Time for a change.
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
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I have been 27 speed on a solo for 3 years now, and have only had the tandem with 27 speed for 18 months. I have never used any other chain than a Shimano "XT" and have never had any problems with them. I do regularly change the chains, as a matter of course every 1,000 miles, as it is around this distance that I find that the chain starts to stretch. As I say, I have never had any chain problems, but then neither have you.
I used to run chains in motor sport, and I found that the length of life of a chain depends on Lubrication and Being kept clean, so All chains are cleaned after each trip out, and also sprayed with a water dispellant before being well lubricated as soon as possible. The excess oil is wiped off before the next ride. The only time I have not kept to this rule was on a 100 mile ride, where lubrication was not done on the ride, and at the end of the ride it was squeeking just a bit. I did change that chain immediately, and it is now in the panniers as a spare chain.
I have never broken a chain, and have never used a "Quicklink", always relying in rivetting the chain. The only reason I can see to use one of the quicklinks is to remove the chain. I do not have to remove the chain for cleaning, due to the chain cleaner that I use.
I don't think it matters which chain you use, providing you are happy with it, providing it is a better quality chain in the first place. Same with the Links on the chain. Whichever you are happy with, then keep on using it. Incidentally, My "old worn out " chains are passed over to a "poor" mountain biker, and he uses it until I pass him over the next chain to recycle.