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KMC Z99RB Anti Rust chain - any good for high-end tourer?

oxford_guyoxford_guy Posts: 22
edited May 2015 in Road buying advice
I need a new chain for my Hewitt Cheviot SE touring bike (see: http://www.hewittcycles.co.uk/hewitt-ch ... uring-bike ), my configuration has a 9 speed Shimano XT cassette and Shimano SLX triple chainset with 10 speed 2006 Campag Veloce shifters (odd "Shimergo" setup, but works well). My current chain is a Shimano Dura Ace 9 Speed Chain, but after just one British winter has rusted up a lot, despite regular lubing (albeit with Dry Lube - should I always use wet lube in winter, despite the mess?)

I was wondering whether to try using a galvanised "anti-rust" chain, such as the KMC Z99RB Anti Rust chain, or is this a bit too "agricultural" for a fast touring bike like the Hewitt Cheviot? A titanium chain would be nice, but a silly money for something you need to replace quite often. Would any of KMC's other chains be a better choice for my tourer e.g. the "extremely durable" KMC X9-93 (which Wiggle have on sale currently: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/kmc-x9-93-9-speed-chain/) or maybe even the light weight KMC X9-SL 9 Speed Chain, which seems to be well-reviewed and is 50% off currently, though maybe not stronger enough for a touring bike?: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/kmc-x9-sl-silver-9-speed-chain/

Just pretty disappointed with how easily the Shimano chain rusted up, and want something more durable, but that's also smooth to ride with and shifts well.

Posts

  • sungodsungod Posts: 16,092
    use wet lube

    kmc chains are good, or use another and fit a kmc link, either way you then can easily remove/refit the chain to clean it, just running though a non-fluffy bit of cloth - old linen/cotton sheet etc. takes off most crud
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,213
    Go for the full nickel plated inner and outer plate X9-SL or X9-L rather than the X9-93-9.
  • igaiga Posts: 155
    edited May 2015
    I run a Reynolds 631 framed audax bike so not too dissimilar to your Hewitt. I've recently switched from KMC to Wippermann Connex, in particular the stainless steel/nickel SX version (I run 10 speed but there's a 9 speed version as well). Nothing wrong per se with the KMC, they never snapped (hello Shimano) and never rusted, but always a bit disappointed with their longevity. Time will tell with the Connex but according to my trusty steel rule it doesn't appear to be wearing quite a fast as the KMC but it hasn't done full season yet either. Oh, and I use Fenwicks Stealth lube bit of wet/dry hybrid, seems to work well in all conditions.
    FCN 7
    Aravis Audax, Moulton TSR
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Whatever chain you have I'd definitely suggest using a wet lube in the wetter parts of the year. Doesn't have to be one of the really sticky ones; I find plain old 3-in-1 oil to be a good all-round lube and protectant, without attracting too much filth.

    Shimano chains got a good result in the German Tour magazine wear tests a couple of years ago; On my 10 speed bike I use 105 chains but with KMC joining links for convenience. On the Tiagra 9 speed I have a KMC chain, probably an X9-93 (but only because it came with the groupset when I bought it second hand) which seems to be wearing well despite winter use.

    The cheap dull grey chains will rust if they have no protective film of oil and they are ridden in the wet and not dried & relubed afterwards. The dearer, shiny chains with various surface treatments should initially resist corrosion for longer, but eventually the outer plates will become worn / scratched and be similarly rust prone if unprotected.

    I think for a tourer I'd go for a simple mid range Shimano or KMC chain without any fancy treatments or slotted side plates / hollow pins, and keep it clean and lubed.
  • oxford_guyoxford_guy Posts: 22
    Thanks for the replies, the Wipperman Connex 9SX looks like it could be worth checking out, I guess I also ought to be using a wet lube in autumn/winter, Apart from 3-in-1, does anyone have any other suggestions for good wet lube that doesn't pick up too much dirt?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,052
    COuple of points...

    I also run XT 9 speed cassette with Campag 11 shifters (new Shimergo... :wink: ), but I prefer to use 10 speed chains, as the chainset is a 10 speed one.

    I bulk buy them, as they come at 10-15 pounds each so I don't worry too much about how long they last, if it's 6 months fine, if it' less fine too. Rust has never been an issue with a bit of cleaning and regular lubing. Death typically comes in the form of stretch...

    My advice is not to waste money on expensive chains... replace them when they are due and buy the cheapest Shimano, which are just as good as the Dura Ace ones
    left the forum March 2023
  • oxford_guyoxford_guy Posts: 22
    Thanks for the replies, the Wipperman Connex 9SX looks like it could be worth checking out, I guess I also ought to be using a wet lube in autumn/winter, Apart from 3-in-1, does anyone have any other suggestions for good wet lube that doesn't pick up too much dirt?
  • sungodsungod Posts: 16,092
    don't worry about picking up dirt, you need lube that stays in place, i use wet lube year round, just clean every so often, chains/drivetrain last ages

    do not use 3 in 1 though, syn lube is great (morgan blue, pedros etc.), it sticks but doesn't go gummy, i was cycling through awful rain last year with it, chain stayed well lubricated
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    oxford_guy wrote:
    Apart from 3-in-1, does anyone have any other suggestions for good wet lube that doesn't pick up too much dirt?

    Rock N Rock Extreme (the blue one).
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    I've always used Finish Line products for lube - a PTFE "dry" aerosol for summer/dry rides, and their "wet" Cross Country for, well, wet ones :D
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,431
    If you are worried about chains going rusty the KMC anti-rust ones are very good. I fit them to my wife's electric bike used for year-round commuting. They don't go rusty and they last longer than regular KMC chains. Electric bikes like my wife's with the Panasonic crank-drive use a nine or 11 tooth drive cog behind the chainset and give chains a much harder life. The KMC anti-rust chains have a matt silver appearance and would look fine on a Paul Hewitt tourer. All chains go black anyway once the lube has spread around. Kalkhoff, the world leader in electric bikes, fit KMC anti-rust chains as standard.

    All other chains I have used on my regular bikes, including full nickel-plated ones and chains on motorcycles, will go rusty if you ride in heavy rain and leave your bike in a shed or garage for a couple of days. The rust largely goes away once you ride again but it does look unsightly and I'm sure will reduce chain life. As others have said, wet lube is the best way to avoid rust risk but even the best wet lube will wash away if the rain is heavy enough or if there is winter salt on the roads. My favourite is Finish Line wet which is thick enough to stay on the chan and not get flung off over your chainstays and rear wheel like others I have tried (currently having this flinging off issue with Bikehut's wet lube from Halfords). Apply Finish Line wet lube one drop per link, let it soak in for a while and then wipe chain to remove excess and dirty oil. Enough oil will be left inside rollers to lube when you ride but not so much that the chain gets dirty and gunged up.
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