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    9 Speed Cassette, 10 Speed Crank..What Chain?

    Searched all over and can't find a clear answer to this.

    Just put an Ultegra double 6600 10 speed Crankset on my bike but left the 9 speed cassette in place. Everything seems to work well except that when I am in the small chainring and the second and third smallest cogs on the rear the chain seems to rub on the larger chainring. Will a 10 speed chain fix this problem and if so will it work fine with the 9 speed cassette and F.D.? Thanks for your help.

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    A ten speed chain is slightly narrower and should reduce the rubbing. It should also work fine with a 9-speed cassette.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    A ten speed chain is slightly narrower and should reduce the rubbing. It should also work fine with a 9-speed cassette.
    I have to disagree.

    A ten speed Campy chain is 6.1 mm wide. A Campy 9spd chain is 6.8mm wide. A 9 speed Sram is, depending on quality between 6.2 and 6.8 mm wide.

    Given that just half of the width is available for reducing chain rub, that leaves roughly 0.35 mm narrower. That's a pretty small amount in anybody's book. A ten speed chain isn't going to do much to solve the problem. It sounds more like a chainline or derailer adjustment problem.

    For 287: A lot of your problem could be solved by not using the combinations you are using. The gears are probably duplicated elsewhere in your gearing and you don't really gain anything by using the inner ring and those small cogs. Go to Harris Cyclery website and use the gear calculator. Then avoid those combinations.
    Stuart Black
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    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    I have to disagree.

    A ten speed Campy chain is 6.1 mm wide. A Campy 9spd chain is 6.8mm wide. A 9 speed Sram is, depending on quality between 6.2 and 6.8 mm wide.

    Given that just half of the width is available for reducing chain rub, that leaves roughly 0.35 mm narrower. That's a pretty small amount in anybody's book. A ten speed chain isn't going to do much to solve the problem. It sounds more like a chainline or derailer adjustment problem.

    For 287: A lot of your problem could be solved by not using the combinations you are using. The gears are probably duplicated elsewhere in your gearing and you don't really gain anything by using the inner ring and those small cogs. Go to Harris Cyclery website and use the gear calculator. Then avoid those combinations.


    I have to also disagree. Like it even matters what crankset goes with what 8,9,10 speed rear cluster. Pick the chain based on what the rear cluster is only. If the rear is an 8 speed, use an 8 speed chain. If the rear is a 9 speed, use a 9 speed chain. If the rear is a 10 speed, use a 10 speed chain. The chainring thickness of a 8,9,or 10 speed crankset is all the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman
    The chainring thickness of a 8,9,or 10 speed crankset is all the same.
    Yes but the distance between adjacent chainrings varies with the number of "speeds" the crank is matched to.

    A 10-speed Shimano and the new 10-speed Campy chains are narrower than any 9-speed chain and a difference of .35 or .5 mm will make a difference if the clearances are that close.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Yes but the distance between adjacent chainrings varies with the number of "speeds" the crank is matched to.

    A 10-speed Shimano and the new 10-speed Campy chains are narrower than any 9-speed chain and a difference of .35 or .5 mm will make a difference if the clearances are that close.

    That's what I wondered. Are the chainrings on a 10 speed crank closer together than a 9 speed. The chain is not rubbing out by the teeth but wrather 1/2" down the big ring closer to the spindle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    It should also work fine with a 9-speed cassette.
    In my experiences, it works better. I even run a 10 spd Ultegra chain on my mountain bike.
    Don't spray WD-40 in/on it. WD-40 is a TEMPORARY WATER DISPLACER, not a long term oil.

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    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Before you invest in a new 10spd chain check your chain line and make sure that the cassette is properly aligned with the front chain rings. The 10 speed setup for the chainrings may be moved inward toward the BB throwing the chain line off. The distance between the 2 chainrings is less than the 10 speed. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    ...A ten speed Campy chain is 6.1 mm wide. A Campy 9spd chain is 6.8mm wide. A 9 speed Sram is, depending on quality between 6.2 and 6.8 mm wide...
    Stuart got it right. Chain width is determined by the widest gears in the drive train. The spacing of the chain rings won't matter because of their differing diameters. For the drive train setup described by the OP, a nine-speed chain is most appropriate.

    Just for the record, you CAN use a 9-speed crank set with a 10-speed chain and cassette without problems. I've done it (on sydney's advice) and it worked fine. The chain does NOT "fall between the rings" and the system shifts just fine. Although this seemingly violates the "rule" given in the first paragraph, the actual chain-ring-tooth-widths between nine and 10 speed setups are so close that chains don't seem to care.

    The OP's drive train will shift fine with a 9-speed chain, and may shift fine with a 10-speed chain as well. The only issue would be that, if using a 10-speed chain, once the cassette/chain got dirty, the shifts at the cassette might slip slightly until the narrow chain "caught" on the cruddy cassette teeth.

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    The major change in chainring spacing came in the transition from 8 to 9-speed cranks and a 9-speed chain would sometimes "ride" on top of the teeth of the smaller chainring if the shifts were done under a lot of pressure. Shimano used to say a 9-speed chain with an 8-speed crank was fine if you always shifted while sitting down, i.e. without a lot of force on the chain.

    The spacing difference between 9 and 10-speed cranks is probably small enough to be ignored.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Yes but the distance between adjacent chainrings varies with the number of "speeds" the crank is matched to.

    A 10-speed Shimano and the new 10-speed Campy chains are narrower than any 9-speed chain and a difference of .35 or .5 mm will make a difference if the clearances are that close.
    Never having measured the space between chainrings, I can't say that your statement is correct or not. But lack of knowledge has never stopped me from waving my hands about wildly I have had a number of people tell me that the distance between rings is different for cranks that are 9 or 10 speeds but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me as to why they would need to do this. I can see how the space between cassette cogs can be very important but for cranks, I'd think that closer tolerances would be a detriment rather than an assest. Since the chain is rarely aligned perfectly with the cassette, the chain always has some deflection. If the chainwheels are too close together this would lead to rubbing issues in a large number of gear combinations. I can see why the chainwheels would be thinner to mesh with the chain but this would only be a few tenths of a millimeter which isn't going to make that much of a difference. But I can't see why the space between chainwheels would be narrower.

    Like I said lots of handwaving without doing any measurements.
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    287
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    Well I decided to give the 10 speed chain a try and it worked like a charm.....works beautifully on the rear too........thanks to all for the help

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    Thanks for the feedback - so much for theory! If you get sticking after the drivetrain gets dirty, please post again and let us know.

    Happy New Year!

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