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Captain Obvious on bike chain numbering #4894529 10/12/18 09:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,224
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Number_35 Offline OP
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After my experience accidentally installing an 8-speed chain on my wife's mountain bike (3 x 9 speed) last month, I checked the rest of our bike fleet yesterday to ensure they all had the correct chains. (There is no consensus on the 'net, for example, on whether it's OK to run a 9-speed chain on an 8-speed cassette. I already proven that it doesn't work to run an 8-speed chain on a 9-speed cassette.) Anyway, I dutifully recorded the various chains' model numbers and then went to the SRAM website to check out what model number corresponded to what chain type.

Part way through this exercise I realized that the SRAM 8-speed chains are all numbered PC-8xx (PC-830, PC-850, PC-870, and PC-890) and the 9-speed chains are numbered PC-9xx (PC-931, PC-951, PC-971, and PC-991). If there's anyone else out there as dense as me, I hope this saves you some time. blush

Re: Captain Obvious on bike chain numbering [Re: Number_35] #4894541 10/12/18 09:31 AM
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AZjeff Offline
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SRAM makes good chains, I run the higher levels just because I like the silver finish. The Powerlink connectors work well too, I keep spares in all the packs.

There's no reason you couldn't run a 9 on an 8 speed bike but the shifting might be a bit slow since the 9 is narrower.

Now you've got 10,11,and 12 speed chains

This from Park Tool:

Some nominal widths measured across the rivet between chains are:

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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Re: Captain Obvious on bike chain numbering [Re: Number_35] #4894549 10/12/18 09:45 AM
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Phishin Offline
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I run SRAM 9 speed chains on my son's BMX bike. We love them. We usually go with the 971.

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