How often to upgrade/exchange equipment??

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jsirabella, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Hello All,

    I was wondering if there is any general rule of thumb of when to upgrade/exchange equipement on your bike. For example

    1) Chain - How many miles?

    2) Groupsets/Cogs - How many miles?

    3) Tires/Wheels - How many miles?

    I was lucky enough to find a lemond poprad frame very cheap on ebay and I had ridden my Trek 5000 for thousands of miles so took all the useable parts and exhanged a few, and now love my Poprad but do these parts have too many miles? I just bought an R3 for the races and using the Poprad for training but after a few weeks the tires on the R3 were totally ripped and I was getting flats on almost every ride.

    Any basic rules of thumb so I know better and any advice on a good set of tires for training and another for racing.

    -john sirabella
     
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  2. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    I just changed my chain and I got about 1700 miles on it. It was a Campy Chorus chain. If you have the money, it's good to change the chain as often as possible (at least twice a year). It will help to save your chainrings and cassette. Supposedly the pros change their chains once a week during the grand tours because it saves their allows their equipment to last longer.

    As with cassettes, I haven't had to change my cassette on my bike. I have 2k miles and counting.

    Tires all depend on what tire you ride with. I have some POS rear tire on right now for trainer riding and ive done a little training outside with it and ive gotten a flat aleady. It has some small punctures in it because like I said, it's a POS. I believe I got about 1200 miles on my Bontrager X Lite tire (great training tire btw). Wheels will basically last as long as you keep them true and don't crash. This goes for any decent wheel meant for training anyway.

    Hope this helped!
     
  3. bkaapcke

    bkaapcke New Member

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    I ride about 2,000 miles per year and change the chain every year. This year I changed the cassette, as an upgrade, not because it was worn. I could probably get more use out of the chain, but I like to do changeouts in the winter when I'm not riding much. Also, I'm very particular about shifting quality and tend to upgrade or change things early. bk
     
  4. Bobby Lex

    Bobby Lex New Member

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    You should replace parts based on wear, not time.

    Tires: when the treads are worn away (or sooner if damaged or sliced or dry-rotted). This may be after one, two, or several years. Or this may be after 3 months. The determining factor is wear, not time. Tire composition is important, too. My "race-day" tires are only good for about 1000 miles. My "training" tires are good for about 2500 miles. Rear tires wear out in about 1/2 the miles as front tires.

    Chains: when the chain has stretched from use. "Stretch" is actually roller wear which is determined by carefully measuring the distance between the pins 12 links apart. That distance should be exactly 12 inches. Manufacturers recommend replacing a chain which has stretched 1/8" between 12 links. But many experienced cyclists replace at 1/16". Waiting to 1/8" can result in cassette damage requiring cassette replacement in addition to chain replacement. Chain stretch primarily depends on mileage ridden, and on how clean you keep your chain. Riding a gritty, dirty chain accelerates wear. Replacing your chain--or any other part-- based on a calendar ("twice a year", or other such time-based schedule) is completely uneccessary and a waste of $$. Ultra-narrow chains have been known to last 1000 miles or less. Some chains can last 5 times that distance.

    Cassettes: when the teeth on the cogs you use most are noticeably worn, or if you have shifting problems that don't go away, despite replacing your chain and despite all attempts to properly adjust your shifting cable, you probably need a new cassette. As in chain use, this is based on usage and wear, not on time. Typically, if chains are replaced in a timely fashion, you will replace several chains before having to replace a cassette.

    Chainrings: see "Cassettes" above. Typically, if chains and cassettes are replaced in a timely fashion, you will replace several cassettes before having to replace your chainrings. Once again, think "wear", not "time".

    Cables: Replace immediately if frayed or kinked. Otherwise, replace if noticeably corroded, or if shifting is spotty even after replacing chain and/or cassette. Depending on riding conditions (rain/wet) and mileage, a one-year, or a two-year replacement schedule for shifter cables is a good idea. (I realize that this is a time-based replacement schedule for cables, in addition to a wear-based schedule. But even good-quality cables are inexpensive ($3.00--$5.00 apiece), so this would not be a waste of $$.

    Cable-housing: Replace immediately if kinked. Otherwise, replace if new cables do not slide smoothly within housing. Once again, housing is relatively inexpensive, so replacing housing every other cable-change would not be a waste of $$.

    Handlebar tape: Replace when worn or torn. Use-based, not time-based.

    On the above parts you should pretty much go by the "if it ain't broke, don't replace it" philosophy. Regular care and maintenance will extend the time before replacement is needed.

    Bob
     
  5. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

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    Most people recommend changing the chain and cassette at the same time. Mixing a new chain with a used cassette generally does not give you smooth shifting or pedalling.

    I tried it before, and my new chain tended to skip ocassionally. The cassette was not worn, just used for about 1000km. I had swapped a wheel from my regular bike to a new bike I had built up.

    There are tools to measure chain stretch, so that changing the chain does not become guess work.

    Just ride.
     
  6. Bobby Lex

    Bobby Lex New Member

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    I respectfully disagree. Check out these sites:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

    In a nutshell:

    "If the rivet is less than 1/16" past the mark, all is well.

    If the rivet is 1/16" past the mark, you should replace the chain, but the sprockets are probably undamaged.

    If the rivet is 1/8" past the mark, you have left it too long, and the sprockets (at least the favorite ones) will be too badly worn. If you replace a chain at the 1/8" point, without replacing the sprockets, it may run OK and not skip, but the worn sprockets will cause the new chain to wear much faster than it should, until it catches up with the wear state of the sprockets.

    If the rivet is past the 1/8" mark, a new chain will almost certainly skip on the worn sprockets, especially the smaller ones.
    "

    http://www.mbaction.com/detail.asp?id=1441

    In a nutshell:

    "WHY CHANGE THE CHAIN INSTEAD OF THE SPROCKETS?
    By keeping your chain fresh, wear on the cogs is greatly reduced. When a chain wears, it grinds away at the cogs and wears them out. If you replace your chain at regular intervals, the sprockets will last five times longer than the chain. If you continue to ride on a worn-out chain, you can expect to wear out both the chainrings and rear cogs
    ."

    In my experience if you maintain and replace the chain in a timely fashion, your cassette will last for several chain replacements.

    Bob
     
  7. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    If you measure your chain and replace before it gets streched out, you won't need a new cassette. Figure 3-4 chains over the life of a cassette.
     
  8. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Thank you for the details. I will need to get a tool to measure the stretch in the chain. I understand the issue of wear and not time.

    But let me ask you all, which equipment if not changed will affect your performance most?

     
  9. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Something about those Bontrager Tires, they are indestructible. When I go on long tours I never get a flat.

     
  10. Bobby Lex

    Bobby Lex New Member

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    Well, if by "performance" you mean operational functionality of the bike, pretty much everything I mentioned except the handlebar tape is very important.

    Tires: Besides the obvious safety issue (flatting out while descending a mountain or steep hill at 40+ mph could get you killed; or sliding out of a turn into the path of a car because your tires are worn could also get you killed), worn tires are more easily punctured. Your bike basically won't function if the tires are flat. Would it be smart to drive a car with dangerously worn tires?

    Chains: Your bike will still function with a worn/stretched chain. But failing to replace a worn chain will lead to poor shifting which, at a minimum, is annoying. More importantly, failing to replace a worn chain will lead to premature wear of your chainrings and cassette, which can be expensive to replace. Consider this to be the "stitch in time saves nine" philosophy. If neglected long enough, eventually your drivetrain will become so sloppy that it will stop working altogether.

    Cassettes: See "Chains" above.

    Chainrings: See "Chains" above.

    Cables: This is both a functionality issue, as well as a safety issue. At first, neglected cables simply stick and bind and make shifting and braking annoying. Eventually they will cease to function altogether. Shifter cables that don't shift are still just an annoyance. They will turn your multi-gear bike into a single-gear bike. But the bike will still function. OTOH brake cables that stop working will either prevent you from stopping (if they fail to pull the brakes against the rim or disk), or will prevent you from going (if they fail to disengage so that your wheel won't rotate).

    Cable Housing: See "Cables" above.

    So which of the above maintenance tasks are you willing to forgo? IMO none of these things is "optional". The consequences of neglect are likely to be pretty severe.

    Bob
     
  11. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    If you were going to upgrade my "mutant training bike" I like to call it, which chain, rear mech, cassette and crankset. The crankset is a bontrager 50,39,30 and cassette is 12-25 and the rear mech is an ultegra. Any ideas?

    I want to use it for training and some touring....

     
  12. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Either a long inch ruler (12" minimum). Or if you have a long vernier caliper, Campagnolo strongly recommends an inside to inside roller measurement of 132.6mm to be the changeover point.
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I've got 3700 miles on my Campy Chorus rig right now and it runs and shifts as nicely as the day I took it for its' first ride.

    I'm replacing the chain next week without planning on a new set of cogs or chainrings, as they look just fine to me. I'll let you know how it shifts and runs after i swap the new chain onto the bike.

    The professional racers get new chains at as low as 2000k intervals for two reasons:

    1. They output mega-watts and we're talking chains that are, in the grand scheme of things, fairly dainty. I would imagine the mechanics are more concerned with fatigue failure than actual wear.

    2. The teams have loads of free or next-to-free spares. Why risk tossing your best $2,000,000/year sprinter, say Boonen or Petacchi, into the barricades just because you were too cheap to change chains. For a pro tour tean it makes economic sense to replace chains like we change tires.
     
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