Is it just being left to go without being said, that breaking stuff really quickly usually points to a defect rather than it being weak. I've put a decent amount of miles on a 105, if I'd broken it in 3 rides I'd have said something was defective with that specific chain, if I break it in 20 rides I'll say it's a weak shortlived design.
Recommend me a STRONG 10 speed chain.
I prefer SRAM (Sachs before them) chains to Shimano mainly because you dont need to dick around with a Shimano joining pin.
Chains tend to break because of 3 things.
1) Incorrectly joined
2) Shifting under heavy load
3) Damage caused by outside factors. i.e. mechs folding up, stone impact on links etc etc
So there's no answer to the question " is it worth buying a premium price chain"
I will stick with my standard £12 replacement then.
XTR are very good.
For those that don't like the joining pin (or are ham fisted), just use a power link to join it.
Only chains I've ever snapped were Sram, and they failed at factory joined points on a single speed, so unlikely to be user error. Never had a problem with Shimano, and in the 15yrs I worked in bike shops, the failed Shimano chains I saw had failed where the chain had been joined - user error.
Never snapped a chain but have just had to replace a 10 speed shimano chain on the road bike due to twisting. Suspect the thinner plates and closer tolerances make them less robust in the real world. 6-8 speed was bomb proof but that's 'progress'.
It is obvious you are forcing the issue with your gear choices, you should be in the right gear in the first place without the need to change last second! You should NEVER put full force whilst changing down to a lower gear, the chain has to open up! to fit onto the bigger gear. How can it do this if your forcing the chain to stay on the current gear with all the force you have available. You are basically having a tug of war between the pedals and the shifter and therefore the chain breaks!! Add the increased forces of going up hill. I bet my house/car/savings/pension you wont/cant break a chain as a single speed setup.
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