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What chain would be suitable for a drive train that uses a Deore SL-T610 right shifter, Deore RD-T610-SGS derailleur, 105 CS-5700 10-speed cassette (11t-28t), and 105 FC-5700 crankset? According to the Shimano compatibility chart, The RD-T610 is compatible with the 105 CS-5700. It's also stated that you can use the following chains:

  • CN-M981
  • CN-M980
  • CN-HG95
  • CN-HG94
  • CN-HG75
  • CN-HG74
  • CN-HG54

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But when I look at the crankset and chain compatibility, the only chains compatible with that crankset are:

  • CN-7901
  • CN-6701
  • CN-5701
  • CN-4601

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The inner ring of the 5700 crankset will be removed as it will be a 1x10 setup. Would the chains that are compatible with the derailleur/cassette combination work with the crankset?

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You need a 10 speed chain. You can buy one from Shimano, SRAM or KMC. There isn't a compatibility issue between different Shimano/SRAM Mountain/road drivetrains in regards to the chain. The only 10 speed chain on the market you can't get are ones marked for Campagnolo (*).

I'd prefer an SRAM one (e.g. PC-1051) or KMC one (any 10 speed chain that is marked Shimano/SRAM compatible, which is pretty much all they sell) because they use a special link, rather than a special rivet like Shimano (which is annoying, at best). The SRAM link is one time use, but the KMC one can be disconnected multiple times.

(*) Well, depending on who you ask, it will work; I don't know anyone who would actually run that situation. Plus, there are 2 varieties of 10 speed chains for Campy as well.

  • Will any 10-speed chain work (except for the Campy)? So is the compatibility chart from Shimano incomplete? Also, I read that the HG95 (for XT) is for MTB drivetrains only. I'm not sure if drivetrain means the whole drivetrain (crankset, cassette, derailleurs, shifters) or if it will be compatible with the right shifter and derailleur. – dork Feb 3 '17 at 4:50
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    Yep, basically. Just buy one from Shimano/SRAM/KMC. The Shimano chart is incomplete because they want you to have everything matched up in a way that maximizes revenue and they don't officially support using their competitors stuff (cause why would they? Its like a Ford dealer saying "Hey, these tires are great on Chevy's"). I'm personally partial to SRAM chains with Shimano everything else, but to each their own. – Batman Feb 3 '17 at 4:54
  • KMC links work with Shimano chains according to KMC kmcchain.us/faq/… I use them on Shimano chains and have no problem, but the Shimano rivets have failed me. – Craig Hicks Feb 4 '17 at 21:01
  • Yeah. For lower speed chains, there are 2 different links, but you can get a KMC link for Shimano chains. The question is though, if you have to buy the link separately, why not just buy the SRAM or KMC branded chain which comes with the link in the first place? – Batman Feb 4 '17 at 21:50
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Chains are NOT significantly different per MTB versus road and not any different from component level regarding design and geometry. A high end Dura Ace or Sram Red chain may have hollow pins and different alloy and be 5-100 grams lighter and thus cost more. The difference you are concerned with are only speeds. 10 speed chains are narrower than 9 speed chains and 9 speed chains are narrower than 8 speed chains. Just stick with the same speed and make sure it states Shimano compatible. KMC, Sram make compatible Shimano chains along with a couple others.

The RD-T610 is compatible with the 105 CS-5700. Cranks are not usually an issue. Its more of a chain-ring compatibility regarding cross-chaining a drive-train. Remember that Shimano compatibilities are based their expectation that you may be cross-chaining a drive-train as shown in the illustration below.

Example of Cross-chaining

In the real world, no seasoned rider shifts this way ever.

Proper Shifting

The illustration above show a cross-chained drive-chain with the chain represented in RED. This is an example of improper shifting.

The Deore RD-T610SGS is a long cage derailleur and is perfectly capable for taking up plenty of chain no matter the front chainring unless maybe you go to something ridiculously small like the smallest ring from a triple crank or MTB drive-train. This scenario could possibly pose issues.

Derailleur positions while cross-chained

The above illustration shows the derailleur while cross-chained and how it moves to its furthermost positions.

Since you have one chainring, this is not an issue. All you need is a 10 speed chain and you will have to remove some links for a proper fit.

Read here:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k9.shtml

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/drivetrain-mixing.shtml

  • But wouldn't my setup be technically cross-chaining for the smallest and largest cogs? I'll be running a 1x10 53t chainring with 11-28t cassette. Would that be an issue then? – dork Feb 3 '17 at 10:21
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    You mentioned that you were going to have only ONE chainring. The concept of cross-chaining requires TWO chainrings. Shouldn't be an issue since the derailleur you mentioned is a long cage type and would more than take up any amount of chain needed no matter the size of chainring. that derailleur would typically and comfortably take up chain on a 11-30 and maybe even 11-32 or 11-34 with some fancy b screw adjustment . – Rich Manson Feb 3 '17 at 23:00
  • I see. Thank you for the clarification! :) – dork Feb 4 '17 at 3:22
  • I just saw your edit. The FC-5700 only has 2 chainrings; I'll be removing the inner ring. Would that still fall under poor shifting example #1? – dork Feb 4 '17 at 4:38
  • Ahhhhhhhh I get it. It won't be an issue because the derailleur won't have to adjust that much because it only has to worry about adjusting for the cogs! – dork Feb 4 '17 at 4:40

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