KMC's Z510HX chain is Intended primarily for the rigours of BMX racing and internal hub transmissions, but this beefy 112 link chain also lends itself particularly well to fixed and single speed applications.
The anti drop design, counters chain sag and suits road conversions, although isn’t so effective on frames with vertical ends (better served by a half link design that allows the creation of a “magic gear” to achieve good chain line).
Fitting the chain is easy and intuitive, although the chunky “Mushroom” pins made cutting to correct length something of a feat using a traditional chain breaker. However, once split it’s simply a case of popping the ends together courtesy of the reusable tool free link.This felt quite insubstantial and I feared it might split under load but so far despite concerted effort I have no problems on that score.
Even though it's not rustproof in the commonly accepted sense, the chain's silver finish has lost none of its lustre despite constant exposure to wet, salt strewn winter roads. Similarly, despite pairing with a very modest sprocket and sparing lubrication it remains surprisingly refined.
I reserve judgement on the magical properties of the “Stretch Proof” mushroom pin; not least as chains don’t stretch-they wear. However, on the strength of the past month’s slavery it would appear a bargain upgrade for lower end production fixers and other bikes in hard service.
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)