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Odd Drivetrain Sound When Climbing - When to Replace Cassette?

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Odd Drivetrain Sound When Climbing - When to Replace Cassette?

Old 07-01-13, 10:00 AM
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Odd Drivetrain Sound When Climbing - When to Replace Cassette?

I'm not sure how many miles are on my cassette but I don't think it's more than 5,000 and maybe less (can't remember if I moved it from another wheel or installed a new one). The chain, however was getting ready to replace. Stretch was between 1/16 and 1/8. First ride on the new chain I noticed an odd, clicking or pulsating sound on each downstroke under hard pedaling like when climbing. Hard to describe, but it's a kind of dull tick, tick, tick...tick, tick, tick. My only thought was maybe the cassette is worn but seems much too soon for that.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 07-01-13, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
I'm not sure how many miles are on my cassette but I don't think it's more than 5,000 and maybe less (can't remember if I moved it from another wheel or installed a new one). The chain, however was getting ready to replace. Stretch was between 1/16 and 1/8. First ride on the new chain I noticed an odd, clicking or pulsating sound on each downstroke under hard pedaling like when climbing. Hard to describe, but it's a kind of dull tick, tick, tick...tick, tick, tick. My only thought was maybe the cassette is worn but seems much too soon for that.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
I have the same thing going on so I am going to subscribe to this thread. I replaced my chain and freewheel (yes, still old school) just yesterday but haven't had a chance to get a ride on the bike since then. I did check to make sure the crank was installed correctly and not starting to slip or anything...it wasn't. The ticking felt like it was coming from the crank to me. There were a few times that I threw the chain off the crank when shifting the front, which I chalk up to chain stretch, so a new chain should fix that. (crossed fingers)

I have a fear the problem may be in the pedals, like the bearings are starting to go or something. I will know after a good ride though. Good luck.
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Old 07-01-13, 10:38 AM
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a' visual' of between 1/16 and 1/8 is prolly not very accurate - it could be more. In any case trying to tension a chain and hold up a ruler accurately offers great opportunity to get frustrated...
just cause a chain is not over stretched doesn;t mean that some cogs aren't worn - depending how one uses the gears, a well/often used cog or set of cogs could be toast when the others are just fine. IN fact that is the common thing when a cassette is well used. 11 thru 14 and 23 thru ... are usually pristine, unles you're like me and spend a good amount of time in the 39 - then the 14 and 15 get toasted quick.

At 165 lbs, I don;t get more than 2K miles out of a SHimano or KMC chain 10 spd, and less for a wipperman.

You can put on another wheel/cassette, which is known to have low mile and compare...
did you clean the cosmoline off the new chain before using, and relube ?
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Old 07-01-13, 11:17 AM
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Maybe not the best method but all I had. In any case, the problem is on the cogs you would expect to be the least worn - the 21, 24 and 28 on my cassette. I don't have anything to swap out but have a new cassette on order just in case. What I'm wondering is how you know if the cogs are worn if the chain isn't slipping. Is the noise I describe a sign?

Why would clean off the OEM lube? Many people swear it's the best. I do wipe off the outside of the chain, though, as it's a dirt magnet.
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Old 07-01-13, 11:37 AM
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that's definitely the cosmoline tawkin...
big ring to the 21+, even with 10 spd, is still a bit of crosschain, and that stylin gel does make the chain react a bit stiffer... hence the chatter.
once you get the K-Y off, the noise will quiet down.
or maybe when you get to the 53/21 you might find more quiet fun in the 39...
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Old 07-01-13, 03:49 PM
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Hi,

They say replace chains at 1/16". However if you do that by the time
you get to your third chain at 1/16" it will work better than a new
chain with the worn rear cassette.

Rotating 3 chains with a cassette as it wears is the best way, and you
can take all three to 1/8" before needing new chains and new cassette.

Probably more, the jury is out on what stretch trashes front chainwheels.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 07-01-13, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
that's definitely the cosmoline tawkin...
big ring to the 21+, even with 10 spd, is still a bit of crosschain, and that stylin gel does make the chain react a bit stiffer... hence the chatter.
once you get the K-Y off, the noise will quiet down.
or maybe when you get to the 53/21 you might find more quiet fun in the 39...
It's not when crosschaining that I hear it. It's climbing in the 34/24,28 that it's most noisy. I don't think it's chain noise but could be wrong. It's more a clicking almost vibrating sound and it's loudest when putting a lot of pressure on the pedals. It's not my first new chain and I've not heard this sound before. I'm going to try a new cassette and see what happens.

Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Rotating 3 chains with a cassette as it wears is the best way, and you
can take all three to 1/8" before needing new chains and new cassette.
Are you saying if you rotate chains say every 500 miles or something it is better than just replacing when it's 1/16 or so? I guess I can see how that might work, but keeping track of multiple chains seems kind of a hassle.

Last edited by bikerjp; 07-01-13 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 07-04-13, 08:43 AM
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Well, I put on a new cassette and no change.

At times I can almost feel the noise in the pedals. As it's not a worn cassette or chain issue that would likely leave just bearings - wheel or BB. Any other possibility?
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Old 07-04-13, 02:19 PM
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BB without any doubt. I have the exact same symptoms and have replaced wheels, big chainring, chain, and cassette and it continues to get RAPIDLY worse each short 15mi ride. It's gotten so bad now that the ticks have turned into longer exaggerated scrapes/screeches and I feel a very strong, quick vibration in the pedal on each tick. I'm afraid my BB will lock up and leave me stranded on the side of the road so I've parked the bike and have the BB removal tool on the way. One way to know for sure, remove both cranks and feel the smoothness/resistance when you spin your BB.
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