chains

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Bob Watkinson, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. 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?
     
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  2. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    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
     
  3. Nik

    Nik Guest

    "bob watkinson" <[email protected]> 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).

    nik
     
  4. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, nik <[email protected]> writes
    >"bob watkinson" <[email protected]> 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
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    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
     
  6. "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
     
  7. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "bob watkinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > 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
     
  8. Pete Biggs <[email protected]> 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.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  9. John Prady

    John Prady Guest

    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. It may just be luck, but I have only snapped a chain once since and I
    suspect that was because I put the link pin in in a hurry (and possibly used the wrong pin). I have
    used them on both mountain bike for the last few years on the basis that the cost difference is
    trivial compared to the rest of the costs of mountain biking.

    John Prady

    "Simon Mason" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "bob watkinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > 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.
     
  10. nik <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "bob watkinson" <[email protected]> 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
     
  11. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "Eddie Dubourg" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > 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
     
  12. "David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:mtD*[email protected]...
    > Pete Biggs <[email protected]> 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
     
  13. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    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
     
  14. On Tue, 21 Jan 2003 04:56:48 -0500, Eddie Dubourg wrote:

    > "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.

    They lied to you, and ripped you off.
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    >> 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
     
  16. John Prady

    John Prady Guest

    James

    I am sure my size, just over 6'4" and not as light as I would like, and my riding technique, or the
    lack of it, combined with winter conditions in Derbyshire have been the major reasons for the
    frequent breakages off road. To keep this in perspective I have only had one chain snap on a road
    bike in 30 plus years of riding.

    The point I was trying to make was that for about a tenner a bike per year I have managed to avoid
    sitting in the pouring rain / gathering gloom repairing chains on a regular basis for the past two
    or three years.

    It is possible that I just had a run of bad luck and am in the middle of a similar good run or that
    my technique has improved (would love to think so, but my son tells me not).

    John

    James Annan <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > 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
     
  17. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >> 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
     
  18. Pete Whelan

    Pete Whelan Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > >> 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

    I think some of these shops buy chain on mega-metre reels and cut off lengths as required; these
    tend to come without a box. Any SRAM chains in a manufacturers box should come with a Powerlink

    --
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Be nice to your kids, they get to choose your nursing home
    -------------------------------------------------------------
     
  19. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    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
     
  20. "bob watkinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > 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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