Thursday, March 01, 2012

Chain Maintenance - KMC X10SL DLC Red/Black

As part of chain maintenance (cleaning and lubing) chain length should be measured. In a typical road chain the links are half an inch apart, so 24 links should measure 12 inches. Here my chain has "stretched" to 12 1/8 inches which is about a 1% stretch.
There are many types of chain checkers. This is a good detailed article about chain wear and chain measuring tools. I use a Park CC-2 chain checker tool. As they wear, chains don't really stretch, but the pins and bearings wear, causing the taut chain to elongate. A worn chain will not match the pitch of the sprockets and can cause skipping, decreased transmission efficiency, and sprocket teeth wear.
The CC-2 has two pins that fit between links of a chain. The top wing is pressed until the pins are tight and the amount of chain wear is read in the top window.
Top view of the CC-2 shows that my old chain has worn over 1%. Park recommends replacing a 10 speed chain at .75% wear.
The new KMC chain comes in a jewelry box. Like a diamond necklace does. . . it costs almost as much.
Not sure if I should wear it around my neck or use it on my bike. KMC chains feature hollow pins and links making it the "Super Lightest" in the world, an "X-bridge" outer plate for quick and quiet shifting, a Titanium Nitride coating for durability. This red/black chain also has a DLC - diamond like coating which makes it even more wear resistant. I am not sure if you can get more catch phrases and acronyms to describe a chain as KMC does. Does anyone know what KMC stands for?
Laying out the new and old chains. Same number of links, but the old chain is longer. I've logged over 6,200 miles on the old chain without any problems.
Once the new chain is measured side-by-side to the old chain, a chain break tool is used to remove the pin at the appropriate link.
After routing the new chain through the sprockets and gears, the free ends are joined by the "Missing Link".
Red and Black links complement the graphics on my BMC. Who says only "fixies" can be stylish?

No comments: