SRAM Cassette and Chain Review

News & Results

03/6/2004| 0 comments
by Dave Osborne
SRAM's PG-970 cassette.
SRAM's PG-970 cassette.

SRAM Cassette and Chain Review

We've tested the SRAM PG-970 cassette and PC-99 HollowPin Chain.

Just after the weather gave me a chance to test SRAM's PG-970 cassette and PC-99 HollowPin chain, we got a blizzard and 18 inches of snow! Oh well, it gives me some time to write my review.


I still have a SRAM Gripshift on my trusty Trek 2000. Come to find out, that was SRAM's intro into the bicycle component marketplace in 1987.


For this test, I put the top of the line PG-970 11-23 9 speed cassette on my Orbea. Since I was being lazy, I left my Shimano chain on to see if there were any compatibility issues. According to SRAM, their chains are Shimano and Campy compatible while their cassettes are Shimano compatible.


I didn't have any trouble using the SRAM cassette with my Shimano components. Shifting was constant and I could run up and down the gears without any jumps or throws off the cassette or front rings. There was no difference detected when I used the SRAM chain.  Shifting was precise and there was no hesitation. The hollow pin chain is lighter at 270 grams. It seemed to me that it didn't make as much noise as the Shimano. I am concerned about gunk building up in the holes of the links and foresee taking more time to clean it. The nickel plating will prevent corrosion.


The SRAM PG-970 11-23 cassette was noticeably light. The chrome plating made it stand out. An unusual feature was the orange colored translucent spacers between the gears. The mating of the plastic spacers to the gears was very refined and tightly assembled. The entire unit had a high level of quality from the main gear block down to the lock ring. There is only one visible rivet which is recessed. It consisted of 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 23 teeth gears. There were numbered stampings indicating the amount of teeth on all but the 14 and 15 teeth gears.  As I mentioned above, both chain combinations worked flawlessly with the PG-970 cassette.



Shifting was consistent throughout the big and little rings and going between the rings. I tried to make it jump off by applying power from the big ring but it held.


I know SRAM quality will stand up as my Gripshift is still going strong. Their components have also stood up in a little race called the Tour de France! I'm sure stage winner Tyler Hamilton and CSC teammates found them to work well. I appreciate SRAM as a company also. They are sponsors of national teams to regional and local racers. You can find them at road races and single track events. Their philosophy of making bicycling better holds true. I like the niche SRAM has made for itself. They seem to make specific products that do the job.


Buy the SRAM products online:

SRAM PG-970 cassette (previously called R9)icon

SRAM PC-99 HollowPin chainicon

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