I want to buy a chain for a 6-speed bike. I know SRAM chains have the special link, meaning that no tools are needed. I've seen a very good deal on the SRAM PC850 chain, but their website lists this as an 8-speed chain (rather than 6/7/8).

Does anyone know if this chain is suitable for a 6-speed bike? Would I be able to remove "spare" links with a bog-standard chain tool?


3 Answers 3


You may want to contact them to see if they have changed their design. I am currently using a PG 850 on a six speed. I seem to remember when I bought it, that it was labeled as a 6,7,8 speed and at the time the 9 speed was unique. Perhaps they have made changes to make it a more popular 7,8,9.


SRAM's website has no detail on its products, and online retailers give conflicting information about the PC-850. I contacted SRAM (who, like Shimano, is extraordinarily reluctant to answer paying customers' questions online) and got the following response:

Thanks for your email. I apologize for the lack of response, but this is not a frequently checked email address. Our website and your local bike shop are the quickest ways to find information on SRAM products. The PC 850 is listed as an 8 speed chain on our website because it was developed for, and tested with, 8 speed drivetrains. However, since it's only about a tenth of a millimeter thinner than many standard 6 and 7 speed chains, it tends to be sold as an effective 6 or 7 speed chain as well. While it's not something we test, it's pretty common practice, as there are very few 6 and 7 speed chain options out there.

So it sounds like you should be fine using this chain with a 6 or 7 speed drivetrain.


Yes, you can. You can go from higher speed chains (9 speed) down to lower number of gears (such as your 6 speed). It isn't till you hit the 11 speed chains that it becomes a pain. a 10 speed chain will fit down to a 7 (personal experience). And a 11 will fit a 10 with no problem.

That said, the advantage to a 6,7,8 speed chain is that they are thicker and last a lot longer. Much, much longer. 10 and 11 speed chains wear quickly, and I take meticulous care of my drivetrains. I'm lucky to get 1500 miles. My old 9 speed will need a new chain every 3,000 miles or so.

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