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KMC X10SL Gold chain Review

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KMC X10SL Gold chain Review

Old 04-17-06, 06:23 AM
  #1  
rjtokyo
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KMC X10SL Gold chain Review

This is a ride review of the KMC X10SL Gold titanium nitride coated 10-speed chain pictured below:



First off, it's advertised weight is only 240 grams for a 116 link chain, with its hollow pins and slotted plates. That was one thing that initially drew me to the chain, as it's about 55g. lighter than most standard 10S chains. Mine weighed in at 236 grams for 116 links so that was a good start.

I'll do some comparing to the Wippermann 1008 chain, which has been my favorite 10S chain up to this point. In handling the chain before shortening and installing it, it didn't seem as "tight" or "firm" laterally as the Wippermann. Shortening the chain to length and then connecting the ends with the "Missing Link" was a breeze. The Missing Link can be installed in either direction unlike the Wippermann ConnexLink.

The test course today was 53km of hills up to 10% grade with some high-speed descents so I had a chance to shift through the whole cluster and both front rings. This was a real treat! The KMC shifts so smoothly and quickly! (Drive train is Campy Chorus 10S with an FSA 50-34 crankset and IRC RD compact front derailleur.) From the very first shift, the KMC dropped into cogs almost instantly; faster than the Wippermann, which I don't think is bad at all. No missed shifts all day, and shifted well even under load. It runs virtually silent, as does the Wippermann. The titanium nitride coating looks well done and should help prevent chain wear. For performance it gets a full 5.0 stars from me. It's a little pricey ($75 at fairwheelbikes.com but only $55 at totalcycling.com), but when you consider that both Wippermann's 1011 hollow pin at $70, and Campy Record C-10 Ultra Hollow Pin at $60 are both 25+ grams heavier than the KMC and neither are TiN coated, I'd give the blue ribbon to KMC for 1st in top-of-the-line chains. I'd certainly buy one again .

Cheers! - RJ
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Old 04-17-06, 06:35 AM
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I bet Paolo Bettini would love to have one of those on his bike to match his helmet, bar tape, and shoes!

What tool are you using to disconnect/connect the master link on the chain?
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Old 04-17-06, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by CyLowe97
I bet Paolo Bettini would love to have one of those on his bike to match his helmet, bar tape, and shoes!

What tool are you using to disconnect/connect the master link on the chain?
LOL no doubt.

As to the master link question you don't need a tool. I don't have this chain but I do have one of the other KMC 10s chains and the master link comes apart just like the 9 speed SRAM links. My Topeak Hexus did come with a handy bit of bent wire that makes it even easier though as it loops around the rollers of a couple links on opposite sides of the master link and takes the tension off so you can remove it more easily.
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Old 04-17-06, 07:52 AM
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KMC X10 SL and X10SL gold are amazing chains. I've gotten more milage out of them than Record Ultra chains. Cut to length for my 56cm CR1 (I forget the link count... maybe 104)... it weighs 220g.
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Old 04-17-06, 08:03 AM
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240g is pretty good. My PC-99 hollow pin is advertized at 284g @ 114 links, so the KMC is definitely lighter. I think I paid around $50, but that was mail order, so at the $55 the price difference isn't too steep.

Good review.
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Old 04-17-06, 08:15 AM
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I need to buy a new chain soon - this might be a nice option. I like the idea of the "missing link" - will make it easier to clean the chain by simply removing it. Do they hold up as well as a Dura Ace or Ultegra chain? Natural assumption is anything "lightweight" isn't as durable.

Also noticed they have an x10 sl in silver. Is it pretty much the same chain?
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Old 04-17-06, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ravenmore
I need to buy a new chain soon - this might be a nice option. I like the idea of the "missing link" - will make it easier to clean the chain by simply removing it. Do they hold up as well as a Dura Ace or Ultegra chain? Natural assumption is anything "lightweight" isn't as durable.

Also noticed they have an x10 sl in silver. Is it pretty much the same chain?
Hey ravenmore. I can't comment on the KMC's durability yet, but I had an Ultegra 10S chain on this bike before converting the drive train to Campy, and it only lasted about 1K mi. before some of the links started seizing up, and I read about others with the same problem. I then went with a Wippermann and it worked great. I wouldn't buy another Shimano chain again... not when there are better products out there.

The Silver should be the same chain but with a nickel coating rather than TiN. The specs are the same, but I've never seen in writing what the coating is... their website doesn't say anything except "silver."

Cheers! - RJ
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Old 04-17-06, 08:27 PM
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Looks like a great chain...

For those shopping for a new chain, the Record hollow-pin 2005 chain is $34 with free shipping, or $40 for the 2006 version:

http://probikekit.com/display.php?code=l1013

http://probikekit.com/display.php?code=L2006
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Old 04-17-06, 08:35 PM
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The Ultegra chains I've tried have been fairly dissapointing, but I have a dura ace on now that just won't quite give up the ghost. I had a SRAM 9 spd back in my 105 days though, and I loved being able to pop that thing off in a flash to drop in a container of cleaner and really clean it. Thats a big feature in my book.
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Old 04-18-06, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rjtokyo
Hey ravenmore. I can't comment on the KMC's durability yet, but I had an Ultegra 10S chain on this bike before converting the drive train to Campy, and it only lasted about 1K mi. before some of the links started seizing up, and I read about others with the same problem. I then went with a Wippermann and it worked great. I wouldn't buy another Shimano chain again... not when there are better products out there.

The Silver should be the same chain but with a nickel coating rather than TiN. The specs are the same, but I've never seen in writing what the coating is... their website doesn't say anything except "silver."

Cheers! - RJ
If you look at KMC's website it appears that they make chains for Shimano.....
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Old 04-18-06, 08:03 AM
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But they make them to Shimano specifications, not their own. My KMC chain shifts so smoothly, I love it! Lots better than my old shimano chain.

I'm going to try unhooking the master link now, just to see whats up. I was told by my LBS that it was only for easy installation, and that one still needs a chain breaker and a replacement pin if they're going to take it apart, hence why I've never tried it.
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Old 05-01-06, 01:10 PM
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found out the chains are pretty much interchangeable between the two different drive trains - Campy chains will work on shimano and vice versa, so it doesn't matter much I suppose.
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Old 04-29-08, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ravenmore View Post
The Ultegra chains I've tried have been fairly dissapointing, but I have a dura ace on now that just won't quite give up the ghost. I had a SRAM 9 spd back in my 105 days though, and I loved being able to pop that thing off in a flash to drop in a container of cleaner and really clean it. Thats a big feature in my book.
Hey Ravenmore..

How are you removing the chain from that power link? I'm having some problems pinching it open. Are you using pliers?
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Old 04-29-08, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
I'm going to try unhooking the master link now, just to see whats up. I was told by my LBS that it was only for easy installation, and that one still needs a chain breaker and a replacement pin if they're going to take it apart, hence why I've never tried it.
They can be removed by hand, even by a mechanical inept like myself. It takes a little technique, but it's not too difficult once you figure out the right way to push in on the connecting links and then pull the master link apart.

I believe it is discouraged to take them apart and put back together more than once, but I've read folks taking them apart to soak/clean the chain and then reinstall them with no problems.

Oh yeah, I recommend cleaning the chain first, unless you have some Lava or GoJo on hand.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:49 PM
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There is another lightweight gold chain out there. Besides the KMC, there is the YABAN chain.



Product No. SL 101-Ti

Product Name SL 101-Ti

Summary
Dimension:1/2"x11/128"
Color: Ti Gold
Speed of Sprocket:10
Weight:242gr/110L
Pin Length:5.9mm
*DHA chromizing treatment pin enhanced durability
Compatibility: SHIMANO/Campanolo/SRAM 10 speed drive train system
Branded as a Soul chain and Token Acura
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Old 04-29-08, 01:58 PM
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I'm running this chain on my Chorus equipped bike as well. Overall I prefer the the Chorus chain I had on previously by a small margin in performance and at half the price. Have to appreciate a little bling, though. Time will tell on mileage.
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