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Naive question on chains for 8 speed

generalcyclistgeneralcyclist Posts: 28
edited January 2015 in Commuting general
I have little knowledge on bikes

Re my 24 speed bike (8 x 3)
Type of bike : I would say it's a racer with flatbars (hybrid but more a racer)

Questions :
Can I put any chain on it ? (e.g. any race bike chain or does it need to be 8 speed etc )
Or are they often not compatible ?
Would there be any advantage in buying say a Dura ace or 105 chain ? (rather than my standard cheap chain which is a Bell 24 speed).

What are the rules to follow when buying a chain for your bike and what are the 'upgrade' options ?



  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    You can fit narrower 9 speed chains to an 8 speed bike (did this for years after reading some tech docs from Truvativ). They tend to rub a little less on derailleurs, cassette and especially front chain rings (if you have the kind with all the bumpy shifting ramps pressed into them instead of vanilla flat ones). You can also try 10 speed chains but the extra narrowness can cause them to shift poorly as they don't catch the next ring up on the cassette as cleanly.

    The number or rings on the front of the bike makes no difference (i've never understood why they refer to some chains as "24" speed rather than just simplify it as "7,8,9 speed" etc).
  • Thanks

    I am interested in trying a narrow 9 speed as I presume they may be slightly lighter too ?

    There doesn't seem to be many 8 speed chains on offer so a 9 speed would be good.
  • Only run a 9 speed if you can't get an 8. Should be able to get a 6/7/8 speed chain almost anywhere, they're 5 quid for a Shimano one or 7 for a SRAM one on Wiggle.

    Don't worry about weight.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    9 speed chain works fine, has some benefits and is lighter, they are just as durable as the wearing on chains is mostly at the rollers which are the same width on both.
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    I run KMC 8 speed chains on both bikes at present as they are a touch over 6 quid (and include quick change links). They are replacements for what was on originally so I stick with that.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Remember that you'll probably need to shorten whatever chain you do get, so make sure you have a chain tool too.
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