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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! just ordered a fantom trail

    i've been reading through the forums and noticed a lot of different opinions about certain upgrades that i should look into for my new fantom trail. the one that concerns me the most is the chain upgrade. the last thing that i want is to cut one of my rides short because of a chain pop.
    so my question is...what kind of chain should i upgrade to? i'll need something that's low cost but decent quality....

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    SRAM 971, 991 or 991 cross-step (SRAM's strongest chain) or shimano XT or XTR should all be fine, if you do a google search for them, you can find some great deals on all of them, around 25 dollars or less. Keep in mind the SRAM chains come with a power-link which is really convenient, you can put the powerlink on a shimano chain if you decide to go that route, but you will have to order it separate.

    I have no real proof of this, but I like to match rear cassette with chain brand, I think it seems to shift smoother.

    I went on one ride with the stock KMC 9000Z chain, and it was toast. 3 Links pulled so tight that I couldn't work them loose with pliers. I will never use KMC chains again.

    I went with an SRAM 991 chain and SRAM 990 casette and so far it's been great for me. I try to ride smooth and spin instead of mashing, and after 1 season on the 991 I haven't measured any detectable chain-stretch.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Nikolassc...
    I decided to go with the Shimano XTR since the cassette and all other shifting components are Shimano.
    I have read some real horror stories about the KMC chains, particularly the one that comes on the Fantom Trail. I'm changing that thing out as soon as the bike comes...no need to chance it.
    BTW...is there something that I should be doing to the Shimano XTR chain when I receive it? i.e., lubing or any other preparations...or is it fine right out the box?

  4. #4
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    It comes pre-lubbed. According to Sheldon Brown you should not need to lube it until the factory lube wears off:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

    Personally, I've tried tri-flow and didn't really like it, I thought it picked up too much dirt, then I tried a spray on teflon lube made by dupont which was supposed to be "self-cleaning" but it also picked up a lot of dirt, and now I use white lightning clean ride on my chain, it seems to work pretty good and so far it's my favorite lube.

  5. #5
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    Oh yeah I almost forgot, the gravity hubs that come on the fantom series aren't that good, but they seem good enough to run until they die. The stock bearings are pretty low grade and wear out pretty quick, I'm guessing they are grade 300 or so. I just replaced the bearings with grade 25, (that's 25 / 1,000,000 roundness) and I also cleaned and re-lubbed the hubs with park tool polylube bike grease and the hubs spin MUCH smoother. Also the bearings were a little bit too tight from the factory which would wear them down even quicker.

    If your hubs are feeling like they are "catching" on the axle when you give them a spin holding the axle by hand, then they may be too tight.

  6. #6
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    If you still need your chain or any shimano parts for that matter get them here it is one of cheapest places to pick shimano parts www.chainreactioncycles.com. For instance this is the chain I will be putting on my fly Ti ( http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...x?ModelID=1018 ) dura ace 9 speed chain for 24 dollars.

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