Top 3 Causes Why Not Using 8 Speed Chain On 9 Speed Cassette

Many riders intentionally use an 8-speed chain on a 9-speed cassette because they couldn’t find the appropriate accessories for replacing their bike parts. But will an 8-speed chain work on a 9-speed cassette? 

The short answer is that using an 8-speed chain on a 9-speed cassette is not an ultimate installation. Firstly, it’s because the chain width does not match the width of the cassettes. 

In addition, various reasons make the 8-speed chain not work on a 9-speed cassette. Keep reading to know what will be going on!

Will An 8-Speed Chain Work On A 9-Speed Cassette?

8 speed chain on 9 speed cassette

It is not ok to use an 8-speed chain on a 9-speed cassette. Something bad will happen. 

The chain will tend to make noise and stick between the sprockets. The cassette lock rings may lose, and other problems may happen.

Why doesn’t it work? What do you need to do? The following explanations will give you the answers.

3 Causes Why Not Using An 8-Speed Chain On A 9-Speed Cassette

The 8-speed chain does not work on the 9-speed cassette because of its unmatched geometry. Their width is the first reason why not using the 8-speed chain on the 9-speed cassette. 

Are the width of the 8-speed chain and 9-speed cassettes the same? Let’s figure it out!  

Inadequate Width

The 9-speed cassette and the 8-speed chain don’t have the same width. 

  • 8-speed vs 9-speed chain

The inside width of the 8-speed chains is 3/32″. Meanwhile, the inside width of the 9-speed chains is 11/128″.

  • 8-speed vs 9-speed cassette 

Each sprocket of the 8-speed cassette is 1.85 mm thick and spaced apart from the others by 4.8 mm. 

Each 9-speed cassette sprocket is 1.6mm thick and spaced at a 3.5mm interval.

As you can see, a 9-speed cassette cannot accommodate an 8-speed chain. Thus, the chain won’t fit correctly on the cassette. 

You can still install it by using severe force. But it won’t work.

It is risky to use a thicker chain. The chain’s outer plates will rub the cassette cogs. 

It will result in poor shifting, noisy run, and worn-out drivetrain. If it’s your case, you may need to replace the whole drivetrain.

Different Chain Length

The chain length is another distinction between 8-speed and 9-speed chains. The higher the chain speed, the longer it will be.

A 9-speed chain has 118 chain links, longer than the 116 links of the 8-speed chain. The chain and cassettes cannot work properly with this different length.

The chain may skip while pedaling hard. It also might destroy the entire gear system.

The Different Gaps Between The Chain And Sprocket 

The cassettes are made up of some sprockets. Each sprocket has many teeth that are made to fit the chains. 

The chain and sprockets transmit the power from the paddle to the wheels. A bicycle needs this crucial drivetrain to run properly. 

To do that, the spaces between these teeth are specified for a chain. The chain and sprocket spacing must be snugly fit to each other. 

However, these gaps could not line up if an 8-speed chain is paired with a 9-speed cassette. It will result in the improper transfer of the paddle’s power. 

These are the explanations as to why a low-speed chain doesn’t work on a high-speed cassette. What will happen if you still intentionally use the 8-speed chain on a 9-speed cassette?

What Will Happen If Using an 8-Speed Chain On a 9-Speed Cassette? 

Using an 8-speed chain with a 9-speed cassette result in several negative effects. I’ve listed the primary impacts you could experience. 

Noisy Ride

Noise generation is the most frequent result of using inappropriate chains and cassettes. The 8-speed chain’s thickness causes extra friction while running in the 9-speed cassette. 

It will make a lot of metallic noises. The sound increases in volume and becomes grating while pedaling fast. 

Vibrating Ride

We were able to use a 9-speed cassette with an 8-speed chain. On an even road, we still felt a vibration through the pedals as it went, and it seemed a little harsh. 

Then, I found out that because mismatched components generate undesirable vibrations, they result in a bumpy ride. 

Slipping Chain 

9 speed chain on 8 speed cassette

The bike chain slipping is another negative effect. When riding a bicycle at high speed, the chain will easily come off the cassette if it is not secured firmly. 

The bike chain slipping may also happen when you make a sudden brake. It puts the rider at risk of serious hurt.


Can You Use A 9-Speed Chain On An 8-Speed Cassette?

In most cases, the 9-speed chains work well with 8-speed cassettes. It will function since the 9-speed chains are a bit narrower. 

Although shifting performance won’t be great, it will work if you have a gentle ride. For optimum performance, it is advised to install an 8-speed chain.

Are All Chains The Same?

All chains are not the same. Each one distinguishes from the others by size, shape, and height, resulting in different shifting performances. 

In addition, numerous types of steel are utilized to make the chains. The better chains are typically made from harder rivets to increase durability and longevity. 

Are Bike Chains Interchangeable?

No, bike chains cannot be interchangeable because they come in various sizes. The chains vary in width, shape, length, etc. 

As a result, different chains run in different ways. For the best performance, you need to consider the compatibility between the chain and the cassette.

If you have to replace your bicycle chain, the following video will tell you how to do it:


Using an 8-speed chain on a 9-speed cassette is not fine. The 8-speed chain is thicker and longer to fit a 9-speed cassette. 

The chain’s outer plates will rub the cassette cogs. It will result in poor shifting, noisy run, and worn-out drivetrain.

For the best performance, pair your 9-speed cassette with a 9-speed chain. The 9-speed chains are not expensive, so get the appropriate items to avoid repairing and replacing the entire drivetrain.

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