Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Shimano and Campagnolo Chains

Spin Doctor

So you’ve decided to upgrade to the latest and greatest drivetrains from Shimano or Campagnolo, but now you’ve got to figure out how to deal with the new chain that you need for your new components.  Read on below for some important information, from our Spin Doctor Product Services team, that you need to know before you ever install a Campy 11-speed or new Shimano 10-speed chain.

Campagnolo 11-speed Chain

Installing or shortening the Campy 11-speed chain requires special procedures and tools:

• New chains can only be shortened on the end opposite the special link. The special link is marked by a plastic tag and a batch number.

• The 11-speed chains are connected with a special piloted connecting pin (Ultra-Link CN RE 500). The pin must be driven from the inside out.

• For secure operation the end of the connecting pin Ultra-Link CN RE 500 must be flattened or peened once its pilot is snapped off.

CT-11 in action

• The Campy UT-CN300 chain tool can shorten, connect and peen the connecting pin, or the Park Master Chain Tool (CT-4.2 or CT-4) can be used for connecting and shortening but the Park CT-11 tool must be used for peening. The CT-11’s sole function is peening the Campy 11-speed chain. It should not be used for anything else.

• The Campy 11-speed chain can only be broken and reattached 2 times and the special connecting pin can only be attached to the special link.

Shimano Asymmetric 10 Speed Chains (Dura-Ace HG CN-7901, Ultegra HG CN-6701, 105 HG CN-5701)

Like the Campy 11-speed chain, the Shimano Asymmetrical chains requires some special steps:

• The chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have rectangular cut-outs. The outside outer chain plates will have model designations.

Dura-Ace 7901 chain inside plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an out plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates - connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

Item #50-6585

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed except if the chain is to be discarded.

Shimano Dyna-Sys 10 Speed Chains (M980 XTR chain, HG94 XT chain, HG74 SLX chain)

Dyna-Sys chains have 4 different types of outer plates that facilitate shifting up & down on the cassette or between chainrings.

• The Dyna-Sys chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have no lettering while the outside has outer chain plates that are alternating stamped with HG-X and Shimano.

HG74 SLX chain - inside chain plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an outer plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates - connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed again except if the chain is to be discarded.

In case you’re wondering, the close-up shots of these chains come from sample versions of our new 2011 bike lineup, available soon (shot in the lobby of our headquarters, because it was a sunny spot).  The road chain was on our top-of-the-line 2011 Scattante CFR Pro road bike:

While the mountain chain was on our brand new Access Stealth 3.0 carbon 29er mountain bike, as seen below (we’ll have a whole lot more to share about these bikes very soon):

If you still have questions about Campy or Shimano chains, just head down to your local Performance store or contact Spin Doctor Product Services by phone, email or chat; they’ll be happy to help!

Call: 800-553-TECH
Email: spindoctor@performanceinc.com
Chat: Live Help at PerformanceBike.com

5 Responses to Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Shimano and Campagnolo Chains

  1. Eliathah says:

    helpful article

  2. Adam Rybicki says:

    Does that mean that the CFR Pro will come with a Shimano chain instead of KMC? Nothing wrong with either, but that would be one of the differences between the 2010 and 2011 models.

    By the way–Is there an ETA for the CFR Pro? I’ve got my wife’s approval. :-)

  3. ludomax says:

    How many times can one safely break a Shimano 7901 chain? In other words, is there a limit on the maximum number of connecting pins that one should have? (given that the instructions say that a previously installed pin should never be removed and a different link should be broken next time the chain is removed)

  4. Pingback: Does Quick Trim Blog

  5. Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share ideas.
    Great website, continue the good work!

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