Wearing out chains and rear cogs too fast? What lasts longer?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wearing out chains and rear cogs too fast? What lasts longer?

    I commute approximately 3-4,000 miles per year on my Trek "Dual Sport" bike and seem to go though cogs more than I should.
    I just put a new chain on after 3,500 miles and cog is now slipping if I crank on it.
    I keep the chain cleaned and oiled pretty well so I was surprised that it had stretched enough to ruin my new rear cog.
    I normally buy cheap 9 speeds ( Sram ) and whatever rear cogs as I don't care about weight. It seems like I might be missing the boat by not buying higher quality chains and cogs which should last longer?

    Any input for longer life?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    My bikes see mostly dirt miles so chain wear will be much quicker, but 3500 miles on a chain sounds like a heck of a lot.

    A tactic I learned from someone wise here is the following:

    - Buy 3 chains and 1 cassette at the same time
    - Take your first chain to 60%-70%, then throw on the new one
    - Repeat and rotate all 3 chains through 60-70, 80-90, then finally throw them out when they break
    - This way the chain wear and cog wear proceed at the same rate

  3. #3
    CB of the East
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    ^^ Sounds like good advice. 3500 miles on a single chain seems sure to wear out the cassette. 9 speed chains are relatively cheap so replace it more often. The plus side is when you throw it out you don't have to clean it.

    I shouldn't be giving out advice here. I'm king of wearing out cassettes.

  4. #4
    blet drive
    Reputation: JUNGLEKID5's Avatar
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    A chain is good for about 1200 miles at most. A lot of people get less if the conditions are harsh.
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
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  5. #5
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    Too many variables affect the mileage, so a chain wear checker takes out the guesswork.

  6. #6
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    Use a ruler. Replace the chain when 12 links measures 12 1/16th inch.

    Youre not wearing out chains abnormally fast, but you are ruining cassettes and chainrings by not changing chains soon enough!

    I haven't found a significant wear difference between modern chains.

  7. #7
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    I just ride until something starts to slip and the replace the chain, rings and cassette. I use relatively cheap 8 or 9 speed bits. This seems to be the cheapest way for me.

    Tim


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  8. #8
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    Buyt one cassette and three chains...Run one chain to one third of life....

    Then start on the next chain, again one third life, then the next....

    Then go back and start again with the first chain go to 2/3 life....then repeat until all three chains are at 100%....

    Then keep going...

    I normally got one cassette for five chains...I use a park tool chain checker to estimate life....(measure new chain normally about 30% on the guage).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wombat View Post
    I just ride until something starts to slip and the replace the chain, rings and cassette. I use relatively cheap 8 or 9 speed bits. This seems to be the cheapest way for me.

    Tim


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Chain rings don't wear like chains and cogs. My rings are finally getting replaced after a bazillion miles. Not because they're worn, because I'm going smaller with smaller cogs on the cassette.

  10. #10
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    Replace your chain with each new season (4x/year) 1 cassette and maybe a ring or 2 per year and you're still under $200 with not too much time wrapped up in maintenance. Time is money!
    I brake for stinkbugs

  11. #11
    bike tester
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    most times after 2 chains you will destroy the most used cog, so yes, running 3 chains in parallel gets you 50% extra cassette life.

    from a quality standpoint, campy chains are definitely better. but they cost more so it's a wash, and they will shift a bit slow on shimano drivetrains. you will be fiddling with powerlinks less often though.

    either way, buy a decent chain wear gauge and use it often.

  12. #12
    CB of the East
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlMarin View Post
    Chain rings don't wear like chains and cogs. My rings are finally getting replaced after a bazillion miles. Not because they're worn, because I'm going smaller with smaller cogs on the cassette.
    I guess that would be good information if it wasn't wrong. Of course chainrings wear. Especially if run with worn out chains. They can both skip and cause chainsuck particularly when shifting. More than once I've changed a chain and cassette on a working drivetrain and turned it into a non-working drivetrain because the chainring was worn.

    To be fair, they don't wear as fast.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    I guess that would be good information if it wasn't wrong. Of course chainrings wear. Especially if run with worn out chains. They can both skip and cause chainsuck particularly when shifting. More than once I've changed a chain and cassette on a working drivetrain and turned it into a non-working drivetrain because the chainring was worn.

    To be fair, they don't wear as fast.
    Yup generally I will get to the point wear a new chain will skip for more than 4 commutes before it wears in....I will generally change the offending part, and possible the whole damn thing.

    Another point drive train life can be incredibly short, with salt, slush, grit and gravel, during winter commutes....on the order of days...

    More corrosion resistant parts (i.e. higher end) often work well, and last longer than the cost of cheapies.

    I recently went to a 1 x twelve eagle on a new MTB...I went with the Ti-nitrided (think gold plated drill bits)...seems to be working so far, I only have to get about 33% more wear on the XX1 version vs thew xx0 version to payout.

  14. #14
    CB of the East
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    ^^33% more wear is a lot. Stay out of that 10T cog. I would imagine that those wear out mighty fast. I'm avoiding 1x12 like the plague.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    ^^33% more wear is a lot. Stay out of that 10T cog. I would imagine that those wear out mighty fast. I'm avoiding 1x12 like the plague.
    Yup 11 teeth is a minimum industrial standard for chain drives, the 10 tooth works but roughness is definitely there.

    I only use the top gear for some double track bomb out's we race down the trails for about 5 km, to get out....

    The guy with the highest top end usually wins.

    12 speed is well worth staying away from...it is finicky to set up.

    I went from 10 to 12 (with a short stop at 11).

    To get top end I ride a 34 tooth elliptical....top end like a 34 and bottom end like a 30...(road biopic back in the day and I like it).

    To get enough bottom end on a 29 bike I need the 50 tooth, to protect the knees on the long steep climbs.

    This is all with a 1X....2X would given me the bottom end but not really helped out on the top end, cause the max ring size is 34 teeth for chain stay clearance.

    So 1x12 with a 50 bottom end.

    I used to run shamano XTR 9 speed, drive train....it lasted probably double what the XT drive train lasted...

    It is easier to tell the sort of thing when you blow through a chain in a week instead of three weeks.

  16. #16
    CB of the East
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    A chain in a week!

    I haven't found a 1x drivetrain that I like. I was perfectly happy with all my 2x10.

  17. #17
    Hitching a ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBarn View Post
    Any input for longer life?

    Thanks
    Sure. First of all, chains don't really stretch in the sense of the material increasing in length due to load beyond its yield strength. The pins wear due to the contamination of invading substances, usually a common ceramic such as silica, increasing the spacing link to link.

    Increasing chain life is a game of keeping those contaminants out of the interior of your chain. Never lube a dirty chain, as that draws the contaminants into the chain. Make use of modern quick-links to take the chain off the bike, clean it thoroughly, then return to the bike and lube.

  18. #18
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    I get 2000km out of a chain before I see any real symptoms of it needing to be replaced. I usually go through 2 chains to one cassette.
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