Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

New chain + new cassette = noise in the smallest cogs only?

Notices
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.

New chain + new cassette = noise in the smallest cogs only?

Old 01-28-21, 07:13 PM
  #1  
Greiselman
longtime noob
Thread Starter
 
Greiselman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 139

Bikes: 2018 Trek Domane SL 6 // 1999 Trek 5000 // Burley Encore X

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 26 Posts
New chain + new cassette = noise in the smallest cogs only?

I just installed a new Shimano chain and cassette on my bike and I'm getting some chain noise... but only in the three smallest cogs on the cassette, in both the big and small chainring. There's no skipping per se... just a constant grinding. Thoughts on what the cause might be? (Searching reveals lots of "you need to replace the cassette and the chain at the same time" responses, which obviously isn't the issue here.)

Thanks!
Greiselman is offline  
Old 01-28-21, 07:43 PM
  #2  
bikemike73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 558

Bikes: 1973 Schwinn Sports Tourer plus a " few" more :)

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 130 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 78 Posts
Did you replace it with the same size cassette and chain ?

I JUST had a similar issue. ( new cassette and new chain )
But I increased the size of my cassette to 12-28 from 13-23

Making the chain shorter by one more link helped resolve the issue 90%.

Still need to " fine tune" the RD though.

There are people on this forum that are much more knowledgeable than me. They helped me........................ and without their expertise and time, I would still be trying to figure it out.

I cannot THANK them enough....they are the BEST !!!!

I'm sure they will respond and have more detailed answers than I provided

Some pictures might help
bikemike73 is offline  
Old 01-28-21, 07:50 PM
  #3  
Greiselman
longtime noob
Thread Starter
 
Greiselman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 139

Bikes: 2018 Trek Domane SL 6 // 1999 Trek 5000 // Burley Encore X

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemike73 View Post
Did you replace it with the same size cassette and chain ?
Yep - same cassette/size, same chain cut down to the same number of links. Figured I might need to tweak the RD - wanted to check here first.
Greiselman is offline  
Old 01-28-21, 07:58 PM
  #4  
Moisture
Drip, Drip.
 
Moisture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 1,329
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 892 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 125 Posts
Did you try playing around with the barrel adjustor and limit screws?
Moisture is offline  
Old 01-28-21, 10:17 PM
  #5  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 2,339

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1094 Post(s)
Liked 1,406 Times in 786 Posts
Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Did you try playing around with the barrel adjustor and limit screws?
Just stop. You don't just randomly tell someone to 'play around w/ the barrel adjuster and limit screws'...that is terrible advice.


New chain and cassette, old chainrings? Now you know where your problem is. Slightly/somewhat worn rings are trying to hang onto the chain as it leaves the ring(s).
cxwrench is offline  
Likes For cxwrench:
Old 01-28-21, 10:23 PM
  #6  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 4,658
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1233 Post(s)
Liked 697 Times in 448 Posts
Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
New chain and cassette, old chainrings? Now you know where your problem is. Slightly/somewhat worn rings are trying to hang onto the chain as it leaves the ring(s).
This would be my thought as well. How much use have the chainrings seen?
alcjphil is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 07:55 AM
  #7  
Greiselman
longtime noob
Thread Starter
 
Greiselman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 139

Bikes: 2018 Trek Domane SL 6 // 1999 Trek 5000 // Burley Encore X

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
This would be my thought as well. How much use have the chainrings seen?
Coming up on 5000 miles. I've been good about maintaining the drivetrain so I was hoping to avoid replacing the chainring so soon... may just run it by my local shop to have them take a peek.
Greiselman is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 08:05 AM
  #8  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 8,166

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1377 Post(s)
Liked 917 Times in 637 Posts
Originally Posted by Greiselman View Post
Yep - same cassette/size, same chain cut down to the same number of links. Figured I might need to tweak the RD - wanted to check here first.
You may need to slightly readjust the indexing (wrongly called "tension") or less likely limits due to the change in cassette. Even same model cassettes may have slight manufacturing differences. But make the adjustments purposefully, not "playing" with them. Here is a good procedure: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...eur-adjustment Follow the steps in order, you should have to make only minor adjustments.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Likes For dsbrantjr:
Old 01-29-21, 09:28 AM
  #9  
mack_turtle
n00b
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,398

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey, Twin Six Standard Rando

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
Liked 461 Times in 273 Posts
Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Did you try playing around with the barrel adjustor and limit screws?
this is just plain irresponsible. please stop posting ignorant nonsense before someone follows your advice and damages their bike.
mack_turtle is offline  
Likes For mack_turtle:
Old 01-29-21, 09:30 AM
  #10  
mack_turtle
n00b
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,398

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey, Twin Six Standard Rando

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
Liked 461 Times in 273 Posts
drivetrains are relatively complex with a lot of moving parts and parts that wear out. without seeing it in person, I can't narrow down what among the two dozen possible issues is causing this.

one theory to consider: which cassette cogs do you use the most? smaller rings generally wear out faster because the same amount of force can be placed on fewer teeth when used, so there's more force per tooth on that cog. it's possible that if you used your smaller cogs more than the others, those wore out before the others. for most cassettes, that means you have to replace the whole cassette. that's just one theory.
mack_turtle is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 10:45 AM
  #11  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 4,658
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1233 Post(s)
Liked 697 Times in 448 Posts
Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
drivetrains are relatively complex with a lot of moving parts and parts that wear out. without seeing it in person, I can't narrow down what among the two dozen possible issues is causing this.

one theory to consider: which cassette cogs do you use the most? smaller rings generally wear out faster because the same amount of force can be placed on fewer teeth when used, so there's more force per tooth on that cog. it's possible that if you used your smaller cogs more than the others, those wore out before the others. for most cassettes, that means you have to replace the whole cassette. that's just one theory.
Read the first post. OP changed the cassette as well as the chain
alcjphil is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 10:58 AM
  #12  
Greiselman
longtime noob
Thread Starter
 
Greiselman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 139

Bikes: 2018 Trek Domane SL 6 // 1999 Trek 5000 // Burley Encore X

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
one theory to consider: which cassette cogs do you use the most? smaller rings generally wear out faster because the same amount of force can be placed on fewer teeth when used, so there's more force per tooth on that cog. it's possible that if you used your smaller cogs more than the others, those wore out before the others. for most cassettes, that means you have to replace the whole cassette. that's just one theory.
truthfully I think I spread the love across all of the cogs... but should that matter, as I've replaced the full cassette?

I'm going to follow dsbrantjr;'s guidance and will report back with pictures if I'm still having an issues. And, most importantly... no, I never planned on "playing around" with any RD adjustments.
Greiselman is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 11:09 AM
  #13  
mack_turtle
n00b
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,398

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey, Twin Six Standard Rando

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
Liked 461 Times in 273 Posts
Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Read the first post. OP changed the cassette as well as the chain
derp. I missed that somehow. apologies.

what about the derailer hanger alignment? there's no reliable way to eyeball that, as a misalignment can be in more than one axis and might be just enough to throw it off but impossible to see. use a hanger alignment tool to make certain.
mack_turtle is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 02:06 PM
  #14  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 8,839

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91, '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3516 Post(s)
Liked 2,078 Times in 1,467 Posts
When do you notice this noise in the smaller rear cogs? If it's while you are riding a putting out a fair amount of power at speed, then it might just be the way the rollers have to engage the smaller sprockets. I notice this more with freshly cleaned cassettes at times I'm doing a fast ride in peaceful conditions on a smooth surface. I feel it more than I hear it. Don't know that I've ever noticed it when the bike is on a stand just running through the gears.

edit....
Were the spacers between some of the cogs that you might have missed or messed up when putting on the new cassette?

Last edited by Iride01; 01-29-21 at 02:53 PM.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 02:47 PM
  #15  
Redbullet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by Greiselman View Post
I just installed a new Shimano chain and cassette on my bike and I'm getting some chain noise... but only in the three smallest cogs on the cassette, in both the big and small chainring. There's no skipping per se... just a constant grinding. Thoughts on what the cause might be? (Searching reveals lots of "you need to replace the cassette and the chain at the same time" responses, which obviously isn't the issue here.)

Thanks!
It might be hard to believe, but sometimes new parts can be defective from the start. One year ago I bought 2 new SRAM cassettes (11 cogs) and a rear derailleur Force 22, from a reputable bike e-shop. All new, in sealed original package. After one month of desperate attempts to adjust the system, including threads on this forum, I found that one cassette was defective: a few teeth of one cog slightly hooked the chain and one ring was 0.3 mm narrower than the others. The derailleur had a big play at one of the bolts. I sent the cassette and derailleur back to the e-shop, together with explanations and a few pictures, then SRAM replaced both in 2 weeks with no other questions. Then, everything worked ok.
Redbullet is offline  
Old 01-29-21, 07:27 PM
  #16  
Greiselman
longtime noob
Thread Starter
 
Greiselman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 139

Bikes: 2018 Trek Domane SL 6 // 1999 Trek 5000 // Burley Encore X

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 26 Posts
Readjusting the indexing worked well - thanks, all!
Greiselman is offline  

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


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.