I'm replacing an (exact same) Shimano 11 speed chain, the cassette is Shimano Ultegra 11-25T . There are 54 links that look like ()(). What size of chain should I order : 114 or 116 ?

I'm going to take the old chain off and then use the method

thread the chain onto the large/large combination, without running it through the rear derailer. Mesh the two ends on to the large chainwheel so that one complete link (one inch, -- one inner and one outer half-link) overlaps.


It doesn't really matter -- either way, you'll be shortening the chain (this is true for almost any regular bicycle drivetrain). So I'd order whichever is cheaper; You can't really splice 11 speed links back into a 11 speed chain reliably, so having spare links on hand doesn't justify buying the longer chain.

The easiest way to size the chain is simply to count links and match it with the oldchain. Then, break it appropriately and install on the bike. You can do this by putting both of the chains on a piece of newspaper, then pinching the links together to count them. But if you're changing chainring/cassette sizes, you may want to use the largest cog+chainring method (see also this link which also presents a simple formula if you want to just measure the chain with a tape measure).

  • Yes this help, I will probably replace the cassette but swap it for the exact same as the one I already have. I counted 54 outer links so I don't know what that gives me ... (x2=108?). I was going to use the large cog large chainring method but have trouble counting what a link is – Aindriu May 26 '16 at 16:14
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    Note that 11 speed chains need 11 speed compatible chain tools. 11 speed quick links are sold by Wipperman if you choose to use one rather than Shimano's inane rivet method (SRAM uses a single use link, which is simpler). – Batman May 26 '16 at 16:14
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    If you're having trouble counting what a link is, put the two chains parallel to each other with the same starting point and just pinch the parts that look alike together one by one. You'll end up getting the number of links that way. – Batman May 26 '16 at 16:17
  • thanks batman, yes I got that bit, but I'm not sure how to count a link – Aindriu May 26 '16 at 16:18
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    bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/37191/… ; if you're doing the method I'm describing, you won't need to actually numerically count them. Its like using a template -- just match outer plates (or equiv. inner) from the old chain to the new chain. That will give you the length. – Batman May 26 '16 at 16:22

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