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bicycling magazine has a "tips" section, once years ago there was one "buy the cheapest chain that is the same number of speeds as your drivertrain."

that was, by far, the best advice ever written in that magazine - as far as I know, the only good advice ever written in that magazine.

For the most part, chains are chains. Up to, and including 8-speed, they didn't even care how many speeds you had (9s chains are narrower). BMX/singlespeed chains are the only exception. How well they shift is determined by other components and how well you adjust the derailleurs. How long they last is determined by how you take care of them.

I'd get the $6.50 7/8 speed chain from Nashbar - get a few of them while you are at it, and replace when they are worn out.
 

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i love lamp
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Joules said:
bicycling magazine has a "tips" section, once years ago there was one "buy the cheapest chain that is the same number of speeds as your drivertrain."

that was, by far, the best advice ever written in that magazine - as far as I know, the only good advice ever written in that magazine.

For the most part, chains are chains. Up to, and including 8-speed, they didn't even care how many speeds you had (9s chains are narrower). BMX/singlespeed chains are the only exception. How well they shift is determined by other components and how well you adjust the derailleurs. How long they last is determined by how you take care of them.

I'd get the $6.50 7/8 speed chain from Nashbar - get a few of them while you are at it, and replace when they are worn out.
i would agree with this statement up to a point. I believe that 6/7/8spd chains are naturaly a bit stronger than the thinner 9spd and even thinner 10spd chains. But i would get a mid-level priced chain. surly you can sped 15$ to get a decent shimano chain.

My experience with cheaper chains (although a 10spd chain). I was running the sram 10spd with the master link on my road bike for about 1month. In the middle of one of my sprint workouts i sheared the pin out of the master link. (and i weigh 145lbs!) Although i kept the bike up it hurt, really hurt. I broke a bunch of blood vessels on the back of my knee, and it was tender for about a week, just from the crank snapping over so fast. I went back to D/A chains from then on and havne't had any problems (ultegra are the same except for the finish on the links).

As a shop manager and a racer with lots of miles, my advice is, if you actually ride your bike, get the mid-priced parts.
 

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HammerHead
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My suggestion is to buy Shimano LX/105 8 speed chain. Similar SRAM 8 speed chain will be PC58 or PC68. Stay away from those SRAM power link, as they will become your weakest link.
To isntall the chain, just reuse the pin where you break the chain to adjust the length.
8 speed chain should last around 1600-2000 miles depending on riding condition.
Below are links on how to install/remove/repair the chain
http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/chainfix.htm
http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/chainnew.htm
 
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