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Chain length and swapping cassettes

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Chain length and swapping cassettes

Old 08-15-10, 04:33 PM
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cooleric1234
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Chain length and swapping cassettes

I know it's common practice to swap out cassettes depending on the ride one is doing. My question is what do you do about the chain length? Just size it for the biggest one and hope the slop is kept up by the derailleur when you have the smaller cassette in there?

Now comes the tricky part. I want to get a mid-cage Rival derailleur and have the option of swapping between a 28 tooth and a 32 tooth on the high end. Is that too big of a difference?
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Old 08-15-10, 04:43 PM
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Get ready to hit your head with your palm and say Doh! because you already know the answer.

There is no chain tension issue created when you go to the smaller cassette since that's the same using one of the smaller sprockets within the bigger cassette, something you do all the time.

Make sure the RD has the capacity for the wider cassette and chainring combination, and that the chain is long enough for the bigger big/big pair, and short enough for the smaller small/small pair and you'll be fine. If it can handle the extremes, the mid-range is a given.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 08-15-10 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 08-15-10, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the response. You hit the nail on the head. Now my idiocy is immortalized here on the forums for everyone to always refer to.

However, I will say that there is obviously a reason to not use too long of a chain. For instance, when I went from 3x9 to 1x9 on my mountain bike I shortened the chain because I would never need the extra length. I seem to recall the main reason was just to avoid chain slap on the chainstay. Still, if I make the chain the right length for the 32 it shouldn't be a problem.
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