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Chain options for SRAM 1x11?

Old 11-18-20, 01:42 AM
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surak
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Chain options for SRAM 1x11?

I will eventually need to replace the PC-1110 chain on my 1x foul-weather road bike setup, but I can't figure out what would be a good upper-tier choice if my priorities are speed, weight, and (distance third) longevity, in that order. I'm interested in pairing this chain with the new Silca wet lube, which Josh at Silca is saying is so good that it drives down the cost per mile of more expensive chains to competitive levels. Can I use a Dura-Ace chain, or is it better to use a MTB chain like XTR, or is it better to stick with SRAM (though those don't seem to do very well in friction testing)?
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Old 11-18-20, 01:53 AM
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Yes
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Old 11-19-20, 03:56 AM
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Friction losses in a chain are going to be negligible compared to other sources of resistance - most noticeably wind resistance. My experience with a PC-1110 chain that came on my bike is that they wear out pretty quickly. I replaced it with a PC-1170 and that is doing much better. I would suggest you re-examine your priorities, though. Realistically a chain will make no difference to speed and an unnoticeable difference to weight. Surely the number one priority ought to be reliable gear shifting first and wear second? Just my take on it.

I'm sure a Dua-Ace chain will work very well. My feeling, for what it's worth, is that SRAM designed the chain and components to work together so a SRAM chain ought to give you the best performance. Having said that, I put a KMC chain on my Shimano equipped mountain bike and saw an instant improvement in gear-shifting, so make of that what you will.
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Old 11-19-20, 10:39 AM
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Weight? You're worried about chain weight? And friction? Is the OP for real? Use a SRAM chain that is designed for a 1X drivetrain.
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Old 11-19-20, 03:59 PM
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Sure, why not when a good chain is one of the best cheap marginal gains?

Easy aero gains like riding in a skinsuit aren't reasonable to rock in the winter. Already running GP5K TLs, so rolling resistance isn't a problem. Life's too short to ride on bad tires or inefficient chains, so long as a good chain doesn't drop or somehow shift worse on 1x.
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Old 11-20-20, 02:55 PM
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KMC X11SL or DLC chains.

I recently built up my first 1x bike; Apex RD, Rotor 3D30 42T, Sun Race 11-32 and KMC DLC. I use these chains in all my builds and even on the 1x setup, smooth shifting throughout the cassette range.
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Old 11-22-20, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by primov8 View Post
KMC X11SL or DLC chains.

I recently built up my first 1x bike; Apex RD, Rotor 3D30 42T, Sun Race 11-32 and KMC DLC. I use these chains in all my builds and even on the 1x setup, smooth shifting throughout the cassette range.
I like this guy. KMC here. X11EL and X11SL chains are a great choice for your application. And if you've got some money burning a hole in your pocket, upgrade to the premium DLC11 which reduces friction thanks to a harder coating. All options here: https://www.kmcchain.eu/chain-bike-derailleur#speed11
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Old 11-24-20, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by primov8 View Post
KMC X11SL or DLC chains.

I recently built up my first 1x bike; Apex RD, Rotor 3D30 42T, Sun Race 11-32 and KMC DLC. I use these chains in all my builds and even on the 1x setup, smooth shifting throughout the cassette range.
Currently I have a SRAM PC-1170 with Wipperman link on my Force 1 1x..which are pretty good and wear very well, but when the 1170 wears down I may try an X11SL. I may try the X11-SL on my 2-ring road bike though.

PC 1170 is $34 at Amazon

Last edited by GeneO; 11-24-20 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 11-24-20, 08:39 PM
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Should mention I am also considering a SRAM PC XX1 mountain chain ( I also have an XX1 10-42 cassette that is pretty awesome shifting - machined out of a solid piece of steel). Will probably get this over a KMC.
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Old 11-25-20, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
I like this guy. KMC here. X11EL and X11SL chains are a great choice for your application. And if you've got some money burning a hole in your pocket, upgrade to the premium DLC11 which reduces friction thanks to a harder coating. All options here: https://www.kmcchain.eu/chain-bike-derailleur#speed11
I like the look of those DLC11 chains with the coloured links but I wonder how long they'd look like that. I like to actually ride my bike and, whilst I'm pretty good at keeping it clean, I'm not sure I have the patience to keep a chain looking immaculate.

I note, by the way, that the difference in weight between the heaviest and lightest chains on that page is a mere 20g. I know the chain is whipping around the rear der at considerable velocity but even so I struggle to believe that anyone is going to notice that difference in real life.
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Old 11-25-20, 04:20 AM
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Would this be a training or competitive bike?

In my experience nothing beats training and skills, followed by reliability and the machine's ability to respond to change. Weight shaving and costs are like in the third group. I would make my choices based on that.
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Old 11-25-20, 10:32 AM
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I wonder if there is there is anything in SRAM chains that are compatible with SRAM X-Sync chainrings that would make them work better than non-SRAM chains.
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Old 11-25-20, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
I like the look of those DLC11 chains with the coloured links but I wonder how long they'd look like that. I like to actually ride my bike and, whilst I'm pretty good at keeping it clean, I'm not sure I have the patience to keep a chain looking immaculate.

I note, by the way, that the difference in weight between the heaviest and lightest chains on that page is a mere 20g. I know the chain is whipping around the rear der at considerable velocity but even so I struggle to believe that anyone is going to notice that difference in real life.
I ride DLC with blue inner links and pins and use squirt wax. The color always looks fantastic and there is no color wear.

As for weight, yes it's not much difference but it's relative; you would be surprised at the stringent weight reduction demand from certain rider categories.
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Old 11-25-20, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
I wonder if there is there is anything in SRAM chains that are compatible with SRAM X-Sync chainrings that would make them work better than non-SRAM chains.
Nope. Chain spacing is pretty much created equal to accommodate narrow/wide teeth. It's the plate design that matters with KMC giving more room for chain maneuverability on harsh 1x chainlines while still allowing for outstanding chain retention.
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