do more expensive chains last longer?


Well-Known Member
my bottom shelf KMC chain is just about 75% worn in 700 miles is this normal? rear cassette has about 1k miles and front chain ring about 500. i dont mind buying a new chain but is it worth going for a more expensive one in hopes of getting more mileage out of it. i think i keep up with maintenance and cleaning/lubing, roughly once every 50 or so miles or more depending on conditions.

shimano xtr/xt 11speed with woolftooth oval chain ring if that matters.


Well-Known Member
I use KMC 10.93 or something like that. They last me about 3,500 road miles and around 600-800 miles on the MTB. They seem to stretch a lot more on the mtb.
I used a few of the more expensive KMC chains on my road bike and can't say there was any noticeable difference, other than perhaps a small weight savings.
Not sure you'd get double the chain life from a chain costing double.

Regarding lube, I use Boeshield T-9 for both road and MTB chains.


The Hat
Team MTBNJ Halter's
i would think opposite generally speaking since they try to make expensive stuff light with holes and stuff


Well-Known Member
I believe they say the chain comes pre-stretched 25-50% out of the box, So in that number of miles, it's probably only 25% worn and sounds like you can get at least 3k miles out of it.


Well-Known Member
Oh but to answer your, I don't think they do. More likely to save some weight and shifting smoother on the more expensive ones, but don't expect them to outlast a cheap one.
Also, don't get too hung up on the mileage. I've put probably 2x the amount of miles on a chain than what it should've lasted and didn't experience poor shifting, skipping chains or anything like that. It's kinda like changing your car's oil at 3k miles. Just not necessary.


Infinite Source of Sarcasm
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I use KMC 10.93 or something like that. They last me about 3,500 road miles and around 600-800 miles on the MTB. They seem to stretch a lot more on the mtb.

yea i have similar results running the sram chains on past bikes, the mountain bikes wear out a chain faster for obvious reasons, lubing them frequently helps, but at the cost of a cheap chain you have to decide how much effort that extra life is actually worth.

the eagle chains definitely seem to last less, maybe 1/2 what i was getting on my old bike which was 3x9, but again, changing the chain is cheaper than replacing the cassette, by alot!


Well-Known Member
I replace my chain (XX1 11sp) & chainring every ~ 500 miles. The Raceface rings I use are shot after 500 miles and the chain start to stretch. That way I can get 2000 mile out of the SRAM XX110-42 cassette ( the high cost item). The chain really does not stretch, the link get play in them. The only chain my son and I have ever broken has been KMC. Also the XX1 and XTR chains are much more corrosion resistance, and have never rusted on me.


Infinite Source of Sarcasm
Team MTBNJ Halter's
really? you wear out the rings that fast? my rings(historically, this is my first 1x setup) last as long as my cassette if i keep up with the chain replacements (the 12 speed has been running 400-500 miles on a chain so far).

and that is correct chain 'stretch' is actually the pins wearing out their holes and that play presents itself as a longer chain (this is why the chain gauges all tell you the check them with a bit of load on the pedals so that the chain is pulled to its longest), but its a predictable and measurable effect, which can be slowed to some extent.


Well-Known Member
Chain is so cheap just change it once a year or more and you’re good. Snag a few cheap every 2 year when you buy tubes, done.
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Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
The short answer is no, however, the nickel coating on KMC chain does seem to help.

Keep in mind, “stretching” just means roller wear, so pre stretched doesn’t really make sense. Use a chain tool to measure the chain when you install it as a gauge for when you should replace.


Formerly 1sh0t1b33r
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I don't know if they last longer, but I really like the gold plated KMC chains. I haven't had one show any signs of rust, where others did after a drive home in the rain and straight to the shed.