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Difference between chains?

Old 07-12-21, 11:19 AM
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RubeRad
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Difference between chains?

Just bought a replacement chain, and was surprised how much more a KMC x10 costs than x9. And given the identical stats in this graphic, what makes a 10s chain different than 9s? (and whatever that difference is, why wouldn't they include that in the chart?)

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Old 07-12-21, 11:47 AM
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Lighter parts almost always cost more.
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Old 07-12-21, 12:03 PM
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I get that, but what's the smaller dimension that makes it lighter?
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Old 07-12-21, 12:20 PM
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Same dimensions but the X10 is made of lighter more expensive material.
X9 color = silver/grey vs X10= silver/black
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Old 07-12-21, 12:27 PM
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OHhhhh... It's Lighter... I get it...
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Old 07-12-21, 12:35 PM
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after removung some links; I'd almost go with the x11el based on those specs.
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Old 07-12-21, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
Same dimensions but the X10 is made of lighter more expensive material.
X9 color = silver/grey vs X10= silver/black
If that's true, I should be able to use an X9 on a 10- or 11-speed drivetrain, which I'm pretty sure is not the case.
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Old 07-12-21, 12:40 PM
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Looks like probably that chart is just somebody's copy/paste error. Here's "widths measured across the rivet" from ParkTool:
  • 12 rear cogs — 5.3 mm
  • 11 rear cogs — 5.5 mm
  • 10 rear cogs — 6 mm
  • 9 rear cogs — 6.5 to 7 mm
  • 6, 7, and 8 rear cogs — 7 mm
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Old 07-12-21, 02:23 PM
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The X10 has additional chamfering on the outer plates, which requires more machining time and is probably responsible for the lighter weight. Otherwise, its the same as all bicycle components, the newer stuff is higher priced, because people are willing to pay more for it.
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Old 07-12-21, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
what makes a 10s chain different than 9s?
Contact "Papa Ado" who is a KMC rep in Taiwan, is a member and visits here occasionally and gives informed and helpful answers. Bike Forums - Send Message

Last edited by Crankycrank; 07-13-21 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 07-12-21, 06:44 PM
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Isn't 10 speed chain thinner in the outer width (but not the inner width) to work with the tighter spacing of the 10 speed cassette vs. 9 speed - thinner plates but same inner and longitudinal dimensions? My understanding is that chains are compatible "downward" but not "upward", so a 10 speed chain would work with 9, 8, etc. but not the other way?

As for cost differences, my guess is that given the same "grade" of chain, the 10 speed is more expensive (1) "just because they can", (2) might be more expensive to manufacture and (3) could be finished blingier.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:20 PM
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That's what I thought, which is why I was confused by the table I pasted in the OP.

My guess is also, in order to make a thinner chain just as strong, it has to be made of better materials.
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Old 07-13-21, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Looks like probably that chart is just somebody's copy/paste error. Here's "widths measured across the rivet" from ParkTool:
  • 12 rear cogs 5.3 mm
  • 11 rear cogs 5.5 mm
  • 10 rear cogs 6 mm
  • 9 rear cogs 6.5 to 7 mm
  • 6, 7, and 8 rear cogs 7 mm
Yes!

The chart is wrong.
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Old 07-13-21, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
My understanding is that chains are compatible "downward" but not "upward", so a 10 speed chain would work with 9, 8, etc. but not the other way?
I tried to run a 10sp chain on an 8 speed drive train - the chain gets stuck between the chain rings. The same 10 sp chain worked fine on my son's 9 sp drivetrain though. So there is enough slop factor for you to go one speed up or down but probably not more than that.
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Old 07-14-21, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Isn't 10 speed chain thinner in the outer width (but not the inner width) to work with the tighter spacing of the 10 speed cassette vs. 9 speed - thinner plates but same inner and longitudinal dimensions? My understanding is that chains are compatible "downward" but not "upward", so a 10 speed chain would work with 9, 8, etc. but not the other way?

As for cost differences, my guess is that given the same "grade" of chain, the 10 speed is more expensive (1) "just because they can", (2) might be more expensive to manufacture and (3) could be finished blingier.
I don't think a 12spd chain would work efficiently on a 11spd system, but I have not tried it. Maybe someone can validate it with personal experience?
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