KMC X10SL DLC Chain Review

Super short review, because of super-short experience.

When I got the ENVEs, I got a new cassette.  With a new cassette + the mileage I had on my old chain, a new chain was necessary.  When replacing any parts on the Ridley, or on any of the RATG bikes, I tend to look and try to do cost-benefit analysis on potential upgrades.  In the case of chains, Tobie from NCC suggested that I look at the KMC X10SL DLC, “diamond like coating” 10 speed, Shimano-compatible chain.  He had run one on his Madone for well over a year, with a ton of miles, and great results.  With a recommendation like that, I was game to try it.

The chain comes in blingy black and red, with a subtle effect that looks good on the Ridley.

So far, I have ~1,500 miles on the chain, with no palpable wear of any kind.  It’s been holding up perfectly.  I had a little shifting clunkiness recently, but that was traced to a derailleur alignment issue.  A little hanger straightening (thanks, Hand of Midas + Park Tools), and she’s good as new.

I check my chain wear with a wear indicator on a every 3-4 week basis.  There is nothing palpable here, yet.  I know, some run really cheap chains, some run minimal maintenance programs.  More power to them.  I have restrictions on the time that I have to allocate to riding…so when I can ride, I like everything to perform perfectly.  For that reason, I chase my bike maintenance carefully.  With my 1500 miles and Tobie’s several thousand, I can’t say anything that’s not to like about the DLC…except perhaps for the price.  The coating has shown no issues with durability, and the chain comes with a reusable (and very easy to use) quick link to connect it.  Weight for my chain, in use with a 53/39 chainring and 11-28 cassette (and proper length therefor) is about 220 grams.  I’ll update at some future point if and when it dies.  Because the DLC is rated for very good corrosion resistance (and because it’s black and red), when my Mukluk gets a new chain this fall, the DLC will be the chain for me.

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7 thoughts on “KMC X10SL DLC Chain Review

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