need changing chain and cassette advice

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by oberlaenderm, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Hi!

    I've just reached about 2700 miles on my road bike and am wondering about changing the chain and cassette on it. I've heard different views on this from my local bike club and wondered what you think of this.

    First opinion: change cassette (SRAM 8-speed, 12-26) and KMC chain at same time, at about 3000 miles. If so, does it matter what kind of chain I get, since I couldn't find a matching KMC one at Bike Nashbar? They do have the same SRAM cassette in stock, so I guess I'll stick with this one.

    Second opinion: after changing both at 3000 miles, change the chain every 1200 miles, and the cassette every three chains. That way I'd get a little more life out of the cassette.

    Third opinion: after changing both, switch to wax lubricant (instead of the teflon one I use), dress the chain every week and ride happily for 10,000 miles on both. Yes, one of my bike club members actually does this. :)

    Either way, I'd like to get decent performance, but don't want to spend mega bucks every 3-4 months to change out both, since that's how long it takes me to get to this mileage, so I'd like some thoughts on this. I don't race, but do want to keep up with my club on Saturday rides.

    Any tips on what to look for in buying a chain, or will pretty much any chain for an 8-speed bike do? I'd like to be able to buy the parts via mail order, since that saves $$, and my good local bike store has no problem just charging me labor to install the parts.

    I look forward to your technical advice. Happy cycling!

    Michaela
     
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  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Learn to measure a chain and stop guessing. Mileage is meaningless,as there are too many variables involved.A new chain measures 12' in one foot,C-C of pins. Change it when the measurement is 12 1/16" on a tensioned chain.Waiting too long trashes the cassette. If changed at the right time the cassette will last through several to many chains...depending on alot of things. Change the casette when it's wore out. A new chain will skip on a wore out cassette....use a mid level Sram chain with a removable link as it makes maintenance easier....Some peole really do get 10,000 miles out of a chain,depending on alot of variables.Others throw alot of money away changing chains and cassettes every 1000 miles.
     
  3. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Thanks for your advice. Do you recommend getting a chain measuring tool, or is a normal ruler accurate enough?

    So, you'd just keep measuring and only if it reaches 12 1/16" on a tensioned chain, to change it, regardless of how many miles it takes to get there? I live in Florida on flat terrain where we can ride year-round without some of the foul weather hazards that riders in colder climates have to contend with, so I'm wondering if that might mean that the wear on my chain might be less than it would be in other places.

    Any thought on lubricants that you prefer? I have one of the clamp-on chain cleaning devices and clean it about every month with that. Any further thoughts on maintaining these parts of a bike are welcome.

    Michaela
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    A good ruler works. Rider strength and conditions are big factors in chain wear. Everyone has their favorite lube,but whatever it is frequent use and regular cleaning are the key factors.
     
  5. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Check the article at Sheldon Brown's web site at URL:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
    I agree with the ruler method as satisfactory.
    I think you can let your LBS make a $ on the chain and $ on the labor. They can also help you evaluate the cog wear situation.
    If you are going to buy the chain Mail Order, why not also by the chain tool, and do it all yourself?
    Worn drive train components effect shifting and effieciency.
     
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