When it comes to upgrades, chains tend to be a begrudging replacement rather than a lust-worthy, simmering-in-your-mind, gotta-have-it part.
Eventually, though, you will have to replace one, and if you’re like me, you usually get a Shimano chain to replace a Shimano chain and a SRAM chain to replace a SRAM chain, etc., etc.
Taya has something else in mind.
Their U.S. rep just sent several of us a variety of 10-speed chains to try out, including the DECA-101 UL shown above in Ti-Gray (left) and white. Yep, white. And these aren’t gimmick chains…they’re top-of-the-line performance parts with some features you might not ever think of:
- Teflon surface treatment for slick shifting, also available in colors
- DHT (Diamond Hard Treatment) heat treated pins and rollers for strength and durability
- GST (Greener Surface Treatment) for corrosion resistance
The combination of the Teflon and the GST provides various levels of total surface protection, which is named on the chains’ ratings (GST 500, GST 1000) and tells the number of hours of use before you should see any corrosion.
It’s worth mentioning now that orange and green are also available in the high performance chains, and they offer a Crayon box of colors on some of their urban chains. So how do they measure up in weight and performance? Read more and see…
UPDATE: They’re available now, but oddly enough we can’t tell you how to get them just yet…we’ll update shortly with that and retail pricing.
On the left is a SRAM PC1091 chain at 248g. This is a chain that didn’t need replacing, so it’s not totally worn but does have some miles on it. On the right is the brand new Taya DECA 101UL at 257g. Both have the same number of links.
Supposing the performance benefits of GST and Teflon coatings stand up to their claims, 9g is a small penalty to pay. Plus, a brand new SRAM chain would likely weigh a couple grams more. (I didn’t weigh a new Shimano chain because virtually all of their mid- and high-level 10speed stuff now use directional chains, which we’d recommend sticking with those on Shimano drivetrains for maximum performance. SRAM’s chains are not directional, so technically there shouldn’t be an issue with swapping in another brand.)
The white one, without any links removed (comes with 114) weighs in at 260g. Theoretically, the white (or orange or green) should be fairly durable because the color is mixed with the Teflon surface coating. That coating by itself is rated at 200 hours of use before seeing major wear, and Taya says it bumps up with the addition of GST.
Visual comparison to a SRAM chain above. The Taya DECA 101 UL is their top of the line chain and features hollow pins, beveling and chamfering on the insides and outsides of the plates. The plates also have some material removed near the pins to make them lighter, which is most noticeable on the inner links in the photo at the top of the post (click to enlarge).
To connect, the chains come with a pre-installed connector pin. Once you’ve got it at the length you want (just make sure to remove links from the other end of the chain), you put this pin into the connecting link, bend the chain inward to insert it into the outer plate, then bend it outward to lock it into place. It’s super easy, and they sell quick connect links separately for future chain breaks, but their rep said you could use any 10-speed connector link if choices are limited.
Lastly, it’s also available in 11-speed for Campagnolo drivetrains.
IT’S ALSO ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
GST, Taya’s Greener Surface Treatment, is “a new coating process that is more environmental friendly, is free of hexavalent chromium and provides up to 1000 hours of anti-rust proofing according to salt spray tests.”
HOW’S IT PERFORM?
TYLER: So far I’ve only ridden it once mated up to a SRAM X0 2×10 drivetrain. I swapped that drivetrain onto our Santa Cruz Blur XC test mule and used that as a good excuse to try these chains out. Much to the chagrin of any shop mech reading this, I reused the cables and housing during the parts swap. Despite this, shifting was smooth and actually felt lighter than before. Whether this was due to the chain or not remains to be seen…I’m going to swap the SRAM chain back on after a while to see if I can still tell a difference. First impressions are very positive, though, and if you’re in the market for a chain, it may be worth broadening your horizons.
I have special plans for that white one later this year, but some other testers should provide a more timely review of how the color holds up.
CHRIS: The chain I got, a Deca 101-UL, not only has the GST treatment, but also an additional white Teflon coating. According to Roger Lundquist, their US agent, “Taya has been doing Colored Teflon on the single speed chains for 2-3 years now with success. At the last Eurobike Show, a couple Italians asked if the colored Teflon was available in multi-speed chains. Leave it to the Italians!” So, they produced a test batch of multi-speed chains with the Teflon, and we at Bikerumor are among the first to test them out.
Personally, I’ve put about 100 miles on mine (pictured above with a little grime), and so far, I can say that I hardly notice a difference from the SRAM chain it replaced. For me, that’s saying a lot. Oh, and it matches my Ritchey white parts, almost too well!
ANOTHER PICTURE OF THE WHITE CHAIN
We know you want to check it out, so here you go:
THE ORANGE CHAIN NICK RECEIVED (IT’S A 9 SPEED)
I plan on using this on my Salsa Casserole that is set up with a 1×9 drive train. I am running a Shimano Ultegra 9 Speed cassette, chain, and rear derailleur currently. The nice thing, this orange matched the bike! This chain is listed as a NOVE-91 x 116 links.