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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-27-12, 02:29 PM   #1
tstansbury
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Cassette/Chain Compatability

We're currently driving a SRAM 11-32 with a SRAM PG-1070 chain, and need to replace the cassette (bent tooth, +3000 miles). Current thought is to change to a Shimano XT M771 11-32 cassette. Existing chain shows surprisingly little wear, but might as well replace it and start with a fresh drivetrain.

If we opt for the XT cassette, would Shimano's directional "super narrow" 10-speed chain provide better compatability/shifting than the SRAM (or any other) chain for our tandem? In case it matters, we have an Ultegra RD and SL-K cranks.

I generally like the idea of running an integrated system, but using "super narrow" chain and "tandem" in the same sentence seems inherently suspect. Our team puts high value on reliability. Cheers.
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Old 08-27-12, 04:08 PM   #2
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I just replaced the chain on my bike. It has FSA Gossomer triple front with 11-32 Ultegra derailleurs. The stock chain was Shimano CN6600. What I learned from doing some research is that some of the newer Shimano chains, like the 6701 for example, are designed to work with compact double chainrings and are not recommended for triples. I replaced the old one with the CN6600. Of the chain reviews I read about it looked like the strongest chains were the Wipperman follosed closely by Shimano and others, with SRAM last. The shifting on my Ultergra derailleurs, IRD rear cassette, and FSA chainrings is excellent.
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Old 08-27-12, 04:56 PM   #3
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Cassette/Chain Compatability

+1 on Wipperman Connex chain. It's good stuff. I use it exclusively on my bikes.

As an aside about the SRAM chain, I concur that it is not very strong. The SRAM chain on my Bilenky tandem broke twice while riding a metric century on Long Island in July. I have installed a Wippermann 908 in its place. I also witnessed a friend who broke a SRAM 10-speed chain earlier this year.
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Old 08-27-12, 08:35 PM   #4
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Well, we haven't graduated to 10 speed yet. On our 9speed, we have been happy with KMC X9.93. Used on both the timing and the drive. These chains are lasting a long time with great shifting and no problems (XTR derailleurs and variously Dura Ace and SRAM cassettes). I'm impressed enough to suggest that I bet their 10 spd chains are good, too. The gold drilled and slotted ones (e.g. X10SL Gold) are quite lustworthy:
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Old 08-28-12, 01:59 AM   #5
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KMC chains are designed for all drivetrains across all systems and conditions. The raised double X bridge and asymmetric chamfering (but still non-directional), as seen on the pic above, work on all brands' pinning and ramps.

The new X10 series is seriously amazing in all categories - shifting performance, compatibility, durability, rigidity, pin power...and it looks so hot!
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Old 08-28-12, 09:25 AM   #6
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I've had very good success with KMC chains. My LBS tried KMC, Shimano and SRAM chains on my new single build and KMC shifted the best (Shimano cassette). The configuration is a bit different since I have Campy shifters and a SRAM RD, but the KMC worked very well with the Shimano shift ramps. We haven't broken a KMC chain, but have only put on 10K miles and we're not the most powerful team (not 10K miles on a single chain of course).

Last edited by rdtompki; 08-28-12 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 08-28-12, 03:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Spohn View Post
I just replaced the chain on my bike. It has FSA Gossomer triple front with 11-32 Ultegra derailleurs. The stock chain was Shimano CN6600. What I learned from doing some research is that some of the newer Shimano chains, like the 6701 for example, are designed to work with compact double chainrings and are not recommended for triples. I replaced the old one with the CN6600. Of the chain reviews I read about it looked like the strongest chains were the Wipperman follosed closely by Shimano and others, with SRAM last. The shifting on my Ultergra derailleurs, IRD rear cassette, and FSA chainrings is excellent.
KMC was the brand I couldn't remember. It scored just under the Wipperman.
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