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  1. #1
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    Replacement chain for 2011 Epic Q.

    I've got a 2011 3x10 epic and need to replace my chain. I need to find out which chains are compatible. I know SRAM is pretty specific when it comes to replacements but like everything else, there's always a better/less expensive option. TIA

  2. #2
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    I always prefer to match the chain to the cassette and cranks. That means that all of my bikes have Shimano chains. Many people will tell you KMC is a good buy for the money and they are. I keep them in stock as a price point option. When it comes to premium chains they are not my preference however.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    I always prefer to match the chain to the cassette and cranks. That means that all of my bikes have Shimano chains. Many people will tell you KMC is a good buy for the money and they are. I keep them in stock as a price point option. When it comes to premium chains they are not my preference however.
    KMC is what's on the bike. What would be your prefered chain?

  4. #4
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    Here's the dirty little secret...KMC makes Shimano chains. I've run Shimano, KMC, and SRAM chains over the years and the KMC chains work every bit as good as the Shimano chains (both are better than SRAM) at a lower price and come with a reusable link.
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  5. #5
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    broken more Shimano chains than I care to remember... broken 2 Sram's only,.. haven't broken a single KMC chain.... get a KMC and be done with it...
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by '94 9C1 Novice View Post
    KMC is what's on the bike. What would be your prefered chain?
    I think I already mentioned that I prefer to use a chain that matches the make of the cassette and chainrings. All three of those parts directly contact and wear each other. I've had better results in shifting performance when using matted drive trains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Whisperer View Post
    Here's the dirty little secret...KMC makes Shimano chains. I've run Shimano, KMC, and SRAM chains over the years and the KMC chains work every bit as good as the Shimano chains (both are better than SRAM) at a lower price and come with a reusable link.
    KMC does make Shimano's chains. It's not such a dirty or little secrete. But it really doesn't mean anything. Giant makes bikes for all of their major competitors, why would you buy anything but a Giant? For all we know Shimano drops off rolls of a proprietary steel alloy to the KMC factory to have their chains made from. Along with that Shimano can spec a completely different heat treat program and proprietary side plates that set them apart from KMC chains.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    broken more Shimano chains than I care to remember... broken 2 Sram's only,.. haven't broken a single KMC chain.... get a KMC and be done with it...
    I've seen several broken chains from every single manufacture. Sometimes companies have a bad batch leave the factory and you hear of a bunch of them breaking. Three months later it's another companies chains that are failing, then it's somebody else's turn. I've seen plenty of bikes at races with broken everything. I don't want to discredit thmillama but I wouldn't take one persons experience for much in this situation.

    The reason I don't prefer KMC chains is that they always feel loose laterally. Like they have more play side to side. It makes the chains feel sloppy. It degrades shifting in an otherwise optimal setup. It also seems in my experience that they don't hold lubrication as well as a result of this. Perhaps this is partially to do with the lube I prefer (dumonde). They do seem to wear comparably to their competitors and they don't seem to break any more or less often either. KMC makes a respectable product but it's not my first choice for performance chains.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    KMC does make Shimano's chains. It's not such a dirty or little secrete. But it really doesn't mean anything. Giant makes bikes for all of their major competitors, why would you buy anything but a Giant? For all we know Shimano drops off rolls of a proprietary steel alloy to the KMC factory to have their chains made from. Along with that Shimano can spec a completely different heat treat program and proprietary side plates that set them apart from KMC chains.



    I've seen several broken chains from every single manufacture. Sometimes companies have a bad batch leave the factory and you hear of a bunch of them breaking. Three months later it's another companies chains that are failing, then it's somebody else's turn. I've seen plenty of bikes at races with broken everything. I don't want to discredit thmillama but I wouldn't take one persons experience for much in this situation.

    The reason I don't prefer KMC chains is that they always feel loose laterally. Like they have more play side to side. It makes the chains feel sloppy. It degrades shifting in an otherwise optimal setup. It also seems in my experience that they don't hold lubrication as well as a result of this. Perhaps this is partially to do with the lube I prefer (dumonde). They do seem to wear comparably to their competitors and they don't seem to break any more or less often either. KMC makes a respectable product but it's not my first choice for performance chains.
    I would buy the Giant if it were half the price but the same quality...which in my experience is exactly the case with KMC and Shimano chains. I've used top end Shimano chains and KMC chains as well as mid level stuff from both manufacturers. I have seen ZERO evidence that paying twice as much gets you a longer lasting chain that shifts better. I can guarantee in a blind test you would never be able to guess what brand chain was on your bike all other things being equal.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post

    The reason I don't prefer KMC chains is that they always feel loose laterally. Like they have more play side to side. It makes the chains feel sloppy. It degrades shifting in an otherwise optimal setup. It also seems in my experience that they don't hold lubrication as well as a result of this. Perhaps this is partially to do with the lube I prefer (dumonde). They do seem to wear comparably to their competitors and they don't seem to break any more or less often either. KMC makes a respectable product but it's not my first choice for performance chains.
    actually the extra side movement is good with todays large range setups where cross chaining is the norm... you actually will get worse shifting and faster wear with a tight lateral chain on a modern 1x where the chain is always twisting.. ad the constantly shortening chain stays and you need that bit of slop so the chain and teeth on the cassette don't wear/break

    I do get what your saying, but I've found just the opposite

    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Whisperer View Post
    I would buy the Giant if it were half the price but the same quality...which in my experience is exactly the case with KMC and Shimano chains. I've used top end Shimano chains and KMC chains as well as mid level stuff from both manufacturers. I have seen ZERO evidence that paying twice as much gets you a longer lasting chain that shifts better. I can guarantee in a blind test you would never be able to guess what brand chain was on your bike all other things being equal.
    what he said... only paying for weight savings with the extra $$$$
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Whisperer View Post
    I've used top end Shimano chains and KMC chains as well as mid level stuff from both manufacturers. I have seen ZERO evidence that paying twice as much gets you a longer lasting chain that shifts better. I can guarantee in a blind test you would never be able to guess what brand chain was on your bike all other things being equal.
    I wouldn't have said I thought there was a difference if I didn't think I could tell something was amiss in a blind test. I may not be able to tell it was the chain specifically but I can tell, that's why I brought it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    actually the extra side movement is good with todays large range setups where cross chaining is the norm... you actually will get worse shifting and faster wear with a tight lateral chain on a modern 1x where the chain is always twisting.. ad the constantly shortening chain stays and you need that bit of slop so the chain and teeth on the cassette don't wear/break

    I do get what your saying, but I've found just the opposite
    I just can't agree with you at all on this, not even a little bit. A couple times a month I come across a bike the almost always belongs to a petit female rider that has a worn out chain. Only thing is the chain isn't stretched like most people wear out chains. The rollers are worn out and the chain has a ton of slop in it. Bike will shift at about 60% of perfect. Put a new chain on and all is restored to status que. It's a little bit worse than what a KMC chain has after it's broken in. Bottom line is drivetrains shift better with a 'tight' chain.

    All modern chains have enough flex in them to handle cross chaining. This is something we haven't really been bothered with since the days of 7spd. The difference in common chain stay length is <2". That's 2 links under load. It's not ever going to be the difference between breaking the teeth off your cassette or not.

    I make a living chasing the last 5% of mechanical perfection. Something that is a lost cause to almost all MTBR users.

  10. #10
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    I also have a 2011 Epic, but with a 2x10 crankset. My bike came with a KMC chain and Shimano cassette (HG-81) and the rest of the components were SRAM. I replaced the KMC chain with a Shimano XT chain to match the cassette, and have continued using these. I didn't notice much difference between the two chains. I felt like the Shimano chain shifted slightly better, but that was probably just because my KMC chain was worn out.

    FYI, the KMC master link works great with the Shimano chain, so that isn't really a dealbreaker.

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