@Carter This is definitely a huge improvement over the last iteration of the design, but in my experience, low strength gears are better than high strength on the drive. This is especially true with the metal pinions, which increases friction considerably. Using low strength gears will also allow you to reduce the spacing in your drive, which is currently taking up a considerable amount of space. Also, when using chain on drives, it is best to have one continuous piece to make sure the power transfer is even, a large benefit of chained drives.
Edit: If the c channels are bending outward, that likely means the spacing is pushing out and causing friction. Noticing the extra width in the c channel, this might be the cause of the issue.
Awesome, I'll see about LS gears (we don't have any lying around, and the small 12T ones kept breaking last year). We tried using a full length of chain, much like anti did way back in his defense bot, but it ... didn't end very well - lots of skipping, breaking, etc. The C-channel was bending inwards originally, pinching the bearing around the shaft. I bent it back out and now the shaft is free spinning.