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Can I use a SRAM chain on a Shimano cassette?

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Can I use a SRAM chain on a Shimano cassette?

Old 12-13-10, 01:29 PM
  #1  
wack70
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Can I use a SRAM chain on a Shimano cassette?

A LBS mechanic told me I shouldn't be using a SRAM PC-1030 10-speed chain I just installed on my Shimano 105 10-speed 11-23 cassette because it doesn't match up perfectly and can wear out the cassette worse. Is there any truth to this?
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Old 12-13-10, 01:34 PM
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yes, it's fine.

I think your mechanic was confusing a used chain vs. new chain.
used chains can be worn out and be out of spec, which is 1/2" per link.
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Old 12-13-10, 01:37 PM
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I don't know about 10 speed but for lesser like 7 speed it doesnt matter ,

7 speed type chains are wider inside and out than what you need,

so rather than worrying , live with buying Shimano's 10 speed chains too.

.. in for a dime, in for $50, , so to say..

NB a few thousandths per link add up, and so replace your chain frequently !
buy a chain checking tool .. old rule of thumb 12" of chain + 0.125"
may need to be made smaller[12.05"] as the cogs you have to replace have really jumped up in price and riding on a stretched chain, wears out your chainrings and faster yet the cassettes..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-13-10 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 12-13-10, 04:35 PM
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In my experience, SRAM chains do not work optimally with Shimano drivetrains. If you just don't want a Shimano chain, then get a KMC. We've had numerous bikes through here with weird shifting problems (Trek has been bad about spec'ing SRAM chains on otherwise Shimano equipped bikes lately) and the fix was a new Shimano chain under warranty.
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Old 12-13-10, 06:00 PM
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Mixing brands of chains (or correct width) and cassettes may affect shifting, but won't cause increased wear.

The key elements of chains are highly standardized and all chains conform to the basic standards of pitch and width. But some things aren't part of the standard, including the exact shape of the plates, and the lateral flexibility.

The major players have proprietary shapes for their plates, mated to specially profiled shifting gates cut into their sprocket teeth. If you stay with mated chain, cassette, and chainring versions you should get better, crisper shifting (at least that's the hype in hyperglide or the same by other names from Sram and Campagnolo). Whether you actually is a matter of debate, but if you prefer chain A on cassette B feel free to use it with no qualms.
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Old 12-13-10, 06:22 PM
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Buy the cheapest. My friend has 105 and he runs KMC. It works.
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Old 12-13-10, 06:24 PM
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i have put a lot of SRAM chains on a lot of otherwise Shimano drivetrains and never seen it cause a problem.
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Old 12-13-10, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
i have put a lot of SRAM chains on a lot of otherwise Shimano drivetrains and never seen it cause a problem.
Yeah, that's because you aren't paying attention.

Mixing 10 speed sram chains and cassettes will cause the shifting to degrade. Always match drivetrain components. Especially with 10/11 speed.
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Old 12-13-10, 07:18 PM
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When i first saw this thread, it amazed me that there's 7 replies to this post. When i read those 7 replies, i was even more blown away that there's so many different answers.

You can run sram chains on shimano cassettes, with no worries. Some folks report shifting finickiness, but i've run sram chains on shimano 8-, 9-, and 10- speed drivetrains without any discernible issues.

your mechanic is either a fool or a liar, and you need to find another mech or a toolset for yourself.

-rob
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Old 12-13-10, 07:34 PM
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hmmm i think that most have been 9-speed drivetrains, maybe that's why they seem to work fine.
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Old 12-13-10, 07:35 PM
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I've run SRAM chains with 10s Shimano, and SRAM chains with 10s Campy.
No problems at all.
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Old 12-13-10, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I've run SRAM chains with 10s Shimano, and SRAM chains with 10s Campy.
No problems at all.
You clearly

a) don't have the skill to adjust shifting as good as possible
b) have never worked on shimano 7900/6700

Sram chains will NOT shift as well on a shimano 10 speed systems.

Just because the chain sits on the cogs and chainrings doesn't mean it performs the best it could.
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Old 12-13-10, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by surreal View Post
your mechanic is either a fool or a liar, and you need to find another mech or a toolset for yourself.

-rob
Or they're people like you, who don't even have the requisite skill necessary to TELL the difference between a fully tuned shift system and one that performs less.
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Old 12-13-10, 07:48 PM
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marketing BS.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:11 PM
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Feel free to purchase whatever chain brand you feel is the best. I like to keep Shimano with Shimano , Campi with Campi and Sram with Sram. Using matched chain & transmission is nice but not necessary. The truth be told even KMC makes good chains that works with all the systems. Proper component alignment/installation , proper cable tension/lube -- shifting will work great. There is alot of sales hype out there and even some harsh criticism for deviating from the sales hype. I love my bikes - been wrenching for 38 years and will not push hype at my store. On 1 of my bikes I am running Sram Force with Shimano DA cassette and a Campagnolo chain -- works great -- no hype just fact.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:20 PM
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campy is a registered trademark of campagnolo

campi is not
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Old 12-13-10, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
campy is a registered trademark of campagnolo

campi is not
Cracker Jack had the trademark first.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:52 PM
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Old 12-14-10, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Or they're people like you, who don't even have the requisite skill necessary to TELL the difference between a fully tuned shift system and one that performs less.
fair enough; i'd forgotten that the very newest shimano groups have these directional chains now, which is a step backwards to my mind, b/c it impedes cross-compatability between groups, years, manufacturers, etc. But my mostly 5600/6600 group was fully tuned, with a sram chain, cracking off perfect shifts. I have no idea why you're coming on here with all this venom, and to be blunt, the OP didn't mention which generation of 105 he's running.

So, my revised position: the OP's mechanic is either a fool or a liar, unless they 105 in question is 5700, in which case, i am a fool. (But, not a liar. And, my shift system's are rockin' pretty hard right now, aside from that danged mt60 group, which still needs some tweaking. See that? totally honest.)

-rob
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Old 12-14-10, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Yeah, that's because you aren't paying attention.

Mixing 10 speed sram chains and cassettes will cause the shifting to degrade. Always match drivetrain components. Especially with 10/11 speed.
yeah? How does the shifting "degrade?" The internal and external widths are the same. Shimano claims that their directional chains improve shifting on their newest 10 speed groups, but we don't even know if the OP has one of these groups or the previous generation 10 speed 105.

I await your detailed response with much anticipation. You seem very sure of this increased wear and degraded performance, so I'm sure you can explain specifically what the problems are.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Mixing brands of chains (or correct width) and cassettes may affect shifting, but won't cause increased wear.

The key elements of chains are highly standardized and all chains conform to the basic standards of pitch and width. But some things aren't part of the standard, including the exact shape of the plates, and the lateral flexibility.

The major players have proprietary shapes for their plates, mated to specially profiled shifting gates cut into their sprocket teeth. If you stay with mated chain, cassette, and chainring versions you should get better, crisper shifting (at least that's the hype in hyperglide or the same by other names from Sram and Campagnolo). Whether you actually is a matter of debate, but if you prefer chain A on cassette B feel free to use it with no qualms.
That makes quite a bit of sense, but I'd be surprised if the brand of chainrings mattered much.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by surreal View Post
When i first saw this thread, it amazed me that there's 7 replies to this post. When i read those 7 replies, i was even more blown away that there's so many different answers.

You can run sram chains on shimano cassettes, with no worries. Some folks report shifting finickiness, but i've run sram chains on shimano 8-, 9-, and 10- speed drivetrains without any discernible issues.

your mechanic is either a fool or a liar, and you need to find another mech or a toolset for yourself.

-rob
+1 I stopped using Shimano chains about the time I went back to 9spd from 10spd (5-6 years ago), and have been running SRAM chains since. No problems on either SRAM or Shimano cassettes, even though I have a pretty good spread--24-35-52 w/11-34 9spd, in my drivetrain. Shifting is good, and I have not seen any difference in wear.
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Old 12-14-10, 11:51 AM
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the shimano chains work fine, but are a hassle to remove, if you ever intend to reinstall them. This is also true of the 10 speed SRAM chains, the powerlinks of which are truly one-time use. Apparently, wipperman 10speeds have reusable connex links, so i'll be trying wippermans out if i ever rock my ten-speed group in the future.

I suspect shimano's new directional chains were borne not out of a drive to improve shifting (really, does anyone think 6600 ultegra shifted poorly?), but out of a desire to force folks to buy shimano's dorky chains again. I still <3 shimano, and am far from boycotting them, but i'm swearing off the 5700/6700 groups until they come back to reason.

-rob
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Old 12-14-10, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by surreal View Post
This is also true of the 10 speed SRAM chains, the powerlinks of which are truly one-time use.
PowerLINK: 8s & 9s links that can be removed by hand.
PowerLOCK: 10s links that need the Park MLP-1 to remove.

Someone who works in a bike shop recently posted of a conversation with a SRAM representative in which the rep assured him that "one time use" meant one *chain*, not one *installation*. i.e. reusing Powerlock 10s link is fine as long as it is discarded when the chain is worn out.

There are also master links available from KMC and IRD and Superlink.

Last edited by Shimagnolo; 12-14-10 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 12-14-10, 12:43 PM
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Prolly all come from the same manufacturing plant somewhere in rural China.

Having said that, I am running SRAM chain with my Shimano rear drivetrain and Truvativ/SRAM front drive. All I need now is a Campy piece and I have a UN of bicycle parts.
Wish Campy plays nice with other groups. They always want to be unique.... kinda like North Korea.
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