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  1. #1
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    Which chain for a triple?

    Our chain is worn out so time to replace.
    It is a Dura Ace CN7901.
    I can save some money and buy an Ultegra CN6701.
    Apparently Shimano advises against using these chains with their triple crankset and recommends CN6600 or CN7801.
    I have an FSA triple so not sure if it matters and the CN7901 has been shifting pretty well.
    I am using a SRAM 12-32 cassette right now (used to be Shimano 11-28) so not sure their is any benefit to using the newest asymmetrical Shimano chains.
    It did shift just a little bit better with the Shimano cassette.
    On my single I have KMC X10SL and have been pretty happy with that but they cost around $45 vs $30 for Ultegra.

  2. #2
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    I suggest lower finish 10 speed chain. Shifts great on my tandem with Shimano 10 speed cassette. Only half silver and half grey for less$$ and includes removable link.

    http://www.amazon.com/KMC-10-Speed-1...0-+speed+chain

    You can use any chain even a single speed chain for the sync drives. My Comotion speedster came with a single speed sync chain and it worked fine. Heavy but worked just fine. My inner weight weenie however has driven me to use 9 speed chains on our sync drive.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    I suggest lower finish 10 speed chain. Shifts great on my tandem with Shimano 10 speed cassette. Only half silver and half grey for less$$ and includes removable link.

    http://www.amazon.com/KMC-10-Speed-1...0-+speed+chain

    You can use any chain even a single speed chain for the sync drives. My Comotion speedster came with a single speed sync chain and it worked fine. Heavy but worked just fine. My inner weight weenie however has driven me to use 9 speed chains on our sync drive.
    I bought a bunch of those a long time ago really cheap. I am actually using it for my sync chain but found the shifting to be not so good.
    Obviously your experience is different.

  4. #4
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    You are right we have had different results. KMC did change the design in 2011 or 2012 from this









    to that below. Now the outer plates are not flat but have an "X" design to them called "X-Bride". The chains I use do have significant ridges forming and "X" on the side plates. I never used to older design and don't know if this change is just marketing hype or an improvement. You mentioned your chains were from some years back so it might be an improvement over the chains you used.


    Last edited by waynesulak; 07-22-13 at 03:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    +1 KMC X10. I use KMC on all my bikes, I stay away from the SL on the tandem.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    You are right we have had different results. KMC did change the design in 2011 or 2012 from this









    to that below. Now the outer plates are not flat but have an "X" design to them called "X-Bride". The chains I use do have significant ridges forming and "X" on the side plates. I never used to older design and don't know if this change is just marketing hype or an improvement. You mentioned your chains were from some years back so it might be an improvement over the chains you used.


    For sure there are different versions of KMC X series chains.
    I looked at my timing chain and it does have some sort of X pattern it, but unlike the newer one it is almost flat I can't really even feel it with my fingers.
    I think I will give this one a try and save $20 over a Shimano 7801 which does have flat plates but somehow works well.
    I am usually willing to spend a few extra bucks on the tandem but I am not seeing a reason to here.

  7. #7
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    For a triple, you can't go far wrong with a 6600 model: decent shifting, good longevity, decent price. I believe Shimano recommend against using the newer generation of chains with triples because they don't handle cross-chaining quite as well, which you can get more of on a triple than a double.

  8. #8
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    For sure there are different versions of KMC X series chains.
    I looked at my timing chain and it does have some sort of X pattern it, but unlike the newer one it is almost flat I can't really even feel it with my fingers.
    I think I will give this one a try and save $20 over a Shimano 7801 which does have flat plates but somehow works well.
    I am usually willing to spend a few extra bucks on the tandem but I am not seeing a reason to here.

    Let us know how it works out. I like the KMC but they may not work for you. Shimano is a safe bet but with the higher chain price plus cost of quick link that must be purchased separately, the total cost of Shimano is much higher.

  9. #9
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    I got the KMC but have not put it on yet.
    If it doesn't work out I can always use it on the sync chain.

  10. #10
    almost like new Papa Ado's Avatar
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    KMC here. The new raised "X-Bridge" and the asymmetrical chamfering work together for a smoother transition down gears - literally - down the face of the gear. The raised portion also allows for more room for gear tooth clearance in the non-raised portion.

    So, asymmetrical but now directional? NO. The chamfered part of the outer plate works for shifting down (literally on the gear face) and the non-chamfered part is picked up on gear "ramps" more easily. We found full outer plate outside chamfering would slip on the ramps, so this design is truly unique. Try it - mentally flip the chain around on your drivetrain and see where the chamfering/non-chamfering ends up. Enhanced shifting performance on chainrings and cassette!

  11. #11
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
    KMC here. The new raised "X-Bridge" and the asymmetrical chamfering work together for a smoother transition down gears - literally - down the face of the gear. The raised portion also allows for more room for gear tooth clearance in the non-raised portion.

    So, asymmetrical but now directional? NO. The chamfered part of the outer plate works for shifting down (literally on the gear face) and the non-chamfered part is picked up on gear "ramps" more easily. We found full outer plate outside chamfering would slip on the ramps, so this design is truly unique. Try it - mentally flip the chain around on your drivetrain and see where the chamfering/non-chamfering ends up. Enhanced shifting performance on chainrings and cassette!

    Somebody has a good search program to pick the KMC discussion....

  12. #12
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    I'm using a Shimano Ultegra CN6701 chain on our triple and I'm amazed how long they last. No issues with them at all. I use a Sram Power-Lock instead of the joining pin though.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    We use a 7900 series chain. No problems.

  14. #14
    almost like new Papa Ado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacks1071 View Post
    I'm using a Shimano Ultegra CN6701 chain on our triple and I'm amazed how long they last. No issues with them at all. I use a Sram Power-Lock instead of the joining pin though.
    I'm surprised at this as Shimano recommends not to use their directional chains on triples. Good to hear nonetheless!

  15. #15
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    So I installed the chain tonight.
    My impression just doing a sort ride around the block is that it shifts very well.
    Our ride tomorrow will be the real test.
    The missing link was a bit difficult to install. It seems they are making them much tighter than before and recommends a special tool to install it. I usually can just pull on the chain with my hands to get it to lock, but had to stomp on the pedals instead this time.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    So I installed the chain tonight.
    My impression just doing a sort ride around the block is that it shifts very well.
    Our ride tomorrow will be the real test.
    The missing link was a bit difficult to install. It seems they are making them much tighter than before and recommends a special tool to install it. I usually can just pull on the chain with my hands to get it to lock, but had to stomp on the pedals instead this time.
    I don't trust the ones you can pull appart in your hands. The Sram Powerlock ones are the best I've used.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacks1071 View Post
    I don't trust the ones you can pull appart in your hands.
    Like a Wippermann? I think they are good chains and the Connex inks are easy to use and reliable.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    Like a Wippermann? I think they are good chains and the Connex inks are easy to use and reliable.
    A few companies make them, my rule is if you can undo it by hand, don't use it. The Sram Powerlock is what I use personally and have never had one fail. You can use that link on any 10sp chain, I use them on Shimano chains all the time.

  19. #19
    almost like new Papa Ado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacks1071 View Post
    A few companies make them, my rule is if you can undo it by hand, don't use it. The Sram Powerlock is what I use personally and have never had one fail. You can use that link on any 10sp chain, I use them on Shimano chains all the time.
    KMC makes reusable and non-reusable MissingLinks. The non-reusable links lock in and once undone, should not be reconnected. Reusable links are able to be opened and closed several times, but not suggested to use more than this. To undo either with your hands is extremely difficult and a tool or another method is recommended.

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