chains: does more expensive = better chain?

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  • chains: does more expensive = better chain?
  • float
    Member

    Ive always bought the cheapest sram chain and they seem ok. Am i missing anything by not spending more money?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I buy the second-cheapest KMC. More expensive can be better in some ways though… The flash KMCs weigh about a third less, have better rust resistance, and deal better with mud… for a while… but once they finally clog they’re very easy to damage, hard chainsuck tends to lead to damaged/bent links.

    Also, with an expensive chain there’s a temptation to try to make them last longer, which can end up taking out a cassette too.

    I’ll stick with cheap ones from now on but it’s not the only game in town.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Starting from the cheap end, more expensive ones tend to have better peening of the pins, which should in theory make it less likely to pull a break a chain by pulling a pin out. You also get better coatings which help prevent rust, and may decrease wear. However when you get to the expensive end, like most bike kit you tend to pay for small weight savings.

    Personally I do buy expensive chains – but nowadays not generally top of the range ones.

    I used to buy Rohloff chains until they went over £40.
    I thought I’d give cheap chains a go so went for KMC Z610 at around 1/5 the price, thinking if they lasted 1/4 as long they would work out cheaper.
    It turns out they last just as long.

    thank you ! 🙂

    float
    Member

    cheers guys…cheap sram ordered 😆

    Premier Icon simon1975
    Subscriber

    I’m too late to help you but I tried out the cheaper SRAM chains a few years ago. The PC48 (cheapest I tried) lasted about 10 rides, PC58 30 rides and PC68 45 rides.

    They’re now PC830/850/870 I think, and at around £12 for the 870 I think they’re good value.

    PaulD
    Member

    I too am coming a little late to this thread, but have relevant experiences.

    Shimano HG chains wore very well but are rivetted which precludes removal for cleaning. A really bad point. They do not recommend using other’s quicklinks, so just buy KMC.

    SRAM old PC-series were excellent chains…they dropped the ball with a bad run of newer 9*0 series that split too easily. At least the quicklink remains a good feature with benefit.

    KMC is the new kid (probably makes Shimano but not publically) and the quicklinks work well at the 8 and 9 speeds.
    Excellent rustbuster versions for single speed 3/32″ and 7-9 speed models where you ride in filth…so that’s most of the UK most of the year covered.

    YBN hollowpin 9-speed 260g chains at £20 are as light as KMC-SLs and work well. Works on an 8-speed drivetrain too. I love ’em.

    So, pays your money and make your choice….

    PaulD

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    KMC X10SLs can be had on eBay for £25ish, I use those. Last well.

    _tom_
    Member

    KMC x9 for the win in whatever colour’s cheapest at the time!

    Premier Icon grtdkad
    Subscriber

    Shimano Yumeya 9sp

    …had two over the last 3years with no problems (200lb rider)
    At £30 a pop why wouldn’t you?

    Slight highjack. Always bought SRAM chains up to now but want to try KMC as they seem to get good reviews. The numbering and pricing seems to give no clue as to spec, so could someone tell me what the KMC equivalent of a SRAM PC971 is.

    Thanks

    andyl
    Member

    KMC is the new kid (probably makes Shimano but not publically) and the quicklinks work well at the 8 and 9 speeds.

    Go have a look at the KMC website and you will see the Shimano HG53 and 57 chains on there 😀

    I normally run the X9.93 but they have gone up in price. It is a half silver half grey. Merlin have a very good price on the X9.73 which is the same spec but just all grey. No idea if the grey is as good at resisting corrosion as the silver nickel plating but you can find all silver and all gold ones – they are more expensive though.

    takes a while to load: http://www.kmcchain.com/file/en/chain_choice_chart.pdf

    quicker: http://www.kmcchain.com/index.php?ln=en&fn=find&mo=view&id=624

    http://www.kmcchain.com/index.php?ln=en&fn=find&mo=view&id=623

    Excellent, thanks

    bm0p700f
    Member

    I use KMC only in the shop and on my bike except the road bike as I bought a campag groupset and it cam with a campag chain.

    7/8 speed Z82 is cheap and chearful
    9 speed x9
    10 speed 10-93
    All a good chains.

    cynic-al
    Member

    grtdkad – Member
    Shimano Yumeya 9sp

    …had two over the last 3years with no problems (200lb rider)
    At £30 a pop why wouldn’t you?

    Because you can get chains much cheaper that perform as well?

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