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Thread: Cassette Life

  1. #1
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    Cassette Life

    Has anyone here gotten 2,000 or more miles from a MTB cassette, say 12-32t-ish?

    I know that keeping the drive train clean and lubed pays huge dividends, but even with meticulous care and easy trail conditions, is it reasonable to expect 2,000 miles? More?

    Thanks................Frank

  2. #2
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    I have had the same XT on my hardtail for like 10 years. No joke. And it still shifts like butter. If you don't believe me I can get a picture. It's even still shinny if I clean it up good. And I don't ride like my grandmother.

  3. #3
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    I believe you, but that is pretty incredible!

    I wonder how long your grandmothers cassette would have lasted..........:-)

    Frank

  4. #4
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    I just replaced the original 11-32 cassette on a 2001 Giant NRS XTC. I think the bike probably has about 4000 miles on it.

    I replaced it not because it was worn out, but because I recently went 1 X 9 and started having knee problems and someone recommended switching to a 11-34 T cassette.

  5. #5
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    I usually get somewhere around 2500 miles.

  6. #6
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    Frank-

    The secret to long cassette life is good chain maintenance. A new chain barely creates any wear on the cassette since as it winds onto and off the cog it barely touches the teeth except for the ones it in engaged with.

    The static engagement doesn't wear anything because there's no movement, and the moment the chain begins to unwind it swings free so theres no more contact. As the chain wears, the pitch increases (stretch) and it no longer matches that of the cog. Now as the chain winds onto the cog each successive link no longer smoothly swings into place, but instead bumps into and rolls down the back of adjacent tooth.

    If you replace chains before they stretch at all cassettes would last forever, but you'd go broke paying for the chains, so you look to balance the costs. Most have found that replacing chains between 1/2% and 1% stretch (1/16" & 1/8" in 12") to provide the best economical balance.

    I replace chains on the following protocol: 1st chain at a bit over 1/2%, 2nd chain slightly later, 3rd or 4th near 1%. When the cassette begins to show serious wear I no longer replace the chains (why bother now), running the last chain until both it and the cassette are well and truly dead (stretch = 2-5%).

    So in summary, your cassette can easily last 3-5 times (or more) the life of your chains, and your goal is to increase the life of each of those chains with good lubrication (hint, hint)
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  7. #7
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    I have a Shimano HG 90 7 speed on my old GT Timberline I used for years and years and it hasn't skipped a beat. The IG 90 chain I put with it either. And I'm a 300 lb. Clydesdale. But first let me say I don't ride very aggressively though. (Too old and feeble ) I keep my drivetrains meticulously clean and lubed though. Keeps me from getting arthritis.
    i have more than you.
    ...because i have me and you.

    zarr

  8. #8
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    Thank-you, one and all, for sharing your experiences.

    I've just spent a goodly amount of money for new (lighter and diffferent range) cassettes for my and my wife's bikes. I want to maximize my investment.

    Thank-you, FBinNY, for taking the time to give me just a detailed response. I do keep the drivetrain clean and lubed (ProLink Gold) and I replace our chains every 1500-2000 miles or so, when the stretch is all but inpercievable over 12 inches, but quite noticable over 36 inches. This seems like a reasonable cost for a season's worth of riding.

    Again, thanks all...............................Frank

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