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Wore out another cogset and chain

Old 10-31-13, 07:46 AM
  #1  
Sculptor7
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Wore out another cogset and chain

With 10,000 miles on it my Trek still looks good but I have just had the bike shop install another rear sprocket set and a new chain. Probably could have done it myself but their price and service is pretty good. For the under $200 I have spent on service and parts over the last 4 years I am completely satisfied with my trusty Trek, even though it is the lowest-priced road bike they make.
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Old 10-31-13, 10:32 AM
  #2  
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How many chains and cassettes have you gone through at this point?
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Old 10-31-13, 12:04 PM
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That's a change that always seems to help the performance, or at least the bike seems happier.

A chain whip and a cassette remover aren't very expensive, so you might consider picking them up somewhere along the line. Christmas is right around the corner

I know it's fashionable to rag on Trek but they make fine bikes.
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Old 10-31-13, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
That's a change that always seems to help the performance, or at least the bike seems happier.

A chain whip and a cassette remover aren't very expensive, so you might consider picking them up somewhere along the line. Christmas is right around the corner

I know it's fashionable to rag on Trek but they make fine bikes.
+1 Changing a cassette is easy-peasy. Get the tools.

I'm not sure if you meant that you had 10,000 miles on both the chain and the cassette, but 10,000 is a lot of miles on a chain. You might need to replace the cassette less often if you replace the chain more often. Get a chain stretch tool (~$5) and keep an eye on chain wear. Replace the chain earlier and you might save money and not need to replace the cassette as often.

YMMV, of course.
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Old 10-31-13, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
+1 Changing a cassette is easy-peasy. Get the tools.

... Get a chain stretch tool (~$5) and keep an eye on chain wear. Replace the chain earlier and you might save money and not need to replace the cassette as often...
One can even use a ruler, (marked in inches), as a chain stretch checking "tool". You can get a couple for a buck at the Dollar Store.
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Old 10-31-13, 03:37 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I'm not sure if you meant that you had 10,000 miles on both the chain and the cassette, but 10,000 is a lot of miles on a chain. .
After re-reading the OP, I think Victor may be on to something here. Personally, I get between 2,000 and 3,000 miles out of a chain (a matter of how clean I keep it) whereas my cassettes seem to last (darn near) forever.

While it is true, to some extent, that chains and cassettes wear in and out together, a "new" chain will keep the cassette "newish" for a lot longer.

Rick / OCRR
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Old 10-31-13, 03:56 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
After re-reading the OP, I think Victor may be on to something here. Personally, I get between 2,000 and 3,000 miles out of a chain (a matter of how clean I keep it) whereas my cassettes seem to last (darn near) forever.

While it is true, to some extent, that chains and cassettes wear in and out together, a "new" chain will keep the cassette "newish" for a lot longer.

Rick / OCRR
Agree. And I'm a guy who has crossed chained my bikes with impunity.
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Old 10-31-13, 04:39 PM
  #8  
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I may be reading this wrong, but New England has the "distinct" advantage with its hills that a cassette gets a fair share of wear across the cogs. Flat riders often find the wear is across three or four of the cogs, and usually the smaller ones which tend to wear faster anyway.

It might be wise in this sort of situation to ensure the bike shop has inspected the chainrings, and has taken the bike for a ride to ensure the rings are happy engaging with the new chain. There was a thread in another area of the forums recently where a guy injured himself badly (many stitched in his calf) after his LBS had changed out the cassette and chain, but had ignored the chainrings.
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Old 10-31-13, 07:17 PM
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This is the second chain and cassette I have replaced. Thought I would have the bike shop do the work although I have the tools to do it.
Their price was very good. I keep the chain pretty clean and lubricated and I consider myself lucky to have gone so long since I was told when I bought the bike from them that I would need to replace the cassette after just a few thousand miles which surprised me. But then before I retired and used my bike only for a short commute I never dealt with the mileage I now put on it. Have replaced chains and freewheels on older vintage bikes so have no concerns about my ability to do so. In the future I probably will replace it sooner. I like the feeling of new equipment functioning smoothly but up until the past few weeks when I started to get a little chain skip on the smaller gears I have had no problem. Riding along the coast there are a minimum of hills and I use the 3 smallest cogs the most.

Last edited by Sculptor7; 10-31-13 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 10-31-13, 08:09 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
This is the second chain and cassette I have replaced. Thought I would have the bike shop do the work although I have the tools to do it.
Their price was very good. I keep the chain pretty clean and lubricated and I consider myself lucky to have gone so long since I was told when I bought the bike from them that I would need to replace the cassette after just a few thousand miles which surprised me. But then before I retired and used my bike only for a short commute I never dealt with the mileage I now put on it. Have replaced chains and freewheels on older vintage bikes so have no concerns about my ability to do so. In the future I probably will replace it sooner. I like the feeling of new equipment functioning smoothly but up until the past few weeks when I started to get a little chain skip on the smaller gears I have had no problem. Riding along the coast there are a minimum of hills and I use the 3 smallest cogs the most.
Just be careful. Older chains and cogs and five to seven-speed were/are different designs to the narrow modern 9 and 10sp ones. If you use Shimano chains, you have to use the proprietary rivet and that can be problematic to get it inserted just right before breaking off the snib. In my experience, the so-called missing links offered by KMC, Sram and others are much better solutions, but you do need to get the right one for the width of chain you are using.

In addition, with a lot of modern chains, you cannot break them then just rejoin them with the rivet tool if you find you've made them too short. It has to do with the way the rivets have been peened. They can be quite difficult to get moving, too, because of the peening.

Freewheels are different animals to freehubs, but the same tool may fit to undo them. You will, however, need a chainwhip to stop the cassette from moving as you try to undo the lock ring.

But the way you are going, it sounds like a wise investment with the bike shop doing the work. However, chain skip can often mean problems up front with the chainring teeth being too worn, as I mentioned before.
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Old 10-31-13, 08:24 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post

It might be wise in this sort of situation to ensure the bike shop has inspected the chainrings, and has taken the bike for a ride to ensure the rings are happy engaging with the new chain. There was a thread in another area of the forums recently where a guy injured himself badly (many stitched in his calf) after his LBS had changed out the cassette and chain, but had ignored the chainrings.
My chainrings last so many years that I rarely bother to look at them. I was quite surprised one day when I had a chain slip on the middle ring on a tandem. Fortunately, that bike was set up with a half-step plus granny, so avoiding the middle ring was no problem and I had a spare sitting at home.

Back in the early '80s, Regina made the only freewheel that was available with a twelve tooth cog followed by a fourteen tooth cog in the smallest two positions (ideal for my half-step set up). Unfortunately, their freewheels weren't exactly robust and would fail every few thousand miles. Using these taught me to always stay balanced enough that if something in the drive train gives way I won't fall down.
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Old 10-31-13, 08:45 PM
  #12  
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Most people get between 2,000 and 3,500 out of a chain. So many factors are involved with chain wear (rider weight, riding style, hills, sprints, cadence, etc.) that it's possible for one rider to need a new chain in 1,500 and another person 5,000 miles. The important thing is monitor chain wear. if chains are replaced when they wear, you can get maybe three chains use before the cassette needs replaced.
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Old 11-01-13, 02:14 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Most people get between 2,000 and 3,500 out of a chain. So many factors are involved with chain wear (rider weight, riding style, hills, sprints, cadence, etc.) that it's possible for one rider to need a new chain in 1,500 and another person 5,000 miles. The important thing is monitor chain wear. if chains are replaced when they wear, you can get maybe three chains use before the cassette needs replaced.
I am a bit confuse here regarding replace cassette every 3rd chain . I have campy chorus compact 10 speed for the last 7 years . All I have replaced so far is the chain every 3000miles . That means 2 new chains every year .
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Old 11-01-13, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Most people get between 2,000 and 3,500 out of a chain. So many factors are involved with chain wear (rider weight, riding style, hills, sprints, cadence, etc.) that it's possible for one rider to need a new chain in 1,500 and another person 5,000 miles. The important thing is monitor chain wear. if chains are replaced when they wear, you can get maybe three chains use before the cassette needs replaced.
+1
I'm lucky to get 1000 miles on a chain in my stop and go traffic riding, add in the fact that I haul a lot of cargo at times, plus it's a 400 ft climb towards home everyday. I have a chain wear checking tool, and it get's used on a regular basis.
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Old 11-01-13, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mapeiboy View Post
I am a bit confuse here regarding replace cassette every 3rd chain . I have campy chorus compact 10 speed for the last 7 years . All I have replaced so far is the chain every 3000miles . That means 2 new chains every year .
You only need to replace the cassette when its worn. The easiest way to know is a new chain will skip with a worn one. Otherwise if the cassette is good you might get 3, 4 or 5 chains worth of wear.
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Old 11-01-13, 08:42 AM
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1-3000 miles on a chain. That's every 40 days.
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Old 11-01-13, 10:38 AM
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Two chains in 10,000 miles is probably not enough. Two cassettes in 10,000 is really excessive wear. It's called cause and effect. Get the Park chain checker tool and it will save you a lot.

Last edited by Doug64; 11-01-13 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 11-01-13, 01:58 PM
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The whole chain replacement thing is confusing to me. My LBS said every 1500 miles and said it was like an oil change on a car, preventative maintenance. But that seem excessive to me especially since my steel bike has the original chain and cassette from 1982 on it and I still ride it regularly and up until a month ago that was 30-50 miles a week (and more when I first got it because it was my only method of transportation for 4 years). Based on some of what I read I should not even be able to ride that bike and yet it rides just fine (doesn't climb all that well but that is more of a function of the gearing (6 speed cassette, standard crank) and the engine
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Old 11-01-13, 02:10 PM
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I have a chain checker tool, but I just regard that as a rough approximation.

Standard wisdom: You should measure your chain across 12 outer links, from center of rivet to center of rivet. If elongation goes past 1/16", then replace the chain. If you let it get to 1/8", you've ruined the cassette and maybe the chainring too, and all should be replaced at the same time. You'll need to periodically change the cassette, too, because as it accumulates wear, it will cause new chains to wear faster after each successive change. The more you keep on top of chain replacements, the longer the cassette will wear. Extra note: measure a couple of spots along the chain. One spot may wear more quickly than another.
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Old 11-01-13, 02:39 PM
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Riding mostly on a fixed gear bike since I had stopped racing five years ago, my experience tells me that the life of a chain and cog (and to an extent the chainring) depend on three major factors:

1. amount of climbing, and steepness of the climbs,
2. amount of rain you ride in
3. quality of the chain, cogs, and chainring

I live at the top of a one-km climb that averages around 7% (it gets to be about 9 or 10% at one point), and I usually go up this climb once each day. I use a 1/8" track chain (KMC Z410H heavy-duty, with bushings) and a variety of cogs.

- In the summer, I can generally get about 3,000 km (2,000 miles) out of a chain.
- In the winter, especially if it rains a lot, I can get 2,000 km (1,200 miles) out of a chain.
- The chain and cog usually wear out together, up to a point.
- If it's a cheap cog (soft steel), I might get three uses out of it. I normally start with new cog and new chain, then switch cogs when the chain is at 1,000 km to a cog that's been used once and is slightly worn. I may replace the cog agian at 2,000 km to once that's been used two or three times and is even more worn. If I don't change cogs, I can feel the roughness, or the cog makes a "grinding" noise because it's mismatched with the chain. Or I may feel/hear nothing as the two are wearing together.
- With a really cheap cog, I could probably just run the chain and cog for 5,000 km or more, but I'd have to replace both.
- With a cog made of hard steel, I can use one for several chains before I feel "wear."
- Chainrings will outlast cogs just because the stress of the chain is divided across many more teeth.
- I'll go thru maybe eight chains in a year (I do about 20,000 km per year on the fixed gear bike). Maybe three cheap cogs. Usually one chainring every couple of years.
- My track bike, which uses good cogs but the same kind of chain, gets 2-3,000 km of use per year on a wooden indoor 200m track. I normally replace the chain maybe once every 4 or 5 years. I don't think I've ever replaced a cog (but I use different rear wheels). I've certainly never had to replace a chainring. This is why I say that hills and weather have a much greater effect on chain/cog life.

So, extrapolating all this to road bikes: I bet that if you lived in a flat part of the US southwest and only rode when it was sunny, you could get at least 3,000 miles (heck, maybe even 5,000 miles) off a chain and not have to replace any cogs. But if you live in a hilly part of the Pac Northwest and rode all year round, you'd be replacing chains and cogs quite regularly.

And any time you THINK you need n+1 bikes, just replace the chain and cassette. You will be amazed at how fast and responsive your bike suddenly becomes!

Luis
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Old 11-01-13, 02:40 PM
  #21  
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I just change my chain every other year or so w/o even measuring it. I probably don't put more than 2000 relatively flat miles a year on it at the very most anymore though. I used to put 200 plus miles per week on them in my '30s and changed them every year back then. I have worn a couple or more sprockets on freewheels that caused me to change them but that was when I rode a lot more miles.

I'm not usually much of a masher and I do make an effort to avoid cross-chaining every chance I get. Been using Sedisport chains forever but am about to start using SRAM 850 8 speed chains next spring.

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