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Sram Pc 991 Chain, 9 Speed, Each

1 rating: 1.0
Sport and Outdoor
1 review about Sram Pc 991 Chain, 9 Speed, Each

Good Alternative to Shimano

  • Jun 21, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: Tool-free connector link, less breakage than Shimano.

Cons: Rusts and becomes noisy over time if not maintained.

The Bottom Line: A good alternative to the Shimano chain. Less breakage, easier trail maintenance with the Power Link connector link.

Background:
If you read my other reviews on the subject of bike components, you will find that as a volunteer for the Regional Parks Mountain Bike patrol, I put my equipment through a workout. Climbing for three miles with an average grade of 14% should let anyone know how well a bike chain is going to last and perform. After being frustrated and stranded out on the trail with Shimano chains in the past, I decided to try SRAM's near top-of-the-line chain for mountain bikes and compare it against Shimano's XT chain. This is my assessment of using the SRAM chain for the last several years.

Features:
Includes what SRAM calls their Power Link which is a connector link that does not need any tools to disassemble/reassemble your chain out on the trails. Shimano's offering forces you to use one of their connector pins and a chain tool in order to assemble their chain. If by any chance your Shimano chain breaks, you will need a brand new connector pin which is proprietary to Shimano to reassemble your Shimano chain or you are out of luck on the trail. Also, the Power Link comes in a nice gold color and its own package which adds some flash to your chain.

Actual Trail Use:
Initially, I was quite pleased with the use of the SRAM chain. It was quiet and ran smooth, just like a new Shimano chain. It was until after my first bike wash, I realized the SRAM chain just like Shimano has a tendency to rust if you don't immediately wipe the chain dry from washing. Over time, even after wiping dry and relubricating the chain, it would eventually start to squeak and make noise unless your throughly wash, dry and generously relube the chain. This is no different than Shimano's chain as well. The real difference between this chain and Shimano was the rate of breakage. I have broken the Shimano chain several times while climbing my local mountain. The SRAM chain over the years has only broken on me just once and with the Power Link, was easy to repair on the trail.

Shifting under load or all out pedalling, the SRAM chain can handle it. No shift problems, mis-shifts, hang ups, etc. while on the trail. The only issue that I have with the SRAM chain is that I wish it would last longer than 2-3 months of use. This chain tends to stretch more easily than Shimano or my new chain at the moment which is reviewed here: http://www.epinions.com/review/Wipperman_Con...ss/content_434061151876

Because of the price, $24 at my local bike shop and the Power Link connector, I have learned to live with the stretching issue much better than the breaking and connector pin issues with the Shimano chains. I just make sure to use my chain checker tool on the SRAM chain so that the stretching that will occur doesn't affect the rest of my drivetrain.

Warranty:
None according to the manufacturer because it is considered a wear and tear item. My local bike shop on the other hand will offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee if I am not delighted and can exchange it for something else.

Conclusions:
Overall, I feel this SRAM chain is a better chain than the comparable one by Shimano. You have the same performance, smooth shifting like Shimano but without the proprietary connector pin and breakage issues. The SRAM chain offers a good value for a high performance, easy to work on chain. Just be prepared it may stretch a bit sooner than a Shimano chain so use that chain checker tool more often to be sure.



Recommended:
Yes

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