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My cycling maintenance experience goes as far as changing tyres, but winter has been cruel and I need to replace some components.

Setup:

  • Cassette is a Shimano 105 CS-5700
  • Front chainring : Shimano Ultegra SG-X 53B
  • Chain : Not sure, all I can see is "shimano","VIA", "HG","JG" on the sides. It's at 0.5% stretch.

Can I just get any 10 speed chain, or do I have to get a 105 or ultegra chain? Does it matter if I have a mixture of 105/ultegra components?

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Mixing ultegra, 105, etc. is not a problem. –  Batman Feb 22 at 2:55

2 Answers 2

As long as you use a ten speed chain it shouldn't matter which group you take it from. Normally the higher priced ones are bit lighter but the additional price often does by far not match the lower weight. Also the higher priced ones might last not that long due to the lighter material.

Therefore if it's for a bike where you know that it will see some dirt and wear, better get some mid-priced stuff. It might last longer and if doesn't it won't drill as big a hole into your budget.

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Keep in mind road and mountain components may not be interchangeable due to different cable pull ratios introduced for 10-speed dyna-sys mountain groupsets! –  Benzo Feb 21 at 21:50
    
Generally you can mix road with road and mountain with mountain as long as they are both 10-speed, just not mountain with road or vice versa (there are some exceptions). Mixing 105 & Ultegra is generally no problem at all. –  Benzo Feb 21 at 21:51
    
@Benzo In terms of chains even mixing MTB and Road components should be OK as far as I remember. –  Benedikt Bauer Feb 21 at 21:58
2  
Agreed, chains are usually pretty universal so long as the number of speeds is the same. Pretty much interchangable between brands (shimano/sram/kmc) as well. –  Benzo Feb 22 at 2:49

Also worth noting that you don't have to stick with Shimano parts - I use SRAM chains on my MTB and road bikes (9 and 10 speeds respectively). SRAM 9 speed chains come with a reusable powerlink connector that's much handier than the Shimano pin.

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For 10 speed systems, SRAM uses a powerLOCK which is one time use. However, KMC and Wipperman and others have reusable links, but some claim they clunk. Shimano has some stupid special pin or something iirc (but I haven't bought a Shimano chain in a while). –  Batman Feb 22 at 2:06
    
I've had luck using a 10-speed KMC missing link on my shimano and sram chains. Never noticed any weird performance from them. I'm not a fan of 1 time use, it's much easier to pull off my chain for cleaning, so a reusable link is key. –  Benzo Feb 22 at 2:53

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