Posted April 14, 2012 by Adam in mountain bike parts

Bike Chain – Find out what chains will give you the most bang for your buck

One of the most neglected parts on your bike, having a decent, working bike chain is an absolute must!

Try riding your mountain bike without one and you will soon realise how important they are. Without a bike chain you would just sit there spinning the pedals and looking like a bloody moron! Read on to see what chain is best for you?

There are a ridiculous number of bicycle chains on the market however not all of them are created equal. Yes I know they all look pretty much the same, but believe me, there is an absolute world of difference between a quality chain and a piece of crap. Unfortunately for us, the old saying, you get what you pay for, holds true when it comes to bike chains.

A Lesson (painfully) Learnt

Bike Chain When I got a new bike a few years ago, the mechanic at my local bike shop told me I should replace the chain straightaway. Now I had known this mechanic for a couple of years and I trusted him when it came to bikes, but I tell you what, I couldn’t believe what he was trying to tell me!

I had just handed over nearly three thousand dollars for this brand spanking new bike and he was telling me to replace the bike’s chain before I got it out of the shop?!

He told me “that chain was how they kept the bike under three grand and you’ll be sorry if you keep it”

I told him I would test it out and see how it goes…

Well the 1st time I rode the bike it wasn’t that great .. not terrible .. but not as great as you would expect. A week or two later and the chain was running rough and making more noise than a skeleton having a fit on a tin roof (as my grandfather used to say). It wasn’t long before it blew apart completely, sending me crashing into the top bar – a lesson very painfully learnt

When I returned to the shop a little embarrassed about not listing to my mechanic, I was more than happy to go home with a SRAM PC-68.


I installed it on my bike and went for a ride. What an amazing difference it made. It was as smooth as silk and as quite as a Swiss watch. This little episode really reinforced to me the importance of a good bike chain.

As for what bike chain you should buy?

If you stick with the big 3 – Shimano, Sram (formerly Sachs) and Wippermann you can’t go to far wrong. Sram and Wippermann are known for their durability, while Shimano has excellent shifting performance when used with Shimano components.

Just remember for this vital piece of mountain bike gear – you really do get what you pay for. If you can afford the next model up, get it!