Mountain Gear

Tech FAQ: SRAM Cogs & Shimano Chains

A reader asks Lennard Zinn about running Shimano chains on SRAM cassettes.

Dear Lennard,
TechWidgetAfter a bad run with several SRAM 9-speed chains a couple years ago I switched over to Shimano. I have run 9-speed Dura Ace/XTR chains with both SRAM and Shimano 9-speed cassettes and have been very happy with the performance and durability regardless of the cassette manufacturer.

I am looking to setup a 1×10 drivetrain on my mountain bike and am wondering about continuing to mix-match SRAM and Shimano cassettes with Shimano chains. Specifically, using SRAM 10-speed mountain bike cassettes with the new Shimano Dyna-Sys chains. Are there any compatibility issues with that combo?

Dear Ken,
No, it will work fine. I use my Dura-Ace 7900 directional chain (same as XTR 10-speed chain) with SRAM cogsets frequently, and they shift fine. The PowerDome one-piece machined cogsets are a bit louder, but they work fine.

Dear Lennard,
In regards to the reader searching for an inexpensive crown race removal tool, I’ve been
using this from Nashbar for a long time. All you need is two wrenches. It sometimes takes a tap with a hammer, but nothing like whacking away with a screwdriver.

Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Lennard Zinn.

Technical writer Lennard Zinn is a frame builder (, a former U.S. national team rider and author of numerous books on bikes and bike maintenance including the pair of successful maintenance guides “Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance” – now available also on DVD, and “Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance,” as well as “Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes” and “Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists.”

Zinn’s regular column is devoted to addressing readers’ technical questions about bikes, their care and feeding and how we as riders can use them as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Zinn.

Follow Lennard on Twitter.