You are Not the Weakest Link

I carry a chain tool with me always and learned how to use one when I was pretty young because many of my mountain bike rides involve broken chains. Even the thick 7 speed chains back in the day would end up snapped. My torque on the cranks and the strength of the chains seem to not go along with each other well. I have been on the 9-speed chain train for a few years, and I know how far I could push these chains, and kind of have a feeling now for chain wear without checking it with a tool.

Because they are not generally stocked in bike shops, I have never had the chance of riding with a wipperman chain but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance to put one on my geared mountain bike. It seems that I break that chain the most, so why not try it there.

Due to the simplicity and ease of using the included Connex link, my bike was mounted up with the Connex by Wipperman 9sX and I was off for some mid winter miles. The Connex link works easier for both install and removal than any other “quick link” systems from the other chain companies. After actually reading the instructions, the 90-degree installation method makes this system almost too easy to use. I thought I had done something wrong, but after rereading the directions, I determined that it was on correctly.

Since the installation, I have been riding this chain exclusively since February in places like Ray’s Mountain Bike Park, which puts severe stress on chains as well as locations such as Wissahickon, Fairhill, and all of the other Philadelphia region mountain bike locations. I have not changed the style of shifting or riding, but I have decreased my mis shifts and chain noise by about 100%. The stainless steel inner links keep this chain totally rust free. Even with other chains, I have experienced some rust over the same amount of time and riding especially due to a wet spring.  The high-grade nickel outer plates seem to be holding their own as well. .

I am running a sram x.9 drivetrain with this chain, but it will work on any 9-speed system. The 9sx has a claimed weight of 289g for 110 links, although they include 114 links and the connector. I would be lying if I did not include the thought that these chains are pricy this chain has a MSRP that is almost double that of a comparable chain, but with the wear life and awesome performance, it will pay for itself due to lack of worry and longevity of the product. Connex by Wipperman offers 7 levels of the nine speed chain, with this chain 2nd from the top of the performance list.  They also offer many 10-speed versions, and recommend the 10s8 chain for 10 speed mountain bike applications.  I would purchase this chain if you are looking to put a ton of miles on any one product, or you break chains often. It is worth the up front expense for the peace of mind long life that a strong chain like this provides.


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