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  1. #1
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    SRAM vs. Shimano Chains

    I'm doing some work on my wife's Specialized... and it needs a new chain. I'm considering a SRAM PC 1051 and a Shimano Ultegra 6701.

    It's a 10 speed built with lower-end SRAM components.
    Based on some research, both are similarly priced and have good reviews.
    I am planning to install the chain.

    Any recommendations? From a install standpoint, it's the P-Lock vs. use of a connecting rivet. If I go Shimano, does anyone know if the connecting rivet is included when you buy new chain?

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    They are indeed both good. And of course the Shimano chains come w/ a pin. It's not a rivet, it's a pin.
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  3. #3
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    I just bought a new bike that came built with Shimano Ultegra 8000 mechanical groupset. It came with a SRAM chain (not sure which one)

    The bike (drive train) made a fairly obnoxious rattling sound from the day it was new. Between myself and the bike shop, we pretty much tried everything possible in terms of adjustments.

    The hangar was perfect, the indexing was as close to perfect as you can get.

    I got tired of fussing with it (and listeng to it), and finally decided to try a new chain

    I splurged on a new Shimano Dura Ace chain (came with the new Shimano quick link) and the noise disappeared.

    It's a sample size of 1, but I don't think I'll be going back to a SRAM chain any time soon.

    As an aside, I really like the Dura Ace chain and the new quick link. The link has a much more positive 'click' to it when it locked or unlocked. Even after a several installations and removals, it still has firmer 'snap' when it's locked. As a big rider (6 ' 5", 230lbs), it gives me a lot of confidence that it's not going to fail, even after several uses.

    Disclaimer 1: Shimano says it's a single use item

    Disclaimer 2: Shimano would love to sell you a new one every time you remove your chain.

    I know a lot of people use SRAM chains with great success. My experience is limited, but I'll be sticking to Shimano chains.

  4. #4
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    As far as performance goes I'd suggest an 11 speed Dura Ace chain. Yes, I did notice you said 10 speed.
    11 speed chains work fine and in my experience just shift a little better than 10 speed chains with 10 speed. The down side is they don't last quite as long. A very rough estimate is I get about 20% less out of them as compared to 10 speed.

    They also seem to collect less gunk than 10 speed chains. "mud shedding" and "Sil-tech" are the marketing buzz words that I assumed were BS but there seems to actually be some merit to the claims of shedding gunk better.


    But if you just want a chain that works okay either of the two you are looking at would be fine.

  5. #5
    Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
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    Alternatively, Id recommend a KMC X10.93 chain. Ive used them for years on all of our bikes. Inexpensive, quiet, good shifting and come with their KMC reusable quick-link.
    Last edited by DaveT; 07-29-2018 at 06:49 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for confirmation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Alternatively, Id recommend a KMC X10.93 chain. Ive used them for years on all of our bikes. Inexpensive, quiet, good shifting and come with their KMC reusable quick-link.
    excellent bang-for-buck choice...
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for background. My wife doesn't ride on the roads all that much, opting for her Peloton 3-4x week - but only occasionally w/ me on the roads. All to say that I am not looking to splurge for the Dura Ace chain.

    I've also heard really good things about SRAM chains and since it's a SRAM build; I was initially leaning towards one of their mid-level chains.

    Almost all of my experience has been with Shimano chains and they have been great. Hard to go away from something that isn't broken.

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    I just bought a new bike that came built with Shimano Ultegra 8000 mechanical groupset. It came with a SRAM chain (not sure which one)

    The bike (drive train) made a fairly obnoxious rattling sound from the day it was new. Between myself and the bike shop, we pretty much tried everything possible in terms of adjustments.

    The hangar was perfect, the indexing was as close to perfect as you can get.

    I got tired of fussing with it (and listeng to it), and finally decided to try a new chain

    I splurged on a new Shimano Dura Ace chain (came with the new Shimano quick link) and the noise disappeared.

    It's a sample size of 1, but I don't think I'll be going back to a SRAM chain any time soon.

    As an aside, I really like the Dura Ace chain and the new quick link. The link has a much more positive 'click' to it when it locked or unlocked. Even after a several installations and removals, it still has firmer 'snap' when it's locked. As a big rider (6 ' 5", 230lbs), it gives me a lot of confidence that it's not going to fail, even after several uses.

    Disclaimer 1: Shimano says it's a single use item

    Disclaimer 2: Shimano would love to sell you a new one every time you remove your chain.

    I know a lot of people use SRAM chains with great success. My experience is limited, but I'll be sticking to Shimano chains.
    When do you need to remove your chain other than to replace it?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreSF View Post
    When do you need to remove your chain other than to replace it?
    Some on the forum prefer to remove their chains to clean and lubricate them.

    Please don't start that conversation.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    Some on the forum prefer to remove their chains to clean and lubricate them.

    Please don't start that conversation.
    It was an honest question.

    So, yeah...if you're in the habit of removing your chain other than to replace it, KMC would be a good option. If not, the Ultegra chains seem to last a pretty long time, I wore out my SRAM Red chain pretty quickly.
    Pop a wheelie!

    Icicle Bay a.k.a. Beetlebaum - Black Cat Disc Roadie
    Tang (CX) - 198? Curtlo Cyclocross (she's heavy, but she's mine)

  12. #12
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Depending on how dirty it gets (rarely dirty but it happens) I'll take mine off to really clean it. But...I have a nice parts washer do clean it in and new links at all times. If it wasn't that easy I might not be into to removing it to clean.
    I work for some bike racers
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  13. #13
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    I remove my chains fairly frequently to give them a nice hot wax bath.

    My bikes live inside my condo when I'm not riding them, and I'm meticulous about keeping them clean and dry.

    Note that I'm not advocating anyone else do this. I'm not interested in a debate, or defending my reasons.. I do what I do for reasons that matter to me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreSF View Post
    if you're in the habit of removing your chain other than to replace it, KMC would be a good option.
    Just to clarify: for those who like to run masterlinks, they can still choose from any chain they want Shimano, SRAM, Campy, KMC, etc. SRAM and KMC masterlinks work just dandy with Shimano and Campy chains, and of course, Shimano now also sells masterlinks. So no need to go only with KMC if you want to run a masterlink.

  15. #15
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    For my 10 speed systems the SRAM, Shimano and KMC have been good. Whatever has been on sale. KMC tended to be the wallet friendly buys and their masterlink is easy to work with. Like fronesis mentions I've used the KMC links on the other chains too.

    Can use other tools on the KMC links though the KMC pliers work as they should. These would be recommended if you want to use their masterlink.

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