The KMC X11L chain is both lightweight and hardwearing, the gold titanium nitride coating adding durability as well as a bit of bling to your drivetrain.
The 11 in the name tells you that this is Campagnolo compatible. The 10-speed X10L (Shimano, SRAM and Campag compatible) is £39.99 and the 9-speed option is £33.99.
The 112 links of our review chain weighed in at 245g. That's pretty light – almost exactly the same as the Campagnolo Super Record chain that it replaced, but not as light as the (claimed) 228g of the SL version of this chain (£64.99). That SL version comes with slots in both the outer and inner plates to reduce weight and hollow pins. Here it's just the inner plates that are slotted while the pins are solid. Although it's not quite as light, it's easier to keep clean.
Fitting this chain is easy thanks to KMC's Missing Link system. You use a chain tool to remove any links you don't need, then push the Missing Link in place with your fingers. Once tensioned, there's no chance of it ever coming undone. The Missing Link is non-reusable, and for some reason a spare one costs £11.99 (KMC say you can't use a pin instead of the Missing Link).
In use, this chain shifts smoothly and runs just as it should. There's not a lot else to say on that front: it just gets on with it. You only really notice a chain when it doesn't do those things. Where this chain does score is in its durability. Three months down the line it hasn't stretched at all and the titanium nitride coating is still looking good. There's some wear, as you'd expect, but I'd say that coating is doing its job well.
Smooth running chain that's a good combination of light weight and durability
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Make and model: KMC X11L Gold 11 Speed Chain
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Compatible with: Campagnolo 11-speed
Titanium Nitride Gold coated
Double X Durability
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
1/2in x 11/128in - 112 Links
Pin length 5.5 mm
The Missing Link is handy. We just wish a replacement was cheaper than £11.99.
The titanium nitride coating really does make a difference to the longevity.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It gets on with the job and durability is good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
You have to use the Missing Link which you get with the chain, but a spare one will set you back £11.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.