Home > Bike Types > Cyclocross

EB16: KMC blacks out the chain, adds more DLC colors, more

22
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

Earlier this year, KMC updated their X-shaped chain plates with additional chamfering all around the edges to make them shift evem smoother. That improved shaping is available on their top of the line DLC (Diamond Like Coating) chains in a growing rainbow of colors.

If you prefer the murdered out, all-black look, the new X11EL Blacktech chain might be for you…

kmc-X11EL-blacktech-11-speed-bicycle-chain

All new is the X11EL Blacktech “extra light” chain for 11 speeds. Not DLC, and it’s not a coating, which means the color will stay because it’s essentially part of the material. It’s a 2-part process that first treats each individual piece, then done again once it’s all assembled, so it’s all black even inside and between links, but the “how” of it is their secret. It doesn’t add any slickness, just good looks, but is very rust resistant. 256g for 118 links. Available now, €50 same as XL11 Ti-Nitride Gold.

They’re also getting into E-bike sprockets because their chains were wearing out the stock sprockets and customers were complaining. So they designed something stronger for the Bosch mid-motor system up front and the NuVinci (20t) and Shimano (17-21t) internally geared hubs out back.

KMCchain.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

22 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Greg
Greg
6 years ago

They should have done the double treatment with the DLC chains. Always bothered me that the DLC was not applied in the most important part – between the links and roller.

Allan
Allan
6 years ago

How long does the color last before getting scratched off?

Also a “murdered out black chain” is easy… Just don’t clean your chain and voila, black chain!

Eirik
Eirik
6 years ago
Reply to  Allan

I have had the blacked out on my DH bike for a season now, and it’s still black. (I clean and lube it after every ride, which helps prevent wear.) I also have the black and red chain (X10SL DLC version), which first was on my DH bike for 2 seasons before I switched it over to my commuter ratbike 2 years ago, which is still going strong and has a lot of colour left.

I never buy anything else. I used to wear out 2 chains a year on my DH bike, but after switching, I can run them 1,5-2 seasons. I’m not sure why, Might be the slippyness or hardness, but they last me a lot longer than any other chains I’ve tried. Well worth the extra cost.

jay
jay
6 years ago

do you guys proof read or use spell check? 3 typos in the first paragraph and 1 in the last.

Greg
Greg
6 years ago
Reply to  jay

It is proper grammar to spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence.

Brian Baker
Brian Baker
6 years ago
Reply to  Greg

No he isn’t talking about spelling out numbers he’s talking about spelling the tip if the line when I’m sure you meant top of the line. Later in the last paragraph he wrote Bosch mid motor system up fromt when I’m sure he meant up front. A few small things but just saying people are paying attention to the details.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian Baker

um greg is commenting on jays reply not the article

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

Black chain, uhh isnt that a standard color for like ever?

Seraph
Seraph
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Chains have been silver for almost the entire lifespan of the bike industry.

TimB
TimB
6 years ago
Reply to  Seraph

eeeer no, they’re mostly a gun metal colour. Plated chains only came along much later

Seraph
Seraph
6 years ago
Reply to  TimB

Gunmetal is still what I would call silver. It’s the natural color of the steel. It’s not black.

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago

Just had one of their SL chain die on me in less then 500 miles

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  myke2241

On the flipside for the last few years since SL11 has been available I get a solid 3k miles from them every time. On two bikes, one Shimano one Campy.

John McNulty
John McNulty
6 years ago
Reply to  myke2241

I get at least 3000 miles out of KMC X10SL’s. I clean the chain every 200 miles or so with Rock N’ Roll Gold and my chains seem to last just fine. Of course, I do live in California but I use my chains hard though doing plenty of low-rpm climbs at threshold power in training and I compete in plenty of races as well.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago

The colour serves as an indicator of chain cleanliness. Single digit numbers should be written as a word when used in a sentance.

TheKaiser
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyler Benedict

Just keep the good info coming! All of the non pedants among us knew what you meant anyway!

bob
bob
6 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

Proper spelling is important to readers. It makes articles more enjoyable to read. That its typed on a phone or a type machine is not the reader’s problem…

Ap style though, not caring.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  bob

*it’s

crbike
crbike
6 years ago

I love the new black and blue chain I purchased, but man is the packaging way overkill. It’s no wonder their colored chains are so expensive, it’s all in the packaging. I felt a little better about it once I saw the box that the sram etap group comes in.

duder
duder
6 years ago

I’ve been looking for a chain with superior optical stability…

Who am I kidding, I’m a sucker, and that pink chain would look dope with my blue frame.

Jeff
6 years ago

I overheard the KMX rep talk up the DLC coating to a few customers at an event last year and what he was saying seemed far fetched. Later on that day I picked up a DLC chain and after I installed it on a bike that currently had a XL 11 chain, I’m a believer, never thought a chain could make that much of a difference, a difference that I would equate to running ceramic bearings in all your drivetrain parts.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.