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I have an old Raleigh MT-200 (which I love as if it were the Old Faithful), with a Shimano STX set.. As per the chain checker tool, I need a replacement chain.

I found mostly that Shimano CN-HG40 may be the right part. In this respect, I have several questions:

  1. Is it the right part? Here it is mentioned that is is "for precise index shifting on 6, 7, and 8-speed HYPERDRIVE SIS and DUAL SIS drivetrains." I am not sure it is ok for me.
  2. If not, what is the right part?
  3. Are there many alternative models from Shimano, which may work well. If so, what should I consider to choose?
  4. Are there alternatives from Shimano which already come with a quick link?
  5. What are other good alternatives, from other brands?
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  • you should be fine with any (brand name) chain for 6, 7 or 8-speed. Single speed chains are wider (and not meant to be so flexible), and 9- and more sped chains are slimmer. From my (limited) experience, there shouldn't be much more to consider, apart from, maybe, the color. But hopefully one of the experts can give a better answer?
    – Burki
    Apr 11 at 12:13
  • @burki that was a perfectly adequate answer right there. You should put it in the Answer box not the Comment box.
    – Criggie
    Apr 30 at 9:10

1 Answer 1

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Shimano's STX groupset utilizes hyperdrive and Dual SIS technology, so the Shimano chain, CN-HG40 would be an excellent choice for the 7 speed drivetrain you have. Shimano chains in speed classes 7 through 10 speed do not have a master link option. They come with a link pin to join the chain after it's cut to size, however one can instead utilize a master link such as KMC's "missing link" or SRAM's "power link" on the Shimano chain and maintain normal function. Note that the master link of choice must be a match to the speed of the chain. In your case, a 7 speed version of the power link or missing link must be used. If you get a master link for say, a 9 speed chain, you won't be able to get the link to join and close because the width of a 9 speed chain, and thus it's master link options, are narrower than a 7 speed chain. The sides of an incorrect master link will be prevented from getting close enough together to lock due to the wider chain. Using another brand's master link with a Shimano chain is common place and works just fine.

Here is a quote from Shimano's historical literature about the STX group: "Although STX was positioned as a middle-grade components group, it had the latest features, including RAPIDFIRE PLUS levers, DUAL SIS, and M-SYSTEM. What Shimano especially focused on were Advanced Light Action, Optical Gear Display, and HyperDrive-C, which were features that truly symbolized the RIDE LIGHT concept." From, 100 Products History by Shimano

As you can see, STX utilizes the technology that the CN-HG40 touts in it's marketing. Another 7 speed Shimano chain, CN-HG71, is also compatible, and would be an upgrade over the CN-HG40 due to enhanced finish and wear characteristics. Functionality would be essentially the same.

That said, you needn't be restricted to a Shimano chain at all. KMC, SRAM, Wipperman and others make 7 speed chains that will be compatible with the otherwise Shimano drivetrain. This, too, is a common practice (even bike manufacturers will utilize a different brands chain--usually KMC--despite featuring Shimano components) and there is little lost in the functionality of such a mix. As noted above, non-Shimano brand chains will come with their propietary master link.

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