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Old 04-12-20, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Published dimensions from several reliable sources (YMMV):

Multi speed chains, from 5 to 8 speeds have inner width of 3/32? (2.38 mm).
Multi speed chains from 9 to 12 speeds have inner width of 11/128? (2.18 mm).

Outside width of the links:

5 & 6 speed – 7.8 mm (5/16 in) (all brands)
7 speed – 7.3 mm (9/32 in) (Shimano HG), 7.1 mm (9/32 in) (SRAM, Shimano IG)
8 speed – 7.3 mm (9/32 in) (Shimano HG), 7.1 mm (9/32 in) (SRAM, Shimano IG)
9 speed – 6.6 to 6.8 mm (1/4 to 9/32 in) (all brands)
10 speed - 6.2 mm (1/4 in) (Shimano, Campy), 5.88 mm (7/32 in) (Campy, KMC)

The inside width of 5sp to 11sp chains should be the same (3/32) and only the outside width should vary. This is done by changing the thickness of the sideplates.

My default chain for vintage drivetrains is a KMC 9sp and I've never had any problems. I usually do put modern pulleys on the derailleur though. My thinking with the 9sp chain is that since the outside width is a bit thinner I'm less likely to have rubbing on the chainring in extreme chain angles. I know that I'm not supposed to have extreme angles but with less gears it does happen.
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