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Can I use any 9spd chain with any 9spd cassette?

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Can I use any 9spd chain with any 9spd cassette?

Old 06-26-13, 09:00 AM
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Can I use any 9spd chain with any 9spd cassette?

I was looking to replace the wearing drivetrain on my heavily ridden commuter bike and picked out the Shimano HG 50 9speed cassette, which says it's to be used with a "super narrow 9spd HG" chain. So I picked out the SLX HG73 chain.

After consulting the genius that is these forums, I don't think my cassette is worn to the point of needing a replacement yet. My concern is: Will I be able to use this new "super narrow" chain on my old cassette? I can't see any kind of model number on it. Or is there some other criteria I have to match chains to cassettes with, besides just number of cogs?

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Old 06-26-13, 09:09 AM
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A 9 speed chain is a 9 speed chain, be it from Shimano, KMC, SRAM, Connex etc, no difference in the specs, even Campagnolo uses the same.

Wouldn't be using a HG50 though on a 9 speed system, as the HG50 chain is a 7/8 speed chain, you want a HG53 if looking at this level.

What you will get with say a HG73 over HG53 is a nicer finish.

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Old 06-26-13, 09:11 AM
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What's wrong with your old chain? If your old cassette is nearing the end of its lifetime, a new chain won't fit it, unless you've been switching chains periodically. Pics would be helpful.
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Old 06-26-13, 10:01 AM
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Yeah, if the cassette is worn out, the new chain will still skip. Since these are "wear-out" items anyway, I usually buy cheaper and replace both at the same time every couple years. (You'll NEVER see XTR/Dura-Ace level stuff on my bikes, lol!)
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Old 06-26-13, 10:09 AM
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Other than the risk that a new chain MAY, (not will) skip on your old cassette any 9s chain is fine. All 9s chains are about the same width, which might have been considered super narrow until 10s and 11s chains came out.

BTW- the risk of chain skip on the old cassette isn't dependent on the chain, if one skips, they all would.
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Old 06-26-13, 01:00 PM
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I've found a general average of 7 out of 10 times, whether a new chain will skip on an older casette. Try it and see. At least 9 speed cassettes are reasonable these days.,,,,BD
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Old 06-26-13, 03:44 PM
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I'm actually considering the replacement on two bikes. Both chains are stretched out a bit, definitely to the 12 1/16" mark. The cassettes dont look too bad, most of the teeth are still symmetric, with a bit of shark-finning on some of them. See attached pics:

Road bike:
https://db.tt/y5FmKuhc
https://db.tt/lduxFqqf
https://db.tt/BVKhN9Zf

Mtb:
https://db.tt/rNqeBLU1
https://db.tt/Pkwac4gF
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Old 06-26-13, 03:46 PM
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I think what I will do is go for new chains for both bikes and see how the shifting goes. If shifting is still jumpy, then I'll get new cassettes as needed at that point.
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Old 06-26-13, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by flyboyfish
I think what I will do is go for new chains for both bikes and see how the shifting goes. If shifting is still jumpy, then I'll get new cassettes as needed at that point.
And once you get new cassettes, if you wanna ~double your cassette life, get two chains to go with it, and rotate between the two every 500-1000 miles. This requires the chain to have "a chain link" on it of course, which most now do. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/KMC-MISSING-Bi.../dp/B001PTA4I8
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Old 08-15-13, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by vanttila
And once you get new cassettes, if you wanna ~double your cassette life, get two chains to go with it, and rotate between the two every 500-1000 miles. This requires the chain to have "a chain link" on it of course, which most now do. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/KMC-MISSING-Bi.../dp/B001PTA4I8
Great advice vanttila, I will do that for sure!
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