The CN-M980 XTR 10-Speed Chain has been redesigned to provide better shifting for your mountain bike than ever before. What makes it better than its predecessors is that its asymmetrical HG-X design uses four different plates. So the outer and inner plates that make up the chain are all shaped differently according to their position relative to the chainrings and cogs as you shift up and down.This HG-X directional design necessitates installing the XTR 10-Speed Chain in a specific manner -- the XTR logo must appear right-side up on the top section of chain. This way the special beveling on the plates will allow smooth movement. As you know, upshifts have always been the slowest movement as the chain has to climb onto the next bigger cog or ring. This is exactly where the special shaping of the XTR chain shows its greatest improvement. This is also the reason that the plates are asymmetrical from inside to out -- the inside plates have to climb up to the left onto larger cogs in back, and the outside plates have to climb up to the right onto larger chainrings in front. The Shimano XTR 10-Speed Chain CN-M980 is zinc alloy plated so that it's resistant to corrosion. While it's no excuse not to keep it clean and well-lubed, the plating will help the chain last longer. It has hollow pivot pins to keep the weight as low as possible, and is assembled with a standard 10-speed connecting pin.