 8sp to 9sp, but they only changed the cassette and the chain, and the chain does NOT get stuck at all in the front, as a matter of fact it shifts easier and quicker in the front.
Thats because modern cranks are designed to work with 8 or 9 speed chains.
What I said in a previous post was very true, about 10 years ago when 9 speed wasn't so common.
The downside of the standardization, was that cranksets have gear rings with narrower teeth that don't distribute the load as well and wear quicker.
It's also a little more difficult, to get a 8 speed setup to run without dragging the Front dérailleur cage.

On the old 8 speed cranksets of years past, the center to center spacing, between the big and small rings was about 2mm wider than on current three ring cranksets, which are optimized for 9 speed chains.
That's why your friends bike shifted better with the 9 speed chain, because the crankset is probably a newer one that is optimized for 9 not 8 speed chains.

Edit; to correct the last line.
 

·
Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
Joined
·
10,939 Posts
9 speed and 10 speed chains, cogs and rings are all designed around the same 11/128th of an inch teeth widths (and thus inner plate width of the chains). 6 thru 8 speeds use 3/32" widths.
 

·
Big Boned
Joined
·
1,535 Posts
ad6mj said:
A 10 speed chain would probably not be as strong. Also, aren't 10 sp powerlinks single use?
No, IRD makes a link that you can remove and replace as much as you want, and is compatible with other manufacturers' chains. Wippermans are the same way, and though I haven't seen one, I'd bet SRAM 10sp chains are the same. Campy and Shimano are both master-pin style, and the pins are single use.

I just don't believe that a 10sp chain can really improve shifting that much (if at all) -- not enough that it's worth the extra $$ for each chain. And I have to believe that they're going to stretch and wear out faster, particularly if you (like most riders do) cross-chain frequently. Pricer chains + more frequent replacement + faster wear on your cassette / chainrings = not worth the tradeoff.

I've always made a point of running the cheapest possible chain and cassette combination, with the assumption that proper adjustment and a good shifter/derailleur combo, combined with judicious timing of my shifts, would provide adequate performance. I've never felt like cheaping out on chains and cassettes handicapped me at all -- not breaking lots of chains, etc. -- and since we're talking about components with finite life spans anyway, I figure it's better to swap into a fresh (if not top-notch) chain/cassette every season for, say, $50 total (thank you Pricepoint!), than to try to milk three seasons out of a $100 cassette or $50 chain. That way, I get the assurance of a new chain every year, and I always have "still usable" back-up chain/cassette tandems in my parts bin.

But hey, whatever floats your boat.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top