Which chain for my set up?
Hey guys, i'm finishing up a build and would like some opinions on a chain. I'm running XT shadow RD, Shimano FC-M542 non-series crank, Sram PG-970 cassette on an XT hub. I actually haven't decided on what FD to get so input on that would be great as well. I'm mostly doing XC but will get adventerous on occasions.
Last edited by murda; 03-25-2009 at 07:28 PM.
One more question about my set up, will the integrated Shimano XT dual control 9 speed shifter / V brake levers (ST-M760) work well with the Shadow XT RD if at all?
Chains are like religion. Everyone has their favorite, and is convinced that the others are junk.
Theoretically the same brand as the cassette should shift best, since manufacturers did all their testing using their own products and the cutouts on the cogs and the shape of the links are mated to each other. But it probably doesn't make as much diffrence as manufactureres would like you to believe.
Make your decision based on how you typically kill off a chain.
If you break chains at the closures, change to one with a clip link vs a push pin closure system.
If you break chains by shifting agressively and pushing plates off the ends of the pins, buy one with better riveting such as the better Srams.
If you tend to somehow twist or bend links, save your dough and buy cheaper chains, since pricier chains aren't any more resistant to this kind of abuse.
If you care for your chains and wear them out over time, brands won't make much difference. Though there are lots of folks who say Brand-X lasts longer than than Brand-Y, my experience is that the lube (yes I have a bit of bias here) and how chains are maintained makes more difference in chain life than the difference among chain brands, or than the various chains from the same brand.
Within most ranges from the same company more money goes for better riveting, nicer finish or lighter weight. The actual materials used are usually the same on most or all models, so the overall strength and wear properties is the same.
The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.
Front derailers are cheap and they all manage to do the same pretty crude job. Pick a Shimano derailer that fits your frame and cable arrangement.
To a large extent, more money buys a better chain. I found some Shimano CN-7701 chains on closeout, and they are very good: the coating seems to make them easy to clean and lube, they shift well (but my cassette is Shimano too), and they don't seem to stretch as easily as the cheaper chains I've used.