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ebike specific chain vs regular chain

Video: Ebike specific chain – is it worth it?

Any point of just marketing?

We’re seeing more and more ebike specific products. Are they really necessary? Won’t regular bike gear do for an emtb?

This time I’m taking a look at the Shimano CN E6090-10. This is an ebike specific chain. This is just one test of two chains, it’s not enough data to say anything about ebike specific chains in general, but the result is interesting none the less

  1. That’s a cool test @knut7 with a half & half chain :) Thanks for doing it!

    The only thing I’d say is, it’s a shame we don’t know what the initial "wear" of the chains was at brand new when you bought them. I wonder if the KMC chain is built to a better specification and allows for more wear, or whether it just wears less. Not that it really matters, as whichever one needs replacing later is the winner :)

  2. The guy I ride with was getting 200-250Km out of his chains on his Levo HT. The first chain lasted 1400KM? They were all OEM too, not aftermarket.
    He’s now put a complete chainset with 10 speed cartridge, KMC chain etc.and has so far done 160Km, with no wear showing on his gauge, where the last 2 chains would have been around 0.75%. Specialised have paid 50% towards the cost of the upgrade as a warranty goodwill gesture. You don’t get much fairer than that imo.

    My wife’s Haibike has had a KMC chain from new & she’s done just over 500 miles. Partly on the southdowns way, so not all flat stuff.
    I guess you get what you pay for as usual.

  3. That’s crazy! But not surprising.

    KMC announced earlier this year that they are coming to market with an E specific chain and through testing it’s supposed to have greater burst strength – no mention of wear resistance, just greater burst strengrh

  4. That’s crazy! But not surprising.

    KMC announced earlier this year that they are coming to market with an E specific chain and through testing it’s supposed to have greater burst strength – no mention of wear resistance, just greater burst strengrh

    KMC already makes the X11e, an eBike specific chain boasting "3X the durability." It came stock on my 2106 Levo FSR. They are around US$50.

  5. I’m considering doing another rewview with 11 speed chains. I want to test the KMC X11e, not sure what to put it up against. The Sram PC-X1 perhaps, or just the regular X11…
  6. My stock KMC E11 was at 0,5 at 400km. I`m at 300km on a Shimano Ch-e8000 now, and will run it until 0,5 for comparison.
    Not decided if i wil run them to 0,75 yet, or just toss them in the bin at 0,5.

    Both chains gets the same use with little variation (hard trail), and _very_ often cleaned and lubed.
    Only 73kg rider. A bit dissapointed of the short life of the chain.

  7. knut7: Very clever and simple idea how to test two chains against each other! This is the only way to get exactly same environmental and usage conditions for both of the chains.

    11 speed chain test would be even more interesting.. Maybe linking three chains together – Shimano, SRAM and KMC ;)

  8. IMO this is a bit of an oversimplification and it’s a balance of sacrifice of cassette / chain ring Vs Chain.
    So if the chain is more sacrificial (quicker wear) then the cassette should last longer.. as long as you change your chain early that it doesn’t damage the cassette due to excessive wear then you’ll probably save money in the long run as good Ebike cassettes are multiple times the cost of a chain.

    A good cleaning and lube routine and don’t use ceramic lubes is probably the most important thing other than well set up gears and proper shifting technique on MTBs. Plate buckle, snap resistance (ultimate tensile strength) and shifting performance are also factors to consider not just wear.

    Still it’s a reasonable test in real world conditions but all you can say really is the e bike specific chain is softer wearing which depending on how you maintain and replace your chain could actually be cheaper overall?

  9. good Ebike cassettes

    There’s no such thing.

    A Deore full steel cassette is about the most durable cost affective cassette out there and costs only a little more than most folk spend on a chain.

    the e bike specific chain is softer wearing which depending on how you maintain and replace your chain could actually be cheaper overall?

    Sorry but this thinking is complete insanity.
    The wear parts of any bicycle chain are the rollers and pins.
    how on earth can replacing more expensive less durable chains more frequently possibly be cheaper overall than running nice durable cheap chains which need replaced less frequently?

  10. Being a big unit, and found chains that I got decent life with on my multi-geared bikes used to have failures after a couple hundred km on my singlespeed as I would really have to put the power on to climb most anything. I soon found specific SS chains that were a little heavier in build to be a much safer option. I am running Sram NX Eagle on my Scott and KMC X11ET on my Levo. Will replace the NX with a KMC e series if they have one for a 12sp once that needs replacing.
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