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chain/cassette question

Old 05-09-18, 09:35 AM
  #1  
dennis336
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chain/cassette question

Got a few questions regarding chain/cassette replacement.

I'm generally pretty attentive to my road bike (Trek Domane) chain wear, replacing it when it shows .75 of stretch. I recently brought my bike in to my LBS to replace the latest chain (btw, I get around 2,500 miles before needing to replace). This was my third chain for the current cassette - so, would be buying the 4th chain. The mechanic recommended replacing the cassette, with the thinking being there'd be wear on it that would impact my shifting when you get to the 4th new chain. I have heard that 3 chains per cassette "rule of thumb" in various searches so, on one hand, I'm pretty satisfied with the life span but on the other, I'm wondering if I could still expect more miles out of the cassette. So, a few questions:
1) Do you proactively change your cassette based on some number of chain replacements ... if so, how many?
2) If you adhere to a "rule of thumb", for example, proactively change the cassette after three chains (assuming the cassette hasn't obviously worn and is in need of replacement earlier), is there any reason to not just keep riding that third chain as long as possible, that is, until shifting starts to skip (note, I'm a recreational cyclist, no racing)?
3) KInd of related ... the sales guy recommended getting the Ultegra cassette vs. a 105 (my bike came with Ultegra shifters and derailleurs but 105 chain and cassette) suggesting it would be more durable and the shifting might be a bit smoother. I went with it but after I left, I was questioning if 105 vs. Ultegra really mattered for my style of riding and was worth the extra cost ... weight, would make no difference to me.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 05-09-18, 09:43 AM
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fietsbob
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Do you keep track of chain wear? are you willing to replace the chain early before its condition accelerates wear on the cassette?

plating finish is often what separated the various price points of shimano cassettes .. steel base metal the same..
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Old 05-09-18, 10:00 AM
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For the same generation of engineering, Iíve never noticed any change in shifting between the various cassette groups. IMO the biggest difference is in weight, the bigger sprockets being carried by a spider on the more expensive groups.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:05 AM
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dennis336
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Do you keep track of chain wear? are you willing to replace the chain early before its condition accelerates wear on the cassette?

plating finish is often what separated the various price points of shimano cassettes .. steel base metal the same..
Yes, I've been pretty good about checking chain wear, replacing when I see .75 of stretch. I think that's why I usually get three chains per cassette.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:29 AM
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& the carrier keeps the lower gear cogs from digging into the driver splines.
when climbing you put a lot of force on a narrow surface edge of the cog..
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Old 05-09-18, 10:34 AM
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Most people seem to get about a 3 chains per cassette ratio of wear. I'll usually just leave the same cassette on when installing the 4th chain and if it doesn't skip keep it until it does. Shimano cassettes will have the same durability and performance for Tiagra-Ultegra with weight, cost and finish being the only difference. DuraAce usually uses some more exotic, lighter metals and can actually be less durable. Sora and below may be OK as well but I can't say for sure. You can also get single cogs if you tend to always wear out the same 1 or 2 cogs each time but not the others and prolong the cassette even more.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
Got a few questions regarding chain/cassette replacement.

I'm generally pretty attentive to my road bike (Trek Domane) chain wear, replacing it when it shows .75 of stretch.
Is this 0.75 indicated by a chain checker? There is a lot of evidence that they show pessimistic readings, such as showing 0.5 wear on a new chain; you might want to double-check with a good steel rule, instead.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:12 AM
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dennis336
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Is this 0.75 indicated by a chain checker? There is a lot of evidence that they show pessimistic readings, such as showing 0.5 wear on a new chain; you might want to double-check with a good steel rule, instead.
That's interesting ... yeah, I've been using the chain checker tool.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Most people seem to get about a 3 chains per cassette ratio of wear. I'll usually just leave the same cassette on when installing the 4th chain and if it doesn't skip keep it until it does. Shimano cassettes will have the same durability and performance for Tiagra-Ultegra with weight, cost and finish being the only difference. DuraAce usually uses some more exotic, lighter metals and can actually be less durable. Sora and below may be OK as well but I can't say for sure. You can also get single cogs if you tend to always wear out the same 1 or 2 cogs each time but not the others and prolong the cassette even more.
Thanks, yeah, I was kind of thinking just replace the chain and leave the cassette until it actually starts skipping ... I may do that next time rather than replacing just because I'm going on the 4th chain.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
& the carrier keeps the lower gear cogs from digging into the driver splines.
when climbing you put a lot of force on a narrow surface edge of the cog..
Correct!
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Old 05-09-18, 11:23 AM
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Hmmm...

I seem to wait one chain after the cassette starts skipping.

I've just ordered a couple of Wippermann chains, hopefully to get a longer wear cycle on my chains, and thus decrease the rapidity of wear on the cassette and chainrings.

Plus, the quick links should allow me to pull them apart, clean them, swap them out, then back in, etc.

At least that is the plan.
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