PSA regarding Shimano 12-speed compatibility

I just learned the hard way that if your mountain bike comes with a Shimano 12-speed groupset but is specced with a non-Shimano chain and 1X crankset, you can’t use HG+ chains. You need special HG+ -compatible chainrings with thinner fat teeth.


(No, it’s not an 11-speed chain)

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Sounds like you have an 11 speed chain?

Yep, I found that out too. I was using an 11s Shimano chainring so was able to buy a 12s chainring to match the crank, and I also bought a steel version too. Can’t remember the model and it’s sitting in my spares box but I figure it will last a looong time, given how long the alu chainrings seem to last if you look after the drivetrain.

The funny thing is that I only bought a Shimano chain because it was cheaper than a KMC chain. I mean, it was a Shimano groupset, so why shouldn’t it work? lol

Everything I’ve read says the master link is the main culprit, so you can use an HG+ chain with a SRAM Eagle master link, and it’ll work with a non-Shimano chainring (Eagle, 11 speed SRAM/Shimano, generic, etc).

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I literally use a 12 speed hg+ chain with an xtr mech shifter cassette and an xx1 crank.

It’s fine?

I was using a YBN link, but the problem was that it made a grinding noise whenever I applied any power, so I don’t think the link was the issue.

Maybe those particular chainrings are compatible?
Regardless, generic 1X chainrings aren’t compatible. You can ride them but they’re going to be loud.