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  1. #1
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    wearing out cassettes fast!

    I typically ride 100-120 miles a week commuting, in nasty weather this time of year. I have a park chain checker at home and replace my chains at the 0.075 mark. A chain typically lasts me 2 months before the chain checker tells me its stretched/worn out. My problem is that every 2 or 3 chain changes, the new chain starts skipping and I need a new cassette too. The point of frequently changing the chains is to prevent wearing out other parts of the drivetrain, but I'm still going through a lot of cassettes. The chainrings are not visibly worn out that I can see.
    Does anyone else have this problem?
    I have a standard road triple in front and run shimano 8 speed 11-30 cassettes in back, and I have been using SRAM 8 speed chains.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    have you tried adjusting your derailer?

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    No way your chain should be worn out in 1000 miles unless you are not taking care of it properly. Have you ever measured the wear with the 12 inch ruler method? You might want to do so and compare the results to what the Park chain checker is showing. Cassettes should last through about 2-3 chains depending on how much you stay in one gear and grind.
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    Senior Member erader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekorn
    I typically ride 100-120 miles a week commuting, in nasty weather this time of year. I have a park chain checker at home and replace my chains at the 0.075 mark. A chain typically lasts me 2 months before the chain checker tells me its stretched/worn out. My problem is that every 2 or 3 chain changes, the new chain starts skipping and I need a new cassette too. The point of frequently changing the chains is to prevent wearing out other parts of the drivetrain, but I'm still going through a lot of cassettes. The chainrings are not visibly worn out that I can see.
    Does anyone else have this problem?
    I have a standard road triple in front and run shimano 8 speed 11-30 cassettes in back, and I have been using SRAM 8 speed chains.
    Thanks

    back in the day i used to change my chain every 2k miles and i'd have to replace some cogs every other chain change (4K miles).

    i cleaned my drivetrain every week and climbed lots of hills. this was on an 8-speed double with usually DA cassettes and the best sedi chains.

    sounds like you changing chains and cogs twice as often. could be the nasty weather and resultant dirt and grit .

    ed rader

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    Quote Originally Posted by bassplayinbiker
    have you tried adjusting your derailer?
    Yes, the bike shifts perfectly.
    From what some of you are saying, maybe 2 or 3 chains on a cassette is par for the course. I'll admit that I don't do much bike cleaning- when it rains every day the bike is filthy after every ride. I just wipe the chain off and relube frequently. There is plenty of sandy road detritus caked to the drivetrain.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassplayinbiker
    have you tried adjusting your derailer?
    Say what?


    No way your chain should be worn out in 1000 miles unless you are not taking care of it properly.
    Wrong! I have ridden my mountain bikes over 20,000 miles in the last 3 + years. I've learned a thing or two about chains and cassettes which i will share.


    1. The wider your range of gearing on your cassette, as in a 11/30 like yours, you will more likely end up running on a couple of cogs most of the time, if your commute is mostly flat. This causes those 2 or 3 cogs to wear quickly, which in turn causes your chain to wear quickly. This gets mentioned very little on these forums but I can attest to it. (this phenomena can be regulated by changing front rings or shifting habits)

    2. The dirtier the surface you ride on the faster your chain will wear. Debris is kicked up from the front tire and onto the chain. The more debris on the road, the more lands on your chain. So therefore bikes ridden on unpaved or extremely dirty roads, wear chains out faster. Conversely, road bike chains often last a long time. I can attest to that as well.

    3. Changing a chain to spare a cassette is always suggested on here. But in fact it often doesn't work out that way. See #1 and #2 to see why. If your chain wears out every 1000 miles as mine and yours do, then you can see that you will quickly be needing new cassettes if you didn't catch the chain in time. Often if the checker gets to the .075 mark then it is too late. Often that happens in under 700 miles for me. If you run a $20 chain and a $20 cassette then why not just run them 2000 miles and replace them at the same time? That is pretty much what i do any more. Obviously if you have a $100 cassette then your methods will change.


    Lastly, a lot of people will come on here and tell you that you are not maintaining your chain correctly. This is bunk. I have tried it all and if you ride a bike and use a limited number of the cogs frequently, on dirty roads, your chain will wear quickly. It can, does and will happen, often in less than 1000 miles.
    Last edited by Portis; 03-28-07 at 07:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thekorn
    I typically ride 100-120 miles a week commuting, in nasty weather this time of year. I have a park chain checker at home and replace my chains at the 0.075 mark. A chain typically lasts me 2 months before the chain checker tells me its stretched/worn out. My problem is that every 2 or 3 chain changes, the new chain starts skipping and I need a new cassette too. The point of frequently changing the chains is to prevent wearing out other parts of the drivetrain, but I'm still going through a lot of cassettes. The chainrings are not visibly worn out that I can see.
    Does anyone else have this problem?
    I have a standard road triple in front and run shimano 8 speed 11-30 cassettes in back, and I have been using SRAM 8 speed chains.
    Thanks
    My mileage, location, and chain wear are all similar to yours (chain and cassette too, for that matter). I put on my previous chain which, at the time, I was hoping would last through the winter (ha!) in Sept or Oct, and through a *very* wet Nov, it showed no wear, but then stretched almost a quarter inch over what seemed like just a couple wks in December.

    My cassette is marked now (ridges on the back of the teeth like they've all been squished), but I just slapped a new chain on in January and continued onward. It shifts close enough to OK, just have to wait a while for it to upshift from the 3rd smallest to 2nd smallest.

    I have a new cassette on hand, but I want to save it until July (w/ a new chain), so I can get a few good dry months out of them. If I need to burn another chain between now and then, so be it, but January's chain hasn't stretched much yet.

    I am now hoping to be able to run one chain and cassette from July to ~January, and then a variable number of each during the rainy season. We'll see.

  8. #8
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    [

    1. The wider your range of gearing on your cassette, as in a 11/30 like yours, you will more likely end up running on a couple of cogs most of the time, if your commute is mostly flat. This causes those 2 or 3 cogs to wear quickly, which in turn causes your chain to wear quickly. This gets mentioned very little on these forums but I can attest to it. (this phenomena can be regulated by changing front rings or shifting habits)

    2. The dirtier the surface you ride on the faster your chain will wear. Debris is kicked up from the front tire and onto the chain. The more debris on the road, the more lands on your chain. So therefore bikes ridden on unpaved or extremely dirty roads, wear chains out faster. Conversely, road bike chains often last a long time. I can attest to that as well.

    3. Changing a chain to spare a cassette is always suggested on here. But in fact it often doesn't work out that way. See #1 and #2 to see why. If your chain wears out every 1000 miles as mine and yours do, then you can see that you will quickly be needing new cassettes if you didn't catch the chain in time. Often if the checker gets to the .075 mark then it is too late. Often that happens in under 7000 miles for me. If you run a $20 chain and a $20 cassette then why not just run them 2000 miles and replace them at the same time? That is pretty much what i do any more. Obviously if you have a $100 cassette then your methods will change.


    Lastly, a lot of people will come on here and tell you that you are not maintaining your chain correctly. This is bunk. I have tried it all and if you ride a bike and use a limited number of the cogs frequently, on dirty roads, your chain will wear quickly. It can, does and will happen, often in less than 1000 miles.[/QUOTE]

    Good points- The chain is only skipping on one or two of the cogs I tend to camp out on. I've been running XT cassettes because they're nice and light, but I think I'll go with something cheaper. At least in the winter. The bike has full fenders, rack, and panniers full of clothes and groceries so weight is sort of a moot point anyway.
    So- can anyone recommend a good cheap 8 speed cassette or place to obtain individual cogs? Its always the smaller individual cogs that go first.

  9. #9
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    I run these:

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/12911-065_SRA854-3-Parts-51-Cassettes/Sram-PG-850-Cassette-8-Speed-'06.htm

    They work great.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    The point about wide ratio cassettes and wasting one or two gears is a good point. The bike in question is running on the road though so I still think 1000 miles is poor mileage. No doubt the poor durability this is related to "There is plenty of sandy road detritus caked to the drivetrain." Adding lube to a chain caked with sand is going to create a lapping paste which accelerates wear. If it were me riding in those conditions I'd get a Park or Finish Line chain cleaner and use it every day. Or at least, every day it rained. Keep the grit off and it will pay off in extended life. Lots of work but may be worth it if you don't mind getting your hands dirty.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  11. #11
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    To add a little more info to the cog wear issue: I also learned that moving to a smaller middle ring on my triple (from 24 to 22) caused my chain wear to increase as well. I almost always run in the middle chain ring and this caused me to shift my chain onto the more outer cogs compared to when i was running the larger ring. (to achieve the same ratio that i was used to habitually running)

    The smaller the cog, the faster it wears. I learned this as well. So in essence, the chain ring can play a large role in this equation just by the number of teeth it has, coupled with your cassette. Of course the chain ring can also accelerate wear by being worn, etc.

  12. #12
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    To deal w/ my mid life crisis I did a tour for 10 months. I covered 11,000 miles and went through 4 chains and never had to replace a rain or cog. And this was w/ about a 45lbs load. I guess I am not offering advice but surprised that you are going through cassettes so fast. Sounds like some great advice from others and I learned something. I was also going to guess you are staying in one or two gears most of the time. Congrats for being so consistent at commuting even in lousy weather.

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