The US$48 FSA SL-K 10-speed chain is the quietest and smoothest chain I've used, and its silent performance is inspiring me to ride farther.
The 5.88mm wide/240g chain gets its strength and performance from the chamfered and relieved plates, but I believe the smoothness comes from the pins and rollers, the guts of the chain. FSA has made waves with its bottom bracket ceramic bearings, and it appears they know a thing or two about internal engineering.
The chrome-plated FSA SL-K chain has stayed strong for several hundred miles, and like any high-performance component, requires care to deliver. I've done minimal cleaning and lube, and the SL-K continues to perform like a new chain. The Drive Link, similar to SRAM's Power Link, snaps into place easily. Shifting has been crisp, reliable and smooth; as a longtime user of SRAM chains, I've finally found something that may be better.
© BikeRadar 2008