I have an Athena 11 speed group set, but can get a good deal on the Shimano 9000 chain. Does anyone know of any reports of issues combining the two?

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    I don't know the specifics (I've heard the plates are thinner on Campy than Shimano, and the pins are a bit different), but in this case, the width is the same between Shimano and Campy for once. But typically, Campy stuff doesn't play nice with Shimano stuff. In any case, if you've already thrown down on a 11 speed Athena group set, a Campy chain vs Shimano chain is chump change. FWIW, KMC's chains are all listed for Campy, Shimano and SRAM 11 spee.
    – Batman
    May 26, 2014 at 23:01
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    yeah, on the grounds that each of them seems to have a design philosophy to be incompatible with the other, I wouldn't expect that to have changed now.
    – PeteH
    May 27, 2014 at 10:55
  • It's not the cost of the chain - it's the tool to fit it! May 27, 2014 at 15:35
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    In any case, if you run Campy, you should feel proud to pay out the nose for stuff!
    – Batman
    May 27, 2014 at 19:39
  • It was better value than Ultegra when I bought it - the Yen was high! May 29, 2014 at 21:58

3 Answers 3


Leonard Zinn has discussed Shimano and Campy 11-speed drivetrain compatibility several times in response to reader questions.

Technical FAQ: Drivetrain compatibility for 10- and 11-speed

Technical FAQ: Follow-up on 10- and 11-speed compatibility

Drivetrain compatibility hidden in plain sight

Although Zinn doesn't specifically address chain compatibility, I'm not sure how you could successfully mix drivetrain components if the chains were incompatible.


Read this article, all 11 speed cassette works with all Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo drivetrain, meaning chain and RD and crankset, so the answer is the Shimano 11 speed chain and Campagnolo 11 speed chain are interchangable.


  • This is only "true" to a degree. And it assumes you don't care if the really expensive kit you bought on your bike actually performs at its best.
    – zenbike
    Jun 3, 2015 at 16:37

Given that all the manufacturers spend enormous amounts of time & money on R and D to make sure that all their parts are properly compatible and will behave exactly the way they want them to, it's crazy to mix and match.

My company do work as a contractor for Campag but another part of my company also look after general mechanics training and so we are very familiar with Shimano, SRAM etc at all levels - and if you asked if a Campag chain could be used with Shimano I'd say the same as the other way about - yes, it'll work but it won't work as intended or even as well as the proper item - you will also be binning your warranty and if it all goes wrong and you end up in hospital, don't even bother trying to sue either manufacturer ... the same applies with KMC (here, KMC take up the liability, good luck with that if you ever need to call them to account) and SRAM - designed to work with SRAM of course ...

This is all completely normal and to be expected. The days when you could mix and match with total impunity disappeared some while ago ...


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