Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline
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If you've worn it out from riding in dirt and mud then go with not the cheapest and not the most expensive. Mid line SRAM is my choice for the best price to performance blend.
If you're riding in areas where there's mud or serious dust then it doesn't matter what you get. It'll all wear out just as fast thanks to the abrasive qualities of the riding conditions. But you want it to work decently while it is in use and the middle of the road option offers the best blend of quality, performance and cost to suit such use.
Yeah, OK, you can save a few grams with the higher priced options but look at your bike..... it's a burly solid framed mountain bike intended for rough use. As such a few grams here and there isn't going to mean diddly.
Now if I'm wrong and you're only street riding and the original parts lasted a long time then MAYBE it would be worth saving a few grams by going up the product scale a little. But even so I would not bother shooting for the top of the line stuff if your money means something to you. In the Shimano line the Deore level is fine for mud or dusty conditions. If you ride it cleaner than that then the LX or XT level so suit your wallet is great stuff. Even so I'd still use SRAM chain because of the Powerlink. I really like being able to snap it open when needed. The SRAM chain that comes in at around the $25 mark is just fine. The fancier stuff has nice plating on it and at the high end it may or may not shift a hair better. But you'll pay dearly for that possible gain.