# Bicycle Mechanics - Noob chain question.........

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View Full Version : Noob chain question.........

Mondo734
02-10-12, 01:46 AM
Is there a difference between a 7 speed chain and an 8 speed chain other than initial length? Can an 8 speed chain be used on a 7 speed bike by simply removing enough links to give it the same length as the chain I would be replacing? Any other useful chain info would be appreciated thanks guys.:thumb:

Bill Kapaun
02-10-12, 02:24 AM
The length has nothing to do with the number of "speeds".
It's determined by the size of the largest chain ring, largest cog and the distance between them.

6-8 speed chains are the same WIDTH! They get progressively thinner for 9 & 10 speed.

Mondo734
02-10-12, 02:44 AM
SO, in sum the 8 speed chain would work fine for a 7 speed cassette but a 9 or 10 speed one would be to thin? Would a 10 speed chain work for a 9 speed cassette or vice versa?

Bill Kapaun
02-10-12, 02:53 AM
The "thinness" of the 9 speed is in the thickness of the side plates.

Recently, I was using a 9 speed chain with cranks from an early 70's 10 speed road bike (2X5).

You CAN NOT use 9 speed chain on a 10 speed cassette or 8 speed chain on a 9 speed cassette because the chain is too wide and doesn't fit between the cogs without rubbing.

You CAN use your 8 speed chain on a 7 speed cassette no problem! You do have to have the chain sized to the proper LENGTH for ANY combination.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/chain-length-sizing

JiveTurkey
02-10-12, 03:10 AM
SO, in sum the 8 speed chain would work fine for a 7 speed cassette but a 9 or 10 speed one would be to thin? Would a 10 speed chain work for a 9 speed cassette or vice versa?

You can use a thinner (higher speed) chain, but there's no point. Chains got narrower beginning with 9-, then 10-, etc.

That said, 8-speed and lower uses the same exact chain, so whether it's labeled as 7-speed or 8-speed, they're all 5/6/7/8-speed.

MichaelW
02-10-12, 03:58 AM
If you want to check the length, parktools have three different methods that all give the same result.

Mondo734
02-10-12, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the input guys earlier today I went to a lbs that is closing and picked up an 8 speed sram pc-830 chain and installed it before work. I didn't have a chance to ride it but it seemed like it glided like butter.