Forum home Commuter cycling forum The workshop

Changing wheels - and chain?

velocestrapturevelocestrapture Posts: 168
edited November 2011 in The workshop
I would be grateful for anyone who could explain this for me.

I ride a Specialized Tricross Sport. My riding time is divided between my 24 mile round-trip commute, which I do a couple of times a week, and weekend cycling for fun. I only took up cycling a the beginning of this year, but have been bitten hard by the bug. I have done one sportive this year, and plan to do more next year, as well as to join a club in the New Year.

For my commute, I like to use the 32mm Borough tyres that came with the bike, as I go along a dirt track for part of my ride, and prefer the extra grip and stability for playing in traffic. I also have a pair of 25mm slicks, which I prefer to use at the weekend. It is a complete pain in the posterior to change the tyres before and after each weekend ride, so I have decided to buy an extra set of rims, and an additional cassette in the same make as I currently use, so that I can put the 25mm tyres on them and simply swap the wheels at the weekend.

When I spoke to my LBS I was told that it is not possible to do this using the same chain, and that my best bet would be to use two chains with quick release links, so that I can change them when I swap the wheels.

Is this right? I was told that this was necessary so that the chain and cassette wear at the same rate, but unfortunately, I only got to speak to the LBS shop assistant, who is much less articulate than his boss, and wasn't really able to explain to me why this is necessary. Can anyone explain to my why it is not possible to use one chain on more than one cassette, and what would happen if I did?

Posts

  • TorvidTorvid Posts: 449
    Its not really best practice, to but you can.

    It's down to wear on the cassette not matching wear on the chain and the more worn chain causing more damage to the newer cassette. You then start to get slipping under load and poor gear changes.

    Two chains and a quick release link is fairly easy to do and it's only really another £10-£15 on top of the wheels.
    Commuter: Forme Vision Red/Black FCN 4
    Weekender: White/Black - Cube Agree GTC pro FCN 3
  • That is roughly what the LBS said. I don't understand about the wear on the cassette not matching the wear on the chain. What exactly is it that wears? Surely the individual cogs on the cassette wear unevenly anyway, as some are used more than others. I can sort of see that an old chain might cause extra wear to a new cassette if it is roughened and warped, but in that case, would the answer not be just to put a new chain on?

    I have done about 700 miles on the bike this year and have kept the bike well maintained - will any of the components really have worn so much that they would cause damage to a new item?

    Also, I think that the new and old set will get roughly the same millage per week - about 50 miles in two trips during the week and about 40 for a weekend ride.
  • TorvidTorvid Posts: 449
    Chains elongate over time so instead of there being a uniform 1inch between links it gets longer. The cassette will wear at roughly the same rate but slightly slower that the chain. As the cassette wears it get a wider gap between teeth where the chain has basically rubbed off the outer coating of hardend steel. You can slow this down by changing the chain when it starts to elongate.

    If the chain and cassette have been running together then they both still fit each other so run smoothly if the chain (which wears quicker) is switched between newer cassettes you'll be damaging both cassettes.
    Commuter: Forme Vision Red/Black FCN 4
    Weekender: White/Black - Cube Agree GTC pro FCN 3
  • Torvid wrote:
    Chains elongate over time so instead of there being a uniform 1inch between links it gets longer. The cassette will wear at roughly the same rate but slightly slower that the chain. As the cassette wears it get a wider gap between teeth where the chain has basically rubbed off the outer coating of hardend steel. You can slow this down by changing the chain when it starts to elongate.

    If the chain and cassette have been running together then they both still fit each other so run smoothly if the chain (which wears quicker) is switched between newer cassettes you'll be damaging both cassettes.

    OK, thanks. That is a helpful explanation. I will go with the quick release chains. Hopefully it won't be too fiddly.

    I am starting to understand why the answer to any kit problem is always n+1!
  • TorvidTorvid Posts: 449
    The masterlink type chains are so easy to pop on and off just remeber to give the link a wiggle when you put it back on to stop it going stiff.

    yes I know that sounds like filth but if you don't you'll have other issues.
    Commuter: Forme Vision Red/Black FCN 4
    Weekender: White/Black - Cube Agree GTC pro FCN 3
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    I'd probably just swap the cassette over if I were you. Much less fiddly. All that threading of the chain through the mechs would get pretty old pretty quickly round here.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • And you could clean the cassette when it's off!

    Or, provided the wheels get similar usage, the cassettes should wear at a similar rate.
    FCN16 - 1970 BSA Wayfarer

    FCN4 - Fixie Inc
  • pdwpdw Posts: 315
    +1 for swapping cassettes. Quicker and less fiddly than swapping a chain, although still not that much easier than just swapping the tyre.
  • TorvidTorvid Posts: 449
    If it was me i'd just buy a road bike and keep the tricross on the fat tyres.
    Commuter: Forme Vision Red/Black FCN 4
    Weekender: White/Black - Cube Agree GTC pro FCN 3
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    If the wheels will get similar use, then I'd just put a cassette on both, keep the same chain and swap them in and out as needed. If you were doing significantly more miles during the week than at the weekend then there'd be a problem.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
Sign In or Register to comment.