Interesting, maybe time to ditch the KMC NJS 1/8 chain folks:
In the meantime, the older standard is almost historic. So far most of the professional track cyclists and also the fixed gear cyclists ride the thick and heavy 1/2“ x 1/8“ chains. But why? Why don´t they use more slim chains? It seems that the development in this area hasn´t moved forward till now! Probably some riders had the fear that the slim chains might rip and not withstand the power in their legs. But is there something truth in this theory? Will thinner chains get ripped by strong forces? How many torn 11-speed chains did wee see at MTB competitions where very high torque is directed on to the chain? How often does a 11-speed chain tear at a final sprint or a mountain stage at the Tour de France?
The research issue
The Berlin laboratory FES, the institute for the research and development of sports equipment, is well known for their extremely light and very stiff equipment for example for track frames, speed skating, rowing or bob sleigh. Only a few people have the possibility to use these unbelievable machines for competition or training. Within the framework of an Olympia project, FES raised the same question and got to the bottom of things. Thereby they discovered some interesting scientific findings. 1/2“ x 1/8“ chains are verifiable more tear-resistant and a bit more stiff than thin chains. However humans, even professional cyclists are not able to generate the power to tear a chain! If one wants to rip a 11-speed-no-name-chain, one has to produce a tensile strength of round about 8.8 tons. To get a realistic comparison we took some FES data from a very strong German sprinter. He is able to produce for a very short time round about 2500N. This is awesome and super strong but converted into tons, with a 53T chainring and a 175mm crank it corresponds to about 4.1 tons. Even this super strong cyclist is not able to tear this chain. Furthermore every chain has its own characteristics if you consider the breaking load, stiffness and the mass. FES carried out some detailed tests to ensure that also 11-speed chains run very reliable in the velodrome. This knowledge gave us confidence to start our joined project to establish a 11-speed standard. All in all the propulsion is optimized as a result of the lighter weight and the better aerodynamics. On that score Kappstein named this product line „Pro Line“. At the moment the German national track team is testing the „Pro Line“ in preparation for the Olympic Games 2016.