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

Cassette advice

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.

Cassette advice

Old 03-15-21, 07:28 AM
  #1  
pp09o
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Cassette advice

Hi

Can this cassette still be used or should a new one be sought? I have added a couple photos in my gallery.

Thanks!
pp09o is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 07:44 AM
  #2  
DaveSSS 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 6,496

Bikes: TWO Cinelli superstar disc with SRAM Force AXS

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 714 Post(s)
Liked 331 Times in 268 Posts
The way to tell if a cassette is worn out is to install a new chain. If the chain skips while pedaling with a high torque on the most-worn sprockets, it's worn out. If there's no new-chain skip, the it will last for the life of the new chain.
DaveSSS is offline  
Likes For DaveSSS:
Old 03-15-21, 08:39 AM
  #3  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 8,186

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

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3218 Post(s)
Liked 1,825 Times in 1,294 Posts
This cassette?...............


Hard to tell, could you have left any more gunk on it? <grin>

But no, I doesn't look worn out to me. You can find pics of the new cassette on Shimano's site and compare if you need reassurance.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 03-15-21, 08:44 AM
  #4  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,211

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Liked 339 Times in 241 Posts
Hard to tell with all the crap on it, but if you cleaned it and the chain and probably the DR too, the whole bike might work like new. I can only imagine how gunked up the little pulleys on the rear DR are if the cassette looks like that.
Bigbus is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 08:46 AM
  #5  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 4,689

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1804 Post(s)
Liked 583 Times in 344 Posts
Who would know if it's usable? Dirty low res pixelated photo. Thanks.
trailangel is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 08:59 AM
  #6  
pp09o
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
This cassette?...............


Hard to tell, could you have left any more gunk on it? <grin>

But no, I doesn't look worn out to me. You can find pics of the new cassette on Shimano's site and compare if you need reassurance.
I tried to find more gunk to pile on but I couldnít find any

Is a general degreaser the way to clean these things? Or is there a recommended way of cleaning them?
pp09o is offline  
Likes For pp09o:
Old 03-15-21, 09:05 AM
  #7  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 8,186

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

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3218 Post(s)
Liked 1,825 Times in 1,294 Posts
I use one or two of those pre-moistened towelettes to clean my bike every so often. I roll up them up after I'm done using them on everything else and pull it between the cogs while on the bike.

Otherwise I'd just take a old rag soaked in light lube and use that to clean it. Or maybe mineral spirits or WD-40 or similar solvent lube. I wouldn't waste money keeping a bike specific chain or cassette cleaner. But if doing so makes you happy, who am I to object. Unless you also tell me I have to do the same.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 03-15-21, 09:12 AM
  #8  
pp09o
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I use one or two of those pre-moistened towelettes to clean my bike every so often. I roll up them up after I'm done using them on everything else and pull it between the cogs while on the bike.

Otherwise I'd just take a old rag soaked in light lube and use that to clean it. Or maybe mineral spirits or WD-40 or similar solvent lube. I wouldn't waste money keeping a bike specific chain or cassette cleaner. But if doing so makes you happy, who am I to object. Unless you also tell me I have to do the same.
Itís all about the WD40, Iíll be giving that a go tonight. Thanks
pp09o is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 09:12 AM
  #9  
Crankycrank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,410
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 466 Post(s)
Liked 339 Times in 269 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
The way to tell if a cassette is worn out is to install a new chain. If the chain skips while pedaling with a high torque on the most-worn sprockets, it's worn out. If there's no new-chain skip, the it will last for the life of the new chain.
This. Almost impossible to spot a worn cassette from a photo, especially a bad photo, unless it's severely worn or has missing, bent or chipped teeth. To clean make up a flossing string from rags or a shoelace dipped in solvent and floss between the teeth while it's mounted on the wheel. Pull the floss forward to clean and on the backward stroke it will rotate the cassette to get the next section. Easy.
Crankycrank is offline  
Likes For Crankycrank:
Old 03-15-21, 09:12 AM
  #10  
pp09o
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Hard to tell with all the crap on it, but if you cleaned it and the chain and probably the DR too, the whole bike might work like new. I can only imagine how gunked up the little pulleys on the rear DR are if the cassette looks like that.
I never left thought about that and youíre right, the DR is filthy
pp09o is offline  
Likes For pp09o:
Old 03-15-21, 05:17 PM
  #11  
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,020
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Liked 208 Times in 139 Posts
Originally Posted by pp09o View Post
I tried to find more gunk to pile on but I couldnít find any

Is a general degreaser the way to clean these things? Or is there a recommended way of cleaning them?
I put some mineral spirits on a rag and floss the cassette on the wheel sprocket by sprocket, turning the rag as it gets dirty. Then i follow doing the same thing with a clean rag.
Camilo is offline  
Likes For Camilo:
Old 03-15-21, 05:30 PM
  #12  
Moisture
Drip, Drip.
 
Moisture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 1,148
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 742 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 103 Posts
How can you tell if a cassette is worn just by looking at it?
Moisture is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 05:41 PM
  #13  
pp09o
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
How can you tell if a cassette is worn just by looking at it?
Do the cogs not change shape if they are worn?
pp09o is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 06:00 PM
  #14  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,211

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Liked 339 Times in 241 Posts
Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
How can you tell if a cassette is worn just by looking at it?
The top of the teeth are actually the last thing to wear down so don't even look at that. If they're so worn that they're just little tits, you've gotten more than your monies worth out of that cassette (freewheel). It's in the dip ( I call it the bowl) where the chain rides. It wears away at the back of the teeth until there isn't much of an angle left to hold the chain down against the force you put on it with the forward motion of the pedal. Eventually it reaches a point of wear where the chain literally rides up and out of the 'bowl' which is noticed as skipping. Check the bowl of the cog that you ride in the most against one on the same cassette (freewheel) that you don't use very often and you'll see a difference in the shape. That's wear. This is how I judge wear, others may differ in opinion, but it works for me. HTH
Bigbus is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 06:02 PM
  #15  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,211

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Liked 339 Times in 241 Posts
Originally Posted by pp09o View Post
Do the cogs not change shape if they are worn?
YES-they change shape.
Bigbus is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 06:13 PM
  #16  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 756

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 202 Times in 159 Posts
Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I put some mineral spirits on a rag and floss the cassette on the wheel sprocket by sprocket, turning the rag as it gets dirty. Then i follow doing the same thing with a clean rag.
Flossing the cassette sounds quite involved. I just remove the cassette from the wheel and then wash it piece by piece in the kitchen sink under running water with Dawn Platinum detergent and an old dish scrubbing pad.
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Likes For SoSmellyAir:
Old 03-15-21, 06:24 PM
  #17  
Moisture
Drip, Drip.
 
Moisture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 1,148
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 742 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 103 Posts
Originally Posted by pp09o View Post
Do the cogs not change shape if they are worn?
If we are talking about extreme wear- yes.

Otherwise, no. A cassette can be worn enough to start wearing down your front chainrings as well as chain evenly without looking visibly worn.

You can't just tell if a cassette is worn by inspecting the teeth.
Moisture is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 07:07 PM
  #18  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,299
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 726 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 84 Posts
It's hard to see the tooth wear, since modern cassettes have radically shaped teeth. Better to put on a new chain and see if it skips. The new chain's roller spacing will ride up toward the tips of worn teeth, then the chain jumps to a different cog under load.

From an old BF thread on supposed worn cassettes:

The left cog is around 12,000 to 15,000 miles of wear. The right side is from a new cassette. (It's for a different toothed cassette, so it's a "18C" design, to match up better with the tooth geometry for it's different adjacent cogs. It's interesting just how different these are!)

Remember, the chain is pulling in a clockwise direction. The back sides of the teeth are radically shaped to help with shifting speed.


Last edited by rm -rf; 03-15-21 at 07:12 PM.
rm -rf is offline  
Likes For rm -rf:
Old 03-16-21, 08:36 AM
  #19  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 8,186

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

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3218 Post(s)
Liked 1,825 Times in 1,294 Posts
Visual inspection may not tell if a cog is wearing, but if you compare it to pictures of the same cog, cassette or freewheel when new, then you can tell when it is worn and way past due for a change. We've had a few pic's here on BF. Most were the chain rings, but a few of the cassette. And they were way, way past the time to change them.

More often by a big margin, people ask about their cogs or chain rings being worn, usually it's when they first decide to actually look at their gears closely after they've only ridden a paltry amount of distance and they see the shaping and sculpting on the teeth and think it's wear.

In that case comparing to a pic of the exact same new component is useful to rest their fear.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 03-16-21, 06:00 PM
  #20  
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,020
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Liked 208 Times in 139 Posts
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Flossing the cassette sounds quite involved. I just remove the cassette from the wheel and then wash it piece by piece in the kitchen sink under running water with Dawn Platinum detergent and an old dish scrubbing pad.
I did a poor job of describing it, but having done both, I can guarantee that flossing is quicker and easier. It takes about 5 minutes including taking the wheel off and on. I do, on occasion, go nuts and remove it to scrub it in the utility sink, but really the flossing is the normal way I clean it.

What I do is shown in this video. I just do the rag part, not the pipe cleaner part - I wasn't aware of that touch. I might try it.

Last edited by Camilo; 03-16-21 at 06:05 PM.
Camilo is offline  
Old 03-16-21, 06:37 PM
  #21  
KLiNCK
Optically Corrected
 
KLiNCK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Posts: 578

Bikes: 2012 Specialized Sirrus , 2012 Specialized Roubaix Comp

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 29 Posts
I use mop head refills to floss cassettes. Cut the mop head into individual strands. Cheap, absorbent, perfect diameter.

KLiNCK 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.