Which 9-Speed Cassette, chain, and should I do the rings also?



I'm switching my snow bike/beater from 8-speed to 9-speed. I don't
want to spend a lot of money on this, but hear bad things about the
nashbar & performance house brand cassettes. So, I'm going to have to
spend over $20 on the cassette. O.K.

How much more?
The Shimano M580 looks like a nice unit, but it's around $50. I'd
like to avoid spending that.
The SRAM PG-950 is mighty tempting @ $30. Then again, the PG-970
The Shimano Nexave & Deore are both $32. How do they compare to each
other & the PG-950.
Finally, the SRAM PG-970 looks good @ $40. Is it worth the extra $10
over the 950? If I get to spending $40 on this would I be notably
better off spending the $50 on the M580?*

The chain: I'd like to spend under $20. Shimano or KMC? The place
I'll be ordering from has both in stock. They don't have any SRAM
chains, and I don't want to spend over $20 on a chain for this
particular bike. Still, I hear great things about powerlinks & the
SRAM chains. Am I really missing the boat if I don't go SRAM w/ the
chain? I could buy one locally, but it'd be over 150% of my target
price.

Finally, the chainrings. This is a pawn-shop bike that until recently
was on it's original grips (though worn out) and rims (not worn out).
That's the best indicator to mileage I have. Everyone who has seen
the bike says the (original) rings & cassette look fine. I agree.
However, the chain is stretched well past spec. I'm inclined to do
the chain rings when I do the chain and cassette, but am loathe to
spend the $ if I don't need to. Thoughts?


Thanks,

Dan

*Scary sidenote: I have this same attitude when in the bike shop.
See how fast I just went from Nashbar house brand for $15 to a $50
Shimano? I don't allow myself to bring credit cards into bike shops
anymore.
 
On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 14:32:14 +0000, [email protected] wrote:

> I'm switching my snow bike/beater from 8-speed to 9-speed. I don't
> want to spend a lot of money on this, but hear bad things about the
> nashbar & performance house brand cassettes. So, I'm going to have to
> spend over $20 on the cassette. O.K.
>
> How much more?
> The Shimano M580 looks like a nice unit, but it's around $50. I'd
> like to avoid spending that.
> The SRAM PG-950 is mighty tempting @ $30. Then again, the PG-970
> The Shimano Nexave & Deore are both $32. How do they compare to each
> other & the PG-950.
> Finally, the SRAM PG-970 looks good @ $40. Is it worth the extra $10
> over the 950? If I get to spending $40 on this would I be notably
> better off spending the $50 on the M580?*


The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the
chrome plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience.
I get the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an
XT.

Shimano cassettes do shift smoother, but even this is an aesthetic issue
more than a functional one.

Of course, the cassettes with aluminum spiders are lighter, if you care
about that.

If you don't care about appearance or weight, get the cheapest one that
has the gearing you want.

> The chain: I'd like to spend under $20. Shimano or KMC? The place
> I'll be ordering from has both in stock. They don't have any SRAM
> chains, and I don't want to spend over $20 on a chain for this
> particular bike. Still, I hear great things about powerlinks & the SRAM
> chains. Am I really missing the boat if I don't go SRAM w/ the chain? I
> could buy one locally, but it'd be over 150% of my target price.


Again, there's no reason to spend more than the minimum on this stuff. In
my experience, the expensive ones don't last any longer.

While some older KMC chains were terrible, lately I've had great
luck with them. I just bought another 9 speed KMC chain from Nashbar for
$8.45 (with free shipping too), the same kind I've been riding for the
last 5k miles. These chains are usually $15-16, which is still
cheaper than any 9 speed chain from SRAM or Shimano. A bike shop
will rarely offer you anything for less than $30.

You can almost always get 8 speed chains really cheap somewhere.

It pays to stock up when they're on sale. A particularly good buy are the
tandem chains from Nashbar, literally two chains for the price of one.

> Finally, the chainrings. This is a pawn-shop bike that until recently
> was on it's original grips (though worn out) and rims (not worn out).
> That's the best indicator to mileage I have. Everyone who has seen the
> bike says the (original) rings & cassette look fine. I agree. However,
> the chain is stretched well past spec. I'm inclined to do the chain
> rings when I do the chain and cassette, but am loathe to spend the $ if
> I don't need to. Thoughts?


You can use chainrings until they're worn to nubs and start skipping,
or until the chainsuck drives you nuts. These days it's usually
cheaper to buy a whole new crank with fresh chainrings than just the
chainrings.

> *Scary sidenote: I have this same attitude when in the bike shop. See
> how fast I just went from Nashbar house brand for $15 to a $50 Shimano?
> I don't allow myself to bring credit cards into bike shops anymore.


Bike shops could work harder to bring better value to their customers.

Matt O.
 
On Jun 12, 11:12 am, Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 14:32:14 +0000, [email protected] wrote:
> > I'm switching my snow bike/beater from 8-speed to 9-speed. I don't
> > want to spend a lot of money on this, but hear bad things about the
> > nashbar & performance house brand cassettes. So, I'm going to have to
> > spend over $20 on the cassette. O.K.

>
> > How much more?
> > The Shimano M580 looks like a nice unit, but it's around $50. I'd
> > like to avoid spending that.
> > The SRAM PG-950 is mighty tempting @ $30. Then again, the PG-970
> > The Shimano Nexave & Deore are both $32. How do they compare to each
> > other & the PG-950.
> > Finally, the SRAM PG-970 looks good @ $40. Is it worth the extra $10
> > over the 950? If I get to spending $40 on this would I be notably
> > better off spending the $50 on the M580?*

>
> The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the
> chrome plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience.
> I get the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an
> XT.
>
> Shimano cassettes do shift smoother, but even this is an aesthetic issue
> more than a functional one.
>
> Of course, the cassettes with aluminum spiders are lighter, if you care
> about that.
>
> If you don't care about appearance or weight, get the cheapest one that
> has the gearing you want.
>
> > The chain: I'd like to spend under $20. Shimano or KMC? The place
> > I'll be ordering from has both in stock. They don't have any SRAM
> > chains, and I don't want to spend over $20 on a chain for this
> > particular bike. Still, I hear great things about powerlinks & the SRAM
> > chains. Am I really missing the boat if I don't go SRAM w/ the chain? I
> > could buy one locally, but it'd be over 150% of my target price.

>
> Again, there's no reason to spend more than the minimum on this stuff. In
> my experience, the expensive ones don't last any longer.
>
> While some older KMC chains were terrible, lately I've had great
> luck with them. I just bought another 9 speed KMC chain from Nashbar for
> $8.45 (with free shipping too), the same kind I've been riding for the
> last 5k miles. These chains are usually $15-16, which is still
> cheaper than any 9 speed chain from SRAM or Shimano. A bike shop
> will rarely offer you anything for less than $30.
>
> You can almost always get 8 speed chains really cheap somewhere.
>
> It pays to stock up when they're on sale. A particularly good buy are the
> tandem chains from Nashbar, literally two chains for the price of one.
>
> > Finally, the chainrings. This is a pawn-shop bike that until recently
> > was on it's original grips (though worn out) and rims (not worn out).
> > That's the best indicator to mileage I have. Everyone who has seen the
> > bike says the (original) rings & cassette look fine. I agree. However,
> > the chain is stretched well past spec. I'm inclined to do the chain
> > rings when I do the chain and cassette, but am loathe to spend the $ if
> > I don't need to. Thoughts?

>
> You can use chainrings until they're worn to nubs and start skipping,
> or until the chainsuck drives you nuts. These days it's usually
> cheaper to buy a whole new crank with fresh chainrings than just the
> chainrings.
>
> > *Scary sidenote: I have this same attitude when in the bike shop. See
> > how fast I just went from Nashbar house brand for $15 to a $50 Shimano?
> > I don't allow myself to bring credit cards into bike shops anymore.

>
> Bike shops could work harder to bring better value to their customers.
>
> Matt O.


I was thinking house brand cassette until I started reading up,
there's a lot on the web about bad Nashbar 9 speed cassettes. Hearing
you're using them without problem is encouraging. How pronounced is
the smoother shifting of the Shimano? Is SRAM basically on par with
Shimano?

Thanks for the reply, it's certainly helpful.

Dan
 
On Jun 12, 9:32 am, "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:
> I'm switching my snow bike/beater from 8-speed to 9-speed. I don't
> want to spend a lot of money on this, but hear bad things about the
> nashbar & performance house brand cassettes. So, I'm going to have to
> spend over $20 on the cassette. O.K.
>
> How much more?
> The Shimano M580 looks like a nice unit, but it's around $50. I'd
> like to avoid spending that.
> The SRAM PG-950 is mighty tempting @ $30. Then again, the PG-970
> The Shimano Nexave & Deore are both $32. How do they compare to each
> other & the PG-950.
> Finally, the SRAM PG-970 looks good @ $40. Is it worth the extra $10
> over the 950? If I get to spending $40 on this would I be notably
> better off spending the $50 on the M580?*
>
> The chain: I'd like to spend under $20. Shimano or KMC? The place
> I'll be ordering from has both in stock. They don't have any SRAM
> chains, and I don't want to spend over $20 on a chain for this
> particular bike. Still, I hear great things about powerlinks & the
> SRAM chains. Am I really missing the boat if I don't go SRAM w/ the
> chain? I could buy one locally, but it'd be over 150% of my target
> price.


Are you getting new shifters or using friction? Otherwise still with 8
spd, it's cheaper as well. SRAM
PG-830 should cost around $20.

I like SRAM chains, but KMC stuff is pretty nice these days, and
cheap. Both my bikes run KMC chains. Shouldn't run more than a tenner
for a 7/8spd chain.

I very much doubt your chainrings are worn out. They last a very long
time.

$30 gets you on the road.
 
On 2007-06-12, [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
> I'm switching my snow bike/beater from 8-speed to 9-speed. I don't
> want to spend a lot of money on this, but hear bad things about the
> nashbar & performance house brand cassettes. So, I'm going to have to
> spend over $20 on the cassette. O.K.
>
> How much more?
> The Shimano M580 looks like a nice unit, but it's around $50. I'd
> like to avoid spending that.
> The SRAM PG-950 is mighty tempting @ $30. Then again, the PG-970
> The Shimano Nexave & Deore are both $32. How do they compare to each
> other & the PG-950.
> Finally, the SRAM PG-970 looks good @ $40. Is it worth the extra $10
> over the 950? If I get to spending $40 on this would I be notably
> better off spending the $50 on the M580?*


Cheaper is better, especially for a snow bike. For what it's worth I
have the PG-950 on my mountain bike and it works fine.

> The chain: I'd like to spend under $20. Shimano or KMC? The place
> I'll be ordering from has both in stock. They don't have any SRAM
> chains, and I don't want to spend over $20 on a chain for this
> particular bike. Still, I hear great things about powerlinks & the
> SRAM chains. Am I really missing the boat if I don't go SRAM w/ the
> chain? I could buy one locally, but it'd be over 150% of my target
> price.


I've heard that SRAM 9sp chains last longer. I certainly hope so -- my
last 9sp Shimano chain was only good for 500 miles. On a snow bike, that
may not be a problem.

Harris Cyclery has SRAM 9sp chains for $21.95, which is close to your
price: <http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/chains.html>

> Finally, the chainrings. This is a pawn-shop bike that until recently
> was on it's original grips (though worn out) and rims (not worn out).
> That's the best indicator to mileage I have. Everyone who has seen
> the bike says the (original) rings & cassette look fine. I agree.
> However, the chain is stretched well past spec. I'm inclined to do
> the chain rings when I do the chain and cassette, but am loathe to
> spend the $ if I don't need to. Thoughts?


I'd do the chain and cassette and go ride. If everything works fine,
you don't need new rings.
 
Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the
> chrome plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience.
> I get the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an
> XT.


My experience with the Nashbar cassettes was much worse. They turned to
cheese and started skipping after < 1000 miles. This was with new
chainrings and chain. I tried again with another one and had the same
experience.

> Shimano cassettes do shift smoother, but even this is an aesthetic issue
> more than a functional one.


The shifting was maybe a touch worse. Really not bad. The wear life
sucked though.

I switched to the SRAM 11-26 cassettes and have been much happier. $30
from aebike.

--
Dane Buson - [email protected]
"The young always have the same problem how to rebel and
conform at the same time. They have now solved this by
defying their parents and copying one another." -Quentin Crisp
 
Dane Buson wrote:
> Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
>> The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the
>> chrome plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience.
>> I get the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an
>> XT.

>
> My experience with the Nashbar cassettes was much worse. They turned to
> cheese and started skipping after < 1000 miles.


Did the DEA come knocking at your door? :)
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4868403.html

Mark J.
 
Mark <[email protected]> wrote:
> Dane Buson wrote:
>> Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the
>>> chrome plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience.
>>> I get the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an
>>> XT.

>>
>> My experience with the Nashbar cassettes was much worse. They turned to
>> cheese and started skipping after < 1000 miles.

>
> Did the DEA come knocking at your door? :)
> http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4868403.html


No, but my lactose intolerance started acting up.

;-)

--
Dane Buson - [email protected]
"If life were fair, Dan Quayle would be making a living asking,
'Do you want fries with that?'" - John Cleese
 
On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 12:25:43 -0700, Dane Buson wrote:

> Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the chrome
>> plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience. I get
>> the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an XT.

>
> My experience with the Nashbar cassettes was much worse. They turned to
> cheese and started skipping after < 1000 miles. This was with new
> chainrings and chain. I tried again with another one and had the same
> experience.
>
>> Shimano cassettes do shift smoother, but even this is an aesthetic
>> issue more than a functional one.

>
> The shifting was maybe a touch worse. Really not bad. The wear life
> sucked though.
>
> I switched to the SRAM 11-26 cassettes and have been much happier. $30
> from aebike.


I should clarify that the Nashbar cassettes I've used were 7sp, which have
thicker cogs. Also that was a few years ago.

Now I'm riding an 8sp mountain bike and a 9sp road bike, each with Shimano
cassettes purchased for less than half price on eBay, and Nashbar/KMC
chains.

If you're leery of generic cassettes, the cheaper Shimano ones are still a
lot less expensive than the Ultegra/XT, and just as good.

Matt O.
 
"Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]...
> On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 12:25:43 -0700, Dane Buson wrote:
>
>> Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>
>>> The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the chrome
>>> plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience. I get
>>> the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an XT.

>>
>> My experience with the Nashbar cassettes was much worse. They turned to
>> cheese and started skipping after < 1000 miles. This was with new
>> chainrings and chain. I tried again with another one and had the same
>> experience.
>>
>>> Shimano cassettes do shift smoother, but even this is an aesthetic
>>> issue more than a functional one.

>>
>> The shifting was maybe a touch worse. Really not bad. The wear life
>> sucked though.
>>
>> I switched to the SRAM 11-26 cassettes and have been much happier. $30
>> from aebike.

>
> I should clarify that the Nashbar cassettes I've used were 7sp, which have
> thicker cogs. Also that was a few years ago.
>
> Now I'm riding an 8sp mountain bike and a 9sp road bike, each with Shimano
> cassettes purchased for less than half price on eBay, and Nashbar/KMC
> chains.
>
> If you're leery of generic cassettes, the cheaper Shimano ones are still a
> lot less expensive than the Ultegra/XT, and just as good.
>

Agree. About the only problem I've found with Shimano cassette is I like the
9 speed12x27 combo. Its only available in DA or Ultegra. I am using a Miche
12x27 cassette on my Campy rear wheel. So far, it seems to work fine.
However, it doesn't seem to shift as well as a Veloce 9 spd cassette.
 
On Jun 14, 2:38 pm, "bfd" <[email protected]> wrote:
> "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:p[email protected]...
>
>
>
> > On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 12:25:43 -0700, Dane Buson wrote:

>
> >> Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> >>> The shiny ones look nicer but that's about it. Supposedly the chrome
> >>> plated cassettes last longer, but that hasn't been my experience. I get
> >>> the same mileage from a $15 house brand cassette that I do from an XT.

>
> >> My experience with the Nashbar cassettes was much worse. They turned to
> >> cheese and started skipping after < 1000 miles. This was with new
> >> chainrings and chain. I tried again with another one and had the same
> >> experience.

>
> >>> Shimano cassettes do shift smoother, but even this is an aesthetic
> >>> issue more than a functional one.

>
> >> The shifting was maybe a touch worse. Really not bad. The wear life
> >> sucked though.

>
> >> I switched to the SRAM 11-26 cassettes and have been much happier. $30
> >> from aebike.

>
> > I should clarify that the Nashbar cassettes I've used were 7sp, which have
> > thicker cogs. Also that was a few years ago.

>
> > Now I'm riding an 8sp mountain bike and a 9sp road bike, each with Shimano
> > cassettes purchased for less than half price on eBay, and Nashbar/KMC
> > chains.

>
> > If you're leery of generic cassettes, the cheaper Shimano ones are still a
> > lot less expensive than the Ultegra/XT, and just as good.

>
> Agree. About the only problem I've found with Shimano cassette is I like the
> 9 speed12x27 combo. Its only available in DA or Ultegra. I am using a Miche
> 12x27 cassette on my Campy rear wheel. So far, it seems to work fine.
> However, it doesn't seem to shift as well as a Veloce 9 spd cassette.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


Thanks everyone. I ended up going with the Sram PG-970. It reviews
well and was on sale. It seems those who liked the generic cassettes
were not using 9-spd, and I wanted something that would shift
reasonably as well. If I tried to save a couple bucks and ended up
with a poorly shifting, poorly made or fast-wearing part I'd have been
kicking myself, so I just did it right.

Thanks,

Dan
 

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