Chains are essential to every bicycle. When one wears out, bikers usually change it to match the brand on the derailleurs. Perhaps a small number of people will try something different in the hopes of better corrosion resistance, better shifting, less weight, or saving a little money.
But, given that the chain is one of the bike’s most hardworking components, why should we stop there? We know that chain lubricant may have a big impact on a chain’s durability and efficiency. Still, We don’t chain themselves vary in durability and efficiency?
As such, we will be discussing two of the most well-known bike chain brands used by bikers worldwide, Sram and the Shimano chain and Is SRAM Better Than Shimano.
Shimano Bike Chain
Shimano’s tale began in Sakai, Osaka, Japan, in 1921, 100 years ago. Shozaburo Shimano, Shimano’s founder, was only 26 years old when he founded Shimano Iron Works in a modest rented room in a wrecked celluloid factory. Shimano’s ambitious ambition was to build his first bicycle component: freewheels, using a borrowed lathe.
Freewheels were the most advanced part made back at the time. On the other hand, Shimano was so sure of the quality of his freewheels that he offered a brave guarantee: any freewheel that malfunctioned would be compensated with two new ones.
Until his death in 1958, Shozaburo Shimano was the company’s chair and produced bicycle components. After the death of Shozaburo Shimano, his son Mr. Shozo Shimano became president. As a result, Shimano expanded to become the globe’s leading component producer during the next 50 years, surpassing previous leaders like Campagnolo and SunTour.
Shimano’s contributions in modern biking
1. Shimano Index System (SIS):
The Dura-Ace 7400 group pioneered indexed shifting, which allowed for precise gear changes by matching shifts to clicks in the shifter. As a result, riders could choose the gear without fiddling with the placement of a friction shifter, making gear changes more precise and faster. Modern mechanical shifters operate based on indexed shifting.
2. Shimano Total Integration (STI)
STI is a gear-shifting, brake-operating, and steering system that lets riders to shift gears, brake, and steer without taking their hands off the handlebars. STI pioneered the integration of shift levers into brake hoods, laying the groundwork for modern road, cyclocross, and gravel bike shifters.
3. Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD)
Shimano developed a clipless shoe and pedal technology that has become the industry standard. Many companies now make pedals that work with Shimano SPD cleats. As a result, it’s one of the most common clipless pedal systems on the market.
4. Digital Integrated Intelligence (Di2)
Di2 was the first commercially practical electronic shifter and derailleur system, released for Shimano’s Dura-Ace level group. Electronic shifting became the new standard for top-of-the-line groups thanks to Di2.
5. XTR Di2
The XTR Di2 M9050 group, Shimano’s founding electronic mountain bike class, brought Di2 technology to mountain bikes.
6. Semi wireless Di2 shifting
Shimano announces the Dura-Ace R9200 and Ultegra R8100, which include shift levers that have a wireless transmission with the derailleurs, which are still wired to each other and the batteries.
Sram Bike Chain:
The term SRAM is claimed to represent a combination of the names of the company’s founders. It was created by mixing Scott, Ray, and Sam’s letters.
The company’s lawyer was Scott King. SRAM’s initial CEO was Stan R. Day. SRAM’s original product was designed by Sam Patterson, an engineer, and designer.
SRAM started its journey in 1987 in Chicago. Then, the Grip Shift, the company’s initial product, was prevalent. The Grip Shift was a drop handlebar gear shifter with an indexed gear gearshift that enfolded around the ends.
Grip Shift allowed riders to change gears without taking their hands off the handlebars, as opposed to traditional shift levers connected to the frame. SRAM’s original product was designed by Sam Patterson, who was working for an engine manufacturer at the time.
Stan Day gathered investors, set up meetings, and became the first president of Sram, while Sam Patterson led as the head of research and development, all believing in the Grip Shift’s potential.
SRAM bought several component firms during the next 30 years, which were very notable at the time. With its extensive catalog of bike parts, it has grown to become the world’s second-largest component maker.
Sram’s contributions in modern biking
1. Grip shift
The origins of SRAM can be traced back to an indexed gear shifter that wrapped around the handlebars. Some mountain bikes, commuters, and other flat-bar bicycles still use the Grip Shift design.
SRAM’s integrated shifting system allows the rider to shift in both directions with a single shifter paddle for road bikes. SRAM’s first venture towards making an absolute road parts group, Force, was also this year.
3. 1×11 XX1 group
Riders had previously experimented with 1x (pronounced “one-by”) drivetrains, but the XX1 was the first popular 1x drivetrain from a major manufacturer. As a result, this setup is now conventional on most mountain bikes, and it’s also common on cyclocross and gravel bikes.
4. Red eTap
SRAM’s eTap electronic road group was the company’s original, and it distinguished itself from Shimano’s Di2 system by being cordless.
5. 1×12 Eagle group
Eagle was the first mountain bike group to use 12-speed gear. It added a greater 500 percent gear range to SRAM’s existing successful 1×11 groups, making them comparable to typical 2x systems.
6. eTap AXS and Eagle AXS
With AXS, SRAM continued to advance its wireless electrical group. In addition, AXS debuted the first wireless electronic mountain bike group and a new 12-speed road bike group.
Innovations of Shimano and Sram
Grip shifting (also known as twist shifting) was SRAM’s breakthrough product, allowing the company to compete with industry giants like Shimano. Despite early versions’ tendency to fail in muddy situations, the bicycling community appreciated the availability of a new product, and SRAM became a huge success within a few years.
SRAM has subsequently grown to be Shimano’s main competitor in bike components, although the grip shifter was the company’s first product. Shimano invented the first index shifting system with defined stops between gears in 1984, which replaced continuous shifting’s gear-hunting.
Index shifting is currently found on nearly all modern bicycles. Shimano introduced the first clipless pedal system in 1990, with recessed cleats in the shoe bottoms that allowed the shoes to be worn for walking. Shimano released the first commercially available electronic shifting system in 2009, which shifts faster and self-calibrates than cable-based systems.
Who makes better bicycle chains? (Sram Vs Shimano Chain)
Every rider wants to know the answer to this question. It’s a difficult question to answer because each rider will have their own preferences.
Both manufacturers are doing an excellent job with groupsets, as evidenced by the data. Every rider has come across and utilized both Shimano and SRAM-equipped bikes at some point in their lives.
You’ve established your own impressions and likes/dislikes about a manufacturer as a result of this. As a result, this is a highly subjective topic.
1. Sram PC 1130 VS SHIMANO Ultegra/XT CN-HG701
Now that we have established that the bicycle chain manufacturer who makes “the best” chains could be subjective among different users, let us compare the most popular and best-selling chains from both Shimano and Sram.
How did we choose which models from each manufacturer to compare? First, we took the best-selling bicycle chain from both of these companies from amazon.
Sram PC 1130 is an 11-speed chain designed to turn a Red 22, Force 22 or, Rival 22 cassette. It is advertised to have solid pin construction and smooth, efficient shifting. Installation of the chain is easy and requires no tools. It is also coated with a decent protecting lubricant.
Most people who own and use this chain love its reliability, and it’s interchangeable with Shimano chains. It is great for beginners as it is easy to install and clean regularly. And as far as shifting is concerned, it is smooth and reliable.
The weight of this chain is about 294 grams; its dimensions are 17.91 x13.39 x 10.43 inches. But, ultimately, due to its awesome price tag, it is so popular!
2. SHIMANO Ultegra/XT CN-HG701
SHIMANO HG701 is an 11-speed chain designed for mountain biking on Shimano 11-speed drivetrains. Shimano HG701 weighs about 257 grams, and its dimensions are 9×2.5×0.5 inches.
The outer links of this chain are zinc-alloy plated along with SIL-TEC coating for durability. In addition, it boasts building materials like stainless steel for its strength and reliability.
Shimano chains are a common buy if you use a Shimano-equipped bike. But even among different Shimano chains available, this one really stands out. As it is durable, you can get a lot of mileage out of this chain. Therefore, it is a perfect chain if you tend to be a heavy rider of bicycles.
Both Shimano and SRAM manufacture high-quality products, yet their approaches and styles are distinct. Shimano is the more conservative of the two brands. SRAM has increased its focus on drivetrain innovation over the previous decade. Shimano has been compelled to respond in several instances to stay competitive.
I’ve been fortunate enough to ride more bicycles than the average consumer. I’ve also known a few coworkers who are devoted to their preferred brand. It often comes down to little subjective factors like feel, ergonomics, and appearance for these finicky riders. Countless times, I’ve switched back and forth.
If you’re on the fence, we recommend going for a ride on both and making adjustments as needed. It may be tough logistically or monetarily to do so, but it may provide you with the certainty you need to choose the best brand for you. And remember, whatever of your allegiances, the essential thing is that you’re riding a bike that you enjoy.