The 991 Cross-Step features riveted pins for extra-strong side plate retention, a nice upgrade for bigger or more aggressive riders. 9 speed 114 links Claimed weight: 294 grams Includes 1 powerlink connecting link for easy assembly
Strengths: I am a clyde (275lbs) and I have had this chain for three years of light to moderate riding. I clean the chain every time I ride and I feel that when its clean, it's pretty quite. Since replacing this chain three years ago the only thing I have broken is the Cassette. I feel completely comfortable in putting some power down on steep climbs and never think twice about it.
Now lets see if they make a 10spd version....
Weaknesses: It is not light compared to some chains out there. When its dirty it seems to have a gritty feel to the shift, but that is because its caked with mud or grim. It's also kind of loud as well.
I would recommend this chain to any clyde out there. Learn how to shift your bike and you won't have to worry about this chain breaking at all. Keep it clean and love your bike, your bike will love you back.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: June 24, 2012
Strengths: Well... It's a SRAM. Light weight. Looks good. That's it. Notice nothing abou the quality. Wondering why? Thought so. Now look at the weaknesses.
Weaknesses: Let's start with the fact that the chain has broken three times in the last two months. It's a SRAM, so I'm talking about a cheap component here. I ride somewhere in between eight and fifteen miles a weekend. Not a lot of miles compared to some riders.
Unhappy with the breaks. Let's see if SRAM will help me resolve the issue by replacing it soon.
a Cross Country Rider
from Waterloo, On
Date Reviewed: October 12, 2010
Strengths: Weight, design, build quality.
Weaknesses: Too much metal has been removed to make this thing lightwieght.
I really don't want to be that guy who complains "I broke this my first time out." But that's exactly what happened to me. Took this chain out on a weekend ride this past weekend and on the second big hill climb the chain let go. On investigating, the pin had pulled out of one of the outer link and bent the other outer link outwards.
The outer links are pretty thin. Probably this is not a problem for a lighter rider -- I'm the prototypical Clydesdale, however, so I'm probably a little too heavy for this chain. I'm going to go try a PC-951 instead and see if it's a little more durable.
Bike Setup: 2010 Rockhopper Comp Disc, King Hubs, BB7 brakes, King headset, FR-7 brake levers, Chromag Fubars OS, PDW Dapper Dan grips, Crank Bros Split QR skewers.
a Cross Country Rider
from Angers, France
Date Reviewed: September 1, 2010
Strengths: as strong as a 9sp chain could be
I am mostly a commuter, with aprox 5000km/year. Every day, all season, all terrain (road, tracks, rain, dust, mud, snow, salt, you name it).
I have been using the current crossstep for 10 months; It should last 2 more.
With 4000km on the clock it's only starting to show some sign of wear, right now it's 5mm longer than the brand new one waiting for it's turn.
Shifting is still s good as new, though pedaling is not as smooth as it used to be. The whole drive train is pretty much done anyway.
Care has been decent but not maniac (oil twice a week, complete drive train cleaning every month)
a Cross Country Rider
from Miami, FL
Date Reviewed: June 4, 2010
Strengths: Very Strong! Durable non-rusting finish. Take care of it, and it will take care of you!
Weaknesses: weight? but it weighs the same as a regular 991, XTR,XT,LX....except for hollowpins and other cutout chains
If anyone is scratching their head as to what the "CrossStep" is, here you go! The rivets have a different profile through the length of the link. Also the rivet tabs are turned verticle versus horizontal. The gains to this chain is an extra 50kgf (kilograms of force) strength ratio. These chains are wicked strong, and long lasting.
I have done a no-no, and used the same chain through two different cassettes and two different cranks. In three years, on three different bikes with different cassettes and different cranks, I have yet to have any chain stretch or wear. I also ride on average 4 days a week 20+mi. techical Singletrack in mud, dust, sand, saltwater...just no snow. I have to say that this is probably one of the most durable chains on the market! I bought a new one about 1 year ago thinking I would replace it, but it is still sitting in the original packaging w/o the sticker seal broken. Seriously, no joke about this chain, it is very good. The finish is great, it cleans up easily and always looks shiny. I am not a super XC lightweight either. I started out using this chain at 192lb. I weigh 176 now, but it is definitely strong too. I am sure the clydesdales would not have a problem with this chain either.
Another great detail about this chain (unlike Shimano) It comes with a great master link, that works well, and makes service considerably easier! I honestly feel it is the "Chris King or Thompson" of chains, they are that good!
Similar Products Used: XT level..not going to look up the nomenclature
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon, Santa Cruz Blur Classic, K2 Razorback Team
a Cross Country Rider
from Lanham, MD
Date Reviewed: May 20, 2010
Strengths: The package it comes in can be re-used to keep stuff in. Yes, this is the strength of this product.
Weaknesses: The fact that it exists.
I needed a chain. I read the reviews. I got burned. Maybe I got a bad one, but in my opinion a good product needs to be CONSISTANTLY good! You can't have a "Friday at 5 pm" one in there every now and then. Anyway...I got 7 miles out of this chain. I wish I were exagerating this claim...but I'm not. Whatever the hell it means to "Cross-step" the rivets may work just fine, but the links twisted too quickly to find out. I didn't even have time to neglect this thing! If you want to trust this chain maybe you'll get a good one. The odds seem to be in your favor. Just beware as you dip in your ladle for that sweet refreshing sip. There is definitely a turd in the punch bowl. Will you get it in your cup??
a Cross Country Rider
from Ile-Aux-Noix, QC
Date Reviewed: November 20, 2009
Strengths: Has never broken, has never stretched
I have about 1000 miles on this chain so far. That's 1000 tough miles, from pavement to rough mountain forest trails. I weigh 250 pounds, and I really punish the drivetrain. Especially since I use a downhill cassette for everyday riding. Despite this, the chain has yet to stretch. It's still in perfect working condition. Of course, I keep it meticulously maintained, with regular cleaning and oiling. And I'm always careful not to cross-gear too far.
I'd happily buy this chain again and again in the future when I need new ones.
P.S. The X.7/X.0 rear derailleur I refer to in "bike setup" is an X.7 derailleur body with an X.0 short cage. The cog bushings in the old X.7 cage used to wear out all the time, so I got an X.0 cage for its sealed bearing cogs and bolted it in place of the X.7 cage.
Bike Setup: 2008 Kona Hoss frame, custom built from scratch. Relevant items: SRAM PG-970 DH 11-26 cassette, X.7/X.0 short cage rear derailleur, Race Face crankset with 22/36 ring gears and Shimano XT front derailleur.
After breaking other chains left and right I decided to give this a try. Put about 700 miles on it before it started to stretch. Gives me one less thing to worry about when I go on epic rides. I carry a chain tool but I don't know why because it has never failed me. Use it with a HG61 cassette and it works fine. Fast shifts
Weaknesses: It's heavy there are other chains which are 2-3oz lighter.
I like to shift under load, and this chain hasn't busted. My cassette and chain ring wear seems to be minimal. While shifting underload it still hits the right gears at the right time 95% of the time which is better than most chains, especially considering it hasn't busted and wear on the rest of my components is nil. I still wish that it was lighter though.
Bike Setup: 02 S-Works FSRxc w/ XO rd XTR e-type fd, XO trigger shifters, PG-990 Cassette, FSA K-Force carbon crankset w/ FSA rings, Gore Ride-On cables. The rest doesn't matter...
a Cross Country Rider
from SLC, Utah
Date Reviewed: July 19, 2008
Strengths: Like the powerlink for cleaning or other maintenance. They state you should replace it each time you disconnect, but I haven't had it fail yet after several uses.
Weaknesses: Broke three times (different links) within 5 rides. Fortunately I always carry spare parts and a chain tool. I'm just happy I never got stranded or jamed/broke my derailleur.
Chain is a little noisy, love the powerlink for convince--that part never failed. Has always failed while sitting, pedaling uphill--not stressing the chain particularly hard. I'll try to deal with their CS, see if I can return or exchange and will re-review if I have better luck.
Bike Setup: 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. Not stock at all...
from Ventura County, CA
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2008
Strengths: Sram's power link is great for maintaining the drive train.
Some people are wondering what the cross step technology is. I just downloaded the 2006 tech manual and the only difference between this and the rest of the Sram chain line up is the the "push power". The cross steps push power is rated at 562 while the rest of the chains are rated at 450.
One thing I noticed about this chain compared to hollow pin chains is it's super quiet when super dirty. When I was riding yesterday I noticed I was riding in gears I typically don't ride in with other chains. Example: I was in the big chain ring up front and 3rd or 4th from the big chain ring on the back without hitting the front derailleurs cage.
This is the best chain I've used and don't plan on ever using anything else.
Similar Products Used: PC 990 & PC 991 hollow pin chains and shimano junk. The PC 990 link seized when the link gouged during shifting. No issues with the 991 Hollow pin. Shimano is just garbage!
Bike Setup: Fisher Hifi Pro
from australia -- melbourne
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2007
Strengths: good looking(for a chain)lol,strong,quiet,easy to get on and off
Weaknesses: none as yet
i changed my whole shimano drive train to sram,with the super short cage x9 der,and the 990 cassette,i thought i might as well change the chain to match,i was running all sram drive train with a hg53 shimmy chain,i changed to the pc991 cross stepped chain,it was similar in weight but the links were much more solid,it came with a sram powerlink for easy cleanin/repairs,it looks good,and the rollers were way better than the shimmy ones,and much smoother/quiteter,if your in the same position i was and thats the only thing your not running to match,go for it,for me there was no regrets at all,