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Preferred 11 speed chain

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Preferred 11 speed chain

Old 04-02-17, 11:23 AM
  #1  
tandemraw
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Preferred 11 speed chain

I'm about to replace an 11 speed chain for a 2x11 Di2 drivetrain. A question: is the Shimano CN-XG900 any better/worse for tandems than the XG700? Do the hollow pins of the XG900 weaken the chain at all vs the solid pins of the XG700? I've had an XG700 which has been smooth and quiet, but I'm wondering if the XG900 will be even smoother or quieter?

Also, has anyone tried the Shimano quick link SM-CN900-11? Does it work well, or are other brand master links preferred? I haven't used a master link yet, but would like to do so to make bike disassembly for travel easier, so long as I'm not compromising on chain performance.

Thanks,

Ron
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Old 06-06-17, 11:01 AM
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OP - what'd you choose? any afterthoughts?
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Old 06-12-17, 08:22 AM
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I put on the XG900 (DuraAce) and it has worked fine. At the time I put it in, the Shimano quick link wasn't yet available, so I still have some experimenting to do going forward when I next replace the chain, as I would prefer a master link for faster bike disassembly and packing.
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Old 06-12-17, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tandemraw View Post
I put on the XG900 (DuraAce) and it has worked fine. At the time I put it in, the Shimano quick link wasn't yet available, so I still have some experimenting to do going forward when I next replace the chain, as I would prefer a master link for faster bike disassembly and packing.


I've been using a KMC quick link on the XG900 chain on my single with no issues.


When I need to break the chain on the Macchiato I'll install the same on it's chain.
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Old 06-12-17, 11:59 AM
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Just don't leave any on too long, and the rest of the drive train will wear slower.
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Old 08-11-17, 03:22 PM
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Anyone try the Shimano quick link yet?
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Old 08-11-17, 09:08 PM
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I have the Shimano quick link on my half bike. They work just like the KMC version except the force needed to close and open the link is quite high. Shimano probably did this for safety/security reason. I have the Park quick link plier so it's no problem. But I wouldn't advice installing the Shimano quick link without using a proper plier. To close the pin one could use the crank but opening it would be difficult without a proper plier.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:29 AM
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Not sure where you get the Shimano "CN-XG900" model info from. Haven't seen it listed anywhere.

When Shimano came out with the 11spd stuff, the DA chain was SM-CN900 and the Ultegra was SM-CN800. I used both on my single and tandem without any issue. These chains are not "directional" as the side links are symmetrical. When the newer version came out I bought a bunch of SM-CN800 chains at a low price and still slowly working through that stash.

The current 11spd DA/XTR and Ultegra/XT chains are SM-HG901 and SM-HG801 respectively. The side links on these chains are different, where the smaller side must go to the inside. They did this to work better shifting up to bigger cogs on the super wide ratio cassette jumps. The pin/roller shoulders are also made stronger to avoid breaking open the links if you shift aggressively (also needed to be stronger for e-bike loads). The SM-HG901 and SM-HG801 are the best 11spd Shimano chains available. I have the SM-HG801 on our mtn tandem and it works fine.

FWIW, I use the KMC MissingLink 11spd (designated as non-reusable) on all our 11spd bikes including the mtn tandem with the HG801 chain, and have removed/installed the same MissingLinks numerous times without issue. The KMC MissingLink 11spd version I have is still the old symmetric (same size side plates) design but also seems to work fine on the asymmetric 801 chain. Buy them in cards of 6 to save a bit of money (~ $5/ea) from Amazon.

Last edited by twocicle; 08-17-17 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 08-13-17, 01:31 AM
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This is where I got my Shimano quick links.

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Old 08-13-17, 09:31 AM
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The wippermann connector is the easiest one to use. Comes apart and goes back together with no tools. https://www.merlincycles.com/wipperm...oaAjkeEALw_wcB
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Old 08-17-17, 09:09 AM
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^^^ yes, but at $23 - $27 for just one link. Ouch. I maintain quite a few bikes and that can get really expensive because even these links wear out over time just as chains do.
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Old 08-17-17, 10:05 AM
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I spoke to Shimano directly and eventually a link will be provided with each new chain, just like all of the KMC chains. But he didn't give me a timeline on when that will happen. I ended up buying four new links, one for each of my new chains in my parts inventory.

I don't know how Whippermann can justify charging $25 for a link when I can buy a new Shimano Dura Ace chain for $35 that will come (eventually) with a new link.

The German Tour cycling magazine did a durability test on all of the popular chains and the Dura Ace came out #1. For the price you can't beat it.
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Old 08-17-17, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlpsher View Post
Anytime I find a name brand product (ie: Shimano in this case) being sold from "China/Hong Kong/Taiwan to worldwide", I assume it will be a knockoff and probably not of the same quality as the name brand.
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Old 08-17-17, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
Anytime I find a name brand product (ie: Shimano in this case) being sold from "China/Hong Kong/Taiwan to worldwide", I assume it will be a knockoff and probably not of the same quality as the name brand.
I can assure you my links are genuine. My links were shipped from Taiwan. At the time of my purchase the only two countries that sold them were Taiwan and Japan. Taiwan is where most of the bicycle parts are made and assembled. For example, Sram components are mostly made in Taiwan. Because of that, the supply chain for bicycles and components in Asia is extensive, and much more developed than North America and Europe. It took another month after my purchase before the part started to trickle to shops in North America. Your half bike(s) is most likely made and assembled in either China or Taiwan.

With that being said I would never buy a Pinarello from a Fleabay seller located in China
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