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CN-HG91 NOS, Sell or Use?

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View Poll Results: Would you use the HG91 chain, or sell it?
Use the chain with the pins as intended; get better at cleaning the chain on the bike.
1
5.26%
Use the chain with a quick link and enjoy the NOS matching goodness.
5
26.32%
Sell the chain, buy a modern 3/32 chain, profit!
9
47.37%
Sell the chain, sell the bike, sell the tools! Just quit it!
4
21.05%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

CN-HG91 NOS, Sell or Use?

Old 03-26-21, 06:03 AM
  #1  
Unca_Sam
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CN-HG91 NOS, Sell or Use?

When I bought my Trek 5200, the previous owner gave me a Shimano HG91 chain new in its package. I've kept it to replace the chain on the bike with when it's time. I can pull the old chain off the large chainring a bit now, and I'm leaning towards replacing it.

I'm not a fan of the joining pin design, because it's much easier to clean the chain off of the bike. Looking for extra pins, I realized that these chains tend to sell for a pretty penny, new in package. Since I'm also a believer in the march of progress, I would think that a KMC 8.99 chain would perform just as well as the HG91 chain.

So here's the question: would you sell the Shimano chain and buy a modern chain, and pocket the difference without a thought? Would you use the Shimano chain with or without a quick link?
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Old 03-26-21, 07:15 AM
  #2  
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Use it on your Kona not the 5200. The pin is pretty slick with a nice chain tool.
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Old 03-26-21, 07:37 AM
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I voted to sell the chain you have now and get a quick-link equipped chain. Full disclosure: That's mainly because I don't want to have to figure out how to use the pins and quick links are easy. So is using a chain rivet tool if the chain will be okay with that, but quick links are pretty easy..
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Old 03-26-21, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Use it on your Kona not the 5200. The pin is pretty slick with a nice chain tool.
Why the Kona?! It would probably shift great on the 7 speed Suntour drivetrain, but I'm fine with a non-shiny KMC chain eating that dust right now.
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Old 03-26-21, 07:56 AM
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To add a wrinkle...

Shimano seems to have specified a 7.4mm width on the hg91 chain, while most modern 5 6 7 8 speed chains state 7.1mm width. I know it's not enough difference to drop the chain between rings or cogs, but I'm less sure a modern quick link will fit.
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Old 03-26-21, 08:04 AM
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Shimano HG91 - isn't that a modern Shimano chain? Or is yours an older version under the same part number?

If it's the former, stop fretting about it. Use it and add a KMC link, or just use the KMC link and save the Shimano chain for another project. I can guarantee you that nobody in their right mind is currently playing "numbers-matching restoration" with a Shimano chain that is so new that you can still buy it off of Amazon.

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Old 03-26-21, 08:32 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Shimano HG91 - isn't that a modern Shimano chain? Or is yours an older version under the same part number?

If it's the former, stop fretting about it. Use it and add a KMC link, or just use the KMC link and save the Shimano chain for another project. I can guarantee you that nobody in their right mind is currently playing "numbers-matching restoration" with a Shimano chain that is so new that you can still buy it off of Amazon.

-Kurt
Kurt, I think it's out of production. There would otherwise be no reason for them to be sold for $80+ on eBay. Shimano's hg93 chain for 9 speed drivetrains seems to still be available, and the hg71 is the current 6/7/8 speed offering from shimano, both of which sell for reasonable money.
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Old 03-26-21, 08:39 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Kurt, I think it's out of production. There would otherwise be no reason for them to be sold for $80+ on eBay. Shimano's hg93 chain for 9 speed drivetrains seems to still be available, and the hg71 is the current 6/7/8 speed offering from shimano, both of which sell for reasonable money.
Not so sure it's out of production. New on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-CN-HG.../dp/B0011ZNNIY
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Old 03-26-21, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Not so sure it's out of production. New on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-CN-HG.../dp/B0011ZNNIY
"Temporarily out of stock". Last reviews from 7-8 years ago...
No longer available at any of the large online retailers...

From Bike Components DE on the HG71 page
The Shimano CN-HG71 chain was introduced to replace the popular HG91, HG70 and HG50 chains. It is suitable for 6 to 8-speed drivetrains and is not directional. Thanks to Hyperglide technology (HG), fluid shifts are also possible under load.

Last edited by Unca_Sam; 03-26-21 at 10:05 AM. Reason: More info
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Old 03-26-21, 09:58 AM
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I had a similar dilemma last year. I had a NOS Sedis chain, one of the nicer ones with silver plates and black inter-links. I had a specific bike I was jonesing to put this on. I ended up selling the chain for $92, used that money to buy half a dozen 8- and 9-speed chains. No cool black inter-links, and they probably won't perform as well as the Sedis would've, but you know what? I've got 6 new chains now, and those chains helped me sell at least two bikes and re-chain another I'm keeping. Those two bikes added $350 to my slush fund.

I dunno. I see the value in the NOS chain, keeping things all-original. But at the same time, the frugal side of me won over. In hindsight, I don't regret a thing.
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Old 03-26-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
I had a similar dilemma last year. I had a NOS Sedis chain, one of the nicer ones with silver plates and black inter-links. I had a specific bike I was jonesing to put this on. I ended up selling the chain for $92, used that money to buy half a dozen 8- and 9-speed chains. No cool black inter-links, and they probably won't perform as well as the Sedis would've, but you know what? I've got 6 new chains now, and those chains helped me sell at least two bikes and re-chain another I'm keeping. Those two bikes added $350 to my slush fund.

I dunno. I see the value in the NOS chain, keeping things all-original. But at the same time, the frugal side of me won over. In hindsight, I don't regret a thing.
I'm just about there. I ride this bike. I like this bike! I don't think putting a chain with increasing desirability on it is going to increase my enjoyment any, but I do want crisp shifts (since I bothered to relube the ST-6400 shifting mechanisms). I'm convinced that the chain has a direct influence on shifting performance, and I'm not sure which chain will provide the Ultegra/XTR performance and wear level the HG91 was built to provide. I know that a Connex/Wippermann 8 speed fully nickel plated chain only runs around $30...
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Old 03-26-21, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I'm convinced that the chain has a direct influence on shifting performance
Absolutely. In my case, I was replacing the chain on my PGN-10 which I've raved about on here several times over the years. Bang vs. buck, it's an exceptional bike and I always thoroughly enjoy riding it. And Sedis chains are some of the smoothest shifting I've ever found to use with 60s/70s/80s era Campy, Huret, and Simplex hardware. The KMC 8-speed I opted for looks great but definitely isn't quite as smooth and quiet (it's not far off, but I can tell). I've got a couple of nice used Sedis chains, one the same silver/black type which I could totally use if I adjust my rings or freewheel to account for chain wrap - it's one or two links shy of what I'd need to maintain current hardware.

It's a tough choice. But still, I'd do the same over again.
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Old 03-26-21, 10:27 AM
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I'm looking at the poll results and it seems pretty clear the advice is to sell it and buy three chains that should perform just as well, but will allow me to deep clean them off the bike and change from wet to dry lube as warranted.

I'm also glad I threw in the "sell everything and get out" question, which one of the respondents (so far) selected.
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Old 03-26-21, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Kurt, I think it's out of production. There would otherwise be no reason for them to be sold for $80+ on eBay. Shimano's hg93 chain for 9 speed drivetrains seems to still be available, and the hg71 is the current 6/7/8 speed offering from shimano, both of which sell for reasonable money.
They're $80 on eBay because one seller figured they could try to trap someone who didn't realize they didn't have to match a Shimano part number (or for a dealer obligated to use the "authorized Shimano part" associated with the drivetrain they're repairing). Then a few others saw the price and played copycat.

There's absolutely nothing special about the HG71 over any other current-production Shimano 7 & 8 speed compatible chain, such as the $35 (already freaking overpriced) HG40:
https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-Shima...-goods&sr=1-12

The HG71 is a modern Shimano 7/8 speed chain that basically gets its part number changed every now and then when Shimano tinkers with the plate finishing or the plate material. The only other chain that Shimano makes for 7/8 is their IG model - which is slightly narrower and has an additional ridge built onto the outer plates to catch their IG chainrings.

Otherwise, so long as it's labeled "Shimano 7/8-speed" and "HG" it's, the same stuff you can get at any bike shop today under a different Shimano P/N. There's nothing special about it. Definitely not $80 worth of special, anyway.

As for performance, yes, the KMCs may shift ever so slightly different; they're shaped and ramped more like SRAM chains, and if you're really picky, you may feel a difference. But you won't feel a difference between different models of Shimano 7/8 speed Hyperglide-specific chain. This stuff is not hard to get and the HG71 has no redeeming visual qualities that justify paying through the nose for a discontinued version of the same chain you can buy at half price, new.

Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
From Bike Components DE on the HG71 page
The Shimano CN-HG71 chain was introduced to replace the popular HG91, HG70 and HG50 chains. It is suitable for 6 to 8-speed drivetrains and is not directional. Thanks to Hyperglide technology (HG), fluid shifts are also possible under load.
Below are photos of HG50, HG91, HG71, and HG91. Not in that order. Tell me which is which.











-Kurt
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Old 03-26-21, 11:25 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post

Below are photos of HG50, HG91, HG71, and HG91. Not in that order. Tell me which is which.











-Kurt
I'll play!
That's an Hg40 or 50 at top (bare steel value finish) and HG71 (its on the outer plate) an HG91 (mine has bars on the ends of the pins too) and another HG71. The biggest difference between the hg71 and 91 is that the outer plates are bowed on the 91, and chamfered on the 71. I'm going to guess the chamfering is a cost-effective replication of the function of the bowed plates on the 91.

As for those prices, they're from a half dozen completed sales since January. Maybe someone needed chains for their wall-hanger? I agree that the price is nuts, but I'm not that market...
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Old 03-26-21, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I'll play!
That's an Hg40 or 50 at top (bare steel value finish) and HG71 (its on the outer plate) an HG91 (mine has bars on the ends of the pins too) and another HG71. The biggest difference between the hg71 and 91 is that the outer plates are bowed on the 91, and chamfered on the 71. I'm going to guess the chamfering is a cost-effective replication of the function of the bowed plates on the 91.

As for those prices, they're from a half dozen completed sales since January. Maybe someone needed chains for their wall-hanger? I agree that the price is nuts, but I'm not that market...
I'm impressed!

I think the eBay sales are the results of someone getting gypped into thinking they needed an HG91 when an HG40 would have suited them just as well.

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Old 03-26-21, 12:01 PM
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1. I would not use a chain without a re-usable link
2. I would not use a chain without mushroomed rivets:

See the dimple in each rivet? The dimple expands the end of the rivet and keeps the plate from popping off. Pretty much all 9+ speed chains have it. But 8 speed chains don't always come with this feature.
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Old 03-26-21, 12:21 PM
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Suntour 7s indexing systems really beg for a narrower chain, I prefer Shimano 9s chain for all Accu-7 installations based on my experience with many such builds using different chains and thousands of riding miles on those bikes.

I've measured the inside width and outside width (at the pins) of all the popular 9s chains and Shimano's really is configured for best shifting.
And Shimano's 10s chains are also noticeably superior in use, allowing less-critical cable and derailer adjustment procedures to be used and hence longer service intervals with better all-around shifting performance.

At the 7-8s level, I can't tell one major brand of chain from another, other than that TaYa does come up short in all respects, and that KMC's Z-level chains give highly inconsistent wear/stretch measurements from one link to another (so I won't use those on prized freewheels).

Cheap chains are cheaper in all respects, not just their cosmetic surface treatment! There is published "tensile strength" and "pin holding power" data on this.

KMC's inexpensive Missing Link in the 7.3mm width works perfectly on Shimano 7-8s HG chains. Shimano's special pin is very strong and reliable but does seem to have a bit of a "window" to stay within in terms of how hard to press the pin into the chain. And the broken-off end of the pin must point outward lest it possibly grind against the next-larger cog than it's running on. This does slightly complicate installation, but became a more critical issue as the chains have narrowed further over the years.

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Old 03-26-21, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
1. I would not use a chain without a re-usable link
2. I would not use a chain without mushroomed rivets:
I would not use a chain.





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Old 03-26-21, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
1. I would not use a chain without a re-usable link
2. I would not use a chain without mushroomed rivets:

See the dimple in each rivet? The dimple expands the end of the rivet and keeps the plate from popping off. Pretty much all 9+ speed chains have it. But 8 speed chains don't always come with this feature.
Noted!
Thank you.
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Old 03-26-21, 02:14 PM
  #21  
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I would buy a Sram 8sp quick link (~5$) and use that with my SHimano chain... in fact, that's exactly what I do on my own bike! The 8sp quick links from Sram are 100% compatible with Shimano 8sp chains.
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Old 03-26-21, 02:58 PM
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Before Nashbar was bought out they had those on closeout for $15 maybe? Still working on my stash, I use with KMC quick links. You do have to buy the wider 8spd links if I recall.
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Old 03-26-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
"Temporarily out of stock". Last reviews from 7-8 years ago...
No longer available at any of the large online retailers...

From Bike Components DE on the HG71 page
Oops! Totally missed that. I assumed that they wouldn't let you purchase (buy it now and add to cart buttons are still there) if it's no longer available, but that's apparently a bad assumption.
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Old 03-26-21, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Why the Kona?! It would probably shift great on the 7 speed Suntour drivetrain, but I'm fine with a non-shiny KMC chain eating that dust right now.
Isnít the Kona from the Top Shelf? But if you use links, it is always fun to add funny money to the bike money. I put my last 7700 chain on my wifeís bike so it will be there and likely never get past 50%. The pin thing is a kick and it will be sad when S abandons it.
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Old 03-29-21, 02:16 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
I would buy a Sram 8sp quick link (~5$) and use that with my SHimano chain... in fact, that's exactly what I do on my own bike! The 8sp quick links from Sram are 100% compatible with Shimano 8sp chains.
The SRAM 9s quick links are 100% compatible with Shimano chain, but the SRAM 8s and 10s links are not (would run extremely tight/stiff as well as being very hard to install or remove.
You can't even use a well-worn SRAM 8s or 10s link on a Shimano HG chain.

An exception would be that the SRAM 8s link does fit certain of the Shimano IG 7/8s chains.

The Missing Links from KMC (what you meant?) are available in two 8s widths and the wider 7.3mm version fits Shimano HG 8s chain.
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