New cassette?

baggytrousers

Well-Known Member
Location
wirral
Hi, I read on this forum somewhere that some people thought it was a good idea to change your chain annually to minimise wear on the cassette - I've been riding my current bike to work now for about 12 mths so I thought I'd change mine - however the new chain slips but only on the two gears I use the most so I assume I've left it too late - I've put the old chain back on and all is fine again but at some stage I know the chain will have to be replaced and probably the cassette as well - when looking at cassettes do I get a "road" one or a "MTB" one for my Trek hybrid and I've seen at least 4 different sizes for an 8sp 11-32, 11-28, 12-26 and 12-23 I think the numbers relate to the number of cogs on the smallest and largest sprocket but which set would be best for me commuting 8 miles each way to work and would I really notice much difference between them? ;):wacko::biggrin:
 
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baggytrousers

Well-Known Member
Location
wirral
Hi, I read on this forum somewhere that some people thought it was a good idea to change your chain annually to minimise wear on the cassette - I've been riding my current bike to work now for about 12 mths so I thought I'd change mine - however the new chain slips but only on the two gears I use the most so I assume I've left it too late - I've put the old chain back on and all is fine again but at some stage I know the chain will have to be replaced and probably the cassette as well - when looking at cassettes do I get a "road" one or a "MTB" one for my Trek hybrid and I've seen at least 4 different sizes for an 8sp 11-32, 11-28, 12-26 and 12-23 I think the numbers relate to the number of cogs on the smallest and largest sprocket but which set would be best for me commuting 8 miles each way to work and would I really notice much difference between them? ;):wacko::biggrin:
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
The numbers refer to the number of teeth - the more the lower the gear (easier).

Which one you go for depends upon how many of your gears you use - an 11-32 has big jumps of maybe 3 or more teeth between gears, where the 12-23 will have one and two tooth jumps. If you ride on fairly flat (or are fairly fit) then the 12-23 will suit you better, but if you need all your gears, then go for a wider ratio.

On my road bikes I have straight through blocks - i.e. 13,14,15 etc teeth as it gives a closer ratio and you'll always get an ideal gear for the speed.
 

barq

Senior Member
Location
Birmingham, UK
Put very crudely there are two quite polarised schools of thought with chains:

  1. Change chains regularly (before you hit 0.75% or 1% elongation). This arguably saves cassettes and chainrings.
  2. Allow chains, cassettes and chainrings to wear out together and then replace all at once.

I'd guess you've slipped between them and got the worst of both worlds. Unless you are experiencing problems with your old chain, you may as well stick with it for a bit longer, then replace the chain and cassette (perhaps the chainrings too, see how you go).
 
Barg is spot on, there are two schools of thought. Ive always recommended the first option, particularly if you are running good quality chain-rings and cassettes. My mountain bike chain-rings cost 50 quid each, the cassette 60 so eking a few extra months out of a worn chain would be far from cost effective. By replacing chains regularly and keeping them clean a cassette and set of chain-rings will last indefinitely. My current rings are 12 years old and I have an XTR cassette in the shed which still has plenty of life in it after 10 years of 100 miles a week commuting with occasional weekends off road. I replace the chain every six months, long before it wears out. So, 20 chains at 20 quid each (40 quid per annum) rather than 180 quid every couple of years.

At the other end of the scale, a perfectly good entry level commuter bike will feature a chainset which has steel rings and can be replaced for twenty quid. a sub 20 quid cassette and an 8 pound chain. Steel rings require less diligence. It takes a very worn chain and a lot of miles to wear out a steel ring so there might be an financial case for running a chain and cassette into the ground and replacing them together, assuming you dont let the chain get so bad that it knackers the rings.

A worn chain really compromises shifting quality and is much more likely to fail or to slip over the cassette teeth under pedaling load at which point it becomes a serious health and safety issue.

Chains, like tyres, cables, brake blocks (and to a lesser degree rims and grips) are consumables, they should be replaced well before they get dangerous.
 
Elmer Fudd said:
Methinks mickle should set up his own English 'Sheldon Brown' type page !
A 'Mickle Black Book'...
 
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baggytrousers

Well-Known Member
Location
wirral
Hi, Thanks All

lots of good advice I think I'll leave it a while longer and replace the chain and cassette together - I'm quite happy with the cassette I've got so I'll count the teeth and get the same one when I'm ready - Thanks again:smile:
 

Unkraut

Master of the Inane Comment
Location
Germany
mickle said:
By replacing chains regularly and keeping them clean a cassette and set of chain-rings will last indefinitely. My current rings are 12 years old and I have an XTR cassette in the shed which still has plenty of life in it after 10 years of 100 miles a week commuting with occasional weekends off road.
My 'new' bike has now done about 6000 commuting miles plus a few forays into the more hilly countryside. The chain recently broke, although worked OK up till then, so I asked the shop to replace it and the cassette only if absolutely necessary. Yes, I know it's naive. So of course I picked up the bike with new chain, cassette and for what it's worth they renewed the Kranz - no idea what that is!! So I spent the equivalent of about 50 quid instead of about 15.

Shouldn't I have got a bit more life out of said cassette - the chain hadn't been slipping and there was no obvious signs of wear and tear. I've generally kept both cassette and chain reasonably clean.
 
Unkraut said:
My 'new' bike has now done about 6000 commuting miles plus a few forays into the more hilly countryside. The chain recently broke, although worked OK up till then, so I asked the shop to replace it and the cassette only if absolutely necessary. Yes, I know it's naive. So of course I picked up the bike with new chain, cassette and for what it's worth they renewed the Kranz - no idea what that is!! So I spent the equivalent of about 50 quid instead of about 15.

Shouldn't I have got a bit more life out of said cassette - the chain hadn't been slipping and there was no obvious signs of wear and tear. I've generally kept both cassette and chain reasonably clean.
You cannot accurately assess the condition of a chain by looking at it but a good indication, in the absence of a chain wear measuring tool, is if the chain rollers are loose on the rivets. If in doubt buy a new chain.
 
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