If there is any part of your bike that should be monitored closely, it’s the chain. Worn chains can cause sloppy shifting and irritating noises and put a damper on your riding experience when they are not properly maintained and replaced when necessary. If you’ve ever experienced a broken chain due to neglect, you know what we’re talking about. KMC has been in the chain business for years and has produced some of the best in the market. The X11-93 maintains the quality and strength KMC’s chains are known for but offers a more affordable package.
The X11-93 uses much of the established technology found in KMC’s higher-end chains. To minimize wear and tear, KMC gives the X11 a treatment to keep the chain from stretching and rein- forces the pins. The inner plates have small grooves (chamfers) to help shed mud and ensure chain retention on the front rings.
The X11 has a non-directional design and will work with SRAM or Shimano drivetrains. Retail is set at $40, and the length is 118 links.
On the trail:
Installing the X11-93 is pretty simple, especially since it isn’t a directional chain. Instead of a pin, the X11 uses a master link to connect the two ends. With 118 links this chain can be installed on just about any 1×11 drivetrain. If you are using a bigger Shark cog in the rear, though, you might not have enough links, depending on the size of your front chainring.
During our testing the shifting performance was flawless between the SRAM and Shimano drivetrains. We did use the X11 for a recent test of narrow-wide chainrings and were impressed with its ability to work with various brands of front rings. Over the course of several months, the chain stretched very little, confirming the quality of the stretch-proof design. While no chain is going to last forever, we found the shift quality, noise reduction and durability to be right on par.
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