SRAM PC-991 9-Speed Chain
SRAM’s PC-991 Chain delivers light weight, strength, quick shifting and smoothness to your drivetrain. It boasts chrome-hardened pins and inner and outer sideplates engineered to speed and smooth shifting in all conditions. And, with its great PowerLink, you don’t even need tools to install it.
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Although I list "price" as a con, it's not really. I was a long time Shimano HG chain user only because the rest of my drivetrain was Shimano. But soemtime around 1999-2000, I started to snap chains - and they would snap even just pedaling on the flats. For a while I just dismissed it as normal wear-and-tear until I snapped three new HG's in a week!!! My LBS replaced the first one free of charge, gave me a discount on the second one and on the third one I didn't even bother going back to my LBS as I felt they wen't above and beyond. I contacted Shimano (thats another saga which I won't get into...) and they basically blamed me and my bike and that they were not going to do anything about it. I guess I was expecting to have a little more sympathy and say something to the effect that they would report this to their R&D team or whomever. Even if they never did report it I probably would have gone on and continued to use the HG for several more years. In any event, I went back to my LBS with the intention to purchase another HG chain when they recommended that I give the SRAM PC series a try (this was before the 991) and they said that if I snapped it within a month they would replace or refund me my money. Cost was about the same (maybe a few bucks cheaper) so why not. The first thing I really liked was the power-link. We had these back when I rode BMX and was happy to see it in the MTB world! That first SRAM chain was awesome! It functioned for nearly 2 years before it finally stretched to where I needed to replace it. That's when the PC 991 came out and I've been rocking it ever since. I keep a few power links in my pack for those rare occasions when the chain does snap but in reality I tend to use the spare links to get other downed riders on the trail back up and running again. All of my bikes have the 991 (XC, DH/FR and DS/DJ) as do all of my riding buddies (they all switched over once they noticed that I wasn't snapping chains as often as they were).