Joining Gripped Racing – it seems so long ago, but at the same time it feels like just yesterday. I remember my first team meeting where JB (El Capitan) asked us if we had any ideas for manufacturers with shome we would like to partner, and from the back of the room I rudely shouted out “KMC!” This is because I had been using the KMC SLs since rediscovering what a mountain bike was years before.
I had progressed through 9 and 10 speed drivetrains, and the KMCs had more than proved to be the clear go-to chain for lightness and durability. I adopted the pro trick of carrying a spare quicklink on all my rides and races like the other guys. But since my chains never failed, the same quicklink dangled from my shifter cable for seasons.
For the ’13 season, I graduated to the XX1 11-speed groupo. Since I run the smaller chainrings, a standard length KMC 11-speed chain has always been right at home on my drivetrain.
The first half of the NUE season seemed to be cursed with rain. One 100-mile mountain bike race in the rain and mud is enough to end the service life of a drivetrain, much less a half dozen! I was crying 50 miles into each one, terrified that the constant deluge of rain and the thick crust of mud were going to trash my chain and then quickly destroy that uber-expensive 11-speed cassette. My fears were unfounded as my KMC chains always outlasted what the conditions, or my body, could throw at them, staying fresh, within wear limits, and never failing.
My one and only regret to date happened while traveling for an extended period. I installed a Brand X chain instead of a KMC because it was all that was available, and I had mega miles to drop. Unfortunately come race day, Brand X exhibited neither the great wear or strength qualities I had become so accustomed to in my KMC’s. So now I have gone from just a KMC fan, to a KMC fanatic!
If you want to get into the wattage savings of these chains – check the non-biased reports found on Friction-Facts.com . KMC is rated one of the best!
(Special thanks for the action shots AE Landis Photography !)