KMC has become synonymous with bike chains and offers high quality chains for nearly any bike setup. Designed to work with SRAM, Shimano or Campy setups, KMC chains are a popular replacement or upgrade and also offer a variety of attractive color schemes. In this review, we’ll be looking at the latest Aurora color option which adds an eye-catching oil-slick finish. The Aurora finish is available in the 10, 11 and 12 speed options, but we specifically have the $65 X11 version. The X11 chain uses KMC’s symmetric double x-bridge design for strength and a nickel plating for stiffness and protection. To improve shift performance the X11 chains offer inner and outer chamfering.

The KMC X Aurora chains combine the smooth shifting and lightweight KMC chains are known for with an eye catching oil slick finish.

Retail Price$65
Rating9.8 / 10
Measured Weight (in g) 259 (118 links + Missing Link)
Likes+ Symmetric design makes installation easy
+ Eye catching oil slick finish that isn’t distracting
+ More affordable than other factory chains
Dislikes– N/A
Where to BuyKMC


KMC chains all come in a transparent plastic box with the Missing Link pieces in a separate front compartment for easy access. It’s easy to see the color finish through the box and the basic specs printed on a label.


KMC offers multiple tiers of chains from the pricey DLC series down to e-bike specific E series. The X series is one of the most popular options and offers a variety of color options and sub-variations. We have the standard 11-speed compatible X11 which uses solid pins and plates compared to the lighter hollow  X11 SL (i.e. super light) and the X11 E11 (i.e. extra light) variations. Currently, the Aurora color option is only available in the standard X chains with the lighter options limited to silver or gold. Visually, it’s easy to identify the KMC chains as the chain links of the X-Bridge technology which engraved “X” markers on each link. The X11 chains are also symmetric which means they are non-directional and can be quickly and easily installed on a bike. Each chain is precisely manufactured with specific chamfering on each link to ensure smooth shifting on any bike drivetrain setup.

KMC X11 Aurora Oil Slick Bicycle Chain Review - Chain in Box
Fresh out of the box, the chain has a beautiful mix or purple, blue and yellow colors that change depending on the lighting.

One of the most popular features of KMC chains are the Missing Link quick connectors. These are special links that have a latch design that slide into place to secure chains together. It makes installing and removing chains far easier than removing specific pins on a chain. The X11 chain comes with the re-usable variation of the Missing Link connectors which according to KMC can be used 3-5 times. With the removable design it’s easy to remove the chain from the bike for cleaning or doing wax coating for a deep clean.

KMC X11 Aurora Oil Slick Bicycle Chain Review - Chainlink Closeup
The KMC X11 has the class X-bridge design of KMC chains which is a symmetric design that’s quick and easy to install on a bike.


Using our Topeak Power Lever, we installed the X11 chain on our Specialized Tarmac. The chain actually replaced our KMC X11 gold chain which has been holding up well to use. That’s why we had high expectations that the Aurora color would also have a durable finish. After over a thousand of miles of use, we’re happy to say those expectations were met as the Aurora finish still looks nearly new. On the bike, the oil slick finish is almost easy to miss unless the sun hits it at the right angle and the colors come alive. In shade or overcast weather the chain only has a subtle color shift between purple shades. As with other KMC X chains, the chain has smooth and quiet shifting with enough durability to meet or exceed factory chain setups.

KMC X11 Aurora Oil Slick Bicycle Chain Review - Sideview On Bike
Installed on the bike, the Aurora oil slick finish is fairly subtle unless the sun hits it at the right angle.


Overall, we found the KMC X11 Aurora chain offers an attractive finish and impressive performance. As with other KMC X chains the X11 Aurora offers smooth and fast shifting at affordable price points. The color shifting oil slick finish of the Aurora shines in the sun and shifts between purple and teal colors without being distracting or over-the-top like many other oil-slick products. As with the KMC chains, the X11 Aurora has smooth shifting and is easy to install or remove from the bike using the Missing Link feature. We were impressed with how well the Aurora oil-slick finished held up to mileage as it still looks new after multiple months of use. If you’re looking to add a little extra style to your bike, we’d highly recommend trying out the KMC Aurora finish the next time you replace your chain.

Disclaimer:  The product for this review was provided by KMC. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

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