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Best chain option

cp241cp241 Posts: 6

New to riding and just getting started. The last month or so. I've tried searching but cant seem to come up with an answer anywhere. Sorry in advance for the long novel, just wanted to get as much info out up front as I could.

I bought a diamondback trace comp I got for what I feel was a good deal on. Couple years old, but like new, i dont think it ever was ridden. Tires still had flashing in the center of the tread (although they were flat, pumped up just fine). I've been adjusting the shifters and just about got them dialed in perfect.

To my question, I lubed the chain and had problems because of it. About 50% of my ride is pavement and 50% is dirt roads. South Georgia so hard packed clay with a nice dusting of sugar sand (or in some places, just sugar sand which is REAL fun!).

After lubing the chain, I started having what I've learned is called ghost shifting. Real annoying. I thought it was out of adjustment slightly, having just fine tuned the adjustments when I lubed the chain. Come to find that the chain had impacted some sugar sand the there were a couple links that were seized, causing my issues. I got them pretty much worked free and it's been great ever since. They're still stiff but the ghost shifting has stopped. But that's led me to look to have a backup chain just in case.

Per the specs on the diamondback website, it should take a KMC Z99 chain. In searching for that, it's sort of sent me down a rabbit hole. Theres a z99 chain, several flavors of x9 chains, and then other brands.

Should I get a replacement z99 chain, an x9, e9, or is there some other brand and model chain that would be better suited for me? I know dirt bike and ATV chains have options for no-lube o-ring chains that work great. Is there a bicycle equivalent to that? I just dont want to keep messing up chains with sugar sand getting kicked up.


  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 540
    KMC chains are good and I always use them. Don't think an alternative brand or
    another KMC type will make any difference to your issue. I personally haven't heard of no-lube o-ring chains for MTB's.

    I would say the most important thing with bike chains is a good cleaning regime. At least once a week water hosed directly onto chain then a good spray of WD40 or similar, wait to dry. Apply lube and cycle through all gears so small amount coats cogs. Leave lube to soak into pins and rollers for as long as possible then importantly clean off any excess on visible parts of chain which will stop fine particles sticking to it.

    If you ride in very dry conditions use dry, wax type lube as opposed to oil based lubes if you don't already.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,622
    Any 9-speed chain will work. Make sure you size it correctly though when fitting.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    I agree with reaperactual48 in his recco to use a dry lube. Dry lube is a wax dissolved in a solvent, Shake the bottle and apply to a clean chain. The lube penetrates the chain and then the solvent evaporates leaving the wax behind. When sand hits the chain, it just falls off (taking a small bit of wax with it). FinishLine Dry is good.
  • cp241cp241 Posts: 6
    Thank you for the responses. I will look into it! My main concern is keeping the sand from kicking up off the tires and sticking to the chain, I can feel it kicking up onto my legs. I'll definitely check into the dry lube.
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