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I would bother with a top of the line chain, but if you look around you can find it for less than $200 online, or at least you should be. I usually find a X ring chain for around $120 bucks or so if I keep my eyes peeled.

Depending on the bike, 20K miles is pretty reasonable for a chain. I tend to get about 16K, but it all depends how's it's used, how it's lubed, and how much power it has to transmit. I suppose chain life is also related to how often you're willing to adjust the slack. Once it has to be adjusted every 500 miles I'm replacing mine.
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