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  1. #1
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    Chain and cassette compatibility

    I'm due for a chain, about 3800 miles on this one and it's stretched measuring pin to pin. Dura Ace is not much more than ultegra, I have a 105 cassette. The Shimano chains (Dura Ace and Ultegra) advertise they are specifically designed to work great with that same model cassettes for smoother shifting due to the ramp profiles on the side of the chain for climbing the cassette to the next higher cog. Is this real or advertising bunk? Would I see a difference ultegra chain and cassette vs durace chain and 105 cassette vs dura ace chain and ultegra cassette? I do shift under power on big climbs fairly regularly, weight 185 and use an 11-28 cassette.
    Trek Domane 6 Ultegra
    Cannondale Synapse 3 Ultegra Disc
    Fuji Cross Comp
    Trek Dual Sport 8.4 (sold)
    1969 Camaro Pace car - numbers matching frame off resto
    1969 Camaro Coupe

  2. #2
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    No response - Dumb question maybe?
    Trek Domane 6 Ultegra
    Cannondale Synapse 3 Ultegra Disc
    Fuji Cross Comp
    Trek Dual Sport 8.4 (sold)
    1969 Camaro Pace car - numbers matching frame off resto
    1969 Camaro Coupe

  3. #3
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    advertise they are specifically designed to work great with that same model cassettes for smoother shifting due to the ramp profiles on the side of the chain
    Not a Shimano expert, but I don't see a claim like this in their catalog. I've never heard of a chain with ramps.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I'm due for a chain, about 3800 miles on this one and it's stretched measuring pin to pin. Dura Ace is not much more than ultegra, I have a 105 cassette. The Shimano chains (Dura Ace and Ultegra) advertise they are specifically designed to work great with that same model cassettes for smoother shifting due to the ramp profiles on the side of the chain for climbing the cassette to the next higher cog. Is this real or advertising bunk? Would I see a difference ultegra chain and cassette vs durace chain and 105 cassette vs dura ace chain and ultegra cassette? I do shift under power on big climbs fairly regularly, weight 185 and use an 11-28 cassette.
    Pretty much bunk. Chains and cassettes work across the product line. And DA cassettes are a total waste of money unless you are racing at the top levels of the sport. Hugely more expensive and the Ti cogs wear faster. The difference to 105 is it is slightly heavier.

  5. #5
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    You say that it's "stretched measuring pin to pin"....??

    How much is the chain elongated in a 12" span????.......1/32"??...1/16"?? ..1/8"??
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  6. #6
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    Definitely not interested in a Dura Ace cassette, I've heard plenty about the Ti cogs wearing faster. I was thinking about mixing an ultegra cassette with a dura ace chain eventually but just putting on a dura ace chain now maybe since they are a few dollars more.

    Here's a description from Amazon on the chain and cassette, which admittedly doesn't say it won't work well with other cassettes but would lead one to believe it works best with a dura ace cassette which is what prompted the question

    "The second improvement is a slight tweak to the shaping of the individual inner and outer plates. Shimano was the first company to build an asymmetrical chain. The point of it all was to decrease the workload to get the chain to climb to the next biggest cog in the back or bigger chainring in the front. Their efforts also produced a chain that does this faster. So lighter and faster shifting, with less potential for chainsuck -- we like that.With the asymmetrical chain design, it is of utmost importance to install the chain as instructed. This way, the beveling and overall shape of each inner and outer link can perform as designed. These new plate shapes mesh together with the Dura-Ace chainrings and cassette with unprecedented precision -- reducing mechanical drag "
    Trek Domane 6 Ultegra
    Cannondale Synapse 3 Ultegra Disc
    Fuji Cross Comp
    Trek Dual Sport 8.4 (sold)
    1969 Camaro Pace car - numbers matching frame off resto
    1969 Camaro Coupe

  7. #7
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    If you have the money, try the DA chain. I bet you won't feel any difference.

    I've used Sram, 105 and Ultegra chains on many cassettes and they all shifted the same.
    I've never tried the DA chain/cassette combo they're hyping and likely never will. I don't want to spend big bucks on parts that wear out.

    I'm now running an Sram chain around a Tiagra cassette and FSA chainrings. Works great, lasts long time.
    Next chain will be KMC, I like the easy master link.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  8. #8
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    I've used pretty much every combination of 105/Ultegra/DA chain/cassette possible with the exception of never a DA cassette and they all seem to work same to me.

    People that say "I put on a DA cassette and chain and it improved my shifting" aren't necessarily full of BS but don't realize the reason is they just replaced a worn chain and cassette with a brand new one to the fact it's DA is n/a. Brand new 105 would have done the same trick.

  9. #9
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    The DA cassettes shift fine, but I'd never pay the extra $ - unless I really wanted a size only available in DA.

    As others have said, there's very little difference in performance between DA/U/105/Tiagra cassettes, although Tiagra is somewhat heavier than the others. The Shimano chains all work about the same. If you're rotating them it can be worth getting a variety as it's easier to tell which is which due to the different colours.

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