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

9 speed or more, relative chain wear?

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.

9 speed or more, relative chain wear?

Old 02-11-22, 02:31 PM
  #1  
pdlamb
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,523

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1884 Post(s)
Liked 1,143 Times in 722 Posts
9 speed or more, relative chain wear?

I remember going from 7 -> 8 -> 9 speeds, and there was concern that the chain and cassettes would wear out more quickly as the cogs and chains were thinned. I'd expect similar degradation in chain and cog life from 10, 11, and 12 speeds.

Has anyone kept track of chain or cassette wear, for similar use, going from 9 speed up? Part 2 and 3, what sort of conditions were you riding in, and what chain life did you observe on the different speeds?
pdlamb is offline  
Old 02-11-22, 03:13 PM
  #2  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 10,045
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2973 Post(s)
Liked 3,766 Times in 1,938 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I remember going from 7 -> 8 -> 9 speeds, and there was concern that the chain and cassettes would wear out more quickly....
It's been so long I can't remember. Did this concern prove valid?
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 02-11-22, 03:18 PM
  #3  
Bike Gremlin
Mostly harmless
 
Bike Gremlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Novi Sad
Posts: 4,233

Bikes: Custom made on Scott Speedster frame, Custom made on a 1996. steel MTB frame (all but frame changed at least once in the past 20 years).

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1011 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 55 Posts
As far as I could measure, chain durability depends mostly on the quality, and maintenance (clean and lubricated lasts a lot longer, while even with a similar maintenance regime, some higher-quality chains last longer).
In other words, to my amazement, 10 and 11-speed chains don't always last shorter than 7, or 8-speed ones.

Can't really say anything about the cassettes. A lot depends on how much time one spends on one, or just a few sprockets. Couldn't find a way to reliably measure and compare cassette wear.
Bike Gremlin is offline  
Likes For Bike Gremlin:
Old 02-11-22, 04:09 PM
  #4  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,452

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 560 Post(s)
Liked 374 Times in 255 Posts
My nine speed goes through chains just a tad faster than the old seven speed. Not enough to worry about for me, maybe two a year max, instead of three in two years. I haven't replaced the cassette, maybe because I keep a close eye on the chain. A friend got surprised with her first nine-speed wearing out a chain and cassette, now she checks it more often.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 02-11-22, 04:15 PM
  #5  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,594

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

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4286 Post(s)
Liked 2,829 Times in 1,971 Posts
I went from 7 speed rears to 11 speed rears just over twelve years ago. While I think that my 7 speed chains lasted longer I can't prove it. I did wear out an 11 speed chain in a little less than 5000 miles. But the rings and cogs so far are not showing any signs of issues caused from wear.

It's not a big deal though. At least not to me. The advantages of more gears far out weighs any chain or cassette I might have to throw away. Plus, you get to be in the 21st Century, instead of smug with the delusions of vintage stuff as I was until I dared to try the new stuff.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 02-11-22, 04:24 PM
  #6  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 26,884
Mentioned: 213 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15729 Post(s)
Liked 3,155 Times in 2,350 Posts
I thought my old 5/6 speed freewheels used to last absolutely forever. I had troubles finding ones with 12T, and think I had one 12T sprocket wear out many years ago. I wasn't the best at keeping the chain in tip top shape, but chains and freewheels all lasted quite well.

When I went car-free a couple of years ago... and upgraded to 9s & 11s, whew!!! I started chewing up chains and cassettes right and left.

Of course, my miles went way up, and I was putting on as many miles in 1 years as I had been doing in several years earlier. Probably in about 4 years I put on as many miles as I had done the rest of my life.

I'm not quite sure what caused me to have so many problems with the transition to cassettes.

One thing. If one is pretty good at not cross-chaining a 5 speed freewheel, then the chainline is relatively straight.

Go to 11 speed, and a more flexible chain, and one is always pulling a bit to one side or another.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 02-11-22, 06:59 PM
  #7  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 16,238

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3417 Post(s)
Liked 2,097 Times in 1,372 Posts
I, also, have no recorded data to show but I think the modern stuff wears faster than the older and wider cogs and chains. Back ith the day before 7 speeds were the boss chains had real bearing bushings. The cog plates were thicker and I know some who say were of a harder steel (softer steels cost less to stamp and form all those shifting aids in).

All this is personal observation, stories told by various industry members and some basic design principles. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Likes For Andrew R Stewart:
Old 02-12-22, 04:10 PM
  #8  
pdlamb
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,523

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1884 Post(s)
Liked 1,143 Times in 722 Posts
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
It's been so long I can't remember. Did this concern prove valid?
I don't know, which is why I ask for data either way.
pdlamb is offline  
Likes For pdlamb:
Old 02-12-22, 04:12 PM
  #9  
pdlamb
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,523

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1884 Post(s)
Liked 1,143 Times in 722 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I, also, have no recorded data to show but I think the modern stuff wears faster than the older and wider cogs and chains. Back ith the day before 7 speeds were the boss chains had real bearing bushings. The cog plates were thicker and I know some who say were of a harder steel (softer steels cost less to stamp and form all those shifting aids in).
I never wore out a "10 speed" (2x5) chain with the bushing, but I've ridden a lot further with newer bikes.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 02-12-22, 07:01 PM
  #10  
Schlafen
Senior Member
 
Schlafen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 206
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 41 Posts
The newer chains 10/11/12 speed may be narrower but they are actually designed for a wider deflection angle because of the width of the cassette.

I read a technical article a while ago and a SRAM tech stated that, while it's not ideal to cross chain, it is miles better in terms of longevity than the 7/8/9 Speed.
Schlafen 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.