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Hi MBA, Just wondering if an 11-speed chainring (like you’d get on a SRAM X01 crankset) is compatible with a 1x10 setup? I know the 11-speed chains are narrower than 10, but wasn’t sure if an 11-speed chain ring would play nicely with a 10-speed chain.

I’ve got an old and heavy Shimano Deore triple crank that’s converted to 1x10 using a Race Face Narrow Wide ring. Of late I’ve been eyeing off some deals on SRAM 1x11 crank sets—just need to know if they’ll fit.

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Width wise there’s very little difference between a 10 and an 11-speed chain. Externally the 10-speed chain is around 0.2mm wider but in between the plates they are usually the same width. As the inner dimension is the important one when it comes to chainrings, you should be able to run a 10 or 11-speed chain on the same chainring.

If your particular 10-speed chain did happen to have a broader internal width between the plates, it would still work on a narrower chainring—you’d only hit issues going the other way around with a narrow chain on a wider cog. Some will probably argue that a wide/narrow style chainring that’s been optimised for 11-speed won’t hold a 10-speed chain as well. My feeling is that the < 0.2mm difference in chain width won’t make a noticeable difference.

Oh, and SRAM GXP cranks require a different bottom bracket to Shimano and Race Face cranks. The left side bearing on the SRAM system has a smaller inner diameter, so make sure the cranks are supplied with a matching bottom bracket too.

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