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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-19-12, 12:45 AM   #1
TrojanHorse 
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New chain.... who'd a thunk it

SO I did a little routine maintenance on Sunday including installing a new chain. My old SRAM PC-1031 chain had about 2000 miles on it and was somewhere between 0.5 and 0.75% stretched according to Park tools.

Everybody and their dog seems to recommend KMC chains (and I believe KMC OEM's the other main recommendation - Shimano chains) so I purchased a fancy one - X10SL or some such thing, from Amazon. It has fancy little X-shaped cutouts in the side plates which purportedly leads to better shifting.

I finally hopped on the bike for a short ride tonight after sunset and really... the shifting was better, possibly just because it's a new, unstretched chain, but the new chain is SIGNIFICANTLY quieter than the old one. Although it's possible that's just because it's new, my old chain was never this quiet. I like quiet.

Anyway, thumbs up for KMC chains.
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Old 12-19-12, 11:02 AM   #2
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Cautionary Tale: I bought a KMC chain... once! It was one of their cheaper DX10SC chains. Used in on my touring bike for ~500 miles, then left to ride down the Pacific Coast. The Missing Link broke at the end of the first day. Luckily I had a couple of spare master links and a chain tool to remove the twisted links. A couple of hundred miles after that, the chain was stretched so much that shifting became very problematic. Luckily, I was able to find a replacement SRAM chain along the way.

The KMC chain you've purchased is much nicer than the one I bought. That said, after my experience with the DX10SC I wouldn't feel comfortable riding a KMC chain without a spare Missing Link and a Park CT-5 mini chain tool...

BTW, I find that the new SRAM PC-1091 chains are noticeably quieter than the old PC-1090 chains. They're my chain of choice these days.
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Old 12-19-12, 12:01 PM   #3
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I tried Chain-L lube, which is promoted by FBinNY in the Mechanics forum.
http://www.chain-l.com/

It was basically to support a fellow BF member.
I thought my drive train was pretty quiet before. I was extremely surprised that I had to redefine my version of "quiet".
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Old 12-19-12, 02:28 PM   #4
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My LBS sells KMC. I've replaced mine a few times and have had no issues. Quiet. Shifts smoothly. However I keep it lubed. Once a week when I'm riding outside, which is most of the year: wipe off, a drop at each roller, let sit for 30 minutes or longer, then a wipe off has given me great chain life and quiet service.
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Old 12-19-12, 10:53 PM   #5
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Interesting cautionary tale about KMC - thanks sstorkel. i had pc-1091 to start the year and frankly, it was perfectly fine. I swapped cassettes and needed a longer chain so I bought whatever my LBS had laying around (PC-1031) and I didn't notice it being louder, at least at the time.

regardless, it'll be interesting to see how many miles i get out of this chain.
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Old 12-20-12, 07:00 AM   #6
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I get between 6-8000km out of the KMC gold chain, the real expensive one can't remember the right name. This year they didn't have any on ribble so I went with the cheap grey version. About 1/4 of the cost, shifted the same and so far have about 4500km on it without issue. I will admit I likely change my chain out early but I believe it helps with the life of other components. Since 2007 I have replaced one cassette, no chain rings but 10 chains between two bikes.
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Old 12-20-12, 08:18 AM   #7
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I only ride expensive KMC chains because I'm worth it. Not only do they shift extremely well, they last much longer that any other chains I have used, and I typically don't take good care of my chains.
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