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KMC chain on sram

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KMC chain on sram

Old 05-09-21, 09:11 AM
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oujeep1
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KMC chain on sram

I recently took my Tarmac on which I have SRAM Red Etap 11 sp compact crank in for routine servicing, took it to local REI store, the best wrench I know of had moved there from the LBS I frequented when they were bought out by TREK. He wasn't there when I dropped off the bike, dude checked it told me, as I suspected already, it needed a new chain, they don't have SRAM but would put on KMC which was compatible. He was there when I picked it up didn't say anything about chain.
So ever since I got it back drive train is really noisy, I thought while riding it was front derailleur rubbing but putting the bike up on the work stand that is not the case, the noise is mainly coming from the rear derailleur, worse under load ie going up hill and worse in certain gears. Is this just something the KMC chains do? Anyone else with similar issues? Thanks in advance
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Old 05-09-21, 09:50 AM
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caloso
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You may have needed to change the cassette too. It has nothing to do with the brand of chain.
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Old 05-09-21, 10:10 AM
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Might be everything is nice and clean now and no gunk to muffle the noise. But as @caloso mentioned, might be time to change cassettes.

I'd think that you'd only hear the noise in a few particular cogs if that is true. But if your cassette has many thousands of miles on it and you went beyond the first time you should have changed it, then maybe all the cogs are worn out.

It's also possible that something came out of adjustment. Maybe the mechanic thought something wrong and tweaked it without double checking the result.
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Old 05-09-21, 11:48 AM
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Ask if it was the stretch proof type chain. I had one on my 11 speed red and same thing, noisy as heck. Swapped it out for a regular 11 speed light weight chain. All is right again.
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Old 05-31-21, 12:22 AM
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KMC here. Our chains have been proven to be as good as or better than Sram chains so it's likely another culprit. Good advice above to check the cassette wear or other drivetrain adjustments.
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Old 05-31-21, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
You may have needed to change the cassette too. It has nothing to do with the brand of chain.
I concur it might be time for a new cassette. I use KMC chains all the time on SRAM and Shimano cassettes but I always check the old chain first to see if it is stretched before swapping. If your cassette is worn you can usually tell by putting the chain on the smaller cogs in the rear and pushing hard on the pedals (say going up hill) to test whether it skips. Be prepared for the chain to skip so you don't get caught off balance.
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Old 05-31-21, 06:05 AM
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Just a quick update- replaced the cassette, fixed the problem. Bad on me for not checking it before, but also something I would have expected the shop to catch- I took it to an REI store, the guy who was the wrench at my local bike store moved to REI when the store sold to TREK. He wasn't there when I checked the bike in don't know if he did the work or not. Anyway problem solved. Thanks for the advice to all
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Old 06-02-21, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by oujeep1 View Post
Is this just something the KMC chains do?
No.

I use KMC 11-speed chains on my SRAM eTap-equipped bike with no noise issues whatsoever. Same with my Campy Record and Shimano Ultegra & 105 bikes. Those chains just work.
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Old 06-02-21, 11:33 AM
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I run all my 8 SRAM equipped bikes with KMC 10 and 11 speed chains and have no noise problems.
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Old 06-02-21, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by oujeep1 View Post
Just a quick update- replaced the cassette, fixed the problem. Bad on me for not checking it before, but also something I would have expected the shop to catch- I took it to an REI store, the guy who was the wrench at my local bike store moved to REI when the store sold to TREK. He wasn't there when I checked the bike in don't know if he did the work or not. Anyway problem solved. Thanks for the advice to all
So what was wrong with the cassette?

Or did he just put a cassette on there that is made of different material? My Ultegra cassette is much lighter than my 105 cassette because it is made from different material. They have a distinctively different sound. Though I'd have trouble saying that either is noisy.
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Old 06-02-21, 07:52 PM
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It was just worn out it wasn't a cassette they put on but the one that was already on it.
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Old 06-02-21, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
KMC here. Our chains have been proven to be as good as or better than Sram chains so it's likely another culprit.
Papa, who/what proved KMC chains to be as good or better than SRAM chains? Please provide a link. My experience was the opposite, but I’d like to be well-informed.

Thanks.
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Old 06-02-21, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
Papa, who/what proved KMC chains to be as good or better than SRAM chains? Please provide a link. My experience was the opposite, but Id like to be well-informed.

Thanks.
We have internal test reports showing results, but this could be viewed as biased. So in real life, I primarily deal with all of the bike brands for the OME side of things. Unfortunately we've been blocked from Sram 12 speed specs but all of my customers have tested our 12s chains on all Sram systems and love them....but can't use them. As for 11 speed and below, we dominate chain specs here so this speaks for itself. In regards, to aftermarket, you could see many comments on this forum and some above with the KMC love.
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Old 06-03-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
Papa, who/what proved KMC chains to be as good or better than SRAM chains?
Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
We have internal test reports showing results, but this could be viewed as biased.
Yes, certainly.

From reading the many threads and comments on Bike Forum about KMC vs. [Drivetrain maker's chain], I have surmised that riders choose KMC because they are less expensive than Shimano, SRAM & Campy. These comments describe KMC as just as good as the three drivetrain makers' chains, but I haven't seen anyone describe KMC as better than the other three. They're cheapest.

Other riders who have tried KMC chains found them inferior in performance to Shimano and SRAM. I found a KMC chain to perform less well than both a Shimano chain and a SRAM chain; the KMC was noisy and shifted less quickly. I had never "heard" the chain before I tried KMC, so I went back to Shimano and blessed silence. But the KMC was adequate, and it did shift!

As for 11 speed and below, we dominate chain specs here so this speaks for itself. In regards, to aftermarket, you could see many comments on this forum and some above with the KMC love.
I don't know what "dominate chain specs" means, KMC sell the most? Because they're less expensive?

Looking about for a more neutral assessment of chains, I found this article on CyclingTips.com. It is a report on research done by Zero Friction Cycling. It's pretty nerdy, focussing on durability and efficiency (loss of watts to friction). It doesn't really address the concerns of someone choosing between a $12 KMC chain and a $22 Shimano, but in general, KMC does less well than Shimano, SRAM and Campy.

But again, if the criterion is least expensive, KMC wins every time.

Good luck!
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Old 06-03-21, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post

Looking about for a more neutral assessment of chains, I found this article on CyclingTips.com. It is a report on research done by Zero Friction Cycling. It's pretty nerdy, focussing on durability and efficiency (loss of watts to friction). It doesn't really address the concerns of someone choosing between a $12 KMC chain and a $22 Shimano, but in general, KMC does less well than Shimano, SRAM and Campy.

But again, if the criterion is least expensive, KMC wins every time.

Good luck!
A couple things that I'd point out.
First, you curiously referenced the cyclingtips article which exhibits this chart below. If this thread is about 11sp chains, then SRAM is not looking as great as the others, right?


As for $12 KMC chains, at least for 11 speed, there is no such thing AFAIK. The lowest cost one is this (kinda ugly IMO) one at $25, and aside from KMC's own site, I can't seem to find anyone actually selling these gray ones.


And re: the frictionfacts testing, I believe the lowest cost KMC chain in that test is the X11 SL, which is a $70 chain. (not sure, but perhaps the X11 TT chain is discontinued but I believe was even more expensive). Anyway SRAM Red22 chains seem to MSRP at $45. So, not sure even about KMC winning every time if just looking at cost.
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Old 06-03-21, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
A couple things that I'd point out.
First, you curiously referenced the cyclingtips article which exhibits this chart below. If this thread is about 11sp chains, then SRAM is not looking as great as the others, right?
Hi Sy!

I was not thinking that this was a thread about 11sp chains so much as the OP's question about the KMC chain being noisy vs. a SRAM chain that was not. I had that experience too, but on a 9sp chain.

As for $12 KMC chains, at least for 11 speed, there is no such thing AFAIK.
I'm sure you're correct. Again, I wasn't thinking about 11sp.

Really, I got interested when a KMC rep stated that "Our chains have been proven to be as good as or better than Sram chains so it's likely another culprit." When asked about the "proof," he cited KMC's own testing. So I was looking for other, neutral data on KMC vs. other chains. The CyclingTips article is only generally applicable to the original poster's question, but it does indicate that KMC chains may not be "as good or better" than SRAM chains.

If I were the OP, I'd get myself a SRAM chain for my SRAM drivetrain. KMC is perhaps compatible, but not likely optimized for SRAM, eh?

All best!
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Old 06-04-21, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
Yes, certainly.

But again, if the criterion is least expensive, KMC wins every time.

Good luck!
Thanks for your opinion! I hope you're not calling ALL of KMC's customers cheapskates. JK Some people prefer other brands (including our Shimano chains) and I've found that many of those people can't be swayed. I personally put faith in customer feedback who not only value price but also performance and compatibility and the vast majority of what I hear are that KMC chains perform better, are quieter, and depending on the level of chain you choose, are more durable. We have a lot of time to focus on chains.

As for Cyclingtips testing, Adam Kerin from Zero Friction is the real deal so I can't argue with his results. Our results show differently so it's definitely frustrating. I've been in talks with him to redo the tests as we aren't sure about the chains he tested as they were purchased through unknown channels. Unfortunately he's too busy, but hopefully can get an update on that soon.
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Old 06-04-21, 06:05 AM
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caloso recommended to change the cassette as it was likely the culprit to the noisy drivetrain. The OP updated his thread as he had a new cassette installed and problem solved. It wasnt the chain.

For me personally, I made the switch to KMC X11SL chains over 10 years ago; their black DLC chains once it became available about 7 years ago. These chains just work as advertised. On every build Ive done for the last 10 years, its always been with a hybrid of a drivetrain. Whether with a Rotor 3D+, Praxis crankset mated to a Sram Red, Sram Red etap components or Campy 11, Campy 11 EPS, Campy H11; even the last 3 Campy builds with Sun Race cassettes, Ive never run into any issues with the KMC chains. Always smooth shifting with a quiet drivetrain. Plus, Im also fan of the bling factor.
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