replacement cassette time

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  • 11-07-2015
    Lollygaggin
    replacement cassette time
    Hi All,

    I have a 2015 Kona Taro. Been at it pretty hard this past summer, and will need a new cassette soon.

    Wondering what are the best options to help with the steeper climbs.

    Thanks
  • 11-07-2015
    qdavison
    Best option is more muscle! Haha, but really you have 2 options... One is to get a smaller chainring. Yours came with a 32 so you could try a 30... Or, a different cassette, yours came with a 11-36, so you could look for a wider range (there are some out there) or you can get a 40 or 42 cog to replace your 36...


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  • 11-08-2015
    mtbxc.com
    Yes, you could very well change out your chainring for a smaller one to help with the climbs... but because you said you need a new cassette soon from (presumably) one season of riding, it sounds like learning how to shift smoother or earlier should be at the top of your list, too. Best of all, that upgrade is free!

    Regarding the cassette itself, if you have to replace it - you have to replace it. But I'd hold off on getting one of those aftermarket expansion cogs (40t/42t) - they don't always shift smoothly. I'd suggest looking into upgrading to 11spd with the Shimano 11-42 cassette, but that's quite an investment with it requiring the rear derailleur and shifter... so, if you truly need a bit more torque to get up the hill, try the $50 chainring first.
  • 11-08-2015
    Austke
    Plenty of riders go through cassettes in a season. Not me personally. But the ones that do, I wouldn't call bad gear selection riders at all.


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  • 11-08-2015
    Lollygaggin
    Yeah, nothing will be better then just climbing more or hitting the gym. But I'm not expecting miracles here, just little advantages :).

    Think I have worked out all my issues shifting, I was all over it since day 1. But I definitely did some damage the first month or so.

    Thanks Folks.
  • 11-08-2015
    borabora
    I doubt that substituting a 30t ring for the 32t while sticking with your 11-36 will make a significant difference to your climbing ability. Most spiders don't allow for rings smaller than 30t but some do or you might be able to go direct-mount (spider-less) along with a smaller ring. Though you would lose quite a bit of high end.

    If you divide ring/cog you get a ratio where a smaller number indicates easier climbing:

    32/36 = 0.888 (your current bike)
    30/36 = 0.833
    32/40 = 0.8
    32/42 = 0.762
    30/40 = 0.75
    30/42 = 0.714

    I my opinion adding a 40t to a 11-36 cassette gives you the best bang for the buck without too much clunkiness and without affecting your high gear. If that's not enough then I'd go with a 30t ring and a 40t cog. I don't like 42t cogs.

    Now I'll contradict my own advice:
    As long as you don't have to get off the bike and hike because you run out of steam, I think the frequent desire for an easier gear is normal and has nothing to do with the lowest gear available. So if you were riding a 36t, you'd use it and complain just the same as with a 28t. In other words, maybe consider doing nothing and keep the 32t. Whatever you have you'll get used to it.

    Don't forget to get a new chain with your new cassette and remember to lengthen it if you add a 40t or 42t cog.
  • 11-08-2015
    zebrahum
    Why do you think you need to replace your cassette? That usually only happens if you've been running a worn chain for a while.
  • 11-09-2015
    Lollygaggin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Why do you think you need to replace your cassette? That usually only happens if you've been running a worn chain for a while.

    Just by looking at the teeth, some are rounded pretty bad (or shaved off a bit). I haven't been slipping at all, so it's still cool.

    Whats the average life span for a cassette? I did some gear grinding for a month, but i've also kept the whole drive train pretty well maintained after every ride. I average somewhere around 40-50 miles a week (bought the bike in May).

    Edit; I've just replaced the chain for the first time recently. When I measured, it was between 1/16 - 1/8 past (12" mark)
  • 11-09-2015
    zebrahum
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lollygaggin View Post
    Just by looking at the teeth, some are rounded pretty bad (or shaved off a bit). I haven't been slipping at all, so it's still cool.

    Whats the average life span for a cassette? I did some gear grinding for a month, but i've also kept the whole drive train pretty well maintained after every ride. I average somewhere around 40-50 miles a week (bought the bike in May).

    Maybe take a look at an off-the-shelf cassette and compare it to your current one. Brand new cassettes have irregular tooth profiles to aid in shifting; some teeth will be shorter or shaped differently than others in order to help the shifting. It's hard to explain so it's best if you can conjure up some images of cassettes from the google.

    As far as the average lifespan of a cassette, that's obviously user-dependent. I think a reasonable average lifespan of a chain (chains wear out then they wear on the cassette) is probably around 1000 miles give or take several hundred miles. An average mileage is really not useful for anyone though because it depends so heavily on how you're using it. If you're a tree-trunk calved monster or if you ride in sand a lot you'll wear things out much faster than someone who likes to spin an easy gear and rarely encounters grit. I'll usually change my chain once a season but some people go through 3 or more; it's impossible to predict.

    It's best to get a chain checker and learn how to use it. My favorite is the Rohloff caliber because it doesn't wear out. Change your chain when the .075 side is just barely able to drop in and you'll nearly always be fine; wait until the .1 side drops in and you'll need to replace chain, cassette, and chainrings.