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  1. #1
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    Dealing with accelerated wear on components from long rides

    I like riding 200km+ every weekend and the adding in commuting and brevets etc. Sadly this is wearing out my gear at a foolish rate. Doing 500km weeks soon kills off a chain and cassette not to mention the pedal bearings etc. So... at what price point are components the most durable (light or pretty is irrelevant) but not too expensive?

    I found on my touring mtb that Deore/slx seems to be the best bang for your buck in terms of function and durabiltity. But, in the roadbike world whats its equal? Tiagra? 105? As I use my road bike more and more for brevets its starting to suffer from acceralted wear out syndrome. Fixed that on the mtb by going to higher spec (slx/xt/xtr) but the roadie is a commute as well and it needs to cost less than $2000 to replace which is where my mtb is at in its current spec.

    Currently running entry level specs (2300/sora) and its quite frankly not up to the the task I need to perform.

  2. #2
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    105 I think is regarded as being sturdy enough.

    It might be worth trying to invest in some steel or stainless steel chainrings as a starting point. KIMC chains do it for me.

    And do you run disc brakes or rim brakes?


    And while this might seem to be a frivilous comment, it's serious -- you might consider single speed or fixed gear for your commuter. It means you go to a much wider and more durable chain for a start, and cogs or SS freewheels are pretty cheap to obtain, plus matched to a steel chainring, you would be set. No cables, no shifters, and simplicity personified.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  3. #3
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    On this bike rim brakes. Its fast, nimble, but wears out way faster tgan my mtb. Put a duraace chain and brake pads on, and replaced the chain rings with 105. Hopefully its.enough...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    On this bike rim brakes. Its fast, nimble, but wears out way faster tgan my mtb. Put a duraace chain and brake pads on, and replaced the chain rings with 105. Hopefully its.enough...
    Yeah, that DA chains is a bit of a worry. Remember, the DA stuff is for racing purposes. That means light, but less durable. I'd also consider Koolstop pads rather than Shimano DA, too.

    It's a tough one. If you are riding volume, in all sorts of weather conditions, you are definitely going to wear out stuff faster irrespective of what company makes it. It just means putting aside a little more money to account for it.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  5. #5
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    Old tech duraace/xt chain likely to be better? LBS has a bunch of 9 speed xt chains.that work really well in the 8 speed 2300.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Old tech duraace/xt chain likely to be better? LBS has a bunch of 9 speed xt chains.that work really well in the 8 speed 2300.
    If they're cheap and they really do work with 8sp, go for it.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  7. #7
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    Shift cleaner than 8 speed chains if you ask me. Tad more clearance means no noise in any gear.

  8. #8
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    I think I usually get ~2000 miles out of a cheap KMC X9 chain, replace the cassette every 2-3 chains and have yet to replace the chainrings on a bike I've done probably 6-7000 miles on and that I bought used.

    I figure those 2000 miles per chain are going to be much the same whether it means 100x20 mile trips or 10x200 mile trips. If anything longer rides are likely to be less wearing because I'd assume I'd be doing less stopping and starting, which is a real bane of urban cycling.

    I pay about 13 for a chain, 15-20 for a cassette. That leaves me with a cost per mile that's so small it's barely worth even thinking about. I've got Tiagra shifters, Tiagra FD, Deore RD.

    If you're lighter than me (which is likely, I weigh about 240lb) you'll probably get more wear out of parts than I do.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

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    I have found in the past that 105 and Ultegra is not durable for long distance. I will never put that crap on a bike again.

    Keep your chain and cassette clean and properly lubed is the best way to avoid quick wear.

  10. #10
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    Deore RD? Running a large cassette? I got my 2300 RD to work with an 8 speed 11-34 with some creative mods with the b screw and chain length, deore rd would make it easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Yeah, that DA chains is a bit of a worry. Remember, the DA stuff is for racing purposes. That means light, but less durable. I'd also consider Koolstop pads rather than Shimano DA, too.
    Where do you get DA chains are less durable?

    Do you realize DA pins are chromed and heat treated?

    I expect to get at least 5,000-10,000 miles from mine but I keep it clean.

    Do you have any real world experience with Dura Ace chains? They are the best chain.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    Where do you get DA chains are less durable?

    Do you realize DA pins are chromed and heat treated?

    I expect to get at least 5,000-10,000 miles from mine but I keep it clean.

    Do you have any real world experience with Dura Ace chains? They are the best chain.


    They certainly seem to be smooth. Running an xtr chain on the mtb and its lasted a good long time. Can't comment on sttength yet, but the roadbike is sure to test it more than the triple on the mtb.

  13. #13
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I think most of the high-mileage people I know use multiple bikes, so the wear gets spread around some.
    There's still a money issue, though.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  14. #14
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    Ride a bike long distance, stuff wears out, no surprise there. Keeping the bike clean after rides in bad weather, and lubed at all times helps, but stuff will still wear out, I've gone through a cassette, chain, some cables, inner chainring, couple of tires & a BB this year, but got away with very little last.

    Have stuck with parts from 4600-6700 as these offer good value for money vs durability, combined with being 10 speed compatible, although will be going 11 speed (5800/6800) for long distance as soon as I need to replace the rear wheel.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    Where do you get DA chains are less durable?

    Do you realize DA pins are chromed and heat treated?

    I expect to get at least 5,000-10,000 miles from mine but I keep it clean.

    Do you have any real world experience with Dura Ace chains? They are the best chain.
    Yes, and I prefer KMC.

    The pins are the least of the wear issues.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  16. #16
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Deore RD? Running a large cassette? I got my 2300 RD to work with an 8 speed 11-34 with some creative mods with the b screw and chain length, deore rd would make it easier.
    Running a 9-speed 11-32 at the back. The RD is the one the bike came with, I'm pretty sure it's the exact same RD as on the mountain bike.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  17. #17
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    I think the best way to save wear on a distance bike is to use a different bike for commuting. Personally, I have a totally different mindset about my commuting bike, too. It's a sturdy frame with basic sturdy components on it, and it's a fixed gear. With a fixed gear, you can get away with letting the drivetrain parts go pretty much until all the teeth are worn off the chainring if you don't mind a bit of extra noise and loss of efficiency in the meantime.
    I've used a (different) fixed gear for distance for long enough that I don't have a lot of experience with durability of geared drivetrain parts... I don't ride my touring bike all that much. But for the touring bike, I stick with 9sp instead of 10 for the sake of durability.

    One thing that will make a bit of difference is using overall larger gear combinations. In other words, if you are choosing between a standard road crank with a giant cassette or a compact crank with a "normal" cassette, go with the standard crank and big cassette. The chain tension is determined by the size of the chainring, not the rear cog at all; plus the links in the chain have to flex more to get around smaller gears. So, assuming you can get the ratio you want with a bigger combination, bigger is better.

  18. #18
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    Hmmm never built a single speed before. Fixed gear doesn't interest me but a drop bar single speed running 44-16 or so would get to me work fast enough. Maybe dual pivots front and back. Have to see if I can find a frame with the right dropouts. Maybe mod one of the popular flatbar hybrids that you see these days. Wonder if you can get brake levers with decent hoods to give the feel of brifters?
    Last edited by krobinson103; 05-14-14 at 08:16 AM.

  19. #19
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Hmmm never built a single speed before. Fixed gear doesn't interest me but a drop bar single speed running 44-16 or so would get to me work fast enough. Maybe dual pivots front and back. Have to see if I can find a frame with the right dropouts. Maybe mod one of the popular flatbar hybrids that you see these days. Wonder if you can get brake levers with decent hoods to give the feel of brifters?
    Nashbar sells a converter gadget for SS, like having one jockey wheel, to work with vertical dropouts. Easier to fix tires with fenders and vertical dropouts. I run Ultegra/XTR level stuff with good results. Yes, it wears out, what doesn't, but at least it works well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Hmmm never built a single speed before. Fixed gear doesn't interest me but a drop bar single speed running 44-16 or so would get to me work fast enough. Maybe dual pivots front and back. Have to see if I can find a frame with the right dropouts. Maybe mod one of the popular flatbar hybrids that you see these days. Wonder if you can get brake levers with decent hoods to give the feel of brifters?
    Yeah, there are good choices for non-brifter levers. To me it just makes sense to have a "beater" bike that's good enough to get you around, but more robust and lower maintenance than whatever you use for longer rides. A singlespeed or fixed gear is the obvious choice, partly because there's less to maintain and partly because you can get away with a lot less maintenance when you don't have too shift. While I'd never claim that a fixed gear is better for distance, I really do feel that it's better for commuting because I think it gives me better control on sand and snow and stuff, and it's easier to trackstand. But either way, there are lots of ways to make it work. Check out Sheldon Brown's page about fixed/ss conversions. There's lots of good stuff there.
    One small comment though is that while you can sometimes get away with vertical dropouts just by fine-tuning the chain length with a half link, I wouldn't recommend it for a commuter because you'll just have to fiddle with it again when the chain wears. My commuter has relatively short but still horizontal dropouts, and over the life of a chain I'll generally run out of dropout at least twice and remove a link from the chain because it's elongated that much. But the beauty of a SS drivetrain for commuting is that you can get away with that.

  21. #21
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I have a all-weather bike and a dry weather bike. The dry weather bike needs minimal up-keep and the components, except the tires, last for 5000 or more miles. The all-weather bike needs is used less often, and a chain can last as long as one year. This combination has benefits for anyone who is a high mileage cyclist.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 05-14-14 at 10:01 AM.
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  22. #22
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    Looking at two options...

    Upgrading this to be my primary brevet bike (its most of the way there anway)

    elfama.jpg

    And then getting/building (sounds fun to build) a ss drop bar bike similar to the Elfama sans gears

    or, Demoting that bike to commuter - but she is a bit over specced and overly pretty to be parked outside in the rain and open to being stolen. Then getting a brand new and shiny Giant Anyroad 1

    Anyroad 1 (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States

    There ^. Thats just about my perfect brevet bike in a premade and pretty package. Right down the chainring size...

  23. #23
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    Amazon.com: TRACK FIXED GEAR BIKE FIXIE SINGLE SPEED ROAD BIKE: Sports & Outdoors

    Something like that do the job? Looks pretty good for the price.

  24. #24
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    I dunno. On long distance rides I don't put out enough power to wear anything.
    Knees maybe.

  25. #25
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    Do you want bushings, mediocre bearings, or great bearings.

    (105, Ultegra, Dura Ace)

    Take apart a dura ace shifter and a lower end shifter. The differences seen at 50,000 miles will be apparent.

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