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Living in Tucson allows year round riding and weekly rides to Mount Lemmon..
These roads and other Southwest routes have been the proving ground for these parts.
While I like performance of Red, its durability is suspect particularly if you like to put the power to the pedals. Riding high end stuff isn't cheap, so if this is a consideration, a Force cassette (XG-1270) would work equally well with a much better price point.
Wears out quickly
Used these chains on an old 18-speed Schwinn Mesa Mtn bike for the past 14 years.
Use the SRAM chains, got about 2000 miles on them before my wear meter said dump them, but started swapping at 1500 miles because started getting failures in the field (worn power train--replaced the crankset/cassette were the culprit, whaddya expect after 10,000 miles?).
The chains are economical and reliable if cleaned and lubricated regularly (and even when they're not), and are ideal for my low end bomber. I use dry lubricants whenever I can because the area has a lot of sand and eats the chains relentlessly with wet lubes. Using paraffin, graphite, & moly on weekly basis keeps the squeaks muted while allowing for quick shifting.
I've gotten these on sale before, but not this time so I down graded the value rating.
I have been using the forest drivetrain for a little over 10,000 miles. The original Force chain was down to about 2% of life left. I was starting to notice a latency on the always crisp shifting. So I began to look at new chains, a few of my fellow cyclist friends and why don't you go with a Red chain. So the long story short is Bike Tires Direct had a sale on the red chain and also cassette. The combination of a new chain and a new cassette shifts and drives like a new bike. I have about 700 Mi on the new cassette and chain and do not have any shifting issues at all. Time will tell on the durability but I suspect the cassette will not have any issues with premature wear. Chains always wear out and that definitely affects your shifting functionality. I bought the park chain testing tool many years ago and it has proved to be a confirmation of what I suspect during shifting. So a recap if you have the force etab system and you want to upgrade to a lighter cassette and a lighter chain the red is surely the way to go. Hope this helps.
You don't NEED AXS...but once you have it, there is no going back. I work in technology so I definitely appreciate innovation and products that greatly improve the user experience. I am fortunate to be able to purchase this upgrade kit, and fully acknowledge that even at the discount BTD is offering it at, it is very much a luxury spend. But wow it's a game changer. I just applied for a home equity line of credit so that I can outfit my road and gravel bikes with this e-bling. Kidding. When I first saw AXS come out a couple years back, I figured there was NO WAY I would ever own it...just can't justify that kind of cash over a mechanical set. I was wrong. The shifting is UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE. On my first ride, I had some issues with indexing that I literally fixed on the fly. I think the best part is being able to shift a bit more effectively under load. And if you're wondering it will work FINE with a Shimano crankset and 12 spd chainring.