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  1. #1
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    Kona Jake (2006)
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    using 2 wheelsets- drivetrain wear question...

    My sole drop-bar bike (Kona Jake) currently has the stock wheels on it with 32c slick tires. The entire drivetrain was replaced about a month ago- crankset, chainrings, cassette, chain.

    I was thinking, as an Xmas gift, of a second wheelset, a little bit lighter. Then my cx tires would go on the present one, and the slicks onto the new wheels.

    But here's my question: If I was to do the bulk of my miles on the new wheels, and put the old ones on occassionally to ride rougher trails and race (next fall), would switching back and forth between the two with the separate cassettes mess up the normal wear and tear of my drivetrain? I'm thinking the current drivetrain would have 800- 1,000 miles on it by the time I get the second wheelset...

  2. #2
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    In my opinion, it's best to keep a chain and cassette together. If you use a worn chain with a new cassette, the cassette tooth profile will wear to match the pitch of the slightly elongated chain. This sort of accelerated cassette wear may or may not be acceptable to you, depending upon your financial situation.

    I'm so cheap, on my road bike (which is 10-speed) I use each new chain with a relatively new cassette for the first 1,500 miles, then switch the newish cassette out for an old one and finish off the chain (usually another 500-1,000 miles). The older cassette skips with a new chain, but works fine with one that's had some use.

    It's aggravating that 10-speed chains and cassettes cost so much more than 9-speed, and they don't seem to last as long. I'm building up a Salsa Casserole and I decided to go with 9-speed MTB parts; an XT rear der and bar-end shifters.

  3. #3
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    I'm thinking about the same thing; using my current wheelset for slicks and another for studded, winter tires. I'll just swap the cassette from one wheel to another and back again-it's an easy thing to do and you ensure even wear since the whole drivetrain stays intact.
    die trying

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  4. #4
    tsl
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    Unless you put on huge miles and get a lot of chain wear between switching, it should be okay. The other thing to be aware of is subtle differences in the cassette position requiring RD adjustments.

    I have multiple cassettes for each of my bikes and switch between them all the time. The only trouble I've had is switching between brands of cassette. If I stick with Nashbar or stick with Shimano on a bike, I don't have to adjust the RD when I swap cassettes. Swap a Nashbar for a Shimano and I do. That's on my 8-speed bikes, BTW.

    On my Portland, I've gone the two wheelset route. I keep road tires and a 12-23 on one wheelset, and CX tires in the three seasons, Nokian W106s in the winter and a 16-27 on the other. Even so, I've been known to swap in the bike's standard 12-27 on either wheelset. To avoid issues like I've had with the 8-speed bikes, (which really is minor) my second wheelset is identical to the first, and I use all Ultegra cassettes on the Portland.

    In any event, during all this switching, I've replaced a couple of chains, but the wear is spread out between the cassettes. I haven't replaced one yet.
    Last edited by tsl; 11-26-07 at 10:49 AM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    The CHAIN is the weak link. Replace it when stretched out of spec (the Park tool is worth it) and you'll be golden.

    I did the exact same thing for many years, no issues.
    beer-bottle target

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the responses- good info to know. I will plan on buying the same brand and gear-range cassette if/when I go for the 2nd set of wheels, and keeping an eye on the chain.

  7. #7
    Cat None SDRider's Avatar
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    When I change wheels I just change the cassette too. Why have two different cassettes for the same bike?

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