Like this site? Help us to make it better.


KMC X11L Gold 11 Speed Chain



Smooth running chain that's a good combination of light weight and durability

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

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

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website test report

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?

KMC say:

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

Rate the product for quality of construction:

The Missing Link is handy. We just wish a replacement was cheaper than £11.99.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

The titanium nitride coating really does make a difference to the longevity.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

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

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

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 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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Add new comment


pockstone | 4 years ago

The only problem I've had with KMC missing links is dropping one half into gravel or long grass.(@!!*!) Reused them more often than is wise and have never (yet) had one fail. I always carry a spare, which came in handy to replace a bent chain link recently.

To save buying a special removal tool, I filed a notch in both blades of a pair of cheap scissors with a round diamond warding file. A bit of strong woven cord threaded round  both pins can also be used to open the link.

vonhelmet | 4 years ago

I've never had an issue with reusing those links. I have, however, once had a shimano chain break on me when I was pushing hard up a hill. It broke at the weird rivet pin thing that shimano use. Probably my fault in how I fit it in the first place, but that only tells me that the fitting wasn't as idiot proof as the kmc one.

srchar | 4 years ago

It failed exactly where you'd expect. And yes, I carry a spare!


srchar | 4 years ago

KMC 11 speed quick link, tested to destruction. This one lasted 2 years of all-weather commuting, probably going through 25-ish reconnection cycles.


ktache | 4 years ago

The KMC single speed missing link is also meant to be single use.  But with the ease of cleaning the cogs, I have never wanted to remove the chain.  It's only when deep cleaning the 3x9 drivetrains that I ever felt the need to undo the quick links, so I can remove and really get into the jockeys and cogs.

So I now carry around 8, 9 and single quick links.  And the Park chain pup, and my original Cool Tool.  Oddly in the past 20 years I have only ever had a chain fail once, a 9, at the quick link.

But my first mechanical when I got my new mountain bike in 92 was a dead chain, and I had nothing.

Several others have been impressed when I have given help using a workshop tool though.

Sriracha | 4 years ago
1 like

If the missing link is not reusable - and you need a chain tool in any case to get the correct length - what is the value of the missing link?

hawkinspeter replied to Sriracha | 4 years ago
Sriracha wrote:

If the missing link is not reusable - and you need a chain tool in any case to get the correct length - what is the value of the missing link?

I carry spares so I can repair the chain if necessary (never needed to with KMC chains). If the chain snaps at another link, you've got the option of removing the broken link (with a chain tool) and then joining the ends with a missing link.

I've also re-used missing links several times without issue.

Simon E replied to Sriracha | 4 years ago
1 like
Sriracha wrote:

If the missing link is not reusable - and you need a chain tool in any case to get the correct length - what is the value of the missing link?

It's far easier to fit a missing link than a loose pin correctly IME (though a competent mechanic may say otherwise). I've reused 9 and 10 speed links that aren't too worn, though wouldn't do push my luck.

StraelGuy | 8 years ago

I've been running 11 speed since February and have re-used my link about 4 times to no ill effect so far. You can buy 4 SRAM links on Amazon for about £12.

simondbarnes | 11 years ago

The 11x missing links are £12.50 for 2 so only £6.25 each...

arrieredupeleton | 11 years ago

Apparently so. Although I am sure I've taken one apart before.....

For the same gold effect, simply don't lube your chain for months. Result= nice golden patina, orangy gold and squeeky.

mike78 | 11 years ago

Is the missing link different to the one on their 10 and 9 spd chains then? I've been using them repeatedly for years with no issues what so ever.

Latest Comments