Tuesday, December 04, 2007

HUH? SRAM chains and the pro peloton.

I caught this interesting tidbit today in an online Tech Report on VeloNews, written by Matt Pacocha;

In addition to Lennard and me, VeloNews editor, Ben Delaney (or "Ben Boonen" as we affectionately refer to him), is also putting time on Red. I've told him to "try and break a chain." You see we, here at the magazine, aren't quite convinced that there's merit in the professional peloton's current aversion to the manufacturer's chains. We'll let you know how things turn out in a couple of months.

Now, I'm no Pro Tour rider or anything, but I'm probably a chain makers worst nightmare if you think about it; I weigh over 200 pounds, I ride my equipment very hard and do not always maintain it very well (I'm spoiled, so sue me) and as a track/ criterium sprinter I tend to put a lot of stress on chains. Over the years, I have broken more than my share of chains. You name a Shimano chain from 8spd all the way up to 10spd since about 1991 and I've busted it. I've blown a couple Campy chains in the past. Taya? Yes. KMC? Yes. Sachs/ Sedisport? A couple in the distant past. SRAM purchased Sachs/ Sedisport several years ago, for the record. That said, the new SRAM 10spd chains with their Power Lock link have been flawless. The chains
have almost zero stretch with many, many miles on them and I have used and reused the "single use" connecting link several times. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the Shimano or Campagnolo chains are bad chains, but I am saying that the SRAM chains are the best I've used so far. Why a Pro Tour rider would want to use a different chain is beyond me because their equipment is perfectly maintained and looked after. If anything, it is the common shmuck like me who should have a problem with the chains. I've been riding very hard on the PC1090R hollow pin, hollow link plate chain for numerous months and have not had one single issue with it. Sadly, with the Shimano chains, I would have normally replaced the chain twice (or more) by now. I love the products and the people at Shimano, but I do have to confess to liking the SRAM chains better. Sorry. On another product note; I recently got a very sexy set of the new SRAM Double Tap flat bar road shifters to test and have begun building a franken-bike to ride.

As soon as the bike is done, I will post pictures as well as a report on how the shifters work. I saw them first in Germany at Eurobike and was very, very impressed with them.

Another project bike is in the midst of testing/ riding and I will post more on that in the next day or two as well. It's one of my favorite projects in a while too, so the testing has been fun and will continue to be. So stay tuned for more.

(PS- Sorry for the weird formatting. Blogger does weird stuff when you cut-n-paste things some times.)


StevenCX said...

That's funny, I was just reading the same story and thinking the same thing! I love SRAM's link, and I think their chains are better than Shimano for sure. Unfortunately I've had issues with Wipperman on my Campy drivetrain, so I'm sticking with Campy chains. I think I can just get their link by itself though.

jeff said...

I'm with you on the SRAM chains.
I know ProTour teams on Campy often ride other chains because of price and HD Link inconvenience...
I'm stoked that you like Red - I love it (and Force and Rival) but selling it has been an uphill battle so far.

al said...

Are those parts laying on the Masi bearskin rug? All you need to do is add the Barry White soundtrack to put us in the mood.

Fritz said...

I'm a SRAM chain fan also.

Speaking of track sprints, did you ever see this video of a chain snapping at the start of a track race? It hurts just to look it.

Bernie said...

I don't know, Al, I thought the shifters were laying on a bed of Ramen... I'm getting hungry.