How long does an 11 speed chain last?
This is a pretty usual question that I get asked by bike lovers. And the answer is simple. A typical chain should last you anywhere between 500 miles to 5000. I know the number is fairly broad. But this depends heavily on the quality of the chain and the sprockets. It also depends on how you use your bike, and if you do the appropriate maintenance regularly.
Below I provide you with some of the best bike chain brands, to help you in choosing your chain without having the pain to go through thousands of brands. The below have been carefully selected and shortlisted so that you do not waste your time.
Note that we tried all of the chains that we described on our bike, and we can say that these can also be used as the best 11-speed ebike chains.
Are 10 speed and 11 speed chains the same?
Not really, but they are almost the same. As such, many times people do interchange 10 and 11 speed chains. The reason is that they have almost the same width, as well as cassette teeth. So, you can somehow safely use a 10 speed chain instead of 11 speed one. And you should be able to not create a jamming event between the sprockets. Note that they will not work perfectly. The use of 10 speed instead of 11 can cause premature sprocket wear. My advice, try to avoid doing this.
#1. Shimano Ultegra/XT 11 Speed Chain
In our opinion, the Shimano Ultegra/XT is the best 11-speed chain because it offers the best combination of shift performance, reliability, durability, control, and smoothness. This chain will weather any bad storm and will outlast the other brands. It is also pretty good value.
5 Best 11 Speed Chain Reviews
- #1. Shimano Ultegra/XT 11 Speed Chain
- #2. KMC X11SL 11 Speed 116L Bike Chain
- #3. SRAM Pc-1110 11 Speed Chain
- #4. Connex 11sB Chain: 11-Speed
- #5. Shimano XTR/Dura-Ace 11-Speed Chain
#1. Shimano Ultegra/XT 11 Speed Chain
After experimenting with various speed chains, we have come to the definitive conclusion that the best chain bike can be attributed to the Shimano Ultegra/XT. But obviously, it is also designed for Shimano drivetrains. We really like the versatility of this 11-speed chain, as it is great at handling on and off-road adventures. Also, the stainless steel materials have crazy durability, even during bad weather and under lubrication.
It also features zinc-alloy plated outer links that are used with SIL-TEC coating treatment on the chain. This gives you crazy shift performance, smoothness, and reliability. Finally, we just want to say that this chain is designed to wear longer than most of the competition and has ultra-low friction for smooth shifts.
#2. KMC X11SL 11 Speed 116L Bike Chain
The KMC X11SL is another 11-speed bike chain that you can comfortably rely on. This is the best 11-speed chain if you are looking for high performance and reliability at a rather affordable price point. So first of all, it has a full nickel-plated with high rigidity, and the highest pin power, and hollow inner plates. Most other brands don’t come close to this quality.
Next, you have the titanium nitride coating technology for increased durability and the double bridge shape for an incredibly fast and smooth shifting experience, Just note that it is suitable for mountain and road bikes and fits Shimano, Campagnolo, and Sram 11 speed systems.
#3. SRAM Pc-1110 11 Speed Chain
We really like the SRAM Pc-1110 and think it is the best 11-speed chain if you are on a budget and need something that is both affordable and has decent performance. Although it is quite a cheaper chain compared to some of the more premium brands, it certainly doesn’t have a significant loss in performance or quality.
There is also a quick link to make installation and setup absolutely seamless and fast that basically, any amateur can take care of it. We find the chain pretty light overall compared to other 11 speed chains, but it still gives you decent shifting with solid durability.
#4. Connex 11sB Chain: 11-Speed
Next, we have the Connex 11sB Chain, which is a solid choice for an 11-speed chain that is compatible with Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo drive trains. It features pretty quality parts, with stainless steel inner links and alloy steel outer links. Both of these links have a nice black oxide finish.
It also has brass coated pins and rollers and the pin width is 5.6mm. There is also a reusable Connex master link, which comes with this chain in the kit. And finally, we just have to give it +1 for style points. We think the black and gold is pretty tasty and looks stylish.
#5. Shimano XTR/Dura-Ace 11-Speed Chain
Finally, we have the Shimano XTR/Dura-Ace 11 Speed Chain. We put it on our list because we like Shimano so much. It is made of nickel-plated steel with a quick link included for easy installation. This particular chain is really good with e-bikes, cycling, and single-speed applications. It is designed to be able to withstand higher torque.
And obviously, it goes without saying that it pairs very well with Shimano drivetrains. This leads to smooth gear shifting and more efficient power transfers. Just note that this chain does not have a master link. Instead, it uses the Shimano pin. There are 116 links and it can also be used on mountain bikes and road bikes have given the right derailers. It is also one of the best chains for gravel bikes.
There are so many brands available for 11 speed chains. However, only a few are worth it. Above, we have summarised the review of five of the finest chains available on the market. You can choose safely amongst these ones. Note that it is always best to use the 11 speed chain rather than the 10 one. If you have no other choice, then yes swap your 11 speed chain for a 10. If you have the choice, just stick to the11 speed.