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  1. #1
    Plant Eater
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    replacing chain what if you dont change your cassete?

    My buddy just changed out his chain on his 4 year old fsr xc and did not change out the cassette. I told him I believe its suggested to do them at the same time. He told me its just the manufactures trying to sell you more parts and it won't were on your new chain. Is it more cost effective to leave the cassette as cassettes are more money than chains?
    Gen. 4 Raw Dillinger

  2. #2
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    It really depends on the condition of the cassette and the old chain. Generally, if the old chain was replaced before it stretched (wore) more than 1/2%, or 1/16" over 12" the new chain should run fine with the old cassette. If the old chain was worn to where the stretch is over 1%, odds are the new chain will skip on his cassette.

    There's no harm in approaching it as your friend does. If the new chain runs fine, then he saved some dough, if not he can then buy the cassette.

    BTW- the reason many dealers suggest replacing both at the same time, is because they don't want to be blamed when the new chain skips.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

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

  3. #3
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    It really depends on the condition of the cassette and the old chain. Generally, if the old chain was replaced before it stretched (wore) more than 1/2%, or 1/16" over 12" the new chain should run fine with the old cassette. If the old chain was worn to where the stretch is over 1%, odds are the new chain will skip on his cassette.

    There's no harm in approaching it as your friend does. If the new chain runs fine, then he saved some dough, if not he can then buy the cassette.

    BTW- the reason many dealers suggest replacing both at the same time, is because they don't want to be blamed when the new chain skips.
    ^^^ this is right on. I toss many chains before wearing a cassette out because I change my chains as soon as they stretch just a little bit. Saves chainrings, too. Chains are cheaper than cassettes &/or rings.

    Nothing wrong with changing a chain w/o changing the cassette so long as you do it in time. But if you wait too long, you gotta change everything.

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  4. #4
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    yup...I just changed a severely worn chain yesterday. skipped like crazy on the cassette. new cassette on order now...

    I've put new chains on used cassettes b4 and been fine. this time no-go.
    whatever...

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    2-4 chains for each cassette, for me. Usually if I only get two chains' worth of wear, I kept a chain too long. I use the method of post #2. Generally, performance of the new chain on the old cassette is how I tell if I need a new cassette.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    Rub it............
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    I'm only adding reaffirmation to what has already been posted by FB and the others.

    Keep chain wear monitored, you can get several chains out of a cassette. Also helps to keep costs down.

  7. #7
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    Once a new cassette is determined does it mean that new chainrings are in need of replacement as well? Does chainrings wear = cassette sprocket wear?

  8. #8
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    Cassettes wear out faster than chainrings.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfer1 View Post
    Cassettes wear out faster than chainrings.
    Generally true, but not always. A badly stretched chain can also beat up chainrings pretty badly.

    It also depends on your riding habits. if you spread the gear use around the various sprockets of the cassette, but spend most of that time on a single chainring it could go first.

    Then there's the way most of us ride, doing most of the really hard work on the middle or inner ring, and the larger cassette sprockets. So we now have the less frequently used large steel sprockets, compared to a more used similar sized alloy chainring.
    Guess which will wear faster.

    Often the first problems people report is skipping, and it turns out to be the ring, not the cassette.

    In any case you start with the chain, then if there's skipping you do some detective work. If it skips on one or a few cassette sprockets, with either chainring, than it's the cassette. If it only skips on a particular chainring, regardless of which rear sprocket, then it's the ring.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

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

  10. #10
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    Good info.

    This thread prompted me to do a thorough cleaning of the drivetrain. I removed the chain and cassette, disassembled the derailleur pulleys and pulled the crank.

    Just came back from a test spin and the drive train is so quiet.

  11. #11
    It's about showing up.
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    Two things:

    1) Isn't amazing what maintenance will do for a bike?
    2) And don't we always say "why did I wait so long, this is great!"
    I don't rattle.

  12. #12
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    Talking about chain/cassette wear there was an article about chain lube and efficiency in a MTB mag awhile ago. All they seemed interested in was efficiency. Never any talk about chain and cassette wear. It was like they were saying lubing was not nessecary, trying to increase sales of chains and cassettes. Think it was MBAction. I'm surprised no one yet in the bike business here has said cassette replacement is a must when replacing chains. Seems like the norm in threads like this.

  13. #13
    It's about showing up.
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    Let's say that when you change a chain you ought to be prepared to change the cassette, too, and a bit less so the chainrings. It is not a certainty but just don't be surprised

    You'll know if you need to change, believe me.
    I don't rattle.

  14. #14
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    1niceride that's what I thought, I thought we would have more arguments from the other side also. Maybe all those people are busy talking up there 29ers. Ok that was a joke, but I swear I remember someone telling me this or maybe I read it someplace. What about running single speed chain rings do they tend to slip less and last longer than a ramped model on a 1X set up?
    Gen. 4 Raw Dillinger

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Singlespeed rings should perform a little better in a single-ring setup. They tend to have higher teeth and no shift gate.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Singlespeed rings should perform a little better in a single-ring setup. They tend to have higher teeth and no shift gate.
    Betcha they would. A lot of teeth on rings and cassettes are hooked already when new also. As it wears the hooked tooth catches the chain as it tries to feed on the sprocket, causing it to ride up and slip.

  17. #17
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    Can u tell a cassette is bad by looking at the gears?
    09 Ventana El Bastardo 650b
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  18. #18
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    If you have some experience you'll be able to spot very badly worn cassettes, but even then you won't be able to spot borderline cassettes that will skip with a new chain.

    The only reliable way it to fit a new chain and see if it runs OK.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

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

  19. #19
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    Hey Francis,
    I just measured my chain and I am just about at 1/16 inch stretch. Threw on a new chain and I get skipping under load in a few of the cassette gears. My guess is that I spent too much time in the middle gears on the cassette and that is why they are worn more than the rest of the cassette.

    My question is about keeping the original cassette and chain since they seem to mesh well and there is no skipping, etc. The cassette is a pg980 and cost about $70 when I bought it. I'd rather get another few hundred miles out of it before needing to drop a new cassette on there. Would you bite the bullet and change both now or ride them until they are toasted?

    Thanks

  20. #20
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    In your shoes, I'd go back to the original chain and run it longer. There's no percentage in replacing a chain earlier to save a cassette that's already dead. But be aware that if you run the worn chain too long the chainrings will suffer so it's a matter of pay now or pay later.

    There are three schools of thought about chain replacement.

    1- preventative replacement at about 1/2% stretch to save the cassette. Normally this will allow you to run 3 or four chains before the cassette dies.

    2- run it till it dies and replace chain and cassette both. This seems wasteful, and can kill off chainrings, but in the meantime you'll be running things 2-4 times longer, so it isn't as bad as it sounds.

    3- multiple chains rotated at intervals. This has the advantage that chains and cassettes stay well matched through their lifetimes. I run 4 chains for each of my road and commuter bikes rotating them at about 1,000 miles, and run the system until it dies which is something well over 25,000 miles since I'm not limited to 1/2% stretch. I've never yet replaced chainrings due to wear, and maybe only one cassette since I've adopted.

    Whichever approach is smartest depends on the relative cost of chains, cassettes and possibly chainrings. The goal is to get the lowest total cost per mile, while keeping a smooth running drivetrain. There's no one answer since everybody's economics and priorities are different. I prefer to but the cheapest cassette of the construction and weight I want, usually a "B" or "C" version. Chains are near the lower middle range which are usually close to the top line chains, except for cosmetics.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

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

  21. #21
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    Thanks FB. I usually run a 980 cassette and a 971 chain. I don't see the value in the higher grade cassette and haven't seen any shifting enhancements from a 991 vs 971 chain. I'll run this chain/cassette combo until it dies then. The chain ring is a stock XT that came on a lightly used crank set. I expect to get mucho miles out of it before it needs to be replaced.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'd get a new cassette and chain.

    If the $70 for the 980 bothers you, get an HG-61 or PG-970. I made that decision myself, recently - team order sheet came back and even at "my" price, I decided that the PG-980/HG81 price was more than I cared to spend. Might feel differently about it for my 'A' bike, but the difference is weight in a spot that's not very important.

    Chain rings can be surprisingly expensive.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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