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I've got some broken links in my KMC X9 chain. Is it possible to replace them with links from any 9 speed chain? Or do I need to replace the whole chain? Also, in that case can I just use any 9 speed chain?

The cassette is Shimano 9 speed but the chain is KMC x9 and I cant figure out which one of the KMC x9 it is. For example here it says they have like a few of them.

http://www.kmcchain.eu/chain-mtb-multispeed-9_speed

Thanks a lot

  • I'm confused. How did you end up with more than one broken link on a chain? And why don't you just replace the whole chain instead of trying to rig something together? – David Richerby Oct 24 '18 at 23:11
  • well, I can just get a free broken chain anywhere at any shop or shed or a friend. Would just replace the links and not buy another chain.. – Raheel Hasan Oct 25 '18 at 5:43
  • the links btw are not broken, but the pins between the links are jam to the point their rotator is broken. so now its a solid block of 4 links – Raheel Hasan Oct 25 '18 at 5:44
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A basic 9-speed chain doesn't cost all that much so in most cases this wouldn't be worth it, especially since having several damaged links kind of implies a chain that's pretty beat up and in imminent need of replacement anyway.

But, you can do it safely if you want to. A good approach here would be to take advantage of the fact that 9-speed KMC MissingLinks are designed to be fully compatible with both Shimano and KMC 9-speed chains, which implicitly means KMC designed their 9-speed inner link thickness to exactly match Shimano. So if you're replacing a damaged segment, get a scrap of any KMC or Shimano 9-speed chain, trim it so that it's got an inner link on both ends, and use 9-speed MissingLinks to connect it. With two-piece connecting links, if it snaps together snugly such that you can't easily separate it by hand, you can be pretty confident no forces from riding will be able to separate it either.

Another approach would be using Shimano 9-speed replacement pins, and then prepping the KMC part to be inner links, since the replacement pins have to go through Shimano outer links only. This would physically go together but it would be against Shimano's warning of only connecting the "leading" link this way, supposedly for strength purposes.

SRAM 9-speed PowerLinks work the same way for most intents and purposes, and a lot of people use them without issue for any 9-speed chains.

What you shouldn't do is press a pin that's been partially driven out of a 9-speed chain back in to the outer link, because it can cause failure.

  • I bought a bunch of chain joiners from one of the chinese websites, and they work surprisingly well. Far superior to reusing a pin. – Criggie Oct 23 '18 at 9:43
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If both chains are of the same make and type and both are very new with less than, say 200km, it could be done. But still... yes if it's an extreme emergency and if it's handled with care after that. But not for everyday use.

In any other case, no. The chains of different makes are of different quality, the pins differ ever so slightly. It will introduce two weak links in the system at the connection. Potential failure points. Better replace the entire chain for your own safety. Chains are not that expensive.

  • ok what about KMC x9 and KMC x9? here for example there are like 10 KMC chains types and the one ive got doesnt say which one: kmcchain.eu/chain-mtb-multispeed-9_speed – Raheel Hasan Oct 24 '18 at 5:14
  • If in doubt, just don't do it! It's not a good idea. You might find yourself stranded at the side of the road with a broken chain or have an accident involving a ruptured chain in a critical situation and come to harm. – Carel Oct 24 '18 at 7:32

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