Longest lasting chains?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Longest lasting chains?

    What are the longest lasting least stretching chains made for 10speed?

  2. #2
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Iíve had great ďluckĒ with the Wipperman Connex chains. They are EXPENSIVE as HELL though: Connex by Wippermann - Fahrradketten - 10-fach-Fahrradkette - leicht, Hohlbolzen,langlebig, korrosionsbestndig, verschleifest Edelstahl, Rennrad-Fahrradkette, Fahrradketten-Verschlussglied Connex Link, Fahrradkette, Schaltungskette, Mountainbikekette

    Iíve got on one my XC race bike, zero problems in 1,365.6 milesóyeah, thatís a hell of a stretch of usage for a bike chain on a bike I DEPEND on for podium finishes (have managed 5 podiums with this chain) . Iíve also got one on my Surly Big Dummy cargobike, which weighs over 105 pounds the way I have it set up, and has seen 436.8 miles of hauling (kids and cargo).

    Iíve managed to break THREE (3!!!) Shimano 10-speed mountain bike chains in under 50 miles of riding per each chain (I donít recall the model # now) on my 29er, and one SRAM PC-991 chain on my 38-pound fatbike (the SRAM chain lasted an amazing 1,180 miles or so before breaking). Iíve NEVER had a problem with any SRAM PC-1 singlespeed chains Iíve run on my SS bike except for the links stretching out (have ridden an amazing 3,000+ miles on singlespeed).

    If you can justify the high membership costs, the Wipperman Connex chains seem to be the best bet in town in my opibnion, with the SRAM PC-991 coming in at a close second; I have had unfortunate luck with Shimanoís offerings.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  3. #3
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    How do these KMC double diamond type chains hold up?

    And does it matter which whipperman? Some of them are pretty cheap.

  4. #4
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Leopold, have you ever tried KMC chains? We do a yearly poll on chains at work, and in both road and off road applications amongst coworkers we've had great success with them across the board. I too haven't had good success with Shimano chains; the SRAM chains do OK but do not compare to the KMC chains.

  5. #5
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    Leopold, have you ever tried KMC chains? We do a yearly poll on chains at work, and in both road and off road applications amongst coworkers we've had great success with them across the board. I too haven't had good success with Shimano chains; the SRAM chains do OK but do not compare to the KMC chains.
    Havenít tried them yet. I am always willing to try new things and put them through their paces though. If you can recommend a particular model # Iíll make a note to try one or two out for some long-term review-centric abuse reports. Please advise.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  6. #6
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    A German bike mag wear tested several chains recently: winner was Shimano XT HG94 by far. They also tested KMC X9/10SL: rank 3 or 4

  7. #7
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Havenít tried them yet. I am always willing to try new things and put them through their paces though. If you can recommend a particular model # Iíll make a note to try one or two out for some long-term review-centric abuse reports. Please advise.
    KMC USA

    Seems like the site is partially borked. The one I was looking at was the X10.93, but as I was running it on a SS bike I just used a KMC Z50 and was fine. Still, now that I'm on a geared bike again, I'll probably revisit the chains.

    One thing to note - they use a pretty reasonable labeling system on their chains. X##[nothing, L, SL]... the L and SL refer to light and super light. I'm a tightarse when it comes to consumables that wear out, so I was interested in the X10.93, but your mileage may vary. You probably want to steer away from the Ti models too, as they don't have the extra durability ratings on the chains that the regular models do (they're the shiny yellow ones).

    One of the guys at work is a super lightweight mountain goat on a super lightweight bicycle, and claims to get ~8000 mi out of a single road bike chain. Most of us don't get anywhere close to that, but he's only 140 lbs on a 14 lb bike, so it is possible.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    KMC USA

    Seems like the site is partially borked. The one I was looking at was the X10.93, but as I was running it on a SS bike I just used a KMC Z50 and was fine. Still, now that I'm on a geared bike again, I'll probably revisit the chains.

    One thing to note - they use a pretty reasonable labeling system on their chains. X##[nothing, L, SL]... the L and SL refer to light and super light. I'm a tightarse when it comes to consumables that wear out, so I was interested in the X10.93, but your mileage may vary. You probably want to steer away from the Ti models too, as they don't have the extra durability ratings on the chains that the regular models do (they're the shiny yellow ones).

    One of the guys at work is a super lightweight mountain goat on a super lightweight bicycle, and claims to get ~8000 mi out of a single road bike chain. Most of us don't get anywhere close to that, but he's only 140 lbs on a 14 lb bike, so it is possible.

    What chain does he use?

    And will that mountain XT chain work with road gears?

  9. #9
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    My LBS recommended a Wipperman for the longest life.

  10. #10
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    What chain does he use?

    And will that mountain XT chain work with road gears?
    X10SL-CP is what he uses.

    In theory, the mountain XT chain will work with road gears. The width and pitch of the chain meets the spec of road gearing. I've used mountain SRAM chains on my road bike before with no noticeable difference.

    I'm surprised the HG-94 won, because the Amazon reviews for it are largely negative related to the chain breaking. I just installed a HG-74 chain on my bike, ~$33; had one chain break in two places when I first got it, but I noticed it was installed backwards (outer plates facing inwards), and when installed correctly I had no issues with the chain.

  11. #11
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    X10SL-CP is what he uses.

    In theory, the mountain XT chain will work with road gears. The width and pitch of the chain meets the spec of road gearing. I've used mountain SRAM chains on my road bike before with no noticeable difference.

    I'm surprised the HG-94 won, because the Amazon reviews for it are largely negative related to the chain breaking. I just installed a HG-74 chain on my bike, ~$33; had one chain break in two places when I first got it, but I noticed it was installed backwards (outer plates facing inwards), and when installed correctly I had no issues with the chain.
    +1 for 9-speed XT chains... XTR too. I haven't broken either and have around ~8k miles on two geared 29ers. XTR chains tend to last a bit longer in my experience. I swap both out when they approach .75 on a Park CC-2 chain checker tool (1000-1500 miles). Note: 10-speed chains are manufactured to higher tolerances so if I ever go there, I'd swap them out sooner.

    So far the cassettes are still in great shape (both XTR- one used 960 and the other was a new 970). Just noticed it is time to replace my middle chain ring the the FS bike because it has a nice mix of bent, broken and shark axxion goin on.

  12. #12
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    I've probably already broken every single chain that is out there. Here my last "extra strong" KMC:



    Regarding the wear test mentioned above. They tested wear in a lab simulating several thousand miles of cycling. They treated the chains periodically with dirt and water to simulate real world conditions. Since changing gears was not part of the set up breaking won't occur there. However, I've never broken a chain on my commuter or road bike.

  13. #13
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    I've been using a SRAM 1091 hollowpin (without the plate cutouts) for the past ~1700 miles on both my commute and dirt, with no issues. I clean and lube every 2ish weeks, depending on the riding conditions.

  14. #14
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Quote Originally Posted by quax View Post
    I've probably already broken every single chain that is out there. Here my last "extra strong" KMC:



    Regarding the wear test mentioned above. They tested wear in a lab simulating several thousand miles of cycling. They treated the chains periodically with dirt and water to simulate real world conditions. Since changing gears was not part of the set up breaking won't occur there. However, I've never broken a chain on my commuter or road bike.
    Michael Komp, who took part in the Ride the Divide race, busted a chain while I was around.
    “Have you got a chain tool and enough time to use...

    I've never broken a link plate, but I've popped pins out before:
    Mile 102 of 103.5. You know what happens when you...

  15. #15
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    I commute on my single speed around 24 miles most days of the week. I also ride the same bike on the weekends so it gets lots of miles and chain wear has been a pain in the butt.

    Now I have the monster chain.


    The chain is brand new but I have high hopes for it lasting.


    It is a motorcycle chain running on a special cog and chainring. There are a lot of photos on my blog.
    The MONSTER chain! ę Farnsworth Engineering

  16. #16
    jrm
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    stick with the SRAM stuff

    ive busted a couple but feel it really was due to a lack of maintenance more then anything. \

  17. #17
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    I commute on my single speed around 24 miles most days of the week. I also ride the same bike on the weekends so it gets lots of miles and chain wear has been a pain in the butt.

    Now I have the monster chain.


    The chain is brand new but I have high hopes for it lasting.


    It is a motorcycle chain running on a special cog and chainring. There are a lot of photos on my blog.
    The MONSTER chain! ę Farnsworth Engineering
    Wow! Substantial! Probably adds a bit of weight and drag though. If you can break that, youíd be schooling pro racers.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  18. #18
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    I'm not sure that any chain lasts materially longer. For some reason I have it in my mind that 8 speed outlasts 9 speed which outlasts 10 speed.

    Another stategy is to buy cheap chains.
    I just bought some 8 speed KMC Z51 chains for $8. They are Shimano HG & IG compatible, come with an super easy to use quick link and appear to be of good quality. They work perfectly.

    I also just bought a SRAM PC-951 9 speed chain for $18, the cheapest 9 speed chain they had.
    Frankly, I don't expect it to wear any better.

    8 speed chains and cassettes are the cheapest. 8 speed road cassettes are around $25 but 8 speed MTB cassettes are around $15.

  19. #19
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    I recently tested three 8 speed chains by creating a frankenstein chain that was built with segments from three different chains. The KMC chain did infact last longer then the others and the SRAM chain was very bad. The three chains were spliced together so they had the same exposure to dirt and the same general care.

    A brand new SRAM chain was looser and in effect longer then the the KMC when measured with the park chain gauge.

    All my riding is single speed but I think chain life would be the same on a geared bike.

    With about 100 miles on my new monster chain I can already tell it will last longer

  20. #20
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    I'd suggest to give Campagnolo a try. Not too expensive and extremely durable, silent and crisp shifting.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    I recently tested three 8 speed chains by creating a frankenstein chain that was built with segments from three different chains. The KMC chain did infact last longer then the others and the SRAM chain was very bad. The three chains were spliced together so they had the same exposure to dirt and the same general care.

    A brand new SRAM chain was looser and in effect longer then the the KMC when measured with the park chain gauge.

    All my riding is single speed but I think chain life would be the same on a geared bike.

    With about 100 miles on my new monster chain I can already tell it will last longer
    The wider gear teeth, wider chain pins, and the larger diameter of the chain pins spreads the wear over a larger area.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post


    One of the guys at work is a super lightweight mountain goat on a super lightweight bicycle, and claims to get ~8000 mi out of a single road bike chain. Most of us don't get anywhere close to that, but he's only 140 lbs on a 14 lb bike, so it is possible.
    I'm approaching the 8000 mile mark on my long haul trucker, original chain, and I starting ridin it at about 230 pounds (190 now)
    Went on two 400 mile tours loaded to the gills, up steep mountainous terrain
    It's SRAM 9 spd chain, don't know the model off hand, I'm at work

  23. #23
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    Will campy chains work with shimano gears?

    And to Andy, make sure you're checking wear. If you don't you'll have to replace both front and rear cog sets.

  24. #24
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    As long as it's a 1/2" pitch, 3/32" width chain (for derailleur use) it will fit whoever's system you put it on. They may hem and haw about how their chain is built to work only with their system, but at the end of the day, it's a chain.

    Now, on the other hand, if you've blown many hundreds on a Campagnolo drivetrain...why void your warranty by using a non-campy chain? Pay them their $75 of blood money and be done with it.

    If you're using it on a Shimano drivetrain...there are definitely more cost effective options

  25. #25
    Huckin' trails
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    Never had to deal with a SRAM chain yet, only twice with old Shimano's, but now I only use the KMC's.

    To be explained, the X series have the plates stamped with a X shape whereas the Z series have a Z shape stamped. They claim it improves shifting over other traditional designs, and the X would be even better than the Z.

    I have used many of the Z72, which where used during winter commuting, and now on my current commuter bike. They are good chains for the price. Since I had special deals at the shop I was working, picked up a X8.93 for another winter commute rig for dirt cheap.

    So far I would recommend to use the X8.99, X9.99 or X10.99, which are all fully nickel plated whereas the .93 ones only are half-plated, so less corrosion resistance in harsh weather where you can always keep your drivetrain top notch. If you know you're gonna put some good torque on the chain, be wise and stay clear of "lightweight" chains such as their L or SL chains since you have plate cut-outs and hollow pins... The Ti finish could be helpful too to prevent corrosion and chainsuck during winter. But it doesn't do shjt about the stretch resistance.

    And so far I used all of the following with great success and zero issue : Z72, Z8, X8.93, X9.93, X9.99 and X10.93. And their MissingLink is very nice too.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
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