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Fancy chains are a perfect example of diminishing returns as you spend. The metal plating is the only aspect I've found worth a premium. IMO chrome plating is usually easier to clean than the least expensive. SRAM, KMC, Shimano and for old Campy Rohloff have all worked well for me.

Consider going to link vs pins for a Shimano chain.
 

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Recently had to replace my 2021 XT chain as it failed in the first 6 months of use. LBS said that they have seen this more recently. I recommend the KMC X-12 or the XTR chain. I have had nothing but good results with the KMC chains
 

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Morning all,

today I snapped a <100 km Deore 6100 12x chain on my enduro bike. I was wondering whether the high(er) end chains from Shimano are considerably better between SLX, XT and XTR?
I dont think you'll notice any difference. I've got SLX (broke an XTR, OE packaging, lasted only 2 months) and XTR (on my other bike, going on 2 years). But good luck finding XT or XTR in your LBS.
 

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Recently had to replace my 2021 XT chain as it failed in the first 6 months of use. LBS said that they have seen this more recently. I recommend the KMC X-12 or the XTR chain. I have had nothing but good results with the KMC chains
That just bad luck IMO. In a pinch, I've used the KMC 12 speed on an XT 12 speed drivetrain....it works, but there is a noticeable performance difference in shifting IMO without the proper hyperglide. for $45, I think an XT chain is a good deal and what I would purchase all day. If moneys no object, the XTRs are phenomenal too....looks cool and weighs less.
 

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Chains are so terrific these days. Such marginal differences except for corrosion coatings.

Latest 11sp kmc I installed the pins were so hard and mushroomed that I had to use a wrench on the chain breaker when setting length. I mean yeah my hands are weak but this was ridiculous, I was worried about the tool.

If you’re breaking a chain while riding it means either you gnarred it on rox or you’re a shifting moron. Let up on the power for the split second it takes to shift.

In conclusion: Expensive-er chain won’t help you.

I ride a lot in wet one and almost always lube and clean chain after every ride. One night that I don’t a normal chain will rust, so I get the corrosion resistant units. If you want to spend on a good chain the sram hard chrome xx is great, so are the connex corrosion proof ones. I buy the galvanized kmc because the better chains have stupid high prices and no discounts because of COVID.
 

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I've had this thought myself, currently riding the Deore 12s chain that came on my bike. As you go up through the lineup you get more fancy coatings/treatments to supposedly slow wear and reduce friction. You can find some comparisons by googling. Personally I think I'll be going with an XT chain next as the upgrade cost is fairly low.
 

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XTR chain is not significantly more expensive, however will outlast any other
Ive not used a 12 speed xtr chain. Could be its the best thing ever? Doubt it but could be. The xx chains are purdy nice&#8230; so is the connex. Bucks though.

i dunno where you shop. $35->$65 is significant.

Outlast any other: I believe that you believe that?

except for corrosion protection ive not had a 'bad' chain since the old days when shimano had the expensive non reusable links. All chains in the past 10 years have been very durable for me, multiple years, mostly i think because i started using 'cleaner lubes'.
 

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For Sram the jump from GX to X01 is significant. The chain life triples and prices doubles, easy enough math! For Shimano XT and XTR seem to last the same so the only thing you’re paying for is weight. I have no experience with the lower tier chains as with the mileage I do I’d need to change a GX or worse chain every month!
 

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For Sram the jump from GX to X01 is significant. The chain life triples and prices doubles, easy enough math! For Shimano XT and XTR seem to last the same so the only thing you're paying for is weight. I have no experience with the lower tier chains as with the mileage I do I'd need to change a GX or worse chain every month!
This is also my experience with SRAM Eagle chains. X01 is well worth the money over GX. It goes a crazy long time before elongating to 0.5%.

My experience with all 11 speed chains I've tried is that they all elongate at a similar rate, regardless of price. The more expensive ones resist corrosion better, but that's not an issue if you keep your chain lubed. I buy the cheapest 11 speed chain I can find and change it often.

Based on your experience, it sounds like 12 speed Shimano chains more closely match my experience with 11 speed.
 

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I wonder if ‘chains’ is cycling’s version of an automotive ‘oil thread’?
 

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I have never broken a chain. I check it with a checker tool every couple hundred miles. I am in the process of getting a new 11 speed setup installed this weekend. I did order two chains so I can swap them out and clean them well before swapping back. Two XT chains for 40 bucks each. Last chain was a SRAM that worked just fine.
 

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No, that would be chain lube
Ahh, You're right I'm biased since I'm in the 'all modern chains are great' camp. Seems like similar to motor oil that chain differences are mostly inaccessible to most users which makes for sample bias and passionate disagreements. And now I'll pivot to recommending a lube!

I have never broken a chain. I check it with a checker tool every couple hundred miles. I am in the process of getting a new 11 speed setup installed this weekend. I did order two chains so I can swap them out and clean them well before swapping back. Two XT chains for 40 bucks each. Last chain was a SRAM that worked just fine.
Hello Friend&#8230; Hey I've been down the chain maintenance path with removal, kerosene et al. Suggestion that might make your life easier&#8230; waving hands at sky&#8230; have you tried a 'cleaner lube' like rock & roll or One Ball? You hose down chain with lube after every ride to clean it, then wipe chain dry, takes about a minute and avoids storing bike with wet chain. Chain is perpetually clean and never rusty which seems to have hugely extended my chain life. Downside it doesn't last more than a few hours so need to carry a bottle for longer rides. I ride a lot in mud and the cleaner lubes made a huge reduction in my bicycle maintenance.

Also wrt chain swapping: I've reused shimano quick link without a problem but they say they're single use&#8230;
 
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