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Thread: Titanium chain

  1. #1
    JackCoul
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    Titanium chain

    Doe's anyone have experience with YBN Titanium chains? They say self lubricating and that they will last for 3 to 4 thousand miles, but they cost about $200.00. If that's true it might be worth the money. So I'm wondering if anyone has tried these things??? I just replaced the cassett on my S-Works Epic ($300.00) and want to make it last as long as possible.
    Jack

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    With most cassette cogs being aluminium on higher end groups (most are on my PG980), and TI being harder than AL, I don't see how this would reduce wear on the cassette. Same on my chainring... it's AL as well. Honestly, it's the grit and grime that significantly shorten the lifespan of drivetrain components, not their material make-up.

    So to me it sounds like snake-oil. I'd rather have 6, $30 SRAM chains and a 12-pack of beer.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq View Post
    With most cassette cogs being aluminium on higher end groups (most are on my PG980), and TI being harder than AL, I don't see how this would reduce wear on the cassette. Same on my chainring... it's AL as well. Honestly, it's the grit and grime that significantly shorten the lifespan of drivetrain components, not their material make-up.

    So to me it sounds like snake-oil. I'd rather have 6, $30 SRAM chains and a 12-pack of beer.

    I'm assuming the idea is that the chain stretches less, so you get better fit with the cog teeth and less wallowing out of the teeth as happens with a stretched chain. I don't know if I believe a titanium chain would last that much longer than steel, however. I agree frequent changes of standard chains is probably the best way to keep your cogs from wearing.

    What's the weight savings?

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    Uh, why would you spend $300 on a cassette? That's nuts. And now you want to spend $200 on a chain to save wear on that overpriced cassette? Double nuts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq View Post
    With most cassette cogs being aluminium on higher end groups (most are on my PG980), and TI being harder than AL, I don't see how this would reduce wear on the cassette. Same on my chainring... it's AL as well. Honestly, it's the grit and grime that significantly shorten the lifespan of drivetrain components, not their material make-up.

    So to me it sounds like snake-oil. I'd rather have 6, $30 SRAM chains and a 12-pack of beer.

    None of the cogs on your 990 cassette are aluminum. Sram only makes the lowest cog on XX and XX1 cassettes out of aluminum. I've seen aluminum cassettes on weight weenie road bikes but that's about it. None of the major manufactures use aluminum except for SRAM and they're limited. Shimano and Campagnolo both use titanium cogs but normally only for the top handful of cogs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    Uh, why would you spend $300 on a cassette? That's nuts. And now you want to spend $200 on a chain to save wear on that overpriced cassette? Double nuts.
    He's on an S-Works Epic, it's a pretty expensive bike with expensive parts that wear out faster. Not everybody is happy with X9.

  6. #6
    JackCoul
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    Abby is right the sram xx is machined out of a single piece of steel except for the largest cog which is aluminum. I paid a lot of money for the Epic and I don't want to down grade it. I love the bike.
    The chain stretch is the issue and if there is a chain that last as long as YBN claims, I would be willing to pay the price. I just wanted to hear from some one that has tried the titanium chain. I have used the lower priced chains and have not had good luck with them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackcoul View Post
    Abby is right the sram xx is machined out of a single piece of steel except for the largest cog which is aluminum. I paid a lot of money for the Epic and I don't want to down grade it. I love the bike.
    The chain stretch is the issue and if there is a chain that last as long as YBN claims, I would be willing to pay the price. I just wanted to hear from some one that has tried the titanium chain. I have used the lower priced chains and have not had good luck with them.
    If you haven't had god experiences with the normal chains, there's no way I'd drop the coin on the Ti version. Honestly you're better off just getting a 1091 and replacing it on the early side of worn.

    You might have better luck finding actual users of those chains on the WW board.

    Wipperman made/makes a Ti chain as well. Don't know anybody that actually ran one. I never cared for their normal stainless chains so I didn't want to go after their spendy version.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, start writing down the mileage when the wear starts (on whatever pack of chains you get, lot of kmc for 200) then just swap @ then.

  9. #9
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    Don't fall for that ti hype...you've paid about $160 too much, for a chain. Titanium cannot compare to steel, when it comes to friction-based wear. Best 10-speed chain made today, is Shimano Dura Ace 7900.

    I've had them all; Campagnolo(great), Wippermann(heavy, but ok), SRAM(wears too fast), KMC(best weight and value), Yaban(pricey, no better than KMC).
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  10. #10
    Rock and/or Roll
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    I agree, the Dura Ace chain is the best 10spd chain there is. Ive had the KMC and SRAM chain links pull apart even before they were worn out.

  11. #11
    JackCoul
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    Thanks every one for all the feed back, it is much appreciated. I have been running the KMC chain and replacing it as soon as my chain gage says to. So I will just stick with that and keep on riding.
    Thanks again. Jack

  12. #12
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    I've always had good luck with Shimano chains.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Don't fall for that ti hype...you've paid about $160 too much, for a chain. Titanium cannot compare to steel, when it comes to friction-based wear. Best 10-speed chain made today, is Shimano Dura Ace 7900.

    I've had them all; Campagnolo(great), Wippermann(heavy, but ok), SRAM(wears too fast), KMC(best weight and value), Yaban(pricey, no better than KMC).
    Dura Ace chains are great chains but are not compatible with Shimano 10 sp Dyna Sys Mountain drivetrains. Someone might have run them with success but I wouldn't recommend it (nor does Shimano).

    Shimano chains work best with Shimano drivetrains, SRAM with SRAM, Campy with Campy etc. The KMC that came with my bike was a complete POS. I could not replace it fast enough. It was noisy and shifted like crap. In fact any off brand chain I have ever used was sub par compared to a matching brand. I would not waste my money on a Ti chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhGee View Post
    Dura Ace chains are great chains but are not compatible with Shimano 10 sp Dyna Sys Mountain drivetrains. Someone might have run them with success but I wouldn't recommend it (nor does Shimano).

    Shimano chains work best with Shimano drivetrains, SRAM with SRAM, Campy with Campy etc. The KMC that came with my bike was a complete POS. I could not replace it fast enough. It was noisy and shifted like crap. In fact any off brand chain I have ever used was sub par compared to a matching brand. I would not waste my money on a Ti chain.
    Even though the Dyna-Sys and road 10spd chains are different they are compatible, just not perfect.

    Lots of people here love there KMC chains but I'm with you, I've never thought they shifted as well. They're OK when new, but once they settle in the shifting falls off.

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    I use a molten paraffin bath and cycle through 4 chains. I'll put about 50 miles on a chain, then set it aside until I can rewax it. This setup is working very well so far. Nothing I've tried compares to waxed chains in terms of pedaling smoothness. Compared to a fairly clean chain lubricated with rock and roll, for example, the waxed chain is noticeably smoother. I use cheap 10speed sram chains but if cost were not an issue, I'd use dura-ace chains with a quick link.

    I figure it makes more sense to rotate your chains than to run each chain until its stretched/worn and then replace it. I would replace chains after about 1200 miles and get 3 chains per cassette; I'm hoping these 4 waxed chains will be good for more than 4k miles. I ride in tons of mud (not on public trails, so don't worry), especially this rainy year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    I use a molten paraffin bath and cycle through 4 chains. I'll put about 50 miles on a chain, then set it aside until I can rewax it. This setup is working very well so far. Nothing I've tried compares to waxed chains in terms of pedaling smoothness. Compared to a fairly clean chain lubricated with rock and roll, for example, the waxed chain is noticeably smoother. I use cheap 10speed sram chains but if cost were not an issue, I'd use dura-ace chains with a quick link.

    I figure it makes more sense to rotate your chains than to run each chain until its stretched/worn and then replace it. I would replace chains after about 1200 miles and get 3 chains per cassette; I'm hoping these 4 waxed chains will be good for more than 4k miles. I ride in tons of mud (not on public trails, so don't worry), especially this rainy year.
    15 years in and around the bike industry and I never realized that chain maintenance could be a hobby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    15 years in and around the bike industry and I never realized that chain maintenance could be a hobby.
    haha! nice dig. Your characterization is fairly accurate. I might be sick of it in a year. Generally since I'm a grad student, putting in time is more efficient than spending money, so if I have a hunch that a practice will improve drivetrain life, it's worth pursuing.

    To delve a bit more into my hobby, the main problem with this setup is that the wax gets dirty over time. Since I don't want to replace all the wax frequently, I've devised a method of allowing the particles to settle as the wax cools slowly. I have a couple of batches of wax and I melt them together, let the dirt settle, then scrape off the layer of gunk and have a block of wax that's almost as clean as new wax. I'm working now on a way to scale it up so we can do it at the shop. I think it's a great idea for bike shops: customers come in once or twice a week, you use a quick-link to remove their chain and they look around while their chain soaks, cools, and is reinstalled. Charge maybe $5, $3 if they come in frequently (waxing subscription?). I deal with mostly roadies and triathletes at the shop, and I think the promise of a couple percentage points of efficiency gains is all that is needed to justify the practice.

  18. #18
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    How do you keep track of how many miles you have on your chain?

    How do you melt the wax? Do you use a double boiler set up?

  19. #19
    AZ
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    Double boiler works well. Paraffin is truly old school but works exceedingly well. Most craft stores have bulk paraffin and it goes a long way.

  20. #20
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    Got one of those cheap gizmos think it's called Cats eye.. put it under the saddle and just check the odometer for changing wear items and maintenance



    *edit, not sure what brand, was @ $20 and about the size of small patch kit

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    How do you keep track of how many miles you have on your chain?

    How do you melt the wax? Do you use a double boiler set up?
    I just guess on the mileage. So I won't know if I've truly extended the life of my chain, but at the moment I'm ok with that. I avoid quantification of my riding because, from past experiences, I feel like it changes my focus to miles instead of fun. I do know approximately how far I'm riding since others have told me the trail lengths.

    I found an electric kettle that is cylindrical at a thrift store and I sacrificed a little pot that's a bit smaller and fits inside. So a homemade double boiler. I also use some bent wire to suspend the chain above the bottom. This way dirt settles away from the chain and if water splashes it just sinks to the bottom. I use gulf wax from the grocery store.

    The one I'm thinking about for the shop would be a double boiler for safety, but would probably use a fairly tall cylinder for the wax. The tall cylinder would let the gunk settle without movements at the top stirring up the stuff at the bottom too much.

  22. #22
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    Another huge thumbs up for KMC. I use their tiNi ? Coated chains. They are more efficient than any other (Shimano, Sram, Wipperman) I have tried. Shift better, run smoother, last as long or better. Shimano are the only chains I have had break on me. That includes Dura Ace-Yuck. You can't go wrong with KMC. And they are lighter, I believe.

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