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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always just replaced my chain at .5 stretch, but with some cassettes costing upwards of $200 I wanted to see if there was a way to make them last longer. When you have a $30-40 chain and a $50 cassette, it doesn't make as much sense to spend more money on chains but with a $30-40 chain and $200 cassette, it changes things.

Anyone have a couple chains in rotation that they swap every couple hundred miles until they're .5 stretched and then tossing them? Or would this provide zero tangible benefit over just replacing the chain entirely at .5 stretch?
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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Some guys definitely do that, I think @Kerry Irons uses this method, or maybe it was @C-40. They rotated through 3 chains and were getting some insanely long cassette lives.
 

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I have always just replaced my chain at .5 stretch, but with some cassettes costing upwards of $200 I wanted to see if there was a way to make them last longer. When you have a $30-40 chain and a $50 cassette, it doesn't make as much sense to spend more money on chains but with a $30-40 chain and $200 cassette, it changes things.

Anyone have a couple chains in rotation that they swap every couple hundred miles until they're .5 stretched and then tossing them? Or would this provide zero tangible benefit over just replacing the chain entirely at .5 stretch?
C40 was the big advocate for rotating chains.

The real question here is why you are paying $200 for cassettes. That suggests you're buying DA or Record (most likely). You're saving a few grams, getting a cassette that wears much faster (due to Ti or Al cogs), and getting zero improvement in shifting.

If I were a top level racer doing long climbs I would scavenge for every gram I could get, though of course the UCI would prevent me from using a truly light bike. There is very little point in paying $200 for a cassette.
 

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yeah, 2 bills for a cassette is crazy cash...no reason for that unless you have a sponsor.

chains and cassettes are disposable items, I get 5-10K mi from chains, and for my riding style, cassettes are apparently indestructible. have never replaced one due to 'wear' issues...
 

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chains and cassettes are disposable items, I get 5-10K mi from chains, and for my riding style, cassettes are apparently indestructible. have never replaced one due to 'wear' issues...
I have 12k miles on my chain now and no signs of wear so far. I expect it to last for at least 2-3k miles more.
 

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C40 was the big advocate for rotating chains.

The real question here is why you are paying $200 for cassettes. That suggests you're buying DA or Record (most likely). You're saving a few grams, getting a cassette that wears much faster (due to Ti or Al cogs), and getting zero improvement in shifting.

If I were a top level racer doing long climbs I would scavenge for every gram I could get, though of course the UCI would prevent me from using a truly light bike. There is very little point in paying $200 for a cassette.
Chorus cassettes in USA pricing are $150 on Amazon
 

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If I were using $200 cassettes, or even $150 cassettes (and I'm not), I'd definitely be using Paraffin as chain lube (because $65 cassettes are still expensive, especially if you put in a lot of miles).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
C40 was the big advocate for rotating chains.

The real question here is why you are paying $200 for cassettes. That suggests you're buying DA or Record (most likely). You're saving a few grams, getting a cassette that wears much faster (due to Ti or Al cogs), and getting zero improvement in shifting.

If I were a top level racer doing long climbs I would scavenge for every gram I could get, though of course the UCI would prevent me from using a truly light bike. There is very little point in paying $200 for a cassette.
Ultegra for cross and SRAM 1170 for road... X01 for mountain bike though. One of the biggest weight savings of the group is in the cassette and it's what my bike came with.
 

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I have always just replaced my chain at .5 stretch, but with some cassettes costing upwards of $200 I wanted to see if there was a way to make them last longer. When you have a $30-40 chain and a $50 cassette, it doesn't make as much sense to spend more money on chains but with a $30-40 chain and $200 cassette, it changes things.

Anyone have a couple chains in rotation that they swap every couple hundred miles until they're .5 stretched and then tossing them? Or would this provide zero tangible benefit over just replacing the chain entirely at .5 stretch?
I suspect this approach could extend the life of the cassette. However, I am way too lazy to put in that additional effort. I also dont like to keep breaking the chain since its an opportunity to introduce a failure point
 

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Or you could rotate in a $38 cassette.

I'm sort of just being a wise arse but if you have separate training and race day wheels it would be a good idea.

Rotating chains strikes me as a real pain in the arse. No thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suspect this approach could extend the life of the cassette. However, I am way too lazy to put in that additional effort. I also dont like to keep breaking the chain since its an opportunity to introduce a failure point
Or you could rotate in a $38 cassette.

I'm sort of just being a wise arse but if you have separate training and race day wheels it would be a good idea.

Rotating chains strikes me as a real pain in the arse. No thanks.
It takes like 15 seconds to rotate a chain, no big deal.

I use ~$50 cassettes on road/cx but there isn't one in existence that cheap that works for my hub for my mountain bike (SRAM XD driver). I think the cheapest one is $150 and it's way heavier (400g vs 260g) so at that point, $50 extra is no big deal.
 

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The real question here is why you are paying $200 for cassettes. That suggests you're buying DA or Record (most likely). You're saving a few grams, getting a cassette that wears much faster (due to Ti or Al cogs), and getting zero improvement in shifting.

^^^This^^^

An Ultegra 6800 chain is around $40. An Ultegra 6800 cassette is around $60. It isn't worth the fuss. The consensus at my shop these days is to ride them both into the ground and replace them together.
 

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^^^This^^^

An Ultegra 6800 chain is around $40. An Ultegra 6800 cassette is around $60. It isn't worth the fuss. The consensus at my shop these days is to ride them both into the ground and replace them together.
That's stupid. If you use a chain long enough to kill the cassette it will be doing damage to chain rings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
^^^This^^^

An Ultegra 6800 chain is around $40. An Ultegra 6800 cassette is around $60. It isn't worth the fuss. The consensus at my shop these days is to ride them both into the ground and replace them together.
Did you read the thread? I've said twice that I use cheap road cassettes but Ultegra cassettes don't fit on this for mountain biking, nor do they provide enough gear range so that isn't an option:



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That's stupid. If you use a chain long enough to kill the cassette it will be doing damage to chain rings.

Eventually. But will take a lot longer since more teeth per ring/cog means less load and less rpms on that ring/cog and therefore, wear will take longer. So your 11, 12, 13 ,14 cog will wear faster than your 34 or 50 ring.
 

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Did you read the thread? I've said twice that I use cheap road cassettes but Ultegra cassettes don't fit on this for mountain biking, nor do they provide enough gear range so that isn't an option:

Well, OK, yes. Those 10-42 SRAM cassettes are pricey. So in this case, being vigilant about your chain wear is prudent.

But what do you mean by "rotating" your chain?
 

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Eventually. But will take a lot longer since more teeth per ring/cog means less load and less rpms on that ring/cog and therefore, wear will take longer. So your 11, 12, 13 ,14 cog will wear faster than your 34 or 50 ring.
Everything is eventual.

Are you really telling us cogs wear out faster than chain rings? Did anyone not know that and does it have anything to do with the topic?

And by the way your "more teeth" theory has a huge flaw; there are two rings vs 10 or 11 cogs. So unless you've actually calculated this or know you don't shift I don't think you can say from ring teeth see less rpms.
 

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I have always just replaced my chain at .5 stretch, but with some cassettes costing upwards of $200 I wanted to see if there was a way to make them last longer. When you have a $30-40 chain and a $50 cassette, it doesn't make as much sense to spend more money on chains but with a $30-40 chain and $200 cassette, it changes things.

Anyone have a couple chains in rotation that they swap every couple hundred miles until they're .5 stretched and then tossing them? Or would this provide zero tangible benefit over just replacing the chain entirely at .5 stretch?
It definitely will make your cassette and rings last longer. Not a bad idea either if you're running multiple wheelsets to keep them all wearing evenly. Another nice thing is you can have a freshly lubed chain ready to go. And clean/re-lube the removed chain at your convenience.

I tried a 2 chain rotation as an experiment. But it took forever as I get well over 5k mi per chain. And I sold that bike so I never followed it to fruition. I never started it over. Too many bikes to keep track of. I have a $300 Sram XG cassette. Maybe I should.

I also dont like to keep breaking the chain since its an opportunity to introduce a failure point
Quicklink. Problem solved.

The consensus at my shop these days is to ride them both into the ground and replace them together.
Wow. Sure sounds like your shop likes to milk money from it's customers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, OK, yes. Those 10-42 SRAM cassettes are pricey. So in this case, being vigilant about your chain wear is prudent.

But what do you mean by "rotating" your chain?
I mean when it's time to buy a new cassette, get 2-3 chains at once and rotate them every X number of miles.

For example... use chain 1 from 0-200 miles on cassette, chain 2 from 200-400, chain 3 from 400-600, then repeat by using chain 1 from 600-800, etc. Then when any one one chain gets to .5 wear, throw it away.

As opposed to just waiting for chain #1 to get .5 worn and putting chain #2 on.
 
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