Chain prices

02gf74
02gf74 Posts: 1,168
edited July 2018 in MTB general
Why do 11 speed chains cost more than the equivalent 10 speed, which in turn cost more than their 9 speed counter parts?

12 and 8 probably could be added to the list.

Surely they are made in the same way but as less metal is used for the higher speeds, then the order in price be reversed, ie they should be cheaper.

Comments

  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    Price is more than just cost of material, which will be minimal. Manufacturing cost, market size and what they can get away with. Amortisation. Have the latest and greatest, pay pay pay.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Thinner side plates need a better grade, that costs proportionately more than more of a cheaper steel.

    Like saying why should a butted lightweight Columbus tubing frame cost more than a gas pipe BSO frame really......
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    Thinner materials that need to carry the same load not only cost more to make, but they cost more to machine once you have the strip as your raw material. Cutting and pressing speeds will be a bit slower.

    But then its "new" isn't it and don't forget that we all want new stuff don't we? So the price we pay is the price we will pay. :lol:
  • 02gf74
    02gf74 Posts: 1,168
    .... But do we know that higher grade steel is used in narrower chains?
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    We no nuthin
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    02GF74 wrote:
    .... But do we know that higher grade steel is used in narrower chains?

    Are you suggesting that the makers of those thick 6-7-8 speed chains from yesteryear were over engineered? The intense competition would have seen a race to the bottom in terms of price. And one of the first things to attack would be material price. So then you end up with a thick chain that can do the job and no more.

    Then some bugger comes up with 9-speed that requires thinner chain, which can no longer use the old material spec!

    And so it goes on. Unless the rear of the bike keeps getting wider, I can't imagine how much the 13-speed chain is going to cost! :shock:
  • 02gf74
    02gf74 Posts: 1,168
    edited July 2018
    I have no idea. The kmc chains I use, the 9, 10 and 11 speed all look the same, but thats not saying much, as you can t tell what grade of steel is used.

    Ive sent a inquiry to kmc, I thought it was marketing. .
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    What difference will it make? Just pick a chain, find the best deal and ride.

    Life's too short.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    02GF74 wrote:
    I have no idea. The kmc chains I use, the 9, 10 and 11 speed all look the same, but thats not saying much, as you can t tell what grade of steel is used.

    ............. .

    There is a test, well known in the engineering industry. It is known as the spark test I believe. Not as accurate as a proper analysis of course, but you will be astonished at how good it is. These two vids should demonstrate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnSBSKTC834

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PWCh6fdXdw

    So you could do a spark test on some old 8-speed chain and then on a piece of 11-speed to see what the difference is.
  • sniper68
    sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    02GF74 wrote:
    I have no idea. The kmc chains I use, the 9, 10 and 11 speed all look the same, but thats not saying much, as you can t tell what grade of steel is used.

    ............. .

    There is a test, well known in the engineering industry. It is known as the spark test I believe. Not as accurate as a proper analysis of course, but you will be astonished at how good it is. These two vids should demonstrate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnSBSKTC834

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PWCh6fdXdw

    So you could do a spark test on some old 8-speed chain and then on a piece of 11-speed to see what the difference is.
    :shock: :shock:
    The first thing you learn on an Abrasive wheels course is never hold something with one hand and grind it with another :roll: Old Bob's lucky to still have all his fingers(if he has) :lol:
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    Sniper68 wrote:
    ..................
    The first thing you learn on an Abrasive wheels course is never hold something with one hand and grind it with another :roll: Old Bob's lucky to still have all his fingers(if he has) :lol:

    The second thing you learn is to never interrupt a man when he's grinding!
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    02GF74 wrote:
    I have no idea. The kmc chains I use, the 9, 10 and 11 speed all look the same, but thats not saying much, as you can t tell what grade of steel is used.

    Ive sent a inquiry to kmc, I thought it was marketing. .
    Apart from the cheapest chains, they are coated, so the charting may well look the same and tell you nothing about what is underneath!
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Quick links... just daft prices at times. The higher speed ones are often a tenner a pair in shops.
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    supersonic wrote:
    Quick links... just daft prices at times. The higher speed ones are often a tenner a pair in shops.

    I had to get my 12-speed quick links from a German website, to get any at all!
  • swod1
    swod1 Posts: 1,639
    when I've bought chains I've always looked at the best price. I'm still using 10spd xtr and so using either x10 el or sl chains on my bike.

    Didn't think it was expensive last chain i bought for the bike kmc x10 el £23.99 i think it was.
  • 02gf74
    02gf74 Posts: 1,168
    ^^^^^^ I wasn't complaining about the price, I was asking why a chain that for all purposes appears identical in construction but is slightly narrower should cost more.
    . Still waiting to hear from kmc but not holding much hope.
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    02GF74 wrote:
    ^^^^^^ I wasn't complaining about the price, I was asking why a chain that for all purposes appears identical in construction but is slightly narrower should cost more. . ........

    See my first post on the topic:

    "Thinner materials that need to carry the same load not only cost more to make, but they cost more to machine once you have the strip as your raw material. Cutting and pressing speeds will be a bit slower.

    But then its "new" isn't it and don't forget that we all want new stuff don't we? So the price we pay is the price we will pay. :lol:"
  • 02gf74
    02gf74 Posts: 1,168
    Yes I know, I would like to find out if that is the reason m.
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    I reckon they are most likely cheaper to make as less material, and automated production lines are very effiecient nowadays so don't reckon it takes longer to machine.

    Won't get them to admit that though so we will probably never know.


    I know some one who works in a factory making dentist drills & he said they are really cheap to make cost a a few pennies each, but they have a massive mark up when they sell them.

    Prbabably the same for most bike parts and everything else mass manufactured nowadays, apart from hand crafted stuff.


    Wouldn't surprise me if production cost is less than £1 per chain I may be well off though...
  • mattyfez
    mattyfez Posts: 638
    Look at the price difference between an 8 speed and 12 speed cassette.. You can't say retooling and and 4 more rings of alloy /steel can justify a price difference between £10 and over £100.

    They cost that much because people are happy to pay it.
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    No, there have always been a range of options from basic sprockets, with spiders, titanium or alloy rings and so on. 8 speed now are all basic while 12 sis still high end only.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • 02gf74
    02gf74 Posts: 1,168
    Word from sram is to cover the cost for new tooling.