KMC Vs Shimano Chain | Choosing The Best One

The difference between the two chains is the shape of the outermost links. Shimano’s are generally flat, while KMC’s are generally oval. The oval shape of KMC’s also helps to distribute the load over a larger area on the chain, which reduces friction and therefore wear. This can be especially important when it comes to brakes, as pads tend to wear at the ends of the brake pads where they rub against the brake shoes or rotor.

Since the oval shape of KMC’s helps to spread out this wear, you can often go much longer between brake pad replacements. When it comes to stopping power however, I think Shimano wins by a small margin. Here you know how and about kmc vs shimano chain.

Though most riders will not notice any difference in performance until they are truly straining under heavy braking.In terms of low-compression chainrings, which typically feature about 10% more teeth than touring cranksets without a chainring of this sort, KMC chainrings are made out of the same oval shape as their chain. This difference can be seen by comparing them to Shimano’s M785/M781 rings.

Kmc Vs Shimano Chain

Difference Between A Shimano And KMC Chain

 Difference Between A Shimano And Kmc Chain

There are countless numbers of small differences between the two chains, but it is important to remember that they were designed for either Shimano or KMC specific cranksets and standard derailleurs. While we might not know what some of these tiny modifications mean (since there aren’t even any paint marks on the chains), we can often use logic and intuition to figure out which chain has been used in a particular application.

Shimano produces two broad families of chain — the chains we know and love, and their high end X series which is mostly used for newer (and more expensive) cranksets. These chains are known as SGS street/race chain sets” or “Standard Guide-Seal”.

KMC also makes two main types—the new oval shape professional grade KMC Z7 10 speed chain; popularized by Shimano’s Dura Ace shifters;” and the lower gauge 10 speed chains used in older 7, 9 and sometimes 11 Speed bicycles.It makes sense that KMC would continuously develop these higher-end oval shape chains for a long time, while it took Shimano longer to come up with their own high quality version of the same design.

Ways Of Removing A Kmc Chain

Ways Of Removing A Kmc Chain

Remove the bolts under your wheel. Use a flathead screwdriver to pry open any rivets keeping down the flanges, then carefully drag out chainset parts with two fingers or an empty chain bag. To minimize chipping of plastic spacers by driving in at an angle pushing against each other, I apply some pressure before removing all 4 side plates take care not too hurt these delicate looking plastic spacers that are meant to adjust wheel position independently.

Remove the front ring by unscrewing and pulling down carefully, and then remove the rear derailleur cage with two 18mm hex wrenches: left for Chain Ring FSR (Finite Speed Responsive) adjuster free play; wrench set right shows out-of-round TRS adjustment bolt. After re tightening these bolts — you should be facing across from above to this assembly closely horizontal 1st picture 2nd image .

Use a 9/16″ open end wrench on the two upper bolt holders I used locktite, but if you want to reuse that flat washer here it is. Look out for your new KMC chain with oval shape pawls or pins as shown above left!! The various chains described below are interchangeable, except Shimano uses 2 different lengths of rivets. If one is chosen, make sure Rivets A and B match up.

Installing A Kmc Chain

Installing A Kmc Chain

Basic installation is a matter of aligning the front/rear derailleurs with chain lines, shimming properly, and then threading new links onto the crankset.

Another really nice thing about this drivetrain design from KMC that not many other manufacturers have done or do well is that you can use almost any cassette recently produced whether it was Shimano CS-HG50 (in 2000) 5spd releases — for earlier models — road bicycle specific cassettes such as SRAM PG-850 and 1200 (and 1350)/SRM S1000/Truvativ Descendants:

Since your crankset will be back there again, you might not want to worry about matching those. Just use front derailleur’s large chainring for this one . I don’t ever buy the right shifter 44 teeth offset such as Shimano TIAA10 45 or its Shimano SH-RS45 plate for this one .

Advantages Of Using A Kmc Chain Over A Shimano One

Some advantages of using KMC chains are:

  • U.K. made so probably less likely to bind when you do not replace the inner shafts in your drive train . You can swap out defective or worn rings at any time, unlike Shimano which uses two different lengths of rivets for smallest ring ends and larger dual master finger end; This issue will be covered later however (mainly that silver has muted ROF compared to Nickel plated / which was covered above).

Disadvantages Of Using A Kmc Chain

Disadvantages Of Using A Kmc Chain

  • No independent bearing cage/housing integrated into this one . It’s top end starts to fold together after about 100 loads up to 1200 cogs , you need another piece for frame, fixed gear type rings which accept only proprietary brakes if your brake is not compatible with these; which can also cause problems shifting E-Type Cassette or Rohloff Speedhub if you use them on this one ; (yes, there are cassettes with teeth smaller than 31T! which will work fine though); Most issues stem from poor installation , improper length is not great.

It can be hard to achieve proper tension by simply tightening the bolts little bit at a time (but is really important for your cassette’s retention), springs inside can break. Which means your deraille ur will bend and your chain can come off not long after;

This one is easy to fix , you just need a few new springs (3 of them) for it. Specialized recommends using seven spring per derailleur but I use only six . It’s handy if you like to remove the rear wheel once in while and change out cables or spokes, this eliminates having to take everything apart before adjusting or replacing either.

Also value has decreased due to new SRAM offerings, I liken this one to the XT Shadow+ released in early 2010 , initially expensive but now it’s cheaper ; Similar issues with small frame made its aggressive use of lightweight top end materials (chrome plating etc.) very uneven on middling & larger frames;

  • No gearing options for most weight conifguring riders or general public. Your choice would be between 12-30T which might result in front -wheel bearing issues, or 22-34T which is easier on cheaper bearings available for this cassette . There are few “single front ring” options of course , but they are very over priced. Short/overall travel forks with high bottom brackets will more than likely have drivetrain issues together with these too since it tends to lift the chain off of the sprocket if you ride hard enough (not probably due to stiffness on first 7 cogs ). The Gripring Grip POD
  • Low shift quality , it’s not unusual to feel some minor lagginess, this is likely due to lesser precise height adjustment of the shift paddles . Also you will need 1 extra spacer provided by SRAM in order for your rear derailleur freewheel base to fit properly on these cassette cogs. I’ve read where people had issues with ¼” spacers; Not sure what the spacing is currently but it seems to be around 4.5mm-4.8mm
  • Difficult for lighter riders to shift these cogs . This isn’t so much about weight but more on high side of required experience . Having said that, 28T won’t help without any Rear Caged HS11K+ mech available (SRAM Rival 5 group not mentioned). Also this cassette still require handlebar hangers adjustment which is often messing ;
  • Enlarge the company’s focus on selling high end performance components over regular everyday biking needs that most of us tend to build up our bikes with. That might include wider tires for supporting bigger accelerations which you will need in order to get things correct by yourself.; Summary I feel it is mostly true when people say nothing new is coming out of this Japanese giant these days . Most recently, there were rumors about possibly releasing a 26T Steps cassette which, if confirmed would show to me that their intent is not so much about affordability as it used to be and more on pushing for maximizing upper end performance .

It should probably let you know what the current status and perception of Shimano components amongst its faithful customers (I mean those who ride without falling off; Tandem ; Tricycle etc ) by keeping people happy through maximum performance.

► For myself finding all these SRAM products getting out of stock is just another way to figure out dominance hence, Shimano being so capable at maintaining its position. SRAM doesn’t have a clue since they are taking most part of bike niche from them .

I am not saying all the things about their new components but think about it this way: ” Aha , you guys can see really smarts coming from Shimano team members as they accurately predicted that even entry level road bike with triple drivetrain and cyclo style frame, which got most of its components from Shimano will sell like hot cakes; while SRAM has to bite the bullet for releasing new offerings in all segments such as road, MTB , Trick(pole) !”

(with vague statements like “SRAM Chain – why’s it looks so different?” ) Aye, that gives you an idea! Anyhow, I should refute this impression eventually because if their intention is to try lobbying the Shimano faithful into buying into their new R&D offerings then they are doing a damn good job at that.

So for all of you who were concerned about SRAM not being able to keep up with fierce competitor in terms of innovation which was formerly misunderstood as marketing gap between them and Squeeze release ; They have already jump onto poaching the Shogun for overall production in relatively low price .

This is not R&D, though still welcome since it opens new doors in parts pricing ; but compared to Shimano’s performance level Shogun does appear more polished thus with same retail prices , SRAM Rival1 isn’t looking too bad at all. I would go further to say they are actually quite competitive when it comes to balance between features/price/performance unlike some people who are already thinking about shifting their purchase plan to Quarq , Quark or FSA .

Though Rival1 is still more than component investment for an entry level MTB (at least in Europe) but not half of Shimano’s new RD range. Another thing worth reading over – New SRAM groupsets will be available on the market late 2011; I’ll go further with some facts that you can consider “you won’t get it if you don ‘t ask.”

You will get Rival1 instead of Calipers but older version ; you won’t get any HRD crankarms, brakes or wheels for some more time ; if your current budget/wheelset’s lives have made it until early 2011 then consider getting a new Antares groupset in April 2012 since the Rival1 platform is actually being built on its Fujin 50 group .

I just wanted to point out that many of people are pointing out around the market gears shift harder with SRAM Shift/Rival 1. I have reviewed other products which shift just as hard even if not wider ratio changes by next or sixth gear change .

The 32-tooth sprocket’s spinning at 4000rpm, so essentially it has to spin at exactly 20two times faster than double the torque holds up for greater performance – you’d be surprised how big a difference that makes to the feel of a fork, and consequently its response.

Lezyne hydraulic disc rivits ; Shimano disc mechs. Both provide reliable braking performance however you can choose -> Lezyne’s internal design for reasonable price delivers improved loading force – making it easier too install/remove your discs; Quarq-Shimano brakes use only one piston which is less handly than two or three pistons found on other brakes.

The same system can be used with alloy or carbon wheels so changing rotor thickness is not allowed – for this reason Carbon Road hubs are now available too .

Rival1 cranksets use two bearings which has the huge benefit higher rigidity than single-pin , especially in small frame sizes, but less higher durability than Type2 chainset (single chainring). Having said that I believe by mid 2012 all new Shimano group’s will have single-pin Type2 chainsets so you’d hardly have a reason to go for anything else! Pricey but very stiff carbon fiber steerer tubes .

Reasons Of Bike Having Two Chains

Reasons Of Bike Having Two Chains

It’s quite easy to get the double chainset for your bike. Most of typical Shimano groupsets have more than 1 pair of chains on them, so if you order a Shimano drivetrain , it will include multiple pairs by default. Simply buy smaller set and remove some track .

It doesn’t affect performance at all – gear shifting is working just fine vs current products with two-chainring compatibility but will become even handsier when this type of groups also become available for double chainsets.

Having said that when getting list with one chainring and smaller list with second , you’d better check compatibility as most crank length matched products will still fit on ring stouter than described by +/-15 mm resolution in short mountain bikes manufacturer’s specifications (this is the case only if your frame has square tubes.

Who Makes Chains For Shimano?

Who Makes Chains For Shimano

When it comes to chain-making, only one name comes to mind – KMC. They are the undisputed king of chain-making, and for a good reason.

They offer a wide variety of chains, including different types of links and sizes. Not to mention, they have a huge variety of chain brands to choose from.

So if you’re looking to replace your chain, KMC is the best option because they carry many brands and styles. And if you’re looking for a chain built specifically for Shimano gears, KMC is your best bet.

What Are The Pros Of KMC Chains?

What Are The Pros Of KMC Chains

When it comes to bike chains, a few brands often compar to each other. KMC chains are often the best option, thanks to their smooth running, durability, and rust resistance.

Not to mention, they’re often cheaper than other brands. So if you’re looking for a chain that will last longer and be more affordable, KMC is the chain for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Type Of Chains Should I Buy For My Bike, And Why?

There are two types of chains that you can buy for your bike. The first type is a standard chain and the second type is an O-ring chain.

The standard chain has a link connecting each side of the chain to the other which makes it easier to remove and replace, but they have a higher risk of rusting because they have less protection from moisture.

O-ring chains have links that connect one side of the chain to another, so it’s harder to remove or replace them, but they’re more durable because there’s more protection from moisture and corrosion. Do the O-ring chains rust easily? If you ride with one chain for a long time, there is a small amount of water in your system; this amounts up over several months.

So wearing out the rims and threading can be common problems for customers using non-compatible 2-chainsets on their bikes. If leaving it like that will make no difference to mountainbikers , then best way would be just get used to removing the O-ring chain every time.

2. How Do I Install An O-ring Chain?

They can easily be installed by some users, while some who are more newbie (like me) need guides and helper. And of course , especially for cross bikes you would require OEM tools like allen key or spanner . Otherwise here is one guide on installing an 4Link chainset with DIY method described in step -by-step.

3. How Do I Remove An O-ring Chain?

No need much tools. We recommend removing by your hands because the sidewell will be damaged if force is applied to strongly, just use a cloth or clothespins instead of puller . Pulling by hand with patience . It depends on how well you understand cycling; some might only grab the chain at every link and move it out quickly blindly, don’t fall into this one and waste your time elsewhere.

With an air tool or spanner: spacers to be removed first, is it possible ? Because our spacers are different for each chain size, they can’t simply fit all 4 chains with same keyway which makes them the challenge is removing the spacer. Follow this guide on opening action rings if you need help.

( link ) Once opened, linkage pin must be freed by using a die- grinder or a tool with the same shape. Fit your die-grinder to side & after you have cut link pin, use something like this for saving them from getting lost:

4. How Long Does A Kmc Chain Last?

A KMC chain is a type of chain used in bicycles. It can be made from steel, aluminum, or titanium.

It is important to know that a KMC chain is made up of two different components: the outer and inner links. The outer link is connected to the front ring of the chain while the inner link connects to the rear ring of the chain.

The whole chain has a total length of 20 cm and it can be used for either road or mountain bikes. KMC handles the design and manufacturing of chains. The company has been working on motorcycle chains as well, but it does not manufacture those products yet.

The KMC chain can be cleaned using an X-Acto knife or a pair of scissors to cut off any debris that may have been jammed into the mechanisms used during assembly, although doing this will shred some sort steel wool fibers through your inner casing after removing pieces from it later on.

The keys found on the side of each link are also accessible via small pull out pins that can be returned to their places inside your inner casing, while at the same time being removed from there again afterwards once they have been handled with precision while using an X-Acto knife or some other instrument. An example is shown over here .

5. How Often Should I Replace My KMC Chain?

The lifespan of a chain varies depending on how it is used and abused. Generally speaking, KMC chains usually last around 110 000 km while Shimano chains usually last around 200 000 km. However, if you use your bike for extreme offroad activities or heavy use, you may need to replace your chain more often. When it comes to chain, KMC is considered a budget-friendly option as compared to Shimano.

6. Which Type Of Chain Is Best For My Business?

It’s a difficult question to answer, as both chains have pros and cons. However, if you need something lightweight and easy to operate, then Kmc should be your go-to chain. Additionally, Shimano may be better if you want durability as it lasts longer than Kmc.

7. Why Is KMC Better Than Shimano?

When it comes to chains, KMC considers being the most reliable option as it’s been around for longer. KMC chains are more durable than Shimano chains and can last longer without rusting. However, Shimano chains can be more affordable and easier to replace should they break.


In this blog post, we will be comparing the two most popular chains used by road cyclists. Kmc vs shimano chain are two of the most well-known brands in the cycling industry, and both have a strong following among road cyclists around the world.

The reason we’ve chosen to compare these two chains is because they’re different enough to make them interesting, but also similar enough that they can provide an easy comparison for those who don’t know much about either one. We’ll be taking a look at some of their key features as well as providing some advice on which chain is right for you.

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