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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a standard crankset (Shimano Ultegra 6600 53-39) to replace the compact (Shimano 105 50-34) that came with my bike. Will I need a new chain? If so, any recs on chains or can you really tell a difference?
 

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Wippermann, SRAM, and KMC all have powerlinks. If your chain doesn't have a powerlink, i would change it to one that does.

You can check to see if the chain is long enough by running it round the big chainring and the big sprocket. Then add one link.

Another way is to simply run it as long as possible, so that the rear derailleur cage can only just take up the slack when in small/small. This is useful if at a later stage, you decide to increase the size of the big ring and/or big sprocket.
 

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I use SRAM chains - never Shimano. I've had/seen them fail. And their Power-Link is really good.

As for 'need' a new chain, I recommend this anytime you swap major portions of the drive-train - such as the cranks and freewheel/cassette. How many cogs on the cassette decides which model of chain I go for. And you'll love your new Ultegra cranks. They spin really nice. I upgraded to a 6603 -Triple recently on one of my machines. The external bearings are very smooth - almost as smooth as my 1982 Campagnolo Record bottom-bracket with Super Record cranks. And that's smooooooooooth!
 

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Puchnuts said:
I use SRAM chains - never Shimano. I've had/seen them fail. And their Power-Link is really good.
I'm sure some Pros have seen SRAM chain fail... Fabian anyone?
 

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n00bsauce
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milldw02 said:
I just bought a standard crankset (Shimano Ultegra 6600 53-39) to replace the compact (Shimano 105 50-34) that came with my bike. Will I need a new chain? If so, any recs on chains or can you really tell a difference?
Only if your chain has elongated more than 1/8th inch measured over 12 inches. If it's close to 1/8th inch I'd probably replace it. How many miles has it been used and how old is your cassette? While cassette and chain wear can result in skipping when a new chain is put on a worn cassette it's seldom a problem with new chainrings.
 

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New Chain_length

milldw02 said:
I just bought a standard crankset (Shimano Ultegra 6600 53-39) to replace the compact (Shimano 105 50-34) that came with my bike. Will I need a new chain? If so, any recs on chains or can you really tell a difference?
I suspect you may be referring to the overall chain length for the standard vs compact chainrings. Recently I bought a Compact use in place of my Standard when tackling really hilly and long rides (Trek 5200, Shimano Ultegra). Also bought a new chain and was ready to "cut to fit" for the Compact. BUT at the last minute I decided to test the original length chain on the Compact chainrings. Tested fine. Now after 500 miles of extended testing I am really happy using the Standard length chain for both the Compact and Standard cranksets. Really nice since they can be interchanged in 2 minutes with no further adjustments needed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chain compatibility

Thanks. Sounds like my current chain (w/ compact crankset) should be compatible with the standard crankset. I'll at least test it out before buying a new chain. Glad to have some recs in case I do need to buy a new one.
 
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