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cassette wearing out before chain?

ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
edited November 2014 in Workshop
Is it possible for my cassette to be wearing out before the chain? I've done 8000 miles on my now not so new bike. Only used it in the dry. I've been keeping to a pretty pernickety chain cleaning/lubing regime: Every 150ish miles clean drive chain (dry, no water nor chemicals) and lube with Muc Off C3 dry. It's an Ultegra chain and cassette. Been checking for chain wear every now and then. Chain wear indicator still doesn't drop through yet, but I reckon my cassette is worn. Possible? I suppose the other possibility is the chain wear tool, for whatever reason, is failing to tell me the chain is worn, the chain is worn, and now so is the cassette.

The chain wear tool I've got looks like this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231371616463

Posts

  • keezxkeezx Posts: 1,311
    edited October 2014
    Even without any tool I can tell you that your chain is worn out after 8000 miles.....
    Chains typical wear out between 500 (poor quality,very dirty conditions, no maintenance) and 4000 miles (good quality,clean conditions, regular maintenance)
    As long as the chain is not beyond the 0,6-0,8^ mark the cassette does not wear that much.
    Get a better tool or ruler and change the chain when it's 0,8% elongated if you want to ride the cassette with a new chain.
    You can ride on with the same cassette but when it's time to replace someting, it will be chain+ cassette.


    PS, the cassette in the picture doesn't look too bad....
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    You got 8,000 miles on one cassette?
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 362
    If the cassette and chain are working, carry on riding.

    It's only the newbies who think chain checking is vital.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    Frequent and efficient chain cleaning will make the transmission last much longer.
    Chain wear gauges measure between a roller pushed left an a roller pushed right, which is the easy but incorrect way of measuring. The gauges are usually set to err on the pessimistic side, but to be sure you can measure the chain with a ruler to get the true wear. 1/8" measured over 12" is 1%, so if the "stretch" is less than 3/32" the cassette should be OK for a new chain.

    A chain and cassette will carry on working OK well past the so called 1% limit (I've had chain and cassette up to 7000 miles when they went through 1% at about 1500), but if you do continue using them past the limit you will need to buy a new cassette as well as a chain, and probably chainrings every other cassette. It's a matter of assessing the relative costs of chains, cassettes and chainrings.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    crikey wrote:
    It's only the newbies who think chain checking is vital.

    Interesting assessment. Happy to class myself as a newbie in that case.

    You can run drivetrains for a very very long way without changing anything and then replace the whole lot if that's your way of doing things.

    I prefer to measure my chains and swap them when they are stretched to .75% - I get through 3-4 chains per cassette. Chainrings do starship mileage before wearing out if you keep your chains from getting too long and keep everything clean(ish) and properly lubed.

    If you are running pricey cassettes and chainrings, it serves as an incentive to make sure you don't over stretch a chain!

    You can actually feel when a chain is reaching the end of it's life, shifting becomes less crisp and a little noisier.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    crikey wrote:
    It's only the newbies who think chain checking is vital.

    Vital if you want to save money, though I have to say that some folk seem to change a chain very early.

    I've yet to change one before 2.5k and then erring on the side of caution. 3 chains one cassette.
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    So I should definitely change my chain. But not the cassette (unless it skips with new chain -- or better, ascertain how much wear the chain has to dictate whether cassette should also be changed). And my chain wear indicator tool isn't working. Correct?

    I tried measuring a new chain, for my old bike this is just to test out the technique, some time ago, and I seem to remember I got a measurement that said it was too short -- so from that I totally lost any faith in my ability to measure the chain with a ruler. And I really tried pulling the chain tight/straight. So if it's possible for me to get info which says the chain is too short (only a few millimetres or something if I remember correctly), I doubt that technique will reliably tell me if it needs changing or not. Maybe I'll try again on that old bike, and the one this thread is about. But having measured a chain and it seeming too short I don't have any confidence in that method.

    > I've yet to change one before 2.5k and then erring on the side of caution.

    What do you use to check the chain?

    > 3 chains one cassette.

    Does that not really apply to me now, bearing in mind my chain has done 8000 miles?

    Thanks.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    I'd swap the cassette with the chain on this occasion because of the mileage. I use a metal rule and measure 12" between the pins(have a look on the net for a guide).
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 362
    Vital if you want to save money

    Nope.
    Using a cassette and chain as a unit and running them for as long as they run will save money. They wear together.
    Putting a new chain on a part worn cassette simply wears both of them faster.

    Chain checking is one of those odd pieces of cycling lore that have been adopted by cyclists without much in the way of evidence, and propagated by the way everyone now gets their cycling 'wisdom' from the net.

    Using one chain and one cassette until they really don't work has no performance disadvantage for most amateurs and will save you a lot more than buying a chain checker and 2-3 chains per cassette.
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    I've just watched a YouTube vid on measuring a chain with a ruler. I've just tried measuring the chain and it seems to be if not exactly 12", just a gnat's over. Hardly any.
    andrew_s wrote:
    1/8" measured over 12" is 1%

    *Much* less than 1/8". 1/8" is a lot. The chain is over maybe by 1 mm, certainly no more than 2 mm (over 12" that is).
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    > I use a metal rule and measure 12" between the pins

    And what amount over 12" is time to change?
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    crikey wrote:
    Vital if you want to save money

    Nope.
    Using a cassette and chain as a unit and running them for as long as they run will save money. They wear together.
    Putting a new chain on a part worn cassette simply wears both of them faster.

    Chain checking is one of those odd pieces of cycling lore that have been adopted by cyclists without much in the way of evidence, and propagated by the way everyone now gets their cycling 'wisdom' from the net.

    Using one chain and one cassette until they really don't work has no performance disadvantage for most amateurs and will save you a lot more than buying a chain checker and 2-3 chains per cassette.

    Apart from shafting your chainring.
    A mate started cycling a few years back and he didn't swap his chain throughout the year, come spring everything was toast and I'd never seen anything that bad. Yet..... When I started I ran shimano 105(7or8sp?)for well over 30k(because I knew no better) without swapping a single thing and that drive chain never missed a beat.
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    How do you measure the chain with such accuracy while it's on the bike? I guess you don't? You take it off?

    I've replaced the 8000 miles chain, and now been able to measure it properly with it off:





    Doesn't seem that bad to me?

    There's no way I can measure that kind of accuracy while attached to the bike I don't think. Seems like that's a tool that needs inventing/making. Something that allows you to accurately measure the chain while on the bike. I'm using Shimano chains, so no quick link, so don't want to take it off until it needs replacing.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    That's always been my question to those advising just using a steel ruler and looking for 1/8 - 1/16 of an inch elongation over 12 inches. How on earth do you hold one end of the ruler bang in the middle of a rivet while you're looking at tiny fractions of an inch a foot away, all the time keeping the chain taut? That seems to require more limbs / eyes than I posess...

    I've taken to using the simple but much maligned Park Tool chain wear checker, and accept that I may be binning chains prematurely.

    And if your ruler manipulating while doing macro photography skills are up to scratch I'd say your chain hasn't worn at all despite it's 8000 miles! :shock:
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    > I'd say your chain hasn't worn at all

    Well there is the slightest bit of chain "stretch" evident in those two photos I reckon, but only tiny. There was definitely no movement between taking the two photos because I was able to pull the chain tight, rest the ruler on top and not touch it while photographing.

    In fact that's quite a good way of doing it irrespective of whether you intend to post it on a forum I reckon. Much easier to examine the photos than the ruler directly. But that's only of any use if you can easily get your chain off and put it back on again, which I can't because I'm using Shimano chains, so isn't actually much use to me.

    But it would appear that my cheap chain wear indicator tool wasn't too wrong maybe.

    I still reckon the cassette is a bit on the worn side – seems more worn than the chain but I'm not sure. Haven't ridden the bike since changing the chain so don't know if there's any skipping or not yet.

    > I've taken to using the simple but much maligned Park Tool chain wear checker, and accept that I may be binning chains prematurely.

    You could measure them accurately after you've decided to change, just to check, just to see if you are binning them prematurely or not.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I could if I knew where my steel ruler had gone...Bloody kids!
  • Why not use a vernier gauge, a lot easy than a ruler and more accurate.


    Bazza
  • patrickfpatrickf Posts: 536
    ben----- wrote:
    Shimano chains, so no quick link, so don't want to take it off until it needs replacing.
    No reason why you can't use a quick link with a Shimano chain.
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    > Why not use a vernier gauge, a lot easy than a ruler and more accurate.

    Yes that's not a bad idea. Before you posted that I had thought of callipers/dividers - compass like things.


    > No reason why you can't use a quick link with a Shimano chain.

    Oh, didn't know that. Don't really want to have to take it off just to measure it though. But I didn't realise that was possible. Thanks.
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    Kids don't use steel rulers, you can't boing them.
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