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Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got two bikes that need new chains, and my stock of venerable PC-69 chains is gone. So, I checked out the current similar offering from SRAM, which now seems to be the PC-971. The vast majority of the reviews say these things break like twigs. Say it isn't so! I used to use SACHS chains eons ago, and switched to SRAM when they were bought out. Never had an issue, and I really like the convenience of the PowerLink for cleaning and disassembly for travel. Only the 991 hollow pin model gets decent reviews, and I'll buy another brand before I pay that much for a chain. Are the PC-971's really that bad, or was there a bad vintage? Are the '07's improved? Any insight from anyone in the know? Suggestions? I'd hate to have to resort to putting PowerLinks on Shimano chains, but that's an option.

Kathy
 

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...idios...
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5,662 Posts
The 971 chains and cassettes were the worst components I've ever attached to my drivetrain. They functioned just fine, great, in fact, but I got a maximum of 200 miles from the chains and maybe another 150 from a 970 cassette. I don't think that anyone expects a chain to 'die' after such low mileage, which may explain why so many folk have had their 971 snap on them.
I've used their chains up to the 991and all suffer from the same thing. I now use XT cassettes with XTR or KMC X9 chains, both with the wonderful SRAM Powerlink. I'll maybe give one of their 991 chains another go sometime in the future as they are relatively inexpensive, so I'll not feel like I've been robbed (again), but I can't see how any cassette can out-perform the XT, so there's not really any point in changing.
I offer no apologies to the SRAM fundamentalists (SRAM users can get really defensive, like religious converts?), I refer only to my own experience. I'm sure, I know, that many people have ridden SRAM with no problems. The only real way to know is to have a try of their components yourself and make up your own mind.
Peace,
Steve
 

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I switched to Wipperman chains after having so many SRAM problems and have never looked back. As an extra bonus their connex link is even better than the SRAM powerlink in my opinion.
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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4,761 Posts
How Does It Shift?

I picked up a stainless Wipperman last year in the hopes that it would last longer through wet springs.
Anyway...mine doesn't shift well. In the rear its acceptable but could be a lot quicker/snappier. The front is a disaster. At times it would be faster to stop and change gears by hand.
Definitely the chain as the drivetrain shifts like a dream with other chains.
 

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I put a PC971 on my custom hardtail last spring and had an intermittent pop that my LBS couldn't diagnose. The chain finally broke 2 months later (during a race, of course) but not before a couple of episodes of chainsuck stripped the paint from my new frame. Shortly after this repair it was recalled by SRAM and I haven't had a problem since. Maybe there's a bad lot of chains out there. I'm still not thrilled with SRAM's product as the Juicy 7 brake system I bought is no longer on my bike because of technical problems.
 

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ballbuster
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12,718 Posts
Heya Lucky!

Haven't heard from you in a while. You coming out for MBTB?

Second the idea of using a Shimano XT chain with a SRAM Powerlink. That is exactly the setup I've been using for the last year and a half, and no issues. It also seems that Shimano chains last a lot longer than SRAM for some reason. I dunno if it is the heavy packing grease (that you will never get off, so don't waste your time trying) they use, or maybe the steel alloy is harder. SRAM chains were only good for 3-6 months in my case, but XTs last more like 9 before getting into the 'maybe' area of wear. I cared for them the same, and rode about the same stuff.

The bonus is that XT chains seem to constantly be on sale for a lot cheaper than the equivalent level SRAMs. XTs are often on sale at Performance Bike for $22 or so. Add $4 for a Powerlink (heck buy two spares for the camelbak while you're at it) and you are in business.
 

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Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
robdamanii said:
I think this is where I say "wipperman" and grin like an idiot.
Aren't you supposed to be in class? ;^P

How's the shifting with the Wippy? Which model?

Kathy
 

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Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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1,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
pimpbot said:
Haven't heard from you in a while. You coming out for MBTB?

Second the idea of using a Shimano XT chain with a SRAM Powerlink. That is exactly the setup I've been using for the last year and a half, and no issues. It also seems that Shimano chains last a lot longer than SRAM for some reason. I dunno if it is the heavy packing grease (that you will never get off, so don't waste your time trying) they use, or maybe the steel alloy is harder. SRAM chains were only good for 3-6 months in my case, but XTs last more like 9 before getting into the 'maybe' area of wear. I cared for them the same, and rode about the same stuff.

The bonus is that XT chains seem to constantly be on sale for a lot cheaper than the equivalent level SRAMs. XTs are often on sale at Performance Bike for $22 or so. Add $4 for a Powerlink (heck buy two spares for the camelbak while you're at it) and you are in business.
Has MBTB been scheduled yet? I'll need to check my calendar. I signed up to race BMX for a national team this year (Go Team 3D Racing!) as their token over-the-hill woman in cruiser class. I'll be traveling around the Northeast a lot for that.

I'll probably just bite the bullet and get a couple XT chains. I already have quite a few extra Power Links floating around. Too bad about SRAM. I've used them for many years. Hopefully they'll fix the issue soon....
 

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Lucky said:
Aren't you supposed to be in class? ;^P

How's the shifting with the Wippy? Which model?

Kathy
Ya gotta love lazy professors that only lecture for an hour and then release us to our own devices. :D

I've got a 920 teflon coated model. The stainless should be just as good though.

FWIW, I've never had SRAM chain problems either, other than not cleaning them and rusting. That's my own fault. I've got zero luck with shimano chains.
 

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Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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1,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
robdamanii said:
Ya gotta love lazy professors that only lecture for an hour and then release us to our own devices. :D
Don't they realize this is particularly dangerous in your case?

Kathy ;^P
 

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Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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1,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
robdamanii said:
I've got a 920 teflon coated model. The stainless should be just as good though.
Whoa, Nelly! I'm not about to pay $70 for a stainless chain! No bargain to get 40% longer life for 280% more money. Amazing what modern marketing can do. Sheesh!

Kathy
 

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Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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1,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
robdamanii said:
Are you suggesting I'm a troublemaker of some sort?
No, just a potential hazard to yourself.

Kathy n ;^P
 

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Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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1,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
lebikerboy said:
I switched to Wipperman chains after having so many SRAM problems and have never looked back. As an extra bonus their connex link is even better than the SRAM powerlink in my opinion.
Which Wippy model(s) have you used? I've seen chrome plated ones (908 and 904) for about the same price as Shimano HG-93 or SRAM PC-971. Are they any good? Reviews seem to be similar for all these chains. Nobody seems to make a 9 spd chain that doesn't break these days.

Kathy :^(
 

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bang
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1,290 Posts
as i understand, the old stock of sach's chains has dried up, so sram made the new 951 / 971 / 991 chains. i have a 991 coming; we'll see how it compares to a shimano lx and sram pc-59. also, every chain review will have people saying "this chain sucks; it broke". at any rate, if you have your heart set on the older chains, webcyclery still has some in stock.
 
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