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Thread: 11 speed chains

  1. #1
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    11 speed chains

    I've been considering a gravel bike lately, and 2 different models look good; one comes with an 8-speed triple, and the other with a 1x11 setup. All other issues aside (the triple has a wider range, but the 1x11 has enough for myself), it really boils down to 1 question: do I really want to rely on an 11 speed chain?

    I want to ask the 'wrenches' out there if 11sp chains are really less reliable/durable, easier to fracture, and more costly than a good-old 8sp chain is?
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  2. #2
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    I would say they're a little more likely to have problems but that's proven to be very few and far between in my experience. I'd trust one no problem. Bring a couple of qwik links and a chain tool
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  3. #3
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    They're fine.

    FYI the annoyance with 1x is not lack of range these days...it is the big gaps in the cassette. My 11-32 already had bigger gaps than I'd like.
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  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    They're fine.

    FYI the annoyance with 1x is not lack of range these days...it is the big gaps in the cassette. My 11-32 already had bigger gaps than I'd like.
    Which gaps are too big for your liking?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Which gaps are too big for your liking?
    The 3T cogs at the top....and 18t bugs me a bit too (would rather have a 17 or a 19 I think). An 11-42, or similar rangey-cassette, would have even more 3T+ gaps than an 11-32.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    The 3T cogs at the top....and 18t bugs me a bit too (would rather have a 17 or a 19 I think). An 11-42, or similar rangey-cassette, would have even more 3T+ gaps than an 11-32.
    Yeah, I'm not fond of the big gaps for gravel either - a 12 or 13/32 would make more sense for a gravel cassette in my opinion, taking the 1 or 2 extras from the small end and putting them in the large end to close the gaps up some.
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  7. #7
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    I can only compare them to 10 speed not 8 but 11 definitely seems less durable. I'd estimate 300 miles less. I'm far from scientific about tracking durability so I could be wrong.

    Between about 20K miles myself and countless thousands counting other people on group rides I've seen no evidence of reliability issues with 11 speed chains. Never heard of one breaking other than once where a wipperman like was clearly the problem not the chain itself.

    Note: All my riding with 11 speed is with Shimano Ultegra or DA chains. Presumably at least a few or the people I know using them use Sram and they haven't had problems either.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I can only compare them to 10 speed not 8 but 11 definitely seems less durable. I'd estimate 300 miles less.
    You mean the 10-speed chain lasts 6000 miles and the 11-speed chain lasts only 5700 miles? Yep, the 10-speed is waaaaaayyyy more durable!

    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I've been considering a gravel bike lately, and 2 different models look good; one comes with an 8-speed triple, and the other with a 1x11 setup.
    What model gravel bike out there comes with an 8-speed triple?
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