How long should components last

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Dave B, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Dave B

    Dave B Guest

    Hi folks,

    I have been commuting on my bike since late June this year (a miserly
    4.5 miles each way).

    I had the misfortune of a broken spoke recently that forced me to pop
    into the LBS. Whilst chatting with one of the bike gurus (who'd just
    managed to save my wheel from buckle hell) we got talking about my bike
    usage and components.

    I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200
    miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets
    etc). Does this sound about right?

    If so (and my maintenence schedule suggests it will be closer to 900
    than 1200!) I will have to budget for some purchases in the new year!

    Dave
     
    Tags:


  2. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    Dave B wrote:
    > Hi folks,


    >
    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200
    > miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets
    > etc). Does this sound about right?
    >


    Should not need a new derailleur, chain probably, sprockets possibly.
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Dave B wrote:

    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200
    > miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets
    > etc). Does this sound about right?


    Would depend on how good it is and what sort of degree of perfection you
    expect from changing. Personally, speaking as a not particularly
    sporting rider who's typically had lowish to middle range bits, I'd feel
    rather on the shortchanged side if I had to change things as
    frequently as 1200 miles.

    Difficult to gauge at the mo as I use several bikes so share the load
    and don't commute, but back when I had a single bike and wasn't very
    rich to throw much money at it, I'd reckon closer to 5k miles before
    something really needed replacing in the sprockets and rings department,
    rather less for that on chains if I wasn't very diligent when the
    council were putting salt down.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. iakobski

    iakobski Guest

    >> Does this sound about right?

    No, it sounds like rubbish - either really rubbish components or
    rubbish words.

    I did 5000 km before changing to fixed, and all the components,
    including the chain, have no signs of wear - or rather not enough to
    need changing.

    If you change the chain as soon as it shows any signs of wear you will
    be able to use the same sprockets over many chains and many thousnads
    of miles. The same with the derailleurs, depending how much shifting
    you do.

    You need to measure the chain, if you leave it too late you will have
    to change the cassette with the chain, but not the derrailleurs.
     
  5. Dave B wrote:

    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200
    > miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets
    > etc). Does this sound about right?


    Not really, although the chain will be tired after that time. I commute
    12.5 miles per day in all weathers. My drivetrain is a 2001 Campag
    Veloce 9-speed with Sachs chain. I don't use any special lubes: a rag
    and small screwdriver to get the worst of the crap off the jockey wheels
    and cassette, and 3-in-1 to keep it quiet and smooth. The route is all
    road; the bike is a Roberts Audax, and I weigh 11st.

    I had a chain last over 4,000 miles: I then replaced it out of concern
    that it would start wearing the chainrings as it had visibly stretched.
    The new chain was unusable on the old cassette, which had followed the
    stretching of the old chain.

    Now, I replace the chain every 1,500 miles and the cassette every third
    chain (4,500 miles).

    I replaced the jockey wheels on the rear mech after 10,000 miles, but I
    don't believe that was necessary. I don't have any plans to change
    either front or rear mech until they fail - they are still shifting
    perfectly.

    --
    Mark.
    http://tranchant.plus.com/
     
  6. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Dave B wrote:
    > Hi folks,
    >
    > I have been commuting on my bike since late June this year (a miserly
    > 4.5 miles each way).
    >
    > I had the misfortune of a broken spoke recently that forced me to pop
    > into the LBS. Whilst chatting with one of the bike gurus (who'd just
    > managed to save my wheel from buckle hell) we got talking about my
    > bike usage and components.
    >
    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and
    > 1200 miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain,
    > sprockets etc). Does this sound about right?


    No. It might be a good idea to replace the chain at that point (or sooner
    or later, as appropriate) but not the rest. Basically, you have two
    choices: Keep replacing chain before significant wear, or carry on with
    everything until it doesn't work. The latter could take several/many
    thousands of miles but the expensive chainrings (at the front) would
    eventually need changing as well. See www.sheldonbrown.com

    Another option is "chain rotation" (periodically alternating between two
    or more chains) but this can only save money if you use the chains and
    sprockets until they're worn right out (and it depends on cost of
    sprockets too); otherwise it's effectively no different from replacing
    chains one at a time.

    Derailleurs do not need regular replacement, not even the jockey wheels.

    ~PB
     
  7. PhilD

    PhilD Guest

    Dave B wrote:
    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200
    > miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets
    > etc). Does this sound about right?



    My dad's bike is about 40 years old, and he still has the original
    chain, chain wheel and sprockets. OK, so the teeth are all hook-shaped
    now, but the bike's still perfectly ride-able!

    PhilD

    --
    <><
     
  8. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Dave B
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > I have been commuting on my bike since late June this year (a miserly
    > 4.5 miles each way).
    >
    > I had the misfortune of a broken spoke recently that forced me to pop
    > into the LBS. Whilst chatting with one of the bike gurus (who'd just
    > managed to save my wheel from buckle hell) we got talking about my bike
    > usage and components.
    >
    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and
    > 1200 miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain,
    > sprockets etc). Does this sound about right?


    Frankly, no, but it does depend a great deal on how much effort you put
    into cleaning and lubricating. I reckon to get more than twice that on a
    mountain bike used in really nasty off-road conditions. A road chain
    should last at least 3,000 miles and derailleurs and sprockets much
    more. The rear derailleur on my winter bike must have done 15,000 miles
    now, as have the cassette and the chainset. None of them need
    replacement. This does depend on quality, of course. If you do have to
    replace components, always upgrade.

    If you keep your chain clean and replace it before it gets too worn the
    rest will last a long time.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
    .::;===r==\
    / /___||___\____
    //==\- ||- | /__\( MS Windows IS an operating environment.
    //____\__||___|_// \|: C++ IS an object oriented programming language.
    \__/ ~~~~~~~~~ \__/ Citroen 2cv6 IS a four door family saloon.
     
  9. Dave B

    Dave B Guest

    Thanks for the replys folks!

    Sould like my money is safe for a wee bit longer. Although I have came
    to expect the unexpected! I've already had to replace the headset (now
    got a sealed cartridge which should help), a spoke and my tyres (now
    marathon pluses!). I wonder what will be next..... :-(.

    I'm surprised that I got such incorrect information. Maybe he just said
    the chain would need replaced and I misheard, but I was sure he was
    talking about other components.

    The components are cheapish, came with my ridgeback cyclone, but not
    bargain basement.

    Thanks again

    Dave
     
  10. I got about 7000km from the "drive train" on my Dawes galaxy - me 14
    stones and including miles of track/trail/hills and heavy loaded cycle
    camping. Still wondering if it was actually necessary to replace
    anything as it was all working perfectly but the chain was measurably
    stretched. I replaced chain, cassette and middle ring - the other bits
    should last a good deal longer.
    The secrets of long life are: to oil regularly - too much rather than
    too little, never clean the chain except wiping or brushing off gunge,
    don't replace anything until it is starting to play up e.g. chain
    slipping over sprocket teeth.
    Sprockets and chain when well run-in together will wear minimally but
    replacement bits will increase wear as they have to run in again - if
    they work at all; a new chain may not engage at all well with old
    sprockets and vice versa. Excessive cleaning or changing
    chains/sprockets at regular intervals just speeds up wear for no
    obvious advantage.

    cheers

    Jacob
     
  11. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    >The secrets of long life are: to oil regularly - too much rather than
    >too little, never clean the chain except wiping or brushing off gunge,
    >don't replace anything until it is starting to play up e.g. chain
    >slipping over sprocket teeth.


    Or perhaps its the oposite that is true.
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  12. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Dave B
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Thanks for the replys folks!
    >
    > Sould like my money is safe for a wee bit longer. Although I have came
    > to expect the unexpected! I've already had to replace the headset (now
    > got a sealed cartridge which should help), a spoke and my tyres (now
    > marathon pluses!). I wonder what will be next..... :-(.
    >
    > I'm surprised that I got such incorrect information. Maybe he just said
    > the chain would need replaced and I misheard, but I was sure he was
    > talking about other components.


    It really depends how much care you've taken of them. You easily _can_
    trash a whole transmission in 700 miles, or even less. If your LBS says
    yours is on the way out, they may be right.

    It really comes down to chain maintenance, and this is really easy and
    takes little time.

    <URL:http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html>

    ---- quote ------------------------------------------------------------

    If you wish to make a habit of cleaning your chain off-the-bike, the best
    approach is to buy an aftermarket master link, such as the Craig Super
    Link. These permit removal and re-installation of the chain without
    tools. I used to use a parts cleaning tank and a toothbrush to clean
    chains, but Zaven Ghazarian, an excellent mechanic I used to work with
    came up with a better system: drop the chain into a plastic Coke bottle
    with a couple of ounces of un-diluted citrus degreaser, cap it, and
    shake thoroughly. Fish the chain out with a spoke, rinse in water, and
    you are all set! (I am told that Pepsi bottles also work, and are easier
    to remove the chain from, because they have a wider mouth...but I'm a
    Coke guy, not a Pepsi guy.)

    ---- endquote ---------------------------------------------------------

    With all due deference to Sheldon Brown the beneficent, may Allah shower
    blessings upon him, in my experience parafin or white spirits work
    better than citrus degreaser. But the basic advice - get the chain off
    the bike, into a bottle with something which dissolves grease, shake
    thoroughly is absolutely right. Having done that, rinse, allow to
    dry /thoroughly/ (two or three hours), lubricate /sparingly/, leave for
    the lubricant to penetrate (another two to three hours), wipe off any
    excess, put chain back on bike.

    Regularly. Ten minutes once a week will keep your bike running well for
    thousands of miles.

    In my experience, on-the-bike cleaners are fiddly, messy, time consuming,
    and don't work nearly so well.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.
     
  13. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Dave B wrote:
    >
    > If so (and my maintenence schedule suggests it will be closer to 900
    > than 1200!) I will have to budget for some purchases in the new year!


    Do you have full length mudguards (not just crud-catcher type things)
    on the bike? It makes a vast difference to how long things last

    --
    Arthur Clune
     
  14. Tosspot

    Tosspot Guest

    Dave B wrote:
    > Hi folks,
    >
    > I have been commuting on my bike since late June this year (a miserly
    > 4.5 miles each way).
    >
    > I had the misfortune of a broken spoke recently that forced me to pop
    > into the LBS. Whilst chatting with one of the bike gurus (who'd just
    > managed to save my wheel from buckle hell) we got talking about my bike
    > usage and components.
    >
    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200
    > miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets
    > etc). Does this sound about right?
    >
    > If so (and my maintenence schedule suggests it will be closer to 900
    > than 1200!) I will have to budget for some purchases in the new year!


    In my fairly limited experience, 2000 kms/year, the longevity is
    directly related to cost. Cheap cream cheese falls apart, better
    quality last longer, top quality lasts for ages.

    For what I buy, a chain/cassette every year of mid price stuff. I have
    got it to last longer, but the maintenance effort rises and these days I
    think of it as an annual service for 50 squids.
     
  15. Arthur Clune wrote:
    > Dave B wrote:
    > >
    > > If so (and my maintenence schedule suggests it will be closer to 900
    > > than 1200!) I will have to budget for some purchases in the new year!

    >
    > Do you have full length mudguards (not just crud-catcher type things)
    > on the bike? It makes a vast difference to how long things last
    >
    > --
    > Arthur Clune


    And a mud flap at the bottom of the front mudguard - keeps your feet
    dry and bottom bracket/chainset clean.

    Jacob
     
  16. "Dave B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Hi folks,
    >
    > I have been commuting on my bike since late June this year (a miserly 4.5
    > miles each way).
    >
    > I had the misfortune of a broken spoke recently that forced me to pop into
    > the LBS. Whilst chatting with one of the bike gurus (who'd just managed to
    > save my wheel from buckle hell) we got talking about my bike usage and
    > components.
    >
    > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and driven
    > a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much washing and
    > lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200 miles out of
    > most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets etc). Does this
    > sound about right?


    I've just had a full service done (after 2 years at about 60 miles/week
    commuting) on my bike by LBS and they said I needed a new chain, casette and
    a new outer chainring, but the derailler and bottom bracket were fine. They
    said the rims were badly worn so I got a new set of wheels as well.
     
  17. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    > With all due deference to Sheldon Brown the beneficent, may Allah shower
    > blessings upon him, in my experience parafin or white spirits work
    > better than citrus degreaser. But the basic advice - get the chain off
    > the bike, into a bottle with something which dissolves grease, shake
    > thoroughly is absolutely right. Having done that, rinse, allow to
    > dry /thoroughly/ (two or three hours), lubricate /sparingly/, leave for
    > the lubricant to penetrate (another two to three hours), wipe off any
    > excess, put chain back on bike.


    My chain cleaning / maintenance schedule included the above, but for the
    oiling:

    1) Buy a large container of chainsaw oil.
    2) Once the chain is dry, completely immerse in the oil.
    3) Hang the chain up with a container underneath to catch the drips.
    4) Using a heat gun (If you have a decent workshop) or hairdryer (If you
    don't), warm the chain up. This will make the oil less viscous and allow
    it to penetrate the chain better. It'll also aid run off of the excess.
    5) Marvel at how much black gunk was still in the chain! ;-)
    6) Allow to cool and wipe the excess off the outside with a towel.
    7) Put chain on bike.

    Since this can be long winded, it can be combined with the other common
    advice which is to buy two chains. Every two weeks (Or one week /
    whatever suits your riding) swap the manky chain for the shiny, oily one
    and that way your bike is always ready and you can regrease the old
    chain at your leisure.

    Jon
     
  18. mb

    mb Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    > Dave B wrote:
    > >
    > > If so (and my maintenence schedule suggests it will be closer to
    > > 900 than 1200!) I will have to budget for some purchases in the new
    > > year!

    >
    > Do you have full length mudguards (not just crud-catcher type things)
    > on the bike? It makes a vast difference to how long things last



    Yes, it does.
    I have full mudguards on my winter bike and notice that all the dirt
    which normally gets flung away, now falls onto the chainset,
    derailleurs, wheels etc etc etc.

    Oh, hang on. You meant the opposite? Well, not on my bike...

    --
    Mike
     
  19. POHB

    POHB Guest

    Is this a case of "they don't make them like they used to?"
    My old Claude Butler went for more than 10 years on the same drivetrain
    with only the odd drop of 3-in-one. I wore out plenty of tyres and 2
    lots of wheel bearings but I was surprised when the chain started
    slipping and the shop told me the chain, cassette and rings needed
    changing. How naive! I guess I hadn't actually done many miles in the
    first 10 years and it's only in the last 3 I've started really clocking
    them up.

    Dave B wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > I've done about 700 miles in total (yes I've had some days off and
    > > driven a few times :)) and he suggested that depending on how much
    > > washing and lubrication I was doing I should expect between 900 and 1200
    > > miles out of most of the drivechain (i.e. derailleurs, chain, sprockets
    > > etc). Does this sound about right?
    > >
    > > If so (and my maintenence schedule suggests it will be closer to 900
    > > than 1200!) I will have to budget for some purchases in the new year!
    > >
     
  20. Jon Senior wrote:
    > Simon Brooke wrote:
    > > With all due deference to Sheldon Brown the beneficent, may Allah shower
    > > blessings upon him, in my experience parafin or white spirits work
    > > better than citrus degreaser. But the basic advice - get the chain off
    > > the bike, into a bottle with something which dissolves grease, shake
    > > thoroughly is absolutely right. Having done that, rinse, allow to
    > > dry /thoroughly/ (two or three hours), lubricate /sparingly/, leave for
    > > the lubricant to penetrate (another two to three hours), wipe off any
    > > excess, put chain back on bike.

    >
    > My chain cleaning / maintenance schedule included the above, but for the
    > oiling:
    >
    > 1) Buy a large container of chainsaw oil.
    > 2) Once the chain is dry, completely immerse in the oil.
    > 3) Hang the chain up with a container underneath to catch the drips.
    > 4) Using a heat gun (If you have a decent workshop) or hairdryer (If you
    > don't), warm the chain up. This will make the oil less viscous and allow
    > it to penetrate the chain better. It'll also aid run off of the excess.
    > 5) Marvel at how much black gunk was still in the chain! ;-)
    > 6) Allow to cool and wipe the excess off the outside with a towel.
    > 7) Put chain on bike.
    >
    > Since this can be long winded, it can be combined with the other common
    > advice which is to buy two chains. Every two weeks (Or one week /
    > whatever suits your riding) swap the manky chain for the shiny, oily one
    > and that way your bike is always ready and you can regrease the old
    > chain at your leisure.
    >
    > Jon


    Simpler is to oil your chain regularly, occasionally clean off surface
    black gunge with a cloth or a brush, and otherwise do nothing at all
    until it needs replacing. This way it (and the sprockets) lasts longer
    and saves a lot of messy work - and you only need one chain.
    The reasons it lasts longer are (a) in time it will get well run in and
    rate of wear will be low compared to new/new or new/old mixes of
    chain/sprockets which have to run in again, and (b) the old black fine
    grinding paste which we all know and love is actually less harmful than
    the new coarse grinding paste which a clean chain will rapidly pick up
    in the form of sharp grit, sand etc.
    Anyway that's my theory and I'm sticking to it - and it seems to work!

    cheers

    Jacob
     
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