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  1. #1
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    Chains for touring? HG-X vs. HG

    Hey Everyone

    I'm currently building two touring Bikes (Surly Trucker Deluxe) and have a question regarding chains.
    The setup I'm considering is as follows:

    Cassette 10 gear HG62 11-36 tooth
    Crankset: SHIMANO Deore crankset Hollowtech II FC-M591
    Chain: HG74 10 gear
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Shadow Model RD-M593 Shimano Deore RD-M593
    SHIMANO Deore XT front derailleur - Top Swing*5 - FD-T780


    Do you know if I need a HG-X chain for these parts or is the standard HG okay?

    I'm not quite sure what the difference is?

    Kind Regards

    Kristian from Denmark

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Doesnt really even have to be a Shimano chain.. Whipperman , KMC Sram, just get the same width , [aka 'speed' number]
    I'm not quite sure what the difference is?
    Neither Am I, Go visit, into a Bike shop , look ,and ask.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-24-13 at 10:44 AM.

  3. #3
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    What fietsbob said about chains. I would go with KMC; I have had good luck with them vs SRAM (no real experience with Shimano, mainly because they usually cost more and don't have a quick link).

    What shifters are you using? If road shifters (Bar-end, downtube, STI's, etc), that derailleur will not work. You need a 8 or 9-speed derailleur for 10-speed road shifters. Shimano changed things around for 10-speed mountain drivetrain, and the rear derailleur is no longer compatible with road shifters. In the same vein, that front derailleur may be finicky if you are using a road shifter, but I have successfully gotten a mountain front derailleur to play okay with a STI lever.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    You might think about SRAM with their "Power Link". It is easier to break the chain without a tool for repairs and cleaning. Shimano chains require a new pin and chain tool every time you remove the chain. I know from experience, broken derailleur and derailleur hanger, that using a new pin is necessary.

  5. #5
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    HG-X is designed for smoother front shifting when used with an HG-X crankset and for shedding mud. If neither of these apply to your build just use the standard HG (or third party) chain.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    You might think about SRAM with their "Power Link"
    +1

  7. #7
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    Any chain that doesn't require a new pin every time you open it to remove it will be fine as long as it's the correct width. That rules out Shimano chains for me (for touring, anyway).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristianMaar View Post
    Hey Everyone

    I'm currently building two touring Bikes (Surly Trucker Deluxe) and have a question regarding chains.
    The setup I'm considering is as follows:

    Cassette 10 gear HG62 11-36 tooth
    Crankset: SHIMANO Deore crankset Hollowtech II FC-M591
    Chain: HG74 10 gear
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Shadow Model RD-M593 Shimano Deore RD-M593
    SHIMANO Deore XT front derailleur - Top Swing*5 - FD-T780


    Do you know if I need a HG-X chain for these parts or is the standard HG okay?

    I'm not quite sure what the difference is?

    Kind Regards

    Kristian from Denmark

    HG stands for HyperGlide, so as long as you are using a Shimano 10 speed HG chain, then you're fine. HG74 is a good chain (I use it myself), though I never used the HG-54 which is also a 10 speed chain but cheaper. 10 speed chains aren't cheap.

    Now, there are voices out there that claim that you can use 10 speed chains from KMC, SRAM or others. Yes and no and it really depends on which cassette you have. If you have one of those dyna-sys or SLX 11-36 cassettes, then you are better served with a HG-74 SLX chain for crisp smooth shifting. No other chain I have used thus far can provide the very same shifting performance under stress, mud and construction mud crump and still shift well as the SLX HG-74. The original chain on my Masi WAS a 10 speed KMC (shifted not so great compared to HG-X 74). With 9 speed cassettes on my other 2 bikes however, SRAM works perfectly well.

    I have a similar system as you are planning to build by the way. Rather than using the expensive Deore XT front; try the Tiagra front instead as it works better with road shifters and I run a 2x10 drive train with a Sugino Super Maxy 110/74BCD crankset. Shifting smooth as butter only with Shimano HGX chain.
    Last edited by pacificcyclist; 01-27-13 at 11:08 PM.
    Trek 5000 carbon road bike
    Masi Speciale CX touring bike
    Dahon Mu SL (performance hybrid road bike)
    Dahon Speed Duo (slow poker shopper or coffee getter bike)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzy834 View Post
    Any chain that doesn't require a new pin every time you open it to remove it will be fine as long as it's the correct width. That rules out Shimano chains for me (for touring, anyway).
    The problem with a 10 speed Dyna-sys or SLX cassette is that it does need a Shimano 10 speed HG chain to work really well. A number of us had converted to a 2x10 or 3x10 11-36 drive system and had found that other chains just don't perform as well in stress shifting and with contaminated drive trains, both possible scenarios in touring. In fact, I would prefer the 9 speed for touring instead, because any chain works well with 9 speed but 10 speed is very finicky. And yes, we've tried different chains.

    Some people have different expectation of good shifting. And I thought I had good shifting when my Masi came with a 10 speed KMC chain. Shifts fine, but sometimes mis-shifts a few times and would jump a cog when drivetrain is dirty. The mechanic at the shop tried so many times to make it good and failed. I thought it must be wear and tear but after 120km?!? When I upgraded to the 11-36SLX, the mechanic told me to use HG-74. After that, shifting was really smooth (totally opposite to KMC) plus now commuting in the dead of winter, the chain still shifts well.
    Trek 5000 carbon road bike
    Masi Speciale CX touring bike
    Dahon Mu SL (performance hybrid road bike)
    Dahon Speed Duo (slow poker shopper or coffee getter bike)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    What fietsbob said about chains. I would go with KMC; I have had good luck with them vs SRAM (no real experience with Shimano, mainly because they usually cost more and don't have a quick link).
    The only chain I've ever broken was a KMC DX10SC. The MissingLink master link failed on my first day down the Pacific coast; luckily I had a spare link. After about 750, mostly training, miles the chain was stretched to the point where shifting became problematic. I've gone back to using SRAM chains. Even the cheap ones seem to last longer than the DX10SC plus I've never had one break.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Western Flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    What fietsbob said about chains. I would go with KMC; I have had good luck with them vs SRAM (no real experience with Shimano, mainly because they usually cost more and don't have a quick link).

    What shifters are you using? If road shifters (Bar-end, downtube, STI's, etc), that derailleur will not work. You need a 8 or 9-speed derailleur for 10-speed road shifters. Shimano changed things around for 10-speed mountain drivetrain, and the rear derailleur is no longer compatible with road shifters. In the same vein, that front derailleur may be finicky if you are using a road shifter, but I have successfully gotten a mountain front derailleur to play okay with a STI lever.
    I am still happily riding in the age of 9 speed cassettes and Sram 9 speed chains, but I know the day of decision is coming to move up to a 10 or an 11 or more speed cassette. I've read that the Sram 10 speed quick link is one time - permanent, which I assumed means you have to add a new quick link every time you remove the chain. Or does it mean you can remove the old quick link but have to replace it with a new one every time the chain is removed? Are all 10 speed quick links like this and if they are what is the advantage over replacing a pin with a 10 speed Shimano chain?
    Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Western Flyer View Post
    I am ..
    If it's like their 9s chains I've used for over a decade, the link is reusable for a helluva long time. They will wear/bend and get jammed together so that a needle nose pliers is necessary to separate the link, and you might choose to replace the link then, although it will still work normally - just a little difficult to get apart.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    On tour [IMHO] the 20 , 30 'speed' stuff is overly gadgety.. the Seller Marketing Hype driven, . push.
    not user pull, practical, demand, need, driven choices..


    But if it makes you happy then go for a tour somewhere on it..

  14. #14
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    Western Flyer- the 10 speed link question has been raised a few times. I think the consensus is that the SRAM is officially one time only but some reuse it. KMC makes two different 10 speed links. One is reusable and one is not. In my experience the reusable ones are clearly labeled as such on the package.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    Western Flyer- the 10 speed link question has been raised a few times. I think the consensus is that the SRAM is officially one time only but some reuse it. KMC makes two different 10 speed links. One is reusable and one is not. In my experience the reusable ones are clearly labeled as such on the package.
    http://www.sram.com/sram/road/technologies/powerlock

    This applies to 10s chains (Powerlock link) only.

    All Sram 9s chains use a powerlink, which can be reused multiple times, which to me is simply another good reason to stick with 9s drivetrains as long as possible.

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