Tuesday 23 July 2013

Can I use a KMC 11 speed chain on Campagnolo Athena?

Recently I bought a damn fine new bike from Ribble Cycles

But there was a problem; the chain hadn’t been “peened” properly (yes, apparently that’a a thing), which resulted in the chain on my popping apart half a mile from the start of my first sportive. The chain needed replacing.

My bike was fresh from Ribble so I decided to get in touch and see how they could help me get a new chain. Contrary to what many people experience with Ribble, I contacted them and I have to say that Ribble’s customer service was brilliant - flat out they offered me either a new Campag record chain, or, a KMC X11SL.

I had read around online and my initial thought was to cough up and by the stupidly expensive, but oddly alluring Campagnolo 11 speed chain tool. After all, I’m likely to need to replace the chain again as I’m clocking up about 6,000 miles a year and the designer in me would be delighted to own such a fine tool. However, Ribble we’re quite adamant that everyone in their office who rode Campagnolo all used KMC chains. They assured me that in their opinion, no warranties would voided and all would be fine. I decided I’d take a punt because although the Campagnolo and KMC chains are the same price, I’d much rather be able to use a missing link to fit a chain rather than lug around a solid machined hunk of metal.

Two days ago I fitted the chain and I’m delighted to say that gear shifts are silky smooth, the operation is near silent and I’m one happy cyclist. So if you’ve came here mulling over the whether or not you can use an 11 speed KMC chain on a Campagnolo 11 speed athena groupset, then I’d say yes; yes you can.

Thanks to Ribble for being so awesome at resolving this.