View Poll Results: Chain brand?

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  • Sram

    50 78.13%
  • Shimano

    14 21.88%
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  1. #1
    Silence and Thunder...
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    New question here. Which Chain do you prefer: Sram or Shimano?

    I've been seeing lots of posts concerning shifting problems, and recently have been having some myself. I'm aware of the importance of proper initial setup and usually don't have any problem with it. While narrowing down the possible causes I started wondering how much chain make/model has to do with it. I think the last one or two chains I used were Sram PC971, which I saw many negative reviews of when I checked a few minutes ago.
    So, to ask those who know ( the homer nation...), are there any "clear" winners and losers as far as the current crop of available chains goes??
    ...every day sends future to past...

  2. #2
    \|/Home of the Braves\|/
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    SRAM shifts fine and they're just so easy to take on and off. I haven't owned a Shimano chain in years and don't feel the need to.
    Big hoopy.
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  3. #3
    ... I guess you won't be
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    I've used both brands, and sometimes you just get one that was stamped on a monday.....it's really a crapshoot.....

    Remember, SRAM chains are really Sachs chains which is a german company that has it's chains made in taiwan or china or who knows were.....Shimano chains are made in a small mountain top village in Shimanostan, east of the Rangorogor range west asia....KMC, I actually like those spunky North Korean chains - have had the same one on my cyclocrosser for 4 years! Amazing North Korean stubborn durability! And very expensive, if you are a North Korean!

    Constant: you will eventually break a chain, no matter the brand....and, it will wear out faster than you expect, so stop fretting and just get one that is under 20 bux w/ free shipping!
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  4. #4
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    ive been runnin sram/sachs chins since 1993 and dig em. im a 990 man myself. shimano tends to shift better and wear out faster in my experience. however squish told me about a test someone at barnetts did with a sram pc-99hollow pin, a shimano xtr and a whipperman lightweight. the sram wore out 1st quickly followed by the shimano (close enough not to matter) and the wipperman outlasted both in mileage by 3 times. its interrestin to note the whipperman is roughly 3 times the price and 20 to 40g lighter. you decide but ill stick with the srams for now.
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  5. #5
    ride
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    I've typically run 971 chains, but I've got a 951 right now that's been great. I'd be happy running either Shimano or SRAM with regard to durability andshifting. I can't stand that Shimano pin, though. The masterlink is where it's at for me.
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  6. #6
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    so true. that friggin pin is a royal pain in the ass and way too expensive. give me a power link any day on any chain.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  7. #7
    Just Grin and HUCK it...
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    Been using the sram PC99 - PC971 chains for many years with no problems whatsoever. Always had crisp shifts and usually get pretty good life out of them. I heart the powerlink too.
    MCM# 2007.1

  8. #8
    RaD
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    I have been running both in the past- SRAM and Shimano and I think the Shimano chains shifts a touch better on Shimano sprokets.I also do not need a powerlink because the only time I take off the chain is when I replace it.The last broken chain I have seen was about 10 years ago but I am not sure if it was Shimano or Sachs.

    Later
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  9. #9
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Sram. Those one-use Shimano pins suck butt. I have used Sram chains back in the day of 8 speeds and now in the brave new world of 9 speeds. Every level of quality. I wish chains lasted longer in general, but I have had so few problems with the Srams that I stick with them. They play nice with Shimano and RF rings.
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  10. #10
    Captain Underpants
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    I ram dura-ace for awhile (smooth, quiet) but have switched over to SRAM. Nice shifting, and much eaiser to clean, just remove the link, drop it in a small parts container--you don't need one of those lame chain cleaners.


    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    the wipperman outlasted both in mileage by 3 times.
    I'm holdiing out for the day that Performance has some of these mismarked as a sale item . . .

  11. #11
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    whipperman!

    I will admit that the older sedis/sachs chains were great, but I have had several major failures of newer SRAM chains, including a side plate torn in half and a issues with their quick link. I am not impressed with SRAM quality in any way...buy a product, produce it cheap in asia, and sell it for more $.... The new xtr/durace chain is great except for the lack of a link. In the PNW muck, the ability to remove a chain to clean it every week or so is paramount.

    the wippermans give you the only (IMO) benefit to the sram chains with the quality of a high quality german made chain.

  12. #12
    trail fairy
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    there can be only ONE Sram for me!

    for me most of these issues are caused by cross over or mixing of Shimano and Sram, I run an all Sram DT and the only times I get shifting probs is when Ive worn out a middle ring or chain normally this gets highlighted in wet conditions, I run a park tool chain scrubber over my chain regulary and I get allot more wear outa my drive chain than most.

    I only run 991 chains and 990 cassettes this may help possibly Ive also found that 11/32 reduces stress on the chain over time comparded to 11/34, this works well for the Spot, Im changing out my standard setup on the RFX though to an 11/34 rear cluster with a 24/36t front ring combo, which is a better balance on a dual ring setup so Ive found on my buddies bike and now mine.

    Also I don't rate Shimano crank rings (or cranks except Saint) I use Race Face Atals & Deus and there rings last me 3 times longer and imo help the wear of my chains and cluster, Ive finally converted my buddies to Race Face as well after running RF rings on the XT and Saint cranksets, they realised in there own time the quality and my experiences with RF, this has taken me years of research and many tantrums with Shimano I haven't suffered fom Shimano for 3 years now and its heaven, I can only hope Sram keep doin what theyre doin and improving it not cutting budgets and the same goes with Race Face, I will use what works and is proven for me first not by the name of the product, LOL Im waiting for Ts coments on Diety I can here him now one more thing a moron can tune Sram and that helps 2
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  13. #13
    DGC
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    SRAMano

    Mix em, get the best of both worlds........in terms of the pin hassle. I have been running the SRAM master link for a few years now on my Shimano chains, never a problem with that mix.
    For the last 2 years or so, I have been switching back and forth each time on chains. SRAM, then Shimano on the following chain change out. This last time I put on all new rings and cassette, ran the PC-991. It was loud-shifted slow. After 1 week, I put a Shimano on and it all went back to smooth, quiet, crisp. We have also seen quite a few broken SRAM PC 971 chains for some reason. A few of the same riders who broke those and a few PC-991's were running Shimano forever and no problems. It always used to be the other way around. Go figure. Try both SRAM and Shimano chains and see what works best for you.
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  14. #14
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    Cheap and Often !!!

    I use SRAM's because they are cheaper than Shimano's. I have had less problems with Shimano's. The SRAM pins have broken twice in five years, but Thank God I carry a spare link in my patch kit. The Shimano chains shifted better, the pin was a pain, I never had to connect the chain on the trail, but that would suck; in those days I cleaned my chain after every ride.
    Now, I use Pro-link lube and I wipe my chain, but I never clean it. I use a chain stretch tool and I change the chain long before it gets to .6 % stretch, ie. when the chain tool drops in the space and it is snug on both sides against the chain.

    The more expensive chains have a better finish or hollow pins, but I don't think they are much better. I also change my chain when the bike does shift well and I buy chains on sale at my local Performance store, because they are frequently on sale.
    Cheers,

    Kane




    P.S. I'm glad you showed the picture or I wouldn't have believe you, because I have not previously, read your writings. I used the SRAM link on my Campy 9 speed road chain with no-problems. Glad to meet you.



    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    Mix em, get the best of both worlds........in terms of the pin hassle. I have been running the SRAM master link for a few years now on my Shimano chains, never a problem with that mix.
    For the last 2 years or so, I have been switching back and forth each time on chains. SRAM, then Shimano on the following chain change out. This last time I put on all new rings and cassette, ran the PC-991. It was loud-shifted slow. After 1 week, I put a Shimano on and it all went back to smooth, quiet, crisp. We have also seen quite a few broken SRAM PC 971 chains for some reason. A few of the same riders who broke those and a few PC-991's were running Shimano forever and no problems. It always used to be the other way around. Go figure. Try both SRAM and Shimano chains and see what works best for you.

  15. #15
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    all the sram chains are the same linkage only the finish is different or as on the high end it is drilled out for weight saving. so ur cheap pc51 is the same as your pc71 only its dark grey and not chrome finish etc.
    and that came from sram chief president in an english cycle touring magazine!!
    they just know how to have us all over!!
    my vote .....go for the cheap one for winter......ride a lighter weight one for summer!!
    God....whatever i feel like doing!!!

  16. #16
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by zkampyman
    I use SRAM's because they are cheaper than Shimano's.
    Shimano's top end chain is usually $30-35, SRAM's top end chain is usually $50, and I've seen it more in places. The funny part is that the sram uses hollow pins, but weighs almost exactly the same as the dura-ace/xtr chain. Most people that I've ran into that are "scared" of shimano chains used them many years ago before they switched to the "mushroom" shaped pins, and I must say I have not found a stronger chain, and I've broken pretty much everything. The pins are easy to insert if you have a chain tool, but I just keep a few power-links in my camelback for quick repairs on the trail, even though I use a shimano chain.

    I change my chains every 4 months or so, if I let it go any longer then it screws up the rest of my drivetrain. I put a ton of stress on my drivetrain, but I also never use the granny and it seems to give me a little more life out of my components.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  17. #17
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    I swore by the PC-99 but they went and discontinued it. I am now running a 991 and so far no problems. I have broken numerous shimano Dura Ace chains and have yet to have one of the 9 series SRAMs fail. I'm considering trying the new X9 for rear der and shifting duties, but will not touch a SRAM cassette.

  18. #18
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    Mix em, get the best of both worlds........in terms of the pin hassle. I have been running the SRAM master link for a few years now on my Shimano chains, never a problem with that mix.
    For the last 2 years or so, I have been switching back and forth each time on chains. SRAM, then Shimano on the following chain change out. This last time I put on all new rings and cassette, ran the PC-991. It was loud-shifted slow. After 1 week, I put a Shimano on and it all went back to smooth, quiet, crisp. We have also seen quite a few broken SRAM PC 971 chains for some reason. A few of the same riders who broke those and a few PC-991's were running Shimano forever and no problems. It always used to be the other way around. Go figure. Try both SRAM and Shimano chains and see what works best for you.
    Same exact experience here! I've ran a mix of Shimano/SRAM over the past few years. For the past two, I've mostly ran SRAM PC-99 chains, which were great. Then I got a few PC-991's and also experienced some problems. First PC-991 I ran suffered from a nasty seized link – this after only 2 rides. Then the second chain was defective, then the third was loud and didn’t shift like the PC-99’s did.

    So I recently mounted an XTR chain and now my dive train is quiet and the shifting is smooth/crisp. I did try to run a powerlink but for some reason it didn’t want to stay on like on the SRAM chain – it was really loose and easily came undone. DGC – you never had any issues with a powerlink coming off accidentally while riding?

  19. #19
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    I've been using the SRAM stuff for closer to 10 years now. I've noted the newer stuff might not last as long as the previous versions. I can't exactly state this because I'm on a different bike with a different riding style. What I might try to do is to get a bottom end shimano chain with the mushroomed pins and carry the missing links on me. I don't know if I'll suffer fewer snapped chains by changing back.

  20. #20
    DGC
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    glad you asked that

    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    Same exact experience here! I've ran a mix of Shimano/SRAM over the past few years. For the past two, I've mostly ran SRAM PC-99 chains, which were great. Then I got a few PC-991's and also experienced some problems. First PC-991 I ran suffered from a nasty seized link – this after only 2 rides. Then the second chain was defective, then the third was loud and didn’t shift like the PC-99’s did.

    So I recently mounted an XTR chain and now my dive train is quiet and the shifting is smooth/crisp. I did try to run a powerlink but for some reason it didn’t want to stay on like on the SRAM chain – it was really loose and easily came undone. DGC – you never had any issues with a powerlink coming off accidentally while riding?
    No never had one come apart. But the reason I am glad you asked is I did not say that the SRAM link fits loose. The pin length of SRAM 9 speed chains are different in length vs. Shimano, not by much but enough the link fits loose. Still after a few years of running them on a Shimano XTR chain, never has it caused any shifting problems, and it never has come apart.
    The picture wont show any slop or looseness, and once you have a few rides on it mixed with dirt and lube, it fits like it does on the SRAM chains. Still I have never had a problem with this set up.
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  21. #21
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    yeah, the 99 was the shiz as far as im concirned. not that i dont like the 990 and 991 but id say they dont last quite as long or run as quiet. still, id take em over the shimanos till im convinced otherwise.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  22. #22
    MK_
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    I've never skimped out on my chains. Always got top grade from either company. Each Shimano chain I've run broke within a couple of months. I've never had a failure with a SRAM. I've been changing my chains every season on my main ride(sometimes twice, depending on wear) and as necessary on my other bikes.

    I also hate the grease Shimano packs their chains in.

    _MK
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  23. #23
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    No never had one come apart. But the reason I am glad you asked is I did not say that the SRAM link fits loose. The pin length of SRAM 9 speed chains are different in length vs. Shimano, not by much but enough the link fits loose. Still after a few years of running them on a Shimano XTR chain, never has it caused any shifting problems, and it never has come apart.
    The picture wont show any slop or looseness, and once you have a few rides on it mixed with dirt and lube, it fits like it does on the SRAM chains. Still I have never had a problem with this set up.
    Good deal – next time I replace my chain I’ll give the Power Link a try. I’ve got a full bag of them. I was going to give it a try but was worried it wouldn’t stay on since it was very loose (e.g. I could assemble and break it apart very easily – more so then when ran with a SRAM chain) especially on descents when you’re not really peadalling and the chain is slapping all over the place.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    The picture wont show any slop or looseness, and once you have a few rides on it mixed with dirt and lube, it fits like it does on the SRAM chains. Still I have never had a problem with this set up.
    Good point. They're not exactly easy to get off once there's a bit of grit in there. That said I did have the link go AWOL while bombing down Porc at THC. This was the first time this happened to me in ~8 years of running DuraAce chains w/ the SRAM link, so I'm not too worried about it being a regular occurance.
    A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

  25. #25
    DGC
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    neon grease

    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    I've never skimped out on my chains. Always got top grade from either company. Each Shimano chain I've run broke within a couple of months. I've never had a failure with a SRAM. I've been changing my chains every season on my main ride(sometimes twice, depending on wear) and as necessary on my other bikes.

    I also hate the grease Shimano packs their chains in.

    _MK
    I always have to use a good metal cleaner to get that packaging grease off Shimano chains, what a pain. Possibly (?) that way because they have to float them on a boat on the ocean=rust.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

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