SS Chains--9 or 8 speed?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SS Chains--9 or 8 speed?

    I searched the forum but did not find a lot on the subject.

    I am using a chainring/freewheel combination that takes normal road/mtb chains. Most of what I have seen people suggest are SRAM PC-1 or 8 speed chains. Is tehre a reason not to go to a lighter chain like a SRAM 9 speed chain or a Wipperman 9 speed chain? Is the performance/weight negligable, or is there a danger of breaking the 9 speed chains?

    Thanks and forgive me if this is a dead horse by now, I am fairly new.

  2. #2
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    some ss cogs and rings do not work as well with 9 speed chains...

    and ss puts a lot more force on the chain

  3. #3
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    Find a chain you like. Some will argue that 9 spd chains are where they put the R&D so they are stronger. I run KMC Z710SL's because they are cheap, work well, and I have yet to break one.

  4. #4
    bike dork
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    The only chain I've catastrophically broken on a SS was a 9 speed Sram. I've used PC 58s (8spd) for years now with only one incident. One of the plates cracked, but it at least held together. As a plus it didn't dump me on the stem/TT in a hurry like the expoding 9 speed did. I tried a PC1 for a while but it seemed to be really stiff laterally and it dropped a bunch. On my fixed/SS road bike I use a KMC BMX chain and it's worked great.
    Full disclosure; I sell and repair bikes for a living: http://blackstonebicycles.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    I am using a Surly 3/32 ring up front and a White's freewheel in the back. I was thinking of using a nicer MTB (XTR) or road chain (Ultegra) to replace my current KMC 3/32 chain (just because I can get them down the street).SRAM is also an option. Any objections from you more experienced folks?

  6. #6
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    The Surly rings specify that they are to be used with 6,7, or 8 speed chains....NOT 9 spd, or SS chains. They say why in their sheet that comes with their stainless chain ring, which sheet I don't have....but it's also available on their website.

  7. #7
    trail rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Find a chain you like. Some will argue that 9 spd chains are where they put the R&D so they are stronger. I run KMC Z710SL's because they are cheap, work well, and I have yet to break one.
    Not to disagree, that logic makes sense. I have never broken a chain on my SS running 8 speed SRAM PC-58, my preference, or SS chains (PC-1 sucks), but I have broken three 9 speed chains on my geared bike. Makes no sense, even if I agree with what you say.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  8. #8
    Nat
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    One reason (maybe) to avoid 9 speed chains is that the width in between the plates is narrower and less forgiving if your chainline is not perfect. On the other hand, the 9-speed chains have lots of lateral motion available. If your c-ring and cog have thick teeth, then it fills the chain.

    The narrower width seems to get packed up with gunk more easily than a SS chain too.

    Really though, if a chain works then it works. Use what you have available. I favor KMC SS chains since they're $8, burly, and come in colors.

  9. #9
    Combat Wombat
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    I run a KMC Z610HX chain, a 3/32" SS chain that runs about $12 and looks like you could pull a truck with it. There was a local here that now lives in Utah and he swore by Sram 9 speed chains. He helped me convert my first SS and I remember him telling me that it was because there was less slop in between the chain and the ring. Even so, I originally used 8 speed chains, primarily because a good one could be found so much cheaper than a 9 speed chain. I do not know what make of chain rings he used. Regardless, for whatever reason he claimed to use 9 speed chains, anything he said was usually worth listening to. This guy was racing a rigid Surly 1 X 1 when it was still rare to see a SS and he was hard on equipment. If there was ever someone that could tell you how durable a certain part or setup was, he was definately it.

    Brian

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