How can I tell the difference between Shimano and SRAM chains?

I replaced my 10 speed chain and it fell apart. Do I need a power link or a power lock?

  • 1
    What chain did you get as a replacement? How was it joined, with a pin or a power lock? How did it ‘fall apart’? – Argenti Apparatus Nov 17 '17 at 1:44
  • You should be able to tell the difference simply by what is stamped on the outer links. Sram and Shimano both have markings on the chain. They are also interchangeable so either one should work as long as it is a 10sp and installed correctly. – Nate W Nov 17 '17 at 18:09

Shimano chains are joined with a special pin that is driven through with a chain tool. SRAM chains come with a PowerLink or PowerLock.

I don't know if all Shimano or SRAM chains do but many have the maker and model stamped on the outer plates.

SRAM 9 speed and below use reusable PowerLinks, 10 speed and above use one-time-use PowerLocks.

Shimano and SRAM chains are interchangeable, as are KMC and other aftermarket brands.

If your newly installed chain 'fell apart', you may not have joined it correctly.

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