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Lifespan of chain rings, sprockets, etc. ...

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Lifespan of chain rings, sprockets, etc. ...

Old 03-29-19, 09:05 AM
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CoogansBluff
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Lifespan of chain rings, sprockets, etc. ...

My bike shop is recommending new sprocket cassette and chain ring. ... Bought my first road bike in August, probably have 2,500-3,000 miles on it.

Is it unusual to need replacements that soon?
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Old 03-29-19, 09:13 AM
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not so simple ....

more frequently you clean oil and replace the chain, the longer the cogs and chainrings can last, in a wear life..

chainrings like cogs can be of steel or a few different alloys of aluminum, of varying wear resistant hardnesses....
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Old 03-29-19, 09:17 AM
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That's about the mileage that I get out of a chain...
9 or 10 chains before I need a new cassette.
3 or 4 cassettes before I need to replace a chain ring.
I keep everything clean and well lubed but yes, it does seem really early for cassette/chain ring replacement.
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Old 03-29-19, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
more frequently you clean oil and replace the chain, the longer the cogs and chainrings can last, in a wear life..

chainrings like cogs can be of steel or a few different alloys of aluminum, of varying wear resistant hardnesses....
Well, it appears that I have not taken care of my chain as I should have. Lesson learned there. I just wonder whether the bike shop's recommendation is not premature when it comes to actually replacing the cogs and chain ring after just 2,500-3,000 miles.
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Old 03-29-19, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
That's about the mileage that I get out of a chain...
9 or 10 chains before I need a new cassette.
3 or 4 cassettes before I need to replace a chain ring.
I keep everything clean and well lubed but yes, it does seem really early for cassette/chain ring replacement.
Thanks, that's kinda what I thought. Maybe I'll take a photo and see what folks think of it.

I know I've been unduly harsh on cassette/ring, but just doesn't seem like it would be that bad.
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Old 03-29-19, 09:25 AM
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Post a couple pictures (profile, side view) of the teeth on the cassette and chain rings.
If they aren't "hooked" (look like a shark's dorsal fin) you'll probably just need to replace the chain.
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Old 03-29-19, 09:28 AM
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you may express your wonder..

i cannot see your bike in front of me to say

small cogs wear faster than big ones , because the load is shared by fewer teeth ..
(but no buying just a couple cogs anymore its all or none..)


start a new ritual of cleaning , oiling and measuring chain wear ("stretch"),
to know when to replace it , and see if in the future your parts wear longer..
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Old 03-29-19, 09:31 AM
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Good feedback, thanks.

If it helps, here's what they look like ...

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Old 03-29-19, 09:31 AM
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And this ...

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Old 03-29-19, 09:39 AM
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There is a bit of wear ...but nothing too bad. I'd replace the chain first and see how that works. If it skips replace the cassette. If it still skips, replace the chain rings.
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Old 03-29-19, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
There is a bit of wear ...but nothing too bad. I'd replace the chain first and see how that works. If it skips replace the cassette. If it still skips, replace the chain rings.
I think that's what I'll do. Going on a group ride tomorrow. Can get further opinions there as well. I appreciate it!
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Old 03-29-19, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
There is a bit of wear ...but nothing too bad. I'd replace the chain first and see how that works. If it skips replace the cassette. If it still skips, replace the chain rings.
I'd do this.
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Old 03-29-19, 10:29 AM
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Unless you have a bicycle with junk parts, you should not have to replace these parts so soon. I've been cycling regularly for for over 40 years and I have never had to replace chainrings or a cassette on any of my bikes. I did replace a chain once or twice in that time, however. Of course how much you ride is the factor that counts, but 3,000 doesn't seem like all that much. Are you have shifting problems of is the chain stretched? If so, then perhaps the LBS is correct. If not, why change anything?
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Old 03-29-19, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jackb View Post
Unless you have a bicycle with junk parts, you should not have to replace these parts so soon. I've been cycling regularly for for over 40 years and I have never had to replace chainrings or a cassette on any of my bikes. I did replace a chain once or twice in that time, however. Of course how much you ride is the factor that counts, but 3,000 doesn't seem like all that much. Are you have shifting problems of is the chain stretched? If so, then perhaps the LBS is correct. If not, why change anything?
Every now and then lately I've noticed while climbing that the gear shifting isn't perfect. It might shift back into the previous gear. Maybe that happens 1-3 times on a 40-mile ride? I'll try to be more aware of it going forward. It might be happening more, or less, than that. It's not affecting me enough to pay closer attention to it.

I don't think it came w/ junk parts. It was a Roubaix Specialized. Not a cheap bike (although I realize there are many more expensive ones, too).
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Old 03-29-19, 10:49 AM
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For sure not the chainring, probably not the cassette, maybe not even the chain.

Measure the chain with a ruler- the pins are 1/2" apart, if 12" of chain measures 12 1/16" or less then the chain is OK.

If over 12 1/6", replace the chain. If over 12 1/8", it's good idea to replace the cassette as well, since they have worn together & a new chain may skip.
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Old 03-29-19, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
Every now and then lately I've noticed while climbing that the gear shifting isn't perfect. It might shift back into the previous gear. Maybe that happens 1-3 times on a 40-mile ride? I'll try to be more aware of it going forward. It might be happening more, or less, than that. It's not affecting me enough to pay closer attention to it.

I don't think it came w/ junk parts. It was a Roubaix Specialized. Not a cheap bike (although I realize there are many more expensive ones, too).


The shifting issue is about adjustment as opposed to chain wear.

Looks like the chain has been kept oiled which is the most important thing to make things last.

Sometimes the shop is motivated to make a sale, but they also want to avoid call-backs if the new chain doesn't work well with the old cassette.
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Old 03-29-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Sometimes the shop is motivated to make a sale, but they also want to avoid call-backs if the new chain doesn't work well with the old cassette.
^ This.
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Old 03-29-19, 11:24 AM
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I have a 65 year old Schwinn and 73 year old Shelby and maybe replaced one chainring, lots of chains.
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Old 03-29-19, 11:24 AM
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3,000 miles is at the approximate limit of what I get out of a chain. If you replace your chain at appropriate intervals (as measured by a stretch gauge) , then you should be able to get 3-4 chains out of cassettes and even more out of rings.

The more expensive approach to bike maintenance is to wait 5,000 miles and beyond before doing anything, and let the stretching of the chain wear out everything at an accelerated rate.

I volunteer at a high-volume bike Co-op. Most of our clients have adopted this pay-me-later approach. I'm sure most commercial shops face the same issue, that if the chain is worn, then everything else on the drivetrain is eggregiously pooched. So your shop may be making the same premature assumption.

But visually, your chainrings look OK. Hard to tell from the pics, but a few of the middle (high mileage) cassette cogs may be more shark-finned and finished.

Good thing you caught the chain wear when you did. You may get off with a new chain only.
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Old 03-29-19, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
There is a bit of wear ...but nothing too bad. I'd replace the chain first and see how that works. If it skips replace the cassette. If it still skips, replace the chain rings.
This is the advice I would have given too. Learn how to measure your chain and/or get a chain checker tool and a few other tools and you can do this stuff yourself on the cheap. It's pretty easy.
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Old 03-29-19, 12:09 PM
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The large chainring is definitely worn. I'd not buy it as used parts. Which is very different from being ready for trash. Small chainring is fine. Hard to say what condition the cassette is in. The chain is definitely dirty, which is not nearly as bad as being dry.

Lifespan for any of these parts is variable. I took over a pair of Campy chainrings from my wife that she'd been using 35 years. She did use them daily, she's just light and takes care of her bike. Still some life in them, she just wanted different sizes. I destroyed them in less than one year. Pro racers will go through rings in 3000 miles. If your chain were hopelessly dry you could ruin parts very quickly. If you want to get the lifespan others on this thread are suggesting it will be required to keep the drivetrain clean and lubricated. And to replace the chain well before it wears out. Chains are relatively cheap, the fancy ones are not worth the ticket.
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Old 03-29-19, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
There is a bit of wear ...but nothing too bad. I'd replace the chain first and see how that works. If it skips replace the cassette. If it still skips, replace the chain rings.
based on pictures I concur. I think my chain is ready for being replaced. i have around that much mileage but it is a commuter in all weather/ through winter this year.
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Old 03-29-19, 01:20 PM
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Call me a curmudgeon, but I found it odd that the recommendation to replace drivetrain components increased as the cost of chains & cassettes went up. I rode a Shimano Ultegra 8sp. cassette for 17 years before replacing it, and I've never replaced chainrings. Maybe it's due to good maintenance but it's not the biggest issue with bicycles in my opinion.
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Old 03-29-19, 01:30 PM
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Chainrings needs cleaning, not replacing.
Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
And this ...

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Old 03-29-19, 08:12 PM
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About 3000 miles is not only the time to check bike chain but also to check bike shifting cables. Shifting cable that starts to go bad can easily be the reason for your shifting issues.
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