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post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Anybody got any opinions on any noticable benefits on using a more expensive chain, say a shimano or
a cheaper option. Is a chain just a chain?
post #2 of 14

Re: chains

bob watkinson wrote:
> Anybody got any opinions on any noticable benefits on using a more expensive chain, say a shimano
> or a cheaper option. Is a chain just a chain?

I've NOT noticed that more expensive SRAM (or Sedis/Sachs*) chains work any better than cheaper
models, and SRAM chains seem to work as well as more expensive Campag chains. However, I would be
wary of using a cheapo chain from a make I'd never heard of.

A common difference between models is finish. Expensive ones are often shiny silver. But they all
look black when they're dirty :-) The finish hardly matters in terms of function. It'll wear out
from use long before it'll corrode away, and any chain will work ok with some lube on it.

In theory, certain chains are supposed to shift from sprocket to sprocket faster than others - hence
Shimano's insistance on sticking with their chains. I'm skeptical that the chain can make much
difference to shifting.

The pitch and width will be compatible whatever normal make/model you get as long as the "speed"
is correct.

One benefit SRAM has over Shimano is the Powerlink (to make removing and refitting chain a doddle).
A disadvantage Shimano have compared to all ordinary makes are those special pins Shimano's have.
None of that messing about with basic chains.

* These makes have been taken over by SRAM, so they're now the same thing.

~PB
post #3 of 14

Re: chains

In message <2003012110072576310@bigfoot.com>, nik <blym@bigfoot.com> writes
>"bob watkinson" <bob@bwatkinson.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> Anybody got any opinions on any noticable benefits on using a more expensive chain, say a shimano
>> or a cheaper option. Is a chain just a chain?
>
>
>I once snapped 2 Taya chains in a day and have also snapped a nameless (and very old) chain on
>a tandem.
>
The only chain that I have broken was the original Shimano that came with my MTB (about 10 years a
go) - early on when they had started using the special pins.

>On the other hand I have never broken a Sachs chain so I only buy them (usually the cheap ones
>PC48 etc).

Yep, that's the way to go. AIUI ou need a narrow chain if you run 9 speed rear blocks, otherwise
expect for the finish the SRAM chains are pretty much the same under the skin.
--
Chris French, Leeds
post #4 of 14

Re: chains

bob watkinson wrote:
> Anybody got any opinions on any noticable benefits on using a more expensive chain, say a shimano
> or a cheaper option. Is a chain just a chain?

I've had three bike which were bought with "Z" chains (not sure of the make, they have a Z sptamped
on every link). In each case there were persistent shifting problems. In each case swapping for the
cheapest Sram chain fixed the problem.

I have snapped a PowerLink on the bent (9sp), but the one on the wedgie is still going strong after
most of a year and some thousands of miles (8sp). I think chain quality probably makes more of a
difference on 9sp than on 8sp.

Not having tried anything other than the horrible Z things and Sram, I can't say further than that.

--
Guy
===
I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
post #5 of 14

Re: chains

"Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
> One benefit SRAM has over Shimano is the Powerlink (to make removing and refitting chain a
> doddle). A disadvantage Shimano have compared to all ordinary makes are those special pins
> Shimano's have. None of that messing about with basic chains.

Not all SRAM chains have the powerlink - I just bought a PC59 specifically to get the powerlink but
was told (by the online shop after I complained about not getting one) it was an optional extra.

E
post #6 of 14

Re: chains

"bob watkinson" <bob@bwatkinson.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:b0j310$i4u$1@helle.btinternet.com...
> Anybody got any opinions on any noticable benefits on using a more
expensive
> chain, say a shimano or a cheaper option. Is a chain just a chain?

I have had a Sachs and Shimano chain snap on me, but recently replaced a Taya chain that had worn
out, but had given over a years service without snapping. So I am still using a Taya now.
--
Simon Mason Anlaby East Yorkshire. 53°44'N 0°26'W http://www.simonmason.karoo.net
post #7 of 14

Re: chains

nik <blym@bigfoot.com> wrote in message news:<2003012110072576310@bigfoot.com>...
> "bob watkinson" <bob@bwatkinson.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > Anybody got any opinions on any noticable benefits on using a more expensive chain, say a
> > shimano or a cheaper option. Is a chain just a chain?
>
>
> I once snapped 2 Taya chains in a day and have also snapped a nameless (and very old) chain on
> a tandem.
>
> On the other hand I have never broken a Sachs chain so I only buy them (usually the cheap ones
> PC48 etc).
>

I don't think I've ever used anything other than Sedis/Sachs/SRAM for the last 10-11 years and have
yet to be disappointed, never having snapped one. I agree with Pete Biggs - there isn't really much
difference in the quality other than finish (and yes, they all end up looking mucky anyway!), unless
you're a weight freak and go for one of the slotted chains (surprisingly robust - a PC80R gave
sterling service on my 'cross bike for some time). I used to be rather sceptical about the
Powerlink's strength (think Anne Robinson catchphrases....), but used one on my road bike as an
experiment with no ill effects, and have since become a convert and used Powerlinks competitively in
both TTing and 'cross with 100% reliability.

David E. Belcher

Dept. of Chemistry, University of York
post #8 of 14

Re: chains

"Eddie Dubourg" <eddie@lung.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message news:b0j5ej$48k$1@scotsman.ed.ac.uk...

> Not all SRAM chains have the powerlink - I just bought a PC59 specifically to get the
> powerlink but was told (by the online shop after I complained about not getting one) it was an
> optional extra.

Name and shame :-) Not had a problem with PC59 from chainreaction or PC58 from settle.

PC59 should come with one. Unless the shop are nicking them to sell as extras.

http://www.sram.com/product/chain/chains/pc59.asp

cheers, clive
post #9 of 14

Re: chains

"David Damerell" <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote in message
news:mtD*kq2Ip@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk...
> Pete Biggs <news2@pbiggs2000.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> >In theory, certain chains are supposed to shift from sprocket to sprocket faster than others -
> >hence Shimano's insistance on sticking with their chains. I'm skeptical that the chain can make
> >much difference to
shifting.
>
> I think you are right to be skeptical. If I were Shimano, I'd tell you that using some other
> company's bootlaces would impact shifting performance if I thought I could get away with it.

Ah! That explains why only 3 years after being fitted, my chain's starting to skip slightly. I knew
I shouldn't have gone to Millets for my bootlaces. They must be the only non Shimano component in
the drivetrain (well, except the shifters)

A
post #10 of 14

Re: chains

John Prady wrote:
> I used to snap mountain bike chains of all makes with monotonous regularity until I used a Dura
> Ace from my road bike spares kit.

On the assumption that you are not as heavy as most tandem teams I suspect your mistake has been to
shift under heavy load and/or not assemble the chain properly. If you overcome these minor
difficulty then any sram chain should prove adequate.

James
post #11 of 14

Re: chains

>> Not all SRAM chains have the powerlink - I just bought a PC59 specifically to get the
>> powerlink but was told (by the online shop after I complained about not getting one) it was an
>> optional extra.
>
> Name and shame :-) Not had a problem with PC59 from chainreaction or PC58 from settle.
>
> PC59 should come with one. Unless the shop are nicking them to sell as extras.

To be fair, some places make it clear that Powerlinks are not included with chains, and charge one
or two quid for separate Powerlinks. They can sell what they like.

~PB
post #12 of 14

Re: chains

"Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
news:b0ka1q$qfp50$1@ID-144931.news.dfncis.de...
> >> Not all SRAM chains have the powerlink - I just bought a PC59 specifically to get the powerlink
> >> but was told (by the online shop after I complained about not getting one) it was an optional
> >> extra.
> >
> > Name and shame :-) Not had a problem with PC59 from chainreaction or PC58 from settle.
> >
> > PC59 should come with one. Unless the shop are nicking them to sell as extras.
>
> To be fair, some places make it clear that Powerlinks are not included with chains, and charge one
> or two quid for separate Powerlinks. They can sell what they like.

Who? (so I can avoid...)

Isn't there a problem with using a chain tool to fit 9 speed chains, or is it only Shimano who
suffer this?

cheers, clive
post #13 of 14

Re: chains

Clive George wrote:
>> To be fair, some places make it clear that Powerlinks are not included with chains, and charge
>> one or two quid for separate Powerlinks. They can sell what they like.
>
> Who? (so I can avoid...)

Parker International, for one. ...A very good company so shouldn't be avoided for that
trivial reason.

> Isn't there a problem with using a chain tool to fit 9 speed chains, or is it only Shimano who
> suffer this?

Yes there is a problem (with some SRAM's - difficult to tool-join without damaging) but you can
use a Powerlink you've already got. It may be advisable to replace Powerlinks after a while* but
that's not strictly necessary everytime - especially when replacing a chain well before it's worn
right out.

* because they wear just as normal links wear.

~PB
post #14 of 14

Re: chains

"bob watkinson" <bob@bwatkinson.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:b0j310$i4u$1@helle.btinternet.com...
> Anybody got any opinions on any noticable benefits on using a more
expensive
> chain, say a shimano or a cheaper option. Is a chain just a chain?

I've used Sedis black for the last 10 years, bought ten at a time from Spa Cycles, advert in
the CTC mag.
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