I ride 150-200 miles a week so I go through a lot of parts especially rear tires...stretched chains do shift poorly and I think they chip cogs/sprockets
I replaced 2 chains in January early Feb both were 9 speed, which may make a difference as they are thicker than 10.11 speed chains. one was a 951 and the other is 971 the 951*** (I use the 951 when it rains on my older bike but the prior chain was a shimano and no rust after about 4000 miles and it was used in the same conditions AND it was used over 500 miles at the beach which the 951 wont get to until May) the 951 is already rusted ,
the 971 still looks great and after 800+ miles seems good the sram 971 chain is $xx compare to about $xx for shimano so if it get 4000 miles with no rust and failing 75% test then it will be a great value but so far too early to tell (at 800 miles it is still a good bit away from 50% stretched) for the few dollars.difference between 951 and 971 I'd buy the 971, I will never buy the 951 again
The only complaint for the 971 is I feel and hear chunk noises shifting under load NO COGS were broken before and none are yet with the new chain(s) **I'm not sure this can be avoided and what the cost would be but both the 951 and 971 feel clunkier under load than what I remember the shimanos felt like ** I assume(d) the stretched chain would be clunkier, but that does not seem to be the case.. I'm not an engineer .....as an addendum the chain ring and sprocket are shimano I assume there may be 100th of mm differences between sram and shimano components regardless i assume the 971 will get close to the same mileage and i ordered replacement 971 chains for this summer
You must have these if you remove your chain for any reason, you can not reuse the old power link. If you are using the Sarm Red or Force 12 speed AXS groupsets this is the powerlock to get. MAKE SURE you get the right powerlock there are others that look the same but will not work, The power lock is easy to use ,you just have to line it up right so it snaps in correctly and locks the arrow on the power lock has to point in the direction of the pedal stroke, moving forward. If you have not used them before might want to get 2 sets just incase of a mistake, i installed mine and was just a little off on lining it up and only half snapped in and i could not get the other side to snapp closed i had to remove it and you cant reuse it cuz one side was locked and not the other, dam it, any ways buy 2 and your covered.
the pros don't have to worry about stuff like this, it's up to their mechanics and their sponsors. my sram wi fli has always been impeccable and predictable. my mechanic adjusts the front and rear and off i go. but recently, i right after the adjustment, i was getting extraneous noise and missed shifts and poor tracking with the chain. the chain was new, so i decided to swap out the jockey wheels. bingo. smooth drive train once agin. there was so much lateral play in the old wheels due to wear and tear, it was sad. easy to overlook, but they can be a source of misery for someone who demands a smooth drivetrain and shifting.
Make your chain and cogs last. I lube my chain with Royal Purple gear oil. A drop on each link the night before and wipe it down with a paper towel. Add a little Gibbs oil to the small bottle I use for my RP gear oil 75/145 wt to condition the metal. After every ride no more than two I clean the chain with dawn and a rag. And a little water. A little dawn on the cassette and a paint brush And the cogs are shining, the same for the chain rings. RP cost $20 for a quart, but it lasts most of a year.