Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-31-07, 02:26 PM   #1
AlanK
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
AlanK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Seattle, WA (United States)
Bikes:
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
How Long Will A Cassette Last If The Chain Is Replaced Regularly?

I'm not sure if this has been covered elsewhere, but I had a question about cassette replacement: Some bike mechanics have told me that a quality cassette will last almost indefinitely with diligent chain replacement. The reasoning is this: A chain doesn't start to wear down other drive-train components until it is more than 50% worn. So if you replace the chain reguarly (at or before 50%), they cassette will last almost indefinitely. Is this true?
AlanK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-07, 02:42 PM   #2
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
What's the definition of a 50% worn chain?
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-07, 02:53 PM   #3
Treefox
Young and unconcerned
 
Treefox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Merry Land
Bikes: Yeah, I got a few.
Posts: 4,123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know about 'almost indefinitely' - but yeah, a very long time - several years if you're diligent about your chains. Longer if you periodically replace the little gears which wear faster.

I'd rather like a 12-27 to replace my 12-25, but I'd have a hard time rationalising it when the 12-25 is still in good spec.
Treefox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-07, 04:39 PM   #4
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
See this thread.

There are a lot of variables.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-07, 05:46 PM   #5
mycoatl
Sasquatch Crossing
 
mycoatl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Portlandia
Bikes:
Posts: 414
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portis
There are a lot of variables.
Exactly. Since the OP is in Seattle, I think "indefinitely" is a little optimistic. All the PNW rain mixes with road grit and gets on your drivetrain to make it wear faster. Even with dilligent chain cleaning, lubing and replacement, you'll still need to replace cassettes. In my experience, if I'm very dilligent I can get 3-4 chains per cassette. Normal use for is 2-3 chains per cassette. Of course, that's with commuting year round. If you're a fair weather cyclist it might last indefinitely (esp. since fair weather cyclists don't ride too many months around here ).
mycoatl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-07, 06:05 PM   #6
erader
Senior Member
 
erader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: silicon valley
Bikes:
Posts: 1,774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treefox
I don't know about 'almost indefinitely' - but yeah, a very long time - several years if you're diligent about your chains. Longer if you periodically replace the little gears which wear faster.

I'd rather like a 12-27 to replace my 12-25, but I'd have a hard time rationalising it when the 12-25 is still in good spec.

i think there are too many variables to generalize. no doubt that a cassette will last longer if you diligently clean your drivetrain and replace chains earlier than later.

the shimano HG cassettes i use (lower end) cost about the same as the upper end Sram chains that i use so one way or the other its probably a wash.

ed rader

erader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-07, 01:20 PM   #7
wrongdave
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You also need to realize that a "quality cassette" means different things to different people. The real high end stuff tends to focus more on being lightweight than durable so don't assume that more money buys you a more durable cassette. A lot also depends on where you ride and what kind of nasties are getting in your chain and gears. Where I ride in the midwest, my chains and cassettes last years, but i'm sure there are places with more abrasive stuff blowing around that will wear out parts much more quickly.
wrongdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-07, 01:45 PM   #8
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Bikes:
Posts: 3,087
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
My experience with road bikes (8-9sd) is the cassette is good for two chains, if you try the third chain
something will skip. Chainwheels seem to last at least 3 chains, sometimes 4 chains. Typical chain
exchange for me is at 5-7 kmi. This would be on paved roads, dry weather, rare rain exposure.
Chains are cleaned when I think of it and have time, typically 3-4x during their lifetime, and lubed
about 2-3x as often.
sch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-07, 01:59 PM   #9
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrongdave
You also need to realize that a "quality cassette" means different things to different people. The real high end stuff tends to focus more on being lightweight than durable so don't assume that more money buys you a more durable cassette.


Golden words of wisdom!
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-07, 07:21 PM   #10
AlanK
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
AlanK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Seattle, WA (United States)
Bikes:
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanx for all the responses - lots of helpfull, constructive info

The cassette I have is about 2-3 years old - I can't remember exactly what model it is, but it's a Shimano 11-32. I'm on about my 4th chain, and since I replaced the cassette I've been diligent about lubing the chain and replacing it before it get's too worn. As far as I can tell the cassette still seems to work just fine. It almost never skips, and when does it's only during occasional erratic shifting (which I try to avoid).

So is there an easy way to determine if/when the casette needs replacing? A couple months ago when I went my LBS to have the chain checked he said, 'the cassette looks fine'. So can you tell just by checking visually, or does it require more precise measures?
AlanK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-07, 07:57 PM   #11
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanK
Thanx for all the responses - lots of helpfull, constructive info

The cassette I have is about 2-3 years old - I can't remember exactly what model it is, but it's a Shimano 11-32. I'm on about my 4th chain, and since I replaced the cassette I've been diligent about lubing the chain and replacing it before it get's too worn. As far as I can tell the cassette still seems to work just fine. It almost never skips, and when does it's only during occasional erratic shifting (which I try to avoid).

So is there an easy way to determine if/when the casette needs replacing? A couple months ago when I went my LBS to have the chain checked he said, 'the cassette looks fine'. So can you tell just by checking visually, or does it require more precise measures?

I suppose you can tell if the cassette is severely hosed, but I doubt if anyone can tell by looking if it will skip.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-07, 09:00 PM   #12
erader
Senior Member
 
erader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: silicon valley
Bikes:
Posts: 1,774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portis
I suppose you can tell if the cassette is severely hosed, but I doubt if anyone can tell by looking if it will skip.
i know a bad cog when i see one or one that's close enough to be considered bad.

ed rader
erader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-07, 10:41 PM   #13
2_i 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Bikes: Trek 730, Bike Friday NWT, Brompton M6R*2, Trek 830, Trek 720, Dahon HAT060, Dahon HT060,...
Posts: 1,583
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanK
So is there an easy way to determine if/when the casette needs replacing? A couple months ago when I went my LBS to have the chain checked he said, 'the cassette looks fine'. So can you tell just by checking visually, or does it require more precise measures?
I found the Rohloff tool:

http://www.rohloff.de/en/products/hgigcheck/index.html

a good investment. There is some subtlety in its application and it is correspondingly worthwhile to have some new cogs around that can serve as a reference.

In my riding experience, the middle cogs wear out fastest. From time to time, I replace one or two, maybe at the same pace now as the chain, but not the same cogs each time.
2_i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-07, 01:56 AM   #14
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2_i
I found the Rohloff tool:

http://www.rohloff.de/en/products/hgigcheck/index.html

a good investment. There is some subtlety in its application and it is correspondingly worthwhile to have some new cogs around that can serve as a reference.
I have that. Indispensible for me, as I just can't trust my eyes to determine anything. This tool just removes the human factor out of the equation, as much as possible.

With just a little bit of experience, one can use it to determine the state of the chainrings, too.
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-07, 05:37 AM   #15
capwater
Senior Member
 
capwater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Quahog, RI
Bikes: Giant TCR Comps, Cdale R5000, Klein Q-Pro, Litespeed Siena, Piasano 105, Redline Conquest Pro, Voodoo Bizango, Fuji Aloha
Posts: 1,509
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
"I'm not sure if this has been covered elsewhere..." try the search function, hint it has been.

Riding styles more than miles dictate wear on drivetrain parts. Good guestimate is 3 chains per cassette for the average.i
capwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-07, 08:12 AM   #16
San Rensho 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,559
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Another style consideration is if you use just one or 2 gears all the time, your cassette will not last as long as if you use several gears.
__________________
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-07, 11:58 AM   #17
Six jours
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 6,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Steve Snowling, who was a mechanic for several European pro teams in the 70s and 80s, once wrote of knowing a fellow mechanic who changed chains every two weeks. Said that made the freewheels last an entire season, which is an accomplishment for a bike that sees 500 miles a week in all weather.

Of course, that didn't even make financial sense in the days of $5 Sedisport chains, let alone now that you can easily spend $50 on a good chain.
Six jours is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-07, 12:07 PM   #18
waterrockets 
Making a kilometer blurry
 
waterrockets's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Austin (near TX)
Bikes: rkwaki's porn collection
Posts: 26,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

For me, about 3 chains... I suck.
waterrockets is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:19 PM.