Should 10-speed chains be treated differently to nine-speed chains? Is it necessary to use the special links provided? If so, why?

John Edwards, via email

A 10-speed chain does not need to be treated any differently in terms of general maintenance and lubrication to any other chain.

The fundamental difference is simply its width. A 10-speed cassette is no wider overall than a nine speed one, but obviously has one extra sprocket, hence the gaps in-between sprockets are narrower and so the chain must be narrower to shift and run smoothly.

The method for splitting and rejoining a 10-speed chain is much the same, as the design of the link and joining pin has not changed, but it is important to use dedicated 10-speed joining pins or links as these are the correct width. For this reason you must not mix and match nine and 10-speed chain components.

Stuart Bowers

Top racer and mechanic. Ask him about your bike and Stuart will have the answer