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KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 6:14pm
by Sweep
Do folk have any views on their relative merits?

I have long used SRAM chains after long ago being freed from the damn Shimano joining pin nonsense.

I started a thread recently on an sram 850 8 speed chain which seemed to have worn very quickly (though I don't keep records of mileage). I replaced that with a KMC.

And then very recently had an sram 9 speed chain which also seemed to have worn quickly - again I didn't have records but I have several bikes to share usage across and haven't been putting in mega miles of late.

That wouid have been an sram 951 or 971.

I replaced that with a KMC as well - an X9.93.

May have been my imagination (I am not overly mechanically blessed) but it somehow felt more convincing even as I handled it.

So do folks with experience of both brands have any views?

I would also be interested in recommendations for 8 and 9 speed KMC chains - I am inclined to buy stuff at the bottom end of the ranges, being wary of attempts to sell me up with superfluous finishes etc, but am also aware that sometimes the rock-bottom units have issues - I always avoided the sram 830 for instance.

Looking at the box of my KMC X9.93 it says "extremely durable" but know nothing about why this might be.

By the by the box also says "extra stretch proof", which I think is guaranteed to get folks going on the stretch thing :)

Am not interested in any chains above 9 speed.

Oh - KMC chains labelled 7 speed are just fine and dandy with 8 speed stuff aren't they?

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 6:17pm
by chris_suffolk
No experience with SRAM, but all the KMC 9 speed chains I've had over a few years have lasted 2-3x longer (at least) than the Shimano one I had initially.

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 6:33pm
by Brucey
IIRC KMC have made 7s chains with ~7.3mm and ~7.1mm pin lengths. The latter will work with 8s, but the former won't so well.

cheers

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 6:49pm
by Shreds
KMCs recommended :wink:

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 8:01pm
by mercalia
I use SRAM chains still using up my old stock PC41 and PC51 ones. They seem to last well. I have 3 or so the 850s so cant say whether the quality has gone down.

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 10:06pm
by reohn2
After using Sram chains(8 and 9sp)for many years I decided to try KMC after being impressed be the longevity and slick changing on a new bike that came with 10sp drivtrain.
I've found the 8 and 9sp KMC (silver/grey)chains to last at least as long and gear changing as good if not better than Sram 971.

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 10:10pm
by NickJP

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 10:40pm
by gregoryoftours
I also went from SRAM to kmc. The X-93 has always been fine and is decent value so it's what I use.

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 10:42pm
by Tompsk


The above seems largly to talk about the best 11 & 12 speed chains and saying the Shimano 11 & 12 speed are better than Shimano 8 speed. So not really addressing the OP question.

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 10:48pm
by mig
meh keep it as clean as you can within reason and treat it as a consumable. don't believe the hype

i use these

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/product-news/can-buy-ultra-efficient-chain-used-britains-olympic-team-not-cheap-400017

:D

oh and don't use wippermann. they're bobbins! :lol:

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 9:26am
by hamish
Although ebike based, this is quite interesting, especially as ebikes must be harder on chains than non ebikes;

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a7iBvQhiozo

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 10:57am
by De Sisti
mig wrote: :D
oh and don't use wippermann. they're bobbins! :lol:

You're not from Manchester by any chance? :)

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 12:23pm
by bgnukem
SRAM PG830 was the only chain I've had with really poor durability, wore so much in less than 1000 miles that I wasn't able to put another new chain on the transmission without it jumping.

Since then have used SRAM PG850/870 and KMC X8/X9 chains and not really noticed a difference. Not used Shimano chains for years due to the silly joining pin.

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 12:36pm
by Stradageek
KMC every time now, so much smoother running and easier changing than SRAM even though the KMC 'power-link' is a little more prone to open uninvited than the SRAM version

Re: KMC v Sram chains?

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 3:18pm
by mig
De Sisti wrote:
mig wrote: :D
oh and don't use wippermann. they're bobbins! :lol:

You're not from Manchester by any chance? :)


guilty as charged m'lud. take me to the cells.