Are light weight WW chains folly?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Posts: 196
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 6:02 pm

by refthimos

I'm not looking for any info behind a paywall, and I've already purchased the Friction Facts reports, but does anyone know if there exist any drivetrain efficiency tests on WW chains like the YBN titanium?

It appears that the weight difference in the YBN chain vs Dura-Ace is approx 37g. Not a lot. Meanwhile, Friction Facts tested the Dura-Ace chain as the fastest among 5 popular chains, and found it approx 3.12W faster than the slowest chain (PC1091R, so a top-level gruppo offering) out-of-the-box at 250W and .6W faster when stripped and re-lubed. In fact, 3 of the 5 chains tested fell within a very tight band of 0.60-0.65W slower than Dura-Ace.

My back-of-the envelope maths tell me that even just a 0.60W advantage is probably worth more in speed than dropping 37g. But without knowing how WW chains like YBN test in drivetrain efficiency, there is no way to know if they are more or less efficient than a Dura-Ace chain. Does anyone know if such testing exists?
EVO | 5.37kg
SystemSix | On order
TCR Advanced SL Disc | 7.35kg
P5 | 9070 Di2 | SISL2 SRM | Enve 7.8 | Alto Disc
T1 | P2Max Type S | Rolf Prima FX58/Zipp Super 9 Disc

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by sungod

i'd seen those ff results reported, but it from what i've seen of their test system it appears that they make the assumption that cassette/chainring design has no differential impact on chain performance

do they address that in the paywalled version?

unless they can justify that assumption, i don't see how the test results are reliable

by Weenie

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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:36 am

by mann2

I'm interested in this as well. I've seen the YBN Titanium chains and was wondering if it's worth (nearly twice as much as DA) the money.

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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

For me the most important factor in selecting a chain is shift quality.

Luckily the KMC X11SL presents a good combination of shift quality, weight reduction, aesthetics (gold,) price, durability and efficiency.

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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:51 pm

by WheelNut

I don't have an answer to your question. The YBN chain is a pretty esoteric bit, so it would be surprising if such information exists, but perhaps someone has that info.

Tangential question: Does anyone know how these YBN chains are made? Judging by the cutaway image on the Yaban website it looks a bit like the rollers are steel and Ti with the Ti portion being an outer ring pressed over top of a steel center thereby reducing the mass of each roller while still preserving a steel on steel friction surface between the roller and pin. If that roller is actually all titanium then the chain would likely wear much faster than a conventional chain. I wonder if it possible that the Ti roller edge contacting the plate could change the amount of friction when the chain is flexing.

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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:19 am

by stevey028

I was also interested in this, I didnt go for it because I wanted a waxed lightweight chain but couldnt find any so just went with the DA waxed chain.

by Weenie

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