Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    125

    A Stronger Chain

    I have just a standard Sram chain on my bike - not sure which model but I know I didn't spend any extra for it. Anyway, I have had issues with it not holding up that well. The other day I was finising the end of an uphill climb and pedaling under load when one of the links just blew apart. The chain came off my bike and put a nice gash in my rear triangle in the process. I was able to get it back together and finish the ride but I don't like the idea of riding with that chain again. Is there a stronger/more reliable chain that I can get that will hold up better? If it is more difficult to service I am fine with that as long as it stays together on my rides.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    974
    The PC991 is very strong. If you don't want to drop a lot of cash, you can get the one that has regular pins instead of hollow. I usually ride these and they almost never break. There are some titanium chains out there, but they are like 200 bucks. Screw that crap, I'll buy 6 PC991's for that price.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,496
    It's not the chains, it's you.

    Chains rarely break from tension. What causes breakage is the outer plate getting pushed off the end of the pin. Chains made in the last few years (since the introduction of Hyperglide) have the pins flared out over the top of the outer plate like the rivets used in bridge construction. Different chains have different methods and amounts of this rivet heading, with the more expensive chains having the most thorough and therefore strongest riveting.

    That said, the real problem isn't the chain, it's how you shift. Gated shifting (hyperglide and others) makes shifting under power too easy and puts excessive stress on the chain. You can hear a telltale crunch sound during these hard shifts, which is the sound of your chain getting jammed down onto teeth that aren't in the right place to smoothly engage it. Hear it often enough and you'll be buying another chain.

    Learn to shift sooner, and ease up the pedal pressure as you do so, and you won't break chains.

    BTW- higher price doesn't always mean stronger, lower weight also carries a premium, and the lighter plates of these chains are more prone to twisting during agressive shifts.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    258
    So what is a good balance between weight/price/strength assuming one learns to shift properly? SRAM 9 speed cassette and deraillleur. Really the price difference isn't that big on Jenson, should I just go straight for the 991?
    Tampa Florida

    07 Iron Horse Warrior 1.3
    07 Redline Monocog Flight 29er 1x9 (The Snot Rocket)

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,496
    With decent riding/shifting skills any of the mid to upper quality chins will do fine. There's lots of opinion as to which is stronger or longer wearing, but no consistant pattern on which to draw any meaningful conclusions.

    The main consideration I use in picking a chain is to only buy those that use connectors, since I don't place much faith in the Shimano pin system. That's just a personal opinion, and I'm fully aware that lots of folks are using Shimano closures successfully. Beyond that I think that decent riding skill, and chain maintaniance make more differenct than brand.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    148
    i'll say two things:

    - learn to shift as fbinny said, but also don't use bad lines that put extra stress on the chain and drivetrain like a small small or big big

    - i prefer shimano chains. i know fbinny might not agree on the pins, but i've had the sram connector fail on me before where the pins haven't. shimano chains have been my chain of choice for over 10 years, typically going with the xt/ultegra level chain (unless money was tight - like when i was a teenager and then i would go lx/105 - but nothing less than that) the only failures i've ever had with a shimano chain in the last 20+ years where when i would push a pin out, but not all the way, to take the chain off and then reinstall pushing that pin back in rather than using the pins that come with shimano chains.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,496
    Quote Originally Posted by golfernut78
    i'll ..... - i prefer shimano chains. i know fbinny might not agree on the pins, ...
    Just want to be clear, the Shimano chains and pins are fine. My preference for the clips, is based on the fact that they're re-usable so a chain can be re-cut if needed, and that the pin closures demand diligence on the part of the user. Done properly they're perfect, done poorly they let go.

    I do all my own work, so there's no issue. But for those who depend on the skill and care of shop mechanics, I prefer systems that are more less critical.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  8. #8
    Former Bike Wrench
    Reputation: mtnbiker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,985
    Shimano HG93 or CN7701 chains, SRAM or Connex connectors

    Been using this setup since 2002 (with the exception of one ill advised SRAM PC 69 chain that is my only chain failure in the past ten years) with zero chain or connector failures.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    125
    Thanks for the replies. Just to be clear, I wan't shifting when the chain came apart. I probably should have been shifting as I was powering up a short steeper section in too high of a gear. Also, sound like this is what you all figures, but nothing really physically broker on the chain - it just came apart at a pin. Nevertheless, I would like to find a chain with more reliable connections as it wasn't very convenient and did do some damage to my bike. I'll look into all of the recommendations given here.

    Thanks again,

    Matt

  10. #10
    Underskilled
    Reputation: CaveGiant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,111
    I rip chains apart in normal use, but am 240lb so it's expected.

    I have pulled 3 links apart in last weeks ride when i bought a chepo SRAM chain.
    stupid mistake.

    The SRAM 991 crosstep is a good chain, but pricy.

    however the silver KMC lasted longer, was flawless and less than half the price.

    I really should have bought another KMC not this sram crap.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,496
    Quote Originally Posted by snmhanson
    Thanks for the replies. Just to be clear, I wan't shifting when the chain came apart.
    Just because a chain doesn't break during a shift, doesn't mean that shifting isn't the cause.

    Poor shifting drives the plates outward, until they're barely hanging onto the end of the pin, or sometimes until they're off the end. You don't notice this new weak spot until added tension during a climb or sprint tears the chain apart there.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  12. #12
    Northeastern Rider
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    763
    I have used both sram and shimano mid-highend chains for the last 14+ years and have found the xtr / dura-ace chain to be the best so far and it shifts better than the pc-991 IMO. I have broken at least 1 of each chain I've used including 1 xtr(cn-7701). I am currently running another xtr w/ no issues whatso ever. I will not go back to another chain. The extra 10 bucks for the xtr chain is well worth it and they can be found for $30-$35 shipped online.
    "The original concept of freeriding was that there was no set course, goals or rules to abide by. "
    Mountain Riders

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •