11 Speed Chains


** Note for Full Race Optimisation Prep see separate ZFC Fully Optimised Race Chain product here ***

*** Additional Note lead time for Silca Hot Melt Prep and Rex Black Diamond Prep is approximately 1 week as chains are prepped once ordered***

ZFC has conducted over 100,000 km’s of machine controlled longevity testing in-conjunction with outright chain efficiency data from Ceramic Speed test labs (and where possible a bunch of field testing) to bring the most up to date object test information to ascertain a) What products should ZFC stock and what we should not, and b) provide detail information to help guide what product selection is right for you. If you already know what chain you need / want – select away. For the best independent information on chains available, refer to detail in product description below.

SKU: YBNSLA Categories: , Tags: , ,

YBN SLA chains.

** Note for Full Race Optimisation Prep see separate ZFC Fully Optimised Race Chain product here ***

*** Additional Note lead time for Silca Hot Melt Prep and Rex Black Diamond Prep is approximately 1 week as chains are prepped once ordered***

(*Note YBN chains come with a non directional master link, the master link is silver regardless of chain colour selection).

The YBN SLA remains Zero Friction Cycling’s top recommendation due to it’s overall balance of outright efficiency, outstanding longevity, and coatings that get along very well with fastest lubricants on the market (Mspeedwax / UFO etc). The YBN SLA is very fast, typically within around 0.5w of fastest chain (dura ace) however it has approx 50% greater longevity vs Dura Ace / Ultegra chains.

The patented Nickel PTFE low friction coating on YBN also match up extremely well with mspeedwax for longer run per wax treatment before sounding and feeling dry.

*Note – as chains wear their efficiency drops. Dura Ace chains are a touch faster out of the box, but possibly for a shorter window of time before this advantage is matched or reversed in favour of YBN.

For those looking for the best balance of outright speed, retaining low friction performance for a very long time, class leading outright longevity & weight, best compatibility with mspeedwax / wax based lubricants, as well as outstanding shift performance – ZFC still ranks the YBN SLA as on balance the best 11speed chain on the market.

YBN also has leading edge chamfers on outer plates for outstanding shifting performance on both sides of the chain so neither the chain or master link is directional.

Available options for YBN SLA –  as is with factory grease or a number of different ultrasonic clean and wax options.

*Note gold and silver chains you also have option of solid plate or laser cut outs – this is a cosmetic choice, there is a 3 gram weight difference between solid plate and plate cut out options.

**Note regarding YBN Titanium Chains. It can be a little confusing as the YBN SLA Gold / Black chains have Ti-N plating (Titanium Nitride), Silver chains are Nickel Plated. The YBN SLA Titanium chains are the exact same chain however the ROLLERS are made of titanium. The Titanium chain is the lightest chain in the world – but at a fairly hefty price premium vs the top of the line YBN SLA. Over most real world road bike chain lengths weight savings are typically around 10 to 15grams vs YBN SLA, 15 to 25g vs some of the heavier top level chains.

Shimano Dura Ace

The chain test project found that DA is are typically the fastest chain on the market by around 0.5w over any other chain including the YBN SLA.

*Note – Shimano run a looser tolerance of roller to inner plate shoulder vs other chains which MAY in part account of this. It is interesting that Sram chains run very tight tolerances in this area and typically test at the slower end of the spectrum.

**Note due to this extra tolerance shimano chains typically measure at around 20% “worn” when new when measuring via chain wear checker.

Also, shimano chain coatings are slightly lipophobic (repels hydrocarbons) so whilst mspeedwax / UFO is still the fastest chain treatments available, the treatments will start to sound / feel dry a bit faster on Shimano chains vs YBN.

Shimano’s rollers are not hardened to the same level as YBN SLA dha chromium carbide hardened rollers, and as such the rollers wear at a much faster rate comparative to chromium hardened pins. There is a point at which worn rollers will start to impact on efficiency. This point will arrive much sooner with a Dura Ace / Ultegra chain vs YBN SLA. So they are a touch faster out of the box, but from the best information we have from testing – ZFC believes for a shorter window of time.

ZFC offers Shimano Dura Ace 11speed Chains in Ultrasonic Cleaned and waxed as well as Ceramic Speed UFO options.

*Note – Shimano chain both the chain and master links are directional. Master link – arrow points to point in direction of chain travel, Chain – writing on chain (HG901 etc) must face out towards you when installing. Shimano only chamfer leading edges on outer plates for shifting performance on one side of chain. If installed incorrectly, shifting performance will be compromised.

**For those who believe that only pure elongation wear impacts performance and that chain wear checkers that do not isolate out roller wear give false measures – ZFC highly recommends reading the in depth investigative work and article on chain wear and how to measure. Worn rollers flopping around all over the place is detrimental with regards to chain efficiency – like many mechanical components there is a tolerance sweet spot.

Park Tool’s Project Manager, John Krawczyk, concurs with this. “Whether a chain measures only 0.001% wear or 0.75% “worn” when it is new, this doesn’t change the fact that the cassette and chainrings don’t care how new or how old the chain is,” he said. “All they know is that once the chain goes beyond 0.75% wear (or whatever the replacement metric from the chain manufacturer might be) those rollers no longer fall cleanly in the valley between the teeth and either the chain needs to be replaced or the teeth begin to be re-shaped.”

And of note Ceramic Speed’s Jason Smith concurred that the drive train is “agnostic” with regards to what components of the chain are worn.

*For 9, 10, 11 & 12speed chains ZFC recommends 0.5% wear replacement mark on most chain checkers vs 0.75% – the thinner Ring / cog teeth for 11/128 inch internal width chains are less resistant to wear vs old 5 to 8 speed 3/32 internal width chains.


For information regarding why ZFC is not currently stocking or recommending SRAM / KMC chains refer to Chain Project Test summary, link here;.

For the full data and test wrap of the chain test project refer to that tab on website or click this link here….. 

Finding the best bicycle chain: What over 3,000 hours of testing revealed

Weight 0.27 kg
Dimensions 12 × 11 × 1.5 cm

YBN, YBN Titanium, YBN Oil Slick, Shimano Dura Ace (9100/XTR), Campagnolo Record


Gold, Black, Silver, Silver Solid Plate, Gold Solid Plate, Rainbow


Ultra Fast Optimisation, Fully Optimised Race Prep, Ultrasonic Clean & MSpeed Wax, Ultrasonic Clean and Silca Hot Melt Prep, Ultrasonic Clean and AbsoluteBlack Graphene Prep, US Clean Rex Black Diamond / Revolube, US Clean + Rex BD + Race Day Drip Treatment, None