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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two drivetrain questions - both probably covered before so apologies, but I searched and couldn't find.

1 - Just replaced a chain over the weekend - chose Dura Ace over Ultegra because the difference was only $10, and they said at the shop it was lighter so why not. Shop recommended a new cassette (cluster) since I was replacing the chain and the current cluster was a little worn, and said conventional wisdom is to replace together. I declined because the only cluster they had would have been significantly different gearing (I think I have 12 - 23, they only had 12 - 27). Is it conventional wisdom, and is the cw correct, to change together? Bike seems to ride fine now - and shop said it would - but they cautioned the new chain / old cluster combo would wear rapidly and I'd need to replace both sooner than if I got a new cluster to go with the new chain and they'd wear in sync together and last longer.

2 - If I should get a new cluster - Dura Ace or Ultegra? Looks like Dura Ace is about 50 grams lighter, but at more than twice the cost (DA = $130, Ultegra = $60). Rest of the bike is Ultegra. I like the idea of lighter - especially since I've just added some weight elsewhere in the bike - but $35 / ounce?

Thanks.
 

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Go with the Ultegra, I doubt you would notice a difference. The diff is the weight as you stated. It is not necessary to put on a new cassette with a new chain install. If you clean and lube your chain on a regular basis you should be able to get 8-10K out of a cassette. A new chain won't make an old cassette wear out prematurely, that is baloney. If you install a new cassette, then you should put on a new chain.

Another thing you could do is buy a chain whip and cassette lock-ring remover tool and swap out your own cassettes. It is easy. Same as a new chain install.
 

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chain skip...

Chain skip is discussed in a thread on this page. It's the result of a new chain used with worn out cogs. On your first few rides. apply some heavy pedaling pressure, like standing while going uphill and see if the chain skips on any of your most frequently used cogs. If not, then installing a new cassette is a waste of money.

The four Ti cogs on a DA cassette may not last more than half as long as the steel cogs on an Ultegra cassette.

To maximize cassette life, alternate the use of three chains, changing each before it reaches it's half life. Using the first new chain for too long, even on a new cassette can result in chan skip when a second new chain is installed. That gets expensive if you install a cassette with every chain instead of getting three chains worth of use from it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
C-40 said:
Chain skip is discussed in a thread on this page. It's the result of a new chain used with worn out cogs. On your first few rides. apply some heavy pedaling pressure, like standing while going uphill and see if the chain skips on any of your most frequently used cogs. If not, then installing a new cassette is a waste of money.
Thanks - functional test sounds like what I need to know.

C-40 said:
The four Ti cogs on a DA cassette may not last more than half as long as the steel cogs on an Ultegra cassette.

To maximize cassette life, alternate the use of three chains, changing each before it reaches it's half life. Using the first new chain for too long, even on a new cassette can result in chan skip when a second new chain is installed. That gets expensive if you install a cassette with every chain instead of getting three chains worth of use from it.
I can see that making sense for a high mileage rider but I'm more of a weekend warrior (or middle-aged wheezebag). Spin once or twice mid week, put at most 120 miles a week on my road bike from April to October, race a couple of sprint to Olympic distance triathlons. With that amount of riding, would this chain rotation strategy be overkill?
 

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I vote for the heavier cassette, too. Are you looking to increase gearing--or do you like the 12-23? SRAM makes a popular 11-26 size that works with Shimano drivetrains. Shimano is adding the SRAM sizes in 2009.

If you want a light cassette, the SRAM Red cassette is very light and made out of steel--so it will last as long as an Ultegra (much longer than Dura Ace).
 

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chain rotation...

raleighcomp1 said:
I can see that making sense for a high mileage rider but I'm more of a weekend warrior (or middle-aged wheezebag). Spin once or twice mid week, put at most 120 miles a week on my road bike from April to October, race a couple of sprint to Olympic distance triathlons. With that amount of riding, would this chain rotation strategy be overkill?
A DA chain will last 2-4,000 miles depending on how well it's maintained. If you ride 3,000 miles a year, you might be able to change the chain every year and still get three chains worth of use from a cassette, but maybe only two. It depends a lot on how many cogs get a lot of use. I tend to put a lot of wear only a couple of cogs, like the 19 and 21. Using a Shimano chain, use a scale to monitor elongation and be sure to change chains before the a 12" length wears to 12-1/16". A Park chain checker is not a good way to measure elongation.
 

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lookrider said:
Slipstream is using 105 cassettes because they had to bring their bikes up to the weight limit. As pointed out, Ti cassettes wear faster than all steel...

I read that as well, however, not one of the Slipstream bikes that I looked at at the CSC Inv. in DC had anything other than Dura-Ace components....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MarvinK said:
I vote for the heavier cassette, too. Are you looking to increase gearing--or do you like the 12-23? SRAM makes a popular 11-26 size that works with Shimano drivetrains. Shimano is adding the SRAM sizes in 2009.

If you want a light cassette, the SRAM Red cassette is very light and made out of steel--so it will last as long as an Ultegra (much longer than Dura Ace).
Interesting. 12-23 is OK - I definitely don't need an 11 high gear -- but could see going a little lower than 23 at the other end.

Thanks for the tip on SRAM Red. Totally compatible with Dura-Ace chain / Ultegra derailleurs? Although I could probably lose a few of my own 170 lbs - it's easier to cut the weight off the bike, hence my interest in DuraAce in the first place.
 

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Yes, SRAM Red is 100% with Shimano 10speed shifters, derailleurs and chains. There are a few wheelsets that used a special Shimano 10-only freehub, but even Shimano realized that was a bad idea and went back to the normal 10-speed wheels in 2008. If you tell me what wheels you have, I'll let you know if there might be an issue.

Here's more info on the SRAM Red cassettes:
http://www.roadcyclinguk.com/news/article/mps/uan/2565
 

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C-40 said:
A DA chain will last 2-4,000 miles depending on how well it's maintained. If you ride 3,000 miles a year, you might be able to change the chain every year and still get three chains worth of use from a cassette, but maybe only two. It depends a lot on how many cogs get a lot of use. I tend to put a lot of wear only a couple of cogs, like the 19 and 21. Using a Shimano chain, use a scale to monitor elongation and be sure to change chains before the a 12" length wears to 12-1/16". A Park chain checker is not a good way to measure elongation.
I'd suggest changing the chain at1,500 miles. ==, especially if you have more than one rear wheel or multiple cogsets. If you change the chain this frequently, the cogs don't wear and break in with the chain, and you needn't replace them as often. Your multiple cogsets/wheels arew also more likely to work without skipping.
 

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change?

djg21 said:
I'd suggest changing the chain at1,500 miles. ==, especially if you have more than one rear wheel or multiple cogsets. If you change the chain this frequently, the cogs don't wear and break in with the chain, and you needn't replace them as often. Your multiple cogsets/wheels arew also more likely to work without skipping.
What do you do with a chain that's removed after only 1500 miles? Throw it away? If that's what you're recommending, the cost of additional chains will exceed the price of a cassette in a hurry. It also may add NO additional mileage to the cogs. They still wear, even with nearly new chains.
 

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C-40 said:
What do you do with a chain that's removed after only 1500 miles? Throw it away? If that's what you're recommending, the cost of additional chains will exceed the price of a cassette in a hurry. It also may add NO additional mileage to the cogs. They still wear, even with nearly new chains.
Dura Ace 7800 chains can be had for $25-30.

Dura Ace 7800 cassettes cost between $150-$200 at retail. With three wheelsets, I'd prefer to chuck a chain evert 1,500 miles so I know I won't have a problem swapping wheels.

It really sucks to change a wheel in a race and then have to worry about the chain jumping. I sucks even more to have to replace one 0r more cogsets at $150 each when simply changing the chain a little more essentially eliminates the need. By my calculation, assuming a cogset costs $150, it would take a really long time before the incremental cost of keeping each $25 chain on my bike for an extra 500 miles adds up to the price of a singlenew cogset.
 

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The titanium gears on my DA cassette turn the whole drivetrain black in a few hundred miles. It looks terrible! The Ultegra cassette stays nice and clean by comparison for at least 500 miles.
 

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don't think so...

DrSmile said:
The titanium gears on my DA cassette turn the whole drivetrain black in a few hundred miles. It looks terrible! The Ultegra cassette stays nice and clean by comparison for at least 500 miles.

Ti cogs have nothing to with the black crud on the drivetrain. It's nearly all from the lube on the chain. You must have been using more lube than normal.
 

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info...

djg21 said:
Dura Ace 7800 chains can be had for $25-30.

Dura Ace 7800 cassettes cost between $150-$200 at retail. With three wheelsets, I'd prefer to chuck a chain evert 1,500 miles so I know I won't have a problem swapping wheels.

It really sucks to change a wheel in a race and then have to worry about the chain jumping. I sucks even more to have to replace one 0r more cogsets at $150 each when simply changing the chain a little more essentially eliminates the need. By my calculation, assuming a cogset costs $150, it would take a really long time before the incremental cost of keeping each $25 chain on my bike for an extra 500 miles adds up to the price of a singlenew cogset.
Unfortunately, worn cogs are MORE likely to skip on a new chain than an old one. You've got the idea backwards. If get chain skip with a new chain what you really need is a partially used one to keep a cassette skip free. Not only that, you're choosing the fastest wearing chain you can buy - it's harder on the cogs than just about any chain on the market. A KMC is a better choice and a Campy Un is better still.

You'd buy 8 chains to get 12,000 miles from a cassettes and be less likely to get that much mileage. I can easily get that many miles with three chains and one cassette. You would have spent $240 in chains, plus the price of a cassette, and I'd have spent $150 dollars less for the same mileage.
 

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C-40 said:
Unfortunately, worn cogs are MORE likely to skip on a new chain than an old one.
And how are cogs worn? Wouldn't you agree that you wear out cogs by riding with a worn chain? Conversely, if you change chains before they wear, the longevity of your cogset is increased. It appears we agree.

C-40 said:
You've got the idea backwards. If get chain skip with a new chain what you really need is a partially used one to keep a cassette skip free. Not only that, you're choosing the fastest wearing chain you can buy - it's harder on the cogs than just about any chain on the market. A KMC is a better choice and a Campy Un is better still.
I have no idea what you are talking about, or why its relevant.to this discussion. Moreover, As you appear to agree, worn cogs present a problem, and the longevity of cogsets is increased by changing chains regularly so they never get to the point of being worn

C-40 said:
You'd buy 8 chains to get 12,000 miles from a cassettes and be less likely to get that much mileage. I can easily get that many miles with three chains and one cassette. You would have spent $240 in chains, plus the price of a cassette, and I'd have spent $150 dollars less for the same mileage.
If you have one wheelset, with only one cassette, you maybe right. If you race, you have spare wheelsets for the wheelpit, not to mention racing and training wheels, etc. I'd prefer to change chains then replacing multiple ones simultaneous so wheel changes can be seemless
 

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Somewhat confused

djg21 said:
And how are cogs worn? Wouldn't you agree that you wear out cogs by riding with a worn chain?
Actually, cogs wear through use, whether your chain is worn or not. A worn chain can wear cogs faster, but they wear whether you're using a worn chain or a new one. A worn chain has a longer pitch, and so fewer cog (and chain ring) teeth are engaged. This increases the force per tooth and so has the effect of speeding wear.

BTW, your primary wear issue is the fact that you are using a DA cassette (same applies to Campy Record). Titanium cogs wear MUCH faster than steel. They also cost a rediculous amount and save a very small amount of weight. If you want your cassettes to last longer, stop using ones with Ti cogs.
 

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C-40 said:
Ti cogs have nothing to with the black crud on the drivetrain. It's nearly all from the lube on the chain. You must have been using more lube than normal.
Nope I disagree. It turns black. I use the same amount of lube on both chains / cassettes (Prolink). Maybe the Ti wears faster so more particles get into the chain? I dunno why I just notice it.
 
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