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XT groupset - 4 months lifespan?!

WhipItWhipIt Posts: 52
edited May 2012 in MTB workshop & tech
Hi all,

This is part rant, part information and part question!

I've had an On One Whippet since the end of Jan (self-build from xmas) with a new 2x10 2012 XT groupset. I had chain suck since late Feb, got worse recently and had recently ordered a new chainring (having eliminated every possibility except groupset wear). I thought that was that, and maybe the XT granny is made of cheese. Some frame damage, but that's another story.

Today, burning in some new pads in the big ring, the chain jumped off the ring THREE times before I got (literally) 50 metres. Went to the LBS who checked for chain stretch and commented that the big ring looked knackered (they had a point). I know about replacement of groupset parts, wear and tear, maintenance etc., but with the groupset only FOUR MONTHS old I hadn't been considering wear. They told me that the chain was massively stretched ("135" where 0-40 is good, 40-80 is so-so and 80+ is bad), the big ring was knackered, the granny is knackered (this, at least, I knew), the cassette will probably need changing and the jockey wheels are quite worn.

Checked my Garmin logs, I've done just over 830mi on it. OK, so quite a bit more than I expected, but my last 3x9 Deore groupset lasted about 2 years. About 130mi of this has been wet Peak District riding, the rest Cannock Chase and around Leicestershire. I Muc-Off and re-lube the chain religiously after each ride.

So, as promised: (TL;DR)

Rant: My brand new XT groupset lasted four months and now I have to replace pretty much everything!

Information: Check your chain stretch even if it's new-ish! I probably could have saved the rings and cassette if I'd changed the chain a month or two ago. I'm buying one of those measure-ma-jigs.

Question: Is this lifespan surprising to anyone else? What could have caused this much chain stretch?

I'd be interested to hear any experiences, viewpoints, etc...



  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    4 months at the start of the year. possible.

    see sets trashed in a day if the conditions have been bad at a race.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • WhipItWhipIt Posts: 52
    Ouch. Didn't realise that! Thanks for the info.

    I'd also be interested to hear about any 38T/26T chainring recommendations people might have, Shimano replacements seem hard to get hold of. Maybe others are harder wearing, too...
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    wet Peak District riding

    Component life does sort of depend on your riding conditions. I don't know what your local mud is like but if it is at all gritty then that can eat rings & chains for breakfast. I've only ever expected about 500-1000 miles out of off road kit, particularly rings, chains & cassettes, all the other bits should last much longer.
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    "but my last 3x9 Deore groupset lasted about 2 years"

    this is why I'm sticking with 9sp, the chains get thinner to fit the cogs in the back so don't last as long - although I have known 9sp chains be trashed in winter conditions also

    I would stick with the steel deore rings, you pay a small weight penalty but they last
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    Deore rings are steel, XT large are alloy, steel will always wear slower!
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    You could have changed your chain before the wear interval and saved the rest of your system somewhat.
  • agg25agg25 Posts: 619
    Invest a bit more in a decent chain this time perhaps, I've got meself a KMC x10-sl for my XT 2x10, cost a bit more but better than wearing out everything else
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    I'd say the opposite, buy cheap, change often.
  • WhipItWhipIt Posts: 52
    Thanks for the input everyone - chunkers I would have changed the chain but had no idea how bad it was :(

    I think the xt granny rings are steel... Still seemed to develop a "crest" shape pretty quickly. I also thought xt chains were good, maybe i'll try something else! I'll run two in parallel and swap them this time, too, since I have some kmc powerlinks.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    I know the feeling. I've just had to replace the chain, cassette and front 3 rings on my commuter (1996 Kili comp). They only lasted 14 years.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    WhipIt wrote:
    I Muc-Off and re-lube the chain religiously after each ride.
    Nick is right, parts can wear out extremely fast depending on conditions. However, I'm really starting to believe that people who clean their bikes religiously just cause themselves more problems. You may have been stripping the lube from inside the chain with the muc-off.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    I also agree with this.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    WhipIt wrote:
    Thanks for the input everyone - chunkers I would have changed the chain but had no idea how bad it was :(

    Buy a chain checker as well ;)
  • konadawgkonadawg Posts: 447
    Mud of the wrong sort can wreak havoc. After all it's made of finely ground rock.

    Mud we have here is quite innocuous and we don't get much of it anyway it the 5 months that it actually bothers to rain, but one week in Morzine fooked my forks, and similarly a set of disc pads once lasted me till 2pm. Also in the bad old days of vee brakes, wore through a set in just one muddy (and long) descent in Italy.

    So yes it is possible.

    Me, I like steel for my chainrings and cassette, as far as chainrings go if possible at least the granny and middle, was once highly disappointed to discover that my new Deore set came with the "upgraded" ally middle.

    A steel cassette is as close to forever as does not matter - I never replaced one, although as previous we don't get much mud - but middle rings, even in steel, will wear eventually, and the chain will stretch.
    Giant Reign X1
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