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  1. #1
    I like mud
    Reputation: Patterson's Avatar
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    Mixing old and new parts

    My drivetrain was working perfectly but I noticed the chain was wearing out.

    So I changed the chain to a new one (KMC gold).

    That's when the problems started. The chain would skip (not up and down, but the gears wouldn't catch in it). Then I realized that the worn-out chain was a better fit!

    I took it to my shop and they pointed out my absurdly-worn jockey wheels, which they changed.

    I explained the issue and they adjusted it all....but no luck, it's far worse off than ever before.

    My cassette looks ok and my front chain ring is a bit worn but the mechanic said it's not worn enough to change it.

    I feel like I should just go back to all my old worn out parts that worked perfectly...

    Any thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    You should always change the cassette when you change the chain to avoid any possible drivetrain issues. Get a new cassette and see how that goes...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patterson
    My drivetrain was working perfectly but I noticed the chain was wearing out.

    So I changed the chain to a new one (KMC gold).

    That's when the problems started. The chain would skip (not up and down, but the gears wouldn't catch in it). Then I realized that the worn-out chain was a better fit!

    I took it to my shop and they pointed out my absurdly-worn jockey wheels, which they changed.

    I explained the issue and they adjusted it all....but no luck, it's far worse off than ever before.

    My cassette looks ok and my front chain ring is a bit worn but the mechanic said it's not worn enough to change it.

    I feel like I should just go back to all my old worn out parts that worked perfectly...

    Any thoughts?
    Yes, your chain wasn't just starting to wear out, it was worn out some time ago and you didn't replace it. This caused the cogs in the rear to wear into the worn chain. When you put the new chain on the rollers of the chain don't fit between the teeth of the cogs correctly. This allows the chain to slip off of the teeth. How badly and when depends on how worn the cassette is. But it really doesn't matter, you need to replace the cassette to solve your problem. The jockey wheels certainly have something to do with it, but they've been replaced and you are still having the same problem, so it's cassette time.

    YOU DO NOT have to replace the cassette every time you replace the chain. Unless you let your drive train get the to the point it is at now again before replacing the chain. You need to check your chain regularly for wear and replace it BEFORE it is completely worn out. It is quite easy to check a chain, there are several methods of doing so. The easiest is to simply get a Park Tool Chain Checker. It is simple and easy to use and it takes about 2 minutes to check your chain condition. There are a couple of other tools out there that will do the same thing, but the Park is the easiest to use and read. There is also a "measurement" method that can be done with a ruler or tape measurer. But I don't advocate this method as to be really accurate the chain should be off the bike. The Park tool when used correctly, is highly accurate, quick, and easy. Kinda spendy for what it is, but it will pay for itself in short order.

    Using the Park tool, cleaning my drive train regularly, and replacing the chain BEFORE it's shot, I can easily get between three and four chains before I have to replace a cassette. On average I go through about 2 chains a year. Your frequency of chain replacement may be more or less. Depends on how often you ride, the conditions you ride in, and how well/often you maintain the drive train, i.e. cleaning, lube etc.

    The bottom line is, proper maintenance, checking the chain and other components for wear often, and replacing the chain regularly can save you a significant amount of money in the long run, and keep your drive train working as it should.

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  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I typically go through about three chains before I change my cassette. I also try to keep a good eye on chain wear, though. I usually keep a tape measure on the rack with my bikes so I can check the chain when I relubricate. I'd rather throw out my chain a little too often at $20 a pop than have to replace my cassette and chain rings more frequently.

    The whole drivetrain wears together to some extent, and other parts tend to wear faster as the chain stretches. So if your old chain was worn out enough, your cassette is probably toast. On mine, I notice problems shifting long before the cassette looks worn out, although I'd say there're some visible signs of wear if I really look.

    If your front shifting is behaving well, I think that a new cassette is the way to go. Chain rings start to add up if you have to replace all three. If your front shifting got crappy too, you've already worn at least your favorite one, and going back to the old chain and running everything into the ground would buy you some time before you have to replace everything.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    New cassette for sure. It's often hard to tell they're worn just by looking at them.

  6. #6
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    ...There is also a "measurement" method that can be done with a ruler or tape measurer. But I don't advocate this method as to be really accurate the chain should be off the bike....
    the chain should be off the bike anyhow every few rides...
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  7. #7
    nocturnal oblivion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patterson
    My cassette looks ok and my front chain ring is a bit worn
    If you're on a single ring up front it can just be flipped.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patterson
    My drivetrain was working perfectly but I noticed the chain was wearing out.

    So I changed the chain to a new one (KMC gold).

    That's when the problems started. The chain would skip (not up and down, but the gears wouldn't catch in it). Then I realized that the worn-out chain was a better fit!

    I took it to my shop and they pointed out my absurdly-worn jockey wheels, which they changed.

    I explained the issue and they adjusted it all....but no luck, it's far worse off than ever before.

    My cassette looks ok and my front chain ring is a bit worn but the mechanic said it's not worn enough to change it.

    I feel like I should just go back to all my old worn out parts that worked perfectly...

    Any thoughts?
    I would put all the old parts back on and run them until they do not work. Then be prepared to replace the chain, cassette and chainrings.
    mtbtires.com
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I would put all the old parts back on and run them until they do not work. Then be prepared to replace the chain, cassette and chainrings.
    Do precisely this.

  10. #10
    I like mud
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator
    Do precisely this.
    Sounds good but should I replace these too?

    I'm thinking I'll only go back to the old chain and hopefully that will solve the problems for now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mixing old and new parts-throwing-stars.jpg  

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  11. #11
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    Plenty of life left left in those jockey wheels ... ;-D
    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  12. #12
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    You sure you didn't accidentally photograph your stock of ninja stars instead???
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  13. #13
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    the chain should be off the bike anyhow every few rides...
    If by 'rides' you meant years then yes
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  14. #14
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne
    If by 'rides' you meant years then yes
    you clean your chain every few years?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  15. #15
    I like mud
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    OK I put my old chain on, but left the ninja stars off...going for a mudfest tomorrow, will see if it all works.
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  16. #16
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    No, I take it off my bike every few years.
    The only time it comes off is to go into the garbage.
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  17. #17
    I like mud
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    Thanks for the good advice.

    I put the old chain back on (left the ninjar stars off) and it was smoother than ever!!!
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