Should you always replace chain AND cassette?

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Should you always replace chain AND cassette?

Postby SkyBlueKangaroo » Thu Mar 18, 2010 18:02 pm

Got my Park chain-checker out this morning, whilst giving my bike the Spring once-over. The chain is almost to 1.0 so needs replacing before it starts damaging the rear cogs. My question is should I systematically be replacing the cassette also?

I can tell if my chain is worn, with the wear indicator, but does anyone have any advice on how to tell if a cassette needs replacing?

I've asked before at my LBS and I suppose I shouldn't be surprised they tried to sell me a new cassette. Last Spring I had a Dura Ace cassette and an Ultegra chain fitted. I rode probably around 2,000 miles last year through til October when I put the bike away for winter. I keep my bike very clean.

I would rather not spend the another ton-fifty to get new chain and cassette fitted, when really all I need is a new chain and there is nothing wrong with the existing cassette.

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Postby acidstrato » Thu Mar 18, 2010 18:06 pm

you dont have to, if you replace your chain before any major wear occurs to the cassette, then replacing it would be unnecessary and serve very little benefit

but if the cassette has worn a fair amount then it could end up causing increased wear to the new chain

at 2000 miles, i would automatically assume that its fine. got about 5000 on my last one through 2 chains
Last edited by acidstrato on Thu Mar 18, 2010 18:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Radioactiveman » Thu Mar 18, 2010 18:08 pm

Change the chain if it skips over the cassette you need a cassette as well. Unless someone has a more scientific method that is all I do, basing this on my MTB experience.
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Postby SkyBlueKangaroo » Thu Mar 18, 2010 18:45 pm

Thanks Acid, to me that sounds sensible. Replace the chain when necessary, probably every year, and get a new cassette every other season. It sounds like my LBS is trying to sell me stuff I don't need, given they haven't even looked at the bike, and I haven't mentioned anything that would indicate cassette worn, like chain skipping (because it doesn't!). Not impressed.

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Postby rake » Thu Mar 18, 2010 19:01 pm


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Postby nferrar » Fri Mar 19, 2010 07:09 am

I change chains around 0.75 and usually go through 3 per cassette

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Postby owenlars » Fri Mar 19, 2010 07:35 am

nferrar wrote:I change chains around 0.75 and usually go through 3 per cassette


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Postby Nigel Bennett » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:20 pm

I'm frankly amazed how good modern cassettes are compared to the old screw-on blocks of yesteryear. (Then it was new chain = new block.)

Nowadays I change chains frequently on my best bike and cascade them down to my winter bike. I use cheap and cheerful chains (still on 9 speed) and might well go through half a dozen or more per cassette.

Like others have posted before, change the cassette when it skips with a new chain - why fork out dosh unnecessarily?

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Postby disgruntledgoat » Fri Mar 19, 2010 13:59 pm

Would agree with most of the above, new cassette when you find it wont mesh with a new chain and skips.

I've had 2 campag chorus cassettes for 2 years now (one 11-23 and one 12-25), i've been juggling between the 2 and replacing my chain once every 4 months for 2 years now without needing to replace the cassettes. I ride about 12,000km a year as well.
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Postby MrChuck » Sat Mar 20, 2010 14:51 pm

As above- after a change I go for a quick spin round the block, and if the new chain skips on the old cassette then I put the old chain back on and run them into the ground.

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Postby skellator3 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 15:15 pm

i would recommend getting 3 chains when you get a new cassette and change the chain every 500 miles or so
so that means new chains for 1500 miles then put the first chain back on and repeat the cycle if you keep them clean and lubed well you should get at least 6000 miles out of a rear cassette
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Postby Rawrrr » Sat Mar 20, 2010 15:37 pm

I don't tend to change both at once.. I change the chain as soon as there's 1mm stretch over 20 half links.. it saves the cash!

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