I have an extra 10-speed chain I would like to use with a 9-speed cassette on my mountain bike. Will this combination work ok?


The 10 speed chain is narrower and will work. Not ideal and the shifting might not be as crisp.

Since you have an extra chain you can use it, but if purchasing new I would get a 9 speed chain.

  • Yep. The order of compatibility is 11 speed chain with a 10 speed crankset with a 11 speed cassette works. Everything else works with a higher number of speed will work into a lower speed crankset/cassette. 10 ->9,8, 9->8 – user26705 Jul 7 '16 at 13:22

I fact, a 10 or 11 speed chain will work BETTER than a 9 speed chain on a 9 speed casstte. The reason is the chain and not the casstte is the limiting factor in a drivetrain-usually

The chain is under such incredible stresses. Chains have evolved to be chamfered, to engage with the front(this derailleur is actually under more stress than the rear derailluer. It simply pushes against the chain to move it between chainrings. The rear derailleur is a more advanced mechanism).

So, if you can alaways get the narrowest, strongest chain that will fit on your bike. And that is usually a higher speed chain than what came with one's cassette.

I would also change the casstte too when changing to a new chain. It's just good bike mechanic technique.

  • 2
    This ignores the fact that higher speed chain widths and sprocket spacings are narrower. A higher speed chain will not shift as well as it won't engage with ramps on the sprockets as well. If 10 or 11 speed chains work better, why do 9 speed chains exist? – Argenti Apparatus Jun 20 '20 at 1:46

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