Taya’s uniquely simplified Onze EVO-Light rollerless chain promises to reshape how performance chains are made. By removing one of just four elements that make up a bicycle chain, Taya says their new lightweight no-roller chain reduces drivetrain friction, retains lubrication without contamination better, and simply lasts longer.

Taya Onze EVO-Light unique lightweight, simplified rollerless chain

We got an exclusive up close sneak peek at the rollerless chain prototype on the occasion of Taya’s 50th anniversary almost two years ago when visiting them in Taiwan where the chains are produced. But now the Onze EVO-Light rollerless chains have made it through final production, and will be available globally very soon.

Taya Onza EVO-Light rollerless chain, simplified lightweight durable bicycle chains
c. Taya

Originally developed to create a simplified and longer-wearing chain, Taya says the result actually delivers improved shift performance over the life of the chain, a quieter-running drivetrain, and a lower weight – claimed real 5% weight savings (248g vs. 268g), although our prototype comparison showed 2% savings.

Onze EVO-Light – Tech details

Taya Onza EVO-Light rollerless chain, simplified lightweight durable bicycle chains, rendering

The tech of Taya’s Onze EVO-Light remains the same as we saw before. The innovation comes entirely in the more complexly-shaped, forged inner plates, with half of the chainring/cog roller interface formed into each side plate. Then, joined together with a conventional riveted pin & the standard outer plates, the two sides of the inner plates effectively create their own built-in roller.

Taya Onza EVO-Light rollerless chain, simplified lightweight durable bicycle chains, forged inner plate detail

Since the conventional wearing surface between roller & inner plate is removed (the same wearing surface between the pin & inner plates is still there), this new chain design is said to wear more evenly throughout the life of the chain.

Taya Onza EVO-Light rollerless chain, simplified lightweight durable bicycle chains, lube reservoir detail

Also the half-roller forging process creates a hollow trough, open to the pin-to-inner plate interface, but closed off from the outside by the outer plates. Taya says this helps retain lubricant where it is needed, while protecting chain lube from outside contamination.

Taya Onza EVO-Light rollerless chain, simplified lightweight durable bicycle chains, details

The chain’s outer plates remain mostly unchanged, and like with the inner plates, they feature complex inner & outer chamfered shaping for optimized shifting. Each element of the whole assembly is also treated with Taya’s ‘thermochemical’ DHT (Diamond Hard Technology) coating that promises “up to 25% increased surface hardness” further reducing wear & slowing chain stretch.

Taya Onze EVO-Light rollerless chain – Pricing & availability

Taya Onza EVO-Light rollerless chain, simplified lightweight durable bicycle chains, options

Taya’s new rollerless chains keep the same Onze name (French for eleven) as the rest of their high-performance 11-speed chains, but get a new EL designation for the Evo-Light series (not to be confused with the e-series for e-bike chains). The rollerless Onze EVO-Light is being offered first as an 11-speed chain (EL-ONZE-117) in silver only for $55 / 53€ / £49. These chains have already begun received by some distributors, so we expect global availability before the start of spring. An even lighter version with perforated side plates also appears to be in development.

Taya Onza EVO-Light rollerless chain, simplified lightweight durable bicycle chains, singlespeed & city 7sp

A rollerless EVO-Light version of Taya’s 12-speed Tolv chain is also in the works now, with availability expected later in the year. Rollerless singlespeed and 5/6/7 speed chains are also already available now, for extended life of kids’ & city bikes.



  1. @Ac, it’s amazing how many times a brain can ignore what’s right in front of it and keep repeating the same error. I got it right two years ago. And now I’ve corrected it here, since I probably need another coffee. Thanks for the sharp eye.

  2. Odd thing here – very few, I mean VERY few things are made with the sole intention of being on a bicycle. For the most part things are adapted to fit within the parameters of a bicycle (or skateboard or what ever). The .5″ roller chain (pin center to pin center) is used for thousands of applications beyond bikes (and fine tuned to our uses).

    Most bearings in a bike were “for” another use (in general, machine systems that maintain RPM and loads far beyond a bike). In the not too distant past CaneCreek tried to use a food service bearing (self lubricating) that had dimensions to fit into a BB (with less than stellar results due to corrosion).

    On to chains…”if” this made sense…would some vendor of chains not have already taken the “roller” out of the roller chain in other applications? I have to think the answer would be yes. This may simply be a problem looking for the solution, or the solution to the problem we do not have – or, simply a bad idea.

    • Many engines use timing chains with no rollers. Its not anything new. Also, just to push back against your categorization of the bicycle components being second to other applications: If you look at the development of ball bearings, high grade steel tubing, pneumatic tires, and more you will see that bicycles were actually the driving force behind the development of these technologies. There are many, many applications for the bearings we use in our hubs and BBs from blenders to skateboards. Lots of standardized grades and specs for such products that suit many applications.

    • None Given – “In the not too distant past CaneCreek tried to use a food service bearing (self lubricating) that had dimensions to fit into a BB (with less than stellar results due to corrosion).”

      Which bearings are you referring to? Because I was looking at the SKF MTRX (which is what CaneCreek appears to be using) and it seemed like they had been released quite recently.
      Are they already seeing issues with corrosion with these bearings?

  3. This is a cost down spun to look like a performance advantage. Less material, less parts, less steps in the assembly, means cheaper to manufacture. Kudos if it delivers on it promise of less friction and weight. Then its win-win. It seems like it should be able to do so, let’s see some testing. Only question I have is won’t it have more friction between it and the cog. Does the roller roll with the cog? I’m not sure.

  4. These claims seem to me quite improbable. For one, the roller never was an important factor in chain wear because roller wear does not add up. It is the wear between the pins and the bushings (which in bike chains have been substituted by the shoulders of the inner sideplates) that adds up and constitutes most of the chain elongation “stretch” that limits chain life.

    Eliminating the rollers is more likely to increase chain friction rather than reduce it. The rollers facilitate sliding between the sprocket teeth and the chain bushings/shoulders, and the absence of rollers will concentrate this sliding on one contact surface rather than two, which is in principle less good.

    As the contact surfaces between pins and shoulders seem to be smaller than on a conventional chain, thus concentrating forces and increasing tensions, the articulation losses and articulation wear might well also be greater.

    A plausible plus for this construction is that it – perhaps – accomodates more cross-chaining.

  5. color me skeptical about the “advantages”. I think these chains will put more wear on chainrings and cogs due to the absence of a roller to allow the chain to roll down the tooth face before fully engaging. So I’ll just wait to see what kind of results real world users are getting.

  6. It seems to me a roller-less chain will make the aluminum chainrings, and steel cogs, wear faster. Rollers have always been the softest part of a chain – because they are not forged – so would wear the fastest. Which would you like to replace every year, a $40-60 chain or a $60-70 chainring and $100-200 cassette?

  7. I’ll wait. Would like to hear from some 25k miles/ year riders to test it out. Oval fancy chainrings or a $400 cassette are a lot more expensive to replace than a $50 chain that wear them down faster. I think Tom is cautiously skeptical for good reason.

  8. I had the precise samee conclusions that Frank and Tom already posted above. And I’ll add this: That split line (with radii inherent to a punching operation) will not withstand the constant bending forces in a multi gear drivetrain. Less surface contact area, a natural splitline to be exploited (rivets cannot be tight without locking chain links) so wear will be faster. That said, maybe use this on single speed setups?

  9. Back to the future.
    doesn’t make sense.
    the contact point between the pins and the link is the crucial point which causes the chain extension.
    as far as my logic gos the rollers reducing chan rings ware.

  10. I tried to order the “self lubricating” bearings that were talked about not long ago. Just after the new year I spoke with them about ETA and availability and I was given the info on corrosion. Said they are working on it…in the mean time I have a regular ol’ Hellbender.

    If you google CaneCreek Self Lubricating you will see what I am referring to.

  11. straight away I can see through the BS. As a tribologist i can see the problems already. I’ll be avoiding this product shark tank thank you. Replacing rolling frictions with sliding friction is a recipe for faster sprocket tooth and chainring wear

    • Not only that, but a good portion of the rollers’ circumference will never been in contact with the teeth, concentrating all the wear on a smaller surface area.

  12. timing chains in motor car engines run at splash lubricated and run at a much higher speed across sprocket teeth with a profile designed for sliding but also the surface finishes allows for hydrodynamic lubrication to take place. Only at start up is there any actual metal to metal contact and that’s taken care of by EP additives.
    This Taya rollerless chain is just marketing drivel. This chain will wear your drivetrain if it doesn’t wear because the whole point of the roller is to distribute load and trap lubricant. The roller rolls into the sprocket tooth profile and that reduces wear. If the chain slides in it will wear your sprockets and chain rings. NO THANKS! Seems Taya chains are going from bad to worse

  13. Excellent. My chain rings and cassette last far too long. I mean why replace a $50 chain before it wears enough to then wear the $500 chain rings and cassette. Far better to wear them out first and replace. Then all you have to do is flip the chain inside out and you have a fresh un worn surface to wear out the next $500 set of coponents.

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