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  1. #1
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    Shimano Links in a KMC Chain?

    Just thought I'd ask on the outside chance this might work:

    I have a trike with a new-ish KMC chain (XSP X9) that is too short, and a new Shimano chain (HG53), both 9-speed. Pins are Shimano.

    Can I put a couple of inches in the chain that way, or do I need to buy a matching KMC chain?

  2. #2
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    I don't have the exact inner/outer widths of the chains but experience would indicate -slight- differences in width both inside and outside on the shimano versus kmc or other manufacturer chain. I wouldn't recommend it ever to splice disimilar chains together for a permanent fix. I've only done so for a temporary repair to get someone going for a short period (a few days) until I could get a longer chain ordered (or two exact same chains ordered).
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  3. #3
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    Thanks.

    I didn't know if there was some sort of a standard that would guarantee compatibility between brands. If there's not, I'm not going to chance it.

  4. #4
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    As for standards, the pitch and internal width are identical. As for 9sp, I believe KMC and Shimano (as well as SRAM) all have external widths of 6.6mm. Other than the spliced section of chain possibly wearing at a slightly different rate, I don't see what issue there would be. I'd opt for two KMC missing links (CL566R) to join it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    The width alone isn't the key. There is the inner link shape, and the base of the outer link pin where the inner bushingless link rests on. The radius and shape may vary and there is no guarantee of compatibility. You splice at your own risk. We talk about minute fractions of a mm in link pin pressing when replacing chains being a concern for the chain breaking, but I think the inner link shape and bushingless radius is even more important. Some are flat with perpendicular, but some are not. It's far more risky, IMO, than just pushing the link pin back on the chain without replacing the master link or using a new chain pin. It's not that I'm paranoid, but I wouldn't recommend it for more than an emergency repair, and only if that person is reasonable in weight. For a clyde - probably not except if I had no choice.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post
    There is the inner link shape, and the base of the outer link pin where the inner bushingless link rests on. The radius and shape may vary and there is no guarantee of compatibility. . . .
    Yes, this is my main concern.

    This will be a permanent modification.

  7. #7
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    The KMC CL566R missing link is listed as being compatible with Shimano and, of course, KMC 9sp chains. I don't see how it couldn't be trusted to join and hold sections of each brand together.

  8. #8
    almost like new Papa Ado's Avatar
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    Confirmed - Shimano HG 9 speed chains and KMC X9 chains both have actual pin length of 6.6mm as mentioned previously in this thread. You can connect your two segments using two Missing links (CL566R).

    As for strength, a lot of tests are run this way - segments of chain spliced together and chains are put under heavy stress.

    Final note, if you are finicky, you will notice a difference in performance as a result of superior chamfering on the X9.

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