KMC X9SL Superlite Chain

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We've had cutters for our frame-prep tools Ti-Nitride coated before. It increases the surface hardness and they last longer, making finer cuts on the head tubes and bottom bracket shells. The KMC X9SL Gold 9-Speed Chain uses the same Ti-nitride coating to give it a superior degree of toughness and durability. And the best part of Ti-nitride? The super sweet gold finish will add some serious bling to your bike.In addition to looking good, the X9SL Gold has hollow link pins and some serious relieving on the inner and outer plates. It will save you about 40 grams over a typical XTR or SRAM 991 chain. The outer plates have chamfered inner surfaces to ensure smooth shifting from cog to cog.The KMC X9SL Gold 9-Speed Chain comes with a quick-connecting link for easy assembly and service.


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[Apr 23, 2012]
Cross Country Rider


unexpectedly long lasting, I honestly thought it would stretch out sooner


noting really, all the hole hold dirt so if you are muddy conditions I would kick down the the solid link models

this is for the TI coated version...

OK, a review on a chain, like what can you really say? [i]"um, I pedal, it goes around and makes my bike go forward, it didn't break" :Smiley:[/i] Well every chain I have ever owned is covered by those statments [i][size=8pt](other than Shimano chains which I have broken and have seen broken more times than I'd like to admit :undecided:)[/size][/i]
There are a few things a little different about the KMC chains though that make them stand out.

One that jumps up and pokes you in the eyes is the bright yellow color of their "TI" coated line of chains. Now at first I thought this to be a gimmicky, blingy, spray on coating to catch the unaware customer's eye and would wear off after a few miles. Well, I can't say with 100% positive assurance that the coating has improved the chain running or shifting in any way, but, [b]it certainly doesn't wear off![/b] After easily 500+ miles of some of the harshest conditions I have ever ridden my bikes in this past winter, including pretty much covering the chain in wet concrete/processed stone dust for last 20 of those miles, :undecided: the chain's Ti coating still looks like new after a quick wipe down cleaning. The one thing [b]I CAN say with 100% assurance[/b] is that the coating made cleaning off a great deal easier. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with it for that reason alone! :o

Another thing that visually stands out with their chains is the distinctive "X" print on the outer links. Now I have never actually sat down and measured the width but it does seem the chain is a micro tad wider than most standard 9 speed chains. Maybe it's just me, but it was a bit more finicky to get shifting adjusted properly to avoid ghost shifts after installing either of the KMC chains than it was with my normal brand of chain. But, once I fine tuned the rear derailleur/shifter it does seem to snap rather quickly when working the chain up or down the rear cassette. Honestly the average rider probably wont care or notice but the racer types may want to give it a try for that added reason.

One last visual item is the knock out in the links of the 2 higher end chains, something the weight weenies will appreciate. You'll find comparing a KMC chain in the same class/pricepoint will usually be a gram or two lighter than the major players chains. Which again, the average rider wont care about or even notice, but the racer/weight weenie who's worried about every micro gram will :D I have heard a few rumors about the the chain stretching rather quickly but I haven't had any issues with either of the chains running on both of my bikes and so haven't bothered to check them for stretch yet, But will soon and post up either way. The differences between the X9, X9L & the X9SL is basically a little weight savings they get by knocking out another chuck in the middle of the links, buy the one that show's your weight weenie status! :undecided: :laugh: ^-^ I've even heard of people using their 10 speed chains on 9 speed bikes to save a 1/2 a gram!! ^-^

They have the convenience of the quick link which operates like every other brands and making installation and removal for cleaning rather easy! Honestly, any manufacture that hasn't adopted these isn't to bright ::)

[b][color=blue]All in all I give both the X9SL-Ti and the X9L-Ti[/color] [color=red]a 9 out of 10,[/color] [/b]
I personally will continue to use the KMC chains and will stick with those lines with the Ti coating as it really seems to help repeal dirt and grime, though, I will probably get a standard X9-Ti over the L or SL lines as the weight weenie in me has less authority over purchases than the wallet monster does :wink:

If you are in the market for a new chain, replacing you whole drivetrain or building a new bike, I highly recommend looking into trying out the KMC line on chains, you can usually get a higher level/quality chain for less [color=green]$$green$$[/color] ;D

Similar Products Used:

Multiple Sram and Shimmy chains

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