X-ring chain

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Difference between X-ring and O-ring chains.
Difference between X-ring and regular O-ring chains. The seals are red in color.

The X-ring chain is a specialized type of sealed roller chain used to transfer mechanical power. Like the standard O-ring chains it is also used in high performance motorcycles. It uses X-ring seal to keep lubricant (usually grease) in place.

It has higher performance (in terms of durability, lifetime, and power loss) than non-O-ring chains as it has less friction than O-ring chain while providing adequate lubrication and protection against foreign elements which also increases reliability.[1] It can last twice as long as the O-ring chain under some circumstances.[2]


The X-ring chain is developed from O-ring chain which in turn is developed from non-O-ring chain. While the regular O-ring chain has high durability, it also has more friction (compared to other types of roller chains) due to distortion of the O-ring due to pressure from the inner and outer chain plates.[3] This results in loss of power in the transmission. Therefore, X-ring chain was developed by replacing O-ring seal with X-ring seal which greatly reduced friction and increased durability.[1]


Like the O-ring chain it has sealing rings which keep the contaminant (dirt) out, and lubricant in between the pins and bushings. This is known as internal lubrication. However, unlike O-ring chain, it has X shaped seal which does not experiences increased surface area (which is in contact with the chain plates) when under pressure. Therefore the friction in X-ring chain does not increase much when pressure is applied by the chain plates. Due to their unique shape, they have two additional sealing surfaces than a traditional O-ring.[4]

Comparison between Standard roller chain, X-ring, and O-ring chain.[5]
Chain type Standard roller O-ring chain X-ring chain
Lubrication Externally lubricated Self lubricating(Internal) Self lubricating(Internal)
Durability Low High Very High
Efficiency High Relatively low Very High
Maintenance Frequent Less frequent, special care Least frequent,special care
Stretching Regular Limited Limited
Cost Relatively cheaper Relatively Expensive Relatively expensive

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "O Ring and X Ring Chains ¦ Motorcycle Chains ¦ Technical Help ¦ Bike Torque Racing". www.biketorqueracing.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  2. ^ "O-Ring vs.X-Ring and Patching Tires | Ask the Geek". Sport Rider. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  3. ^ SevenRockCityCycles. "WHAT's THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN O-RING and X-RING CHAINS? – Rock City Cycles". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  4. ^ "O-Ring vs.X-Ring and Patching Tires". Cycle World. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  5. ^ "Drive Chains: O Ring/ X Ring Vs Non-O Ring Standard Chains » BikesMedia.in". www.bikesmedia.in. Retrieved 2017-09-29.

External links[edit]