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chain / cassette replacement questions

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chain / cassette replacement questions

Old 09-17-13, 01:48 PM
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chain / cassette replacement questions

I have about 5k miles on my Cannondale Quick 5 hybrid. (About 99% of the mileage is on paved roads, but I'm not sure that matters.) The bike still has the original chain, which I'm guessing is quite stretched because shifting has been a growing issue for quite a while.

Based on advice elsewhere in this forum, I am planning to replace both the chain and the cassette (8 speed, 11T-32T). However, I have a 3-day charity ride coming up in 10 days. By the time I get around to purchasing the chain and cassette, I may have only a few days left. I'm worried about whether I'll encounter problems with the project, leaving me bikeless for the ride.

First question: Is replacement of the cassette something that is likely to prove harder than I think? I am reasonably competent with tinkering, but I don't have very much experience working on bikes. I've never taken a cassette off, but I have watched several internet videos and it doesn't seem to be beyond my capabilities.

Second question: If I replace the chain this week but wait until after the charity ride to replace the cassette, will the old cassette damage the new chain?

Third question: I was planning to buy a chain whip and link tool, but someone told me there are chains that can be installed without tools. Are they widely available (and are they any good)?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-17-13, 01:57 PM
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1. Wait until after your ride. Nothing is going to happen to the old chain or cassette in another hundred more miles or so. That said, replacing cassettes is very straightforward if you have a chain whip, the proper lockring tool and a big wrench to fit the lockring tool. It takes only a couple of minutes. BTW, when you install the new cassette, tighten the lockring FIRMLY. The recommended torque is 40 N-m and that a lot.

2. Do not even think of fitting a new chain to a worn cassette. Skipping under any moderate or high load is assured. At this point change them both or wait until after your ride is complete, then change them both.

3. You need a chain tool to cut a new chain to the correct length even if you join it with a master link. There are many good chains using master links (KMC, SRAM, Wippermann) but they still need to be sized before the link can be used.

Last edited by HillRider; 09-17-13 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 09-17-13, 02:30 PM
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IF you are only going to shorten a chain, the cheapo chain tools will do that.
They tend to "go bad" pushing the pin back in, with the "spindle" wanting to walk off the end of the pin and bending.

You need a 1" wrench to fit the lock ring tool. (12" crescent works fine)
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Old 09-17-13, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
You need a 1" wrench to fit the lock ring tool. (12" crescent works fine)
1" for the Park FR-5 lockring tool, 15/16" (24 mm) for the Shimano TL-HG16 or a big adjustable as you recommended. I find a metric adjustable works best with the Shimano version.
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