How to Buy a Bicycle Chain

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 speed?

The more sprockets there are on a cassette, the narrower the spacing between each sprocket is, and the narrower the chain must be. The only exceptions are drivetrains with up to 8 sprockets which all use an 8 speed chain.
The table below provides chain widths of chains designed for different number of sprockets:

Number of sprockets

Chain width (mm)










Chain Length

All new chains are extra long and will need to be cut to length using a chain tool. Generally speaking, new chains have 114 links; more than enough for any normal bike.


Mix and matching Shimano and Sram

The cassette spacing for Shimano and Sram cassettes are the same, and so is the chain width. We're big fans of Sram chains and often use them in an otherwise full Shimano drivetrain with no issues.



Check out our how-to video on how to install a bicycle chain.

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