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Cassette Replacement timing?

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Cassette Replacement timing?

Old 11-07-20, 12:37 PM
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Mattyb13
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Cassette Replacement timing?

2017 Specialized Diverge.
105 W/Ultegra Cassette and chain.
Florida, so flat and relatively consistent speeds. No climbing, and I'm a gentle shifter.
125-175 miles a week average. All road miles, no dirt.
Im a clean weenie. bike gets a good bath once a month. Chain gets a good wipe down and relube once a week.
Have about 3750 miles on my Ultegra 11/28 Cassette.

I am wondering if I should start thinking about a new cassette? Bike still shifts crisp and I have rear deraileur adjusted at least pretty well. There does seem to be a little more noise coming from the rear drive train lately though?
I replaced my chain about 1000 miles ago.

Love some feedback and opinions.
Thx
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Old 11-07-20, 01:50 PM
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Usually I get 10k miles from a cassette. Likely has plenty of life left in it.
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Old 11-07-20, 03:22 PM
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I get 20000 miles on a cassette if I wanted but I changed the last one at about 17000. Unless they skip with a new chain they are fine. Those who ride in bad conditions and very hilly terrain may get fewer but if you keep the drive train clean and replace chains they go a long time. I might add I generally get 7k on an 11 speed chain.
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Old 11-07-20, 03:31 PM
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I get about three chains out of cassette. I replace the chain before it is totally worn, and I think that's an economical approach.
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Old 11-07-20, 03:58 PM
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I have 26,000 miles on a Sram Red cassette and finally bought a replacment.
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Old 11-07-20, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattyb13 View Post
Florida, so flat and relatively consistent speeds. No climbing, and I'm a gentle shifter.
So perhaps counterintuitively, this suggests you do entire rides in maybe only 1 or 2 gears, and therefore, while every cog on your entire cassette may not be worn, you may more quickly wear out 2-3 of your primary used cogs faster than other riders who'd use a lot more of their cassette's range.
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Old 11-07-20, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
So perhaps counterintuitively, this suggests you do entire rides in maybe only 1 or 2 gears, and therefore, while every cog on your entire cassette may not be worn, you may more quickly wear out 2-3 of your primary used cogs faster than other riders who'd use a lot more of their cassette's range.
Then maybe he should sometime use the small chainring with the cassette in the small cogs.
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Old 11-08-20, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I get about three chains out of cassette. I replace the chain before it is totally worn, and I think that's an economical approach.
Same here. I left a new chain on that was just starting to skip and ran them both to failure, what could go wrong? Well the chainrings went wrong.
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Old 11-08-20, 12:37 PM
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I've never worn out a chainring. I'm not sure why.
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Old 11-08-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I've never worn out a chainring. I'm not sure why.
You change your chains and it takes 40-50K miles. The big ring will skip.
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Old 11-09-20, 07:13 AM
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On my 3x7 speed Shimano drive train I got close to 10K miles before the smallest cog wore out on my 1996 Trek 520- shark's teeth. I do a lot of climbing, weigh 220, tend to be a lower RPM grinder, though I've improved over the years. I rarely replaced the chain on that one, maybe once.

On my 2017 road bike with 2 x 11 Shimano, the smallest cog hit that point at about 7500 miles. Chain was replaced twice.

In 2019 I replaced the old Trek 520 with a Jamis with a 1x SRAM drivetrain with only a 38 tooth chain ring up front - I'm curious to see how things will wear on that one since I am in the small ring in the back a lot. Been trying to stay off it and force higher cadence but old habits are hard to break.
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Old 11-09-20, 09:05 AM
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I got a great deal but don't plan on swapping until needed.

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Old 11-09-20, 10:32 AM
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I recommend timing the replacing of the cassette so that it happens while you are not riding the bike.
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Old 11-09-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattyb13 View Post

There does seem to be a little more noise coming from the rear drive train lately though?
I replaced my chain about 1000 miles ago.

Love some feedback and opinions.
Thx
Did you measure your chain and did it need to be replaced?

The "little more noise" probably has more to do with your chain lube.
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Old 11-09-20, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I recommend timing the replacing of the cassette so that it happens while you are not riding the bike.
You don't carry a spare cassette in your saddlebag?

That seems a little risky.
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Old 11-09-20, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I recommend timing the replacing of the cassette so that it happens while you are not riding the bike.
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
You don't carry a spare cassette in your saddlebag?

That seems a little risky.
Naturally I carry an entire panel van full of tools and parts in my saddlebag on every ride. No "call of shame" for me. If need be, I take my spare bike off the rack on the back of the van and ride home .... and come back for the van in my car, which I collect later on my repaired bike (the car has a bike rack.)

Still, when replacing drive train parts I almost always get off the bike first ... or at the very least stop pedaling.
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Old 11-11-20, 03:57 PM
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I replace my Shimano 11 speed chains between 1500-1800 miles and the cassette every other chain. I wonder if I can keep the cassette longer but am reluctant to push my luck.
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Old 11-11-20, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I replace my Shimano 11 speed chains between 1500-1800 miles and the cassette every other chain. I wonder if I can keep the cassette longer but am reluctant to push my luck.
In what way?

It's not like you're gonna crash due to warn parts.

There are tools to measure chain wear. And cassettes don't need to be replaced until the teeth show wear. Maybe bring the cassette to a LBS and ask them if it looks worn.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
In what way?

It's not like you're gonna crash due to warn parts.

There are tools to measure chain wear. And cassettes don't need to be replaced until the teeth show wear. Maybe bring the cassette to a LBS and ask them if it looks worn.
Hi Glen, I use a Pedro’s chain checker. I don’t want excessive cassette or chain wear leading to bad shifting or worn chainrings. Over time I’ve learned that my past issues with bad shifting and dropped chains weren’t due to cassette wear. It was usually derailer adjustments or worn cables. I don’t want to find out after the fact that I should have been more proactive with going too long on a cassette yet I do wonder if I’m replacing the way cassette sooner than necessary.
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Old 11-11-20, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattyb13 View Post
2017 Specialized Diverge.
105 W/Ultegra Cassette and chain.
Florida, so flat and relatively consistent speeds. No climbing, and I'm a gentle shifter.
125-175 miles a week average. All road miles, no dirt.
Im a clean weenie. bike gets a good bath once a month. Chain gets a good wipe down and relube once a week.
Have about 3750 miles on my Ultegra 11/28 Cassette.

I am wondering if I should start thinking about a new cassette? Bike still shifts crisp and I have rear deraileur adjusted at least pretty well. There does seem to be a little more noise coming from the rear drive train lately though?
I replaced my chain about 1000 miles ago.

Love some feedback and opinions.
Thx
1) You replaced your chain after 2750 miles? It had reached the 0.5% wear?

2) Short answer is, you need to replace your cassette if it's worn out and you should not simply rely on the number of miles on it. A visual inspection can confirm if it needs to be replaced, but based on the mileage, I am pretty positive you are good to go for another few thousand miles.
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Old 11-11-20, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I do wonder if I’m replacing the way cassette sooner than necessary.
Take it to the LBS and has one of the mechanics.
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Old 11-11-20, 09:52 PM
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Replace the chain when it measures 12-1/16" between pins or a little before. That's the only rule. Then replace the cassette when it starts to skip under hard efforts with a new chain. It'll only start skipping when the chain is on one particular cog, the most used one, so it's not really an issue when that happens on a ride, Just ease off a bit with that cog or use the other ones. It'll be fine. I've worn out a lot of cassettes.

It's the same thing with chainrings. When you get out of the saddle with a new chain and it skips on a chainring, replace the chainring. Just keep your butt in the saddle for the rest of the ride. Also not really an issue unless you're running an old crankset and everyone's sold out of the chainring you need. I've also worn out a lot of chainrings and have had to stock up on chainrings to keep the old gruppo going.

Here's a trick for the really high mileage riders: Save the old chains when you take them off and number them. When a new chain skips on a cassette, take that cassette off and give it the same number as the last chain you took off. Those parts will still work together. Same thing with chainrings. When you take them off, number them, hang them with other parts of the same number. You'll wind up with several sets of matched parts which you can run together, even if they're worn out. I have a very high mileage friend who did that to save money - it adds up if you ride enough miles in bad weather.

In response to a comment above, I always replace my own cassettes and chainrings. I use a torque wrench on the cassette rings. I've had cassettes come loose in the middle of a long ride twice when they were replaced at a shop. That's a huge bummer since no one carries tools for that on a sport ride. Too many wrenches think their wrists are torque wrenches. 25 ft-lbs is a lot of torque.
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Old 11-12-20, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Replace the chain when it measures 12-1/16" between pins or a little before. That's the only rule. Then replace the cassette when it starts to skip under hard efforts with a new chain. It'll only start skipping when the chain is on one particular cog, the most used one, so it's not really an issue when that happens on a ride, Just ease off a bit with that cog or use the other ones. It'll be fine. I've worn out a lot of cassettes.

It's the same thing with chainrings. When you get out of the saddle with a new chain and it skips on a chainring, replace the chainring. Just keep your butt in the saddle for the rest of the ride. Also not really an issue unless you're running an old crankset and everyone's sold out of the chainring you need. I've also worn out a lot of chainrings and have had to stock up on chainrings to keep the old gruppo going.

Here's a trick for the really high mileage riders: Save the old chains when you take them off and number them. When a new chain skips on a cassette, take that cassette off and give it the same number as the last chain you took off. Those parts will still work together. Same thing with chainrings. When you take them off, number them, hang them with other parts of the same number. You'll wind up with several sets of matched parts which you can run together, even if they're worn out. I have a very high mileage friend who did that to save money - it adds up if you ride enough miles in bad weather.

In response to a comment above, I always replace my own cassettes and chainrings. I use a torque wrench on the cassette rings. I've had cassettes come loose in the middle of a long ride twice when they were replaced at a shop. That's a huge bummer since no one carries tools for that on a sport ride. Too many wrenches think their wrists are torque wrenches. 25 ft-lbs is a lot of torque.


It happened to me last month on my brand new 2021 TCR. Stupid mechanic didn't torque it to specs and cogs ended up all loose after 50kms of ride. Crappy bike shop.
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Old 11-12-20, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for the warning about the cassette lockring. I haven't paid much attention to the torque on my bikes, and I'm sure I've under-tightened them. I'll check them now.
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Old 11-12-20, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Too many wrenches think their wrists are torque wrenches. 25 ft-lbs is a lot of torque.
Eh....if you have lifted weights enough you know what a 25lbs dumbbell feels like holding the wrench 12" up the handle....but your point is valid.
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