Shimano XTR CN-7701 9 Speed Chain
The benchmark of cross country component design
XTR has been designed to give that expected Shimano reliability while adopting a new generation of shifting, drivetrain and braking systems. From the easy and flexible shifting performance of the Dual Control shift lever to the super-lightweight, linear response, & ultra-light disc brake design, XTR continues to be the benchmark of off-road cross-country component design.
Shimano XTR CN-7701 9 Speed Chain features precision construction, improved durability, Zinc-Alloy plating, and Super-narrow 9-Speed construction.
To me this is the gold standard in 9 speed chains. Extremely quiet and wears forever. I have never busted one and the links don't stretch much over time. Yes, the pins for connecting/disconnecting are a pain, so buy a quick link from sram and use it for the life of the chain. I usually get 3,000-3,500 miles from this chain on the road, and that includes a lot of tough climbing.
Seems to be much stronger than comparable Sram chain, but doesnt have quick link. I am the king of breaking chains and these seem to last the longest.