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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I'm running a Mongoose Otero Super, some people like them, some dont, but the only thing I can see on the bike that gets particularly poor reviews is the KMC z9000 chain.

I've only done a couple of 9 or 10 mile rides on this bike, but before my first proper off road/downhill ride on it on April 1st, I want to make sure the chain isn't going to snap.

Obviously a snapped chain can not be predicted, but looking on the reviews here it seems that nearly all chains have a bad review, So, a little knowledge from you lot would be good, its a 9 speed chain I need, what do you recommend as reading the reviews i've lost all confidence in this one

I could also do with some links to bike maintainence guides, not the basic one on here, something which tells you what bit does what, where its located and how to repair/fix/remove/replace all of the individual parts

thanks peeps
 

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Former Bike Wrench
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As a former mechanic...MOST chain failures are user error. Some are not connected correctly (common for Shimano), many are from really poor shifting technique like shifting under power and cross chaining, and poor lubrication is also a major cause.

So take the MTBR Reviews with a grain of salt as many are not true reflections of the chains as much as reflections of their own mistakes. I've owned a KMC Z9000 and did not have any problems with it but it is true the pins have less pull power than some better chains (including KMC X-series chains). Pretty much any chain will not fail with proper shifting technique, maintenance, and lubrication.

That said some brands are stronger than others. Shimano (HG53, 73, 93, and CN-7701) and KMC X9 chains have 1.5x the pin pull strength than the standard SRAM PC 951/971/991 chains. The advantage of the pull pin strength is they are less likely to fail under a bad shift or cross chaining. With Shimano you must also use the connecter pin correctly when installing on your bike as this is a common fail point. The better solution IME is to use a SRAM, KMC, or Connex reusable master link.

My recommendation is to keep the chain you have and properly clean, lube, and maintain the chain. Carry a chain tool and extra masterlink in your pack in the event of a failure and just replace the chain when needed.
 

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There's some discussion about this in this recent thread. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=685818

Whatever your choice in brand, the drivetrain will last longer if you clean and lube the chain every few rides, more often in sandy/dusty conditions. A general rule is to replace your chain when it stretches 1/16" in a 12" section. It will start to wear the cassette and chain rings when it stretches more.

This recent thread may also be of interest. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=686134
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the reply. Ive been using GT88 i think its called to lubricate my chain, and i'm now told that is the wrong thing, i need a better lube, even though my LBS recommended it!!!

Also, although I've ridden bikes for many years, I have no knowledge of the maintainance side of things, although I am slowly getting my head round it and recently bought a bike tool with a chain tool on it.

What do you mean by the expression "cross chaining" and "bad shifting".

I usually just change gear when I feel it would be beneficial, are there times when I should not change? or a specific way I should change gear?
 

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xdeity said:
thanks for the reply. Ive been using GT88 i think its called to lubricate my chain, and i'm now told that is the wrong thing, i need a better lube, even though my LBS recommended it!!!

Also, although I've ridden bikes for many years, I have no knowledge of the maintainance side of things, although I am slowly getting my head round it and recently bought a bike tool with a chain tool on it.

What do you mean by the expression "cross chaining" and "bad shifting".

I usually just change gear when I feel it would be beneficial, are there times when I should not change? or a specific way I should change gear?
Chain lube is a very personal thing and everybody seems to have a different opinion on it.
GT 85 is probably an OK lube. Apply let soak in and dry. Wipe off excess. The lube you wipe off isn't doing anything. It is the lube that "gets in the chain" that does the good work.
Do not use motorcycle chain lube it is too sticky for bicycles. Anything designed for a bicycle chain should be OK.

Cross chaining is when you use the big ring at the front and the big sprocket at the rear or small front and small rear. Basically try and keep your chain in a straight line. So on the big ring at the front use the 6 biggest sprockets at the rear On the middle ring use the 6 sprockets in the middle of the cassette. On the small ring use the 6 smallest sprockets on the cassette. you probably can use 7 instead of 6 if you choose.

Bad shifting is shifting when you are peddling "hard". Like shifting when riding up a steep hill.

Rock and Roll lube might be a good lube to start with. They make 3 types for different conditions. Apply generously to your chain. Let dry then wipe off as much as you can.
Apply lube often and before your chain starts making a noise,
Prolink is another apply lube, wipe off excess, to clean chain type lube.

I had a Z9000 chain on my bike. I never liked it. Replaced it at 600miles and I feel a lot happier with my new connex chain
I had a Z9000 on another bike and it wore out very quickly anyway.

Lots on the internet to teach you about working on your bike. bicycletutor will get you started
 

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meow meow
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more times than not a person will feel obligated to share a negative experiance hence you can find a bad review on almost anything.
 

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I been riding technical, rocky trails and some sandy trails for 12 years. I ride enough that I have to replace the drive train once per year. So far, I've broken 1 chain in that time. An it was due to an improper repair. I shortened a shimano chain by reusing a pin because I didn't have the special repair pins that shimano says must be used. The chain did not break until about 10 rides later.

I've been using Sram chains for the past 10 years, usually I buy the cheapest model. I also put these chains on the bikes of 3 of my riding buds. We've all been riding together for 7 years without 1 chain break - except for the one that I botched up. One of my other riding buds bought a new Cannondale and broke the chain on the first ride. Boy, he was pissed! I think it was a Shimano or KMC. He took it back to the bike shop and they put a Sram on it.

Since I don't have any experience with KMC, I can't comment. But Shimano and Sram are both excellent chains. I only switched to Sram because they're the only ones that had that Quick Link or whatever they call it.

Let me backpedal here. I bought a new bike that came with a KMC chain. It lasted as long as a Shimano or Sram. Took a year to wear it out.
 

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xdeity said:
thanks for the reply. Ive been using GT88 i think its called to lubricate my chain, and i'm now told that is the wrong thing, i need a better lube, even though my LBS recommended it!!!

Also, although I've ridden bikes for many years, I have no knowledge of the maintainance side of things, although I am slowly getting my head round it and recently bought a bike tool with a chain tool on it.

What do you mean by the expression "cross chaining" and "bad shifting".

I usually just change gear when I feel it would be beneficial, are there times when I should not change? or a specific way I should change gear?
Just a few things about chain lube (and I've used basically every type over the years)

-Dry lubes that "clean your chain" such as White Lightening or Rock N Roll are dry lubes and provide temporary lubrication. The usually use solids such as wax or Teflon in a solvent, the solvent carries the particles into the chain then evaporates. These particles will provide lubrication before they are worn off (usually 10-12 miles in ideal conditions, much less in wet weather). IME you will need to lube before every ride, sometimes during rides, and your chain will wear out faster. My general rule of thumb is if you have to shake the bottle before applying, don't use it.

-Light oil lubes like Prolink or Pedros Go! provide better and longer lasting lubrication than dry lubes. They require a little more work to keep your chain clean as over lubing will attract dirt and dust. It also tends to wash off fairly quickly in wet weather.

-Heavier oil lubes like Chain-L, Pedros CHAINj, Finish Line Wet, Ernesto, Chainsaw Bar and Chain lube, etc will provide the maximum lubrication for your chain. As friction wears off the layer of lubrication, the oil simply flows back to lubricate again. It is also very resistant to wet weather making it ideal for rain and mud rides. However special care must be used when applying a thick wet lube or you will have a mess! Follow directions on the bottle to a "T".

:thumbsup:
 

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My spelling is atroshus
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I find myself relubing my chain during muddy rides. Even the thick oily stuff can get washed away after a muddy creek crossing.:)
 
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