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View Full Version : How long should a chain and a cassette last?



lordofthemark
10-06-2016, 08:21 AM
Last Sunday, as I rode by Gravelly Point, I happened upon an REI tent - they are doing promotions as the opening of their new store comes upon us. In addition to handing out fliers, and swag (high carb type foods, and little reflective thingies) they were offering free tune ups. Though I get an annual tune up from Bikenetics, I went for it, figuring they could at least fill my likely underinflated tires (though I knew they were least over 50psi, I did not know how much, as I have not yet pulled the trigger on a new gauge/pump) As it happened they were about 60, which made me happy, and they pumped them to 80, which made me more happy.

But perhaps more importantly, and less happily, they pointed out that my chain was stretched beyond - I forget what the standard was. Which meant it needed replacement. And that in all likelihood the cassette did too - and they then showed me the teeth wearing out on some of the gears.

They are original to the bike, which now has about 4300 miles on it. They said that is not a bad life for a chain and cassette.

My questions
1. Is that true? is this about how long a chain and cassette should last?
2. Can I wait till my Bikenetics tuneup to replace them (A. I do that in December, around the anniversary of the purchase, and prior to BAFS. B. I have not had particular problems changing gears, but I suppose it could be smoother)
3. How much is this gonna cost?
4. I presume this is NOT something I want to try doing myself, as a maintenance newb.

huskerdont
10-06-2016, 08:32 AM
Last Sunday, as I rode by Gravelly Point, I happened upon an REI tent - they are doing promotions as the opening of their new store comes upon us. In addition to handing out fliers, and swag (high carb type foods, and little reflective thingies) they were offering free tune ups. Though I get an annual tune up from Bikenetics, I went for it, figuring they could at least fill my likely underinflated tires (though I knew they were least over 50psi, I did not know how much, as I have not yet pulled the trigger on a new gauge/pump) As it happened they were about 60, which made me happy, and they pumped them to 80, which made me more happy.

But perhaps more importantly, and less happily, they pointed out that my chain was stretched beyond - I forget what the standard was. Which meant it needed replacement. And that in all likelihood the cassette did too - and they then showed me the teeth wearing out on some of the gears.

They are original to the bike, which now has about 4300 miles on it. They said that is not a bad life for a chain and cassette.

My questions
1. Is that true? is this about how long a chain and cassette should last?
2. Can I wait till my Bikenetics tuneup to replace them (A. I do that in December, around the anniversary of the purchase, and prior to BAFS. B. I have not had particular problems changing gears, but I suppose it could be smoother)
3. How much is this gonna cost?
4. I presume this is NOT something I want to try doing myself, as a maintenance newb.


That's decent life, especially if you're riding in the rain and not keeping your chain and cassette fastidiously clean.

If you aren't having trouble with the gears shifting and the chain doesn't skip, you could wait until you do. However, if the chain is worn and the cassette/chain rings still have life on them, the worn chain will wear out those other parts. You've said REI showed you the wear on the cassette, so that's already happening to some extent. Up to you. If the chain starts skipping, it can be a pain, and when under load, can actually be physically painful.

Cost depends a lot on what components you get.

If you don't feel comfortable doing it and don't have the tools, yeah, have the shop do it. It's not that hard if you have the tools, although will possibly involve some mistakes and maybe redos until you learn to get it right. For tools, you need a chain whip, a chain tool, and one of those cassette remover tools to attach a socket wrench. The socket wrench needs to be a torque wrench to keep from overtightening the lock ring.

Emm
10-06-2016, 08:39 AM
My questions
1. Is that true? is this about how long a chain and cassette should last?
2. Can I wait till my Bikenetics tuneup to replace them (A. I do that in December, around the anniversary of the purchase, and prior to BAFS. B. I have not had particular problems changing gears, but I suppose it could be smoother)
3. How much is this gonna cost?
4. I presume this is NOT something I want to try doing myself, as a maintenance newb.

1. I get an average of 2 years out of my commuter chains/cassettes. So ~3K miles typically, but I seem to ride my commuter hard. They last much longer for my weekend-only road bike since it's abused less. Some of this does with how you ride (do you cross chain alot? If so, that shortens life). Also, if you change your chain early enough, you can keep the cassette. I tend to replace both at once, but I know many people go through many chains for each cassette with no major issues.
2. Probably? Depends on how bad it is, but if you're not noticing an issue, and are ok changing the cassette at the same time, your probably fine. Just make sure it doesn't get so worn it affects your chain ring, since replacing that is MUCH more expensive.
3. Depends on the components. Under $100, possibly under $50 for both pieces depending on what you need. It's often done during your tune up as a service included in the tune up cost, or for not much extra. Have your WABA membership card handy and most shops will give you an extra 10% off the parts. I typically spend ~$75 for 105-level components.
4. Can't help here. I only do minor maintenance (changing flats, adjusting brakes), so I'd go to the shop personally. Lots of people on here can do this stuff themselves though so it's definitely do-able.

Crickey7
10-06-2016, 08:52 AM
I get around 2500 miles per chain/cassette. I find I get more miles if I'm religious about cleaning them. As repair jobs go, it's not difficult with the exception of removing the cassette, which can be hard if your removal tool has insufficient leverage. And that's the rub. You need several new tools and you can't really skimp on quality here. The only other tip is that you really, really need to make sure the new chain as installed has the exact same length as the old chain.

I'd say you can let it go until you notice a problem.

EasyRider
10-06-2016, 08:55 AM
A chain wear indicator costs $10. It's not a precision instrument, but it beats guessing if your chain is so worn that it has also worn the cassette to the point that a new chain won't mesh properly. I think it's worth having one even if you're not doing your own maintenance because it'll tell you when it's time to visit the shop.

Try using a chain wear indicator for a year, making a note of each time you changed the chain. That'll give you a sense of how often you should change the chain based on your riding, rather than particular number of miles.

A cassette should last for several chains if those chains are changed in a timely fashion.

LeprosyStudyGroup
10-06-2016, 09:03 AM
My bike came with a bottom-tier shimano drivetrain, I was not great about keeping it clean and lubed - would go many months between even looking at it... but I changed the chain 3 times over the course of about 6,000 miles. The last time I put a new chain on, the previous chain was so over stretched that it had indeed worn out the teeth on the gears of the cassette that I used most. It made riding in those gears impossible with the new chain. Ended up getting a replacement (upgraded) cassette and chain at Spokes Etc at about 8,000 miles which set me back about $160.

These days I'm trying to be better about not only cleaning off the chain and relubing it more often, but using an old toothbrush to knock off the black gunky stuff that builds up on the derailleur's pulley wheels and between the gear teeth, cause it seems like that stuff builds up and grinds away at the parts like goopy sandpaper..

Subby
10-06-2016, 10:11 AM
yes yes $83 yes

vern
10-06-2016, 10:17 AM
If you look on the interwebs you can find replacement parts at a good discount. In the last two weeks I bought a 10 speed 105 cassette for $32 and a Sram chain for $21, so $53 total. I don't need the cassette yet - I've got at least a couple thousand miles to go on the current one, but I buy them when the price is right. I like to have a spare on hand so that I can swap it out immediately if need be.

Vicegrip
10-06-2016, 10:34 AM
How long is like asking how long does a tank of gas last. Depends. How well you care for the chain and the conditions the chain is exposed to matters a lot. I might go a week between oiling and wiping down the chain but always re-oil and wipe down if it gets used in the wet. Rest of the bike might be covered in dried road grit with a dessicated earthworm or 2 stick to the down tube or brake caliper but the chain will be clean. Shorter chain replacement intervals increases cog and chain ring lifespan. I get about 2000 summer and perhaps 1200 or less winter miles per chain

worktheweb
10-06-2016, 10:39 AM
My chains usually last 1,000-2,000 miles with the lower number being reached more in the winter when I don't clean, degrease, and relube the chain as often. Getting a chain checker is a good idea, basically it is a cheap piece of metal that won't fit in between the links until the chain has stretched (mine is 0.75 in and 1 in on either side).

What's happening is the bushings in each chain link get worn (and a lot more when there is grit in there) so the tolerances are widened. Each link may only have 1/100th of an inch of wear, but with 100 or so links, it gets big fast. If you catch it when you get to 0.75 in, there is a good chance your cassette and chainwheels are okay, otherwise you'll probably need to replace the cassette as the gears shark-tooth out and the chainwheels if you really let it go. If you don't replace a worn cassette, the new chain won't fit on the cassette since it now "fits" the worn chain. You'll get a lot of skipping. That's why a worn drivetrain doesn't have issues at first, but eventually it will (and when it does, there is a lot more to replace).

I just got a new bike, so my chain and cassette needs are different now (and I fear, more expensive), but on the old one an 8 speed chain cost me about $15 and a new cassette was about $20-25. Depending on what kind of bike and drivetrain you've got that's the low end generally and the sky is the limit. Changing the chain is pretty easy with a chain break tool, and I'd recommend you get a new chain with quick links, so getting it on and off is a lot easier.

Learning to do this makes it easier to do the replacement on your schedule, and makes you less likely to have to replace the cassette every time. Changing a cassette isn't too hard, you'll need a lockring tool, a chain whip, and an adjustable wrench. You'll probably pay for the price of the tools with the first or second replacement. YouTube has a lot of great videos to show you how to do it.

You'll be amazed by how great a new drivetrain feels.

You can definitely wait if things are worn, but if your cassette gears still look like a trapezoid and not a shark tooth, waiting will make it more expensive.

TwoWheelsDC
10-06-2016, 10:56 AM
The LBS devotees may not like this answer, but buying the proper tools and learning to do this type of routine maintenance yourself will save you money in the long run. The tools for changing a cassette may cost roughly the same as having a shop do it once, but those tools will effectively last longer than you will...and, with a bit of planning, you'll never have to deal with the waiting that inevitably comes with having an LBS work on your bike. I'm currently working on replacing the pressfit bottom brackets on two of my bikes (they both started clicking within a couple days of each other, so I'm taking the opportunity to upgrade from the OEM crap each bike came with), which would cost hundreds of dollars to have an LBS do. Instead, I invested in the tools (which are basically the same for both bikes) to do it myself, which cost maybe about as much as it would for an LBS to fix just one of the bikes. So the tools essentially paid for themselves right out of the box, and I get to learn a new skill.

Of course, if you don't have the space for tools or to do any work on your bike (or the inclination), that's one thing, but a cassette change is a really good project for a beginner, since it's pretty easy and you aren't likely to kill your bike in the process. Between YouTube and the Park Tool website, there is an instructional video for just about any maintenance scenario you can think of.

EasyRider
10-06-2016, 11:22 AM
Agree ... but also a question of how much free time one has to do the work themselves, and how much one values it.

dbb
10-06-2016, 12:05 PM
A cassette change probably takes less time than driving to the LBS to have it done. Pull the wheel, R&R the cassette, replace the wheel, install a new chain. Maybe 20-30 minutes (including the futzing around time).

Crickey7
10-06-2016, 12:15 PM
Servicing the drivetrain is the gateway drug to bike maintenance.

Judd
10-06-2016, 12:44 PM
I just started doing a better job of drivetrain care this year. My chains have been all over the place. One is completely shot at less than 2,000. One is not stretched at 3,000 and I somehow got under 5,000 out of another.

Doing yourself is a lot of fun and really isn't that hard. I'll bring my chain gauge to the next Crystal City Coffee Club for anyone to try out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

huskerdont
10-06-2016, 01:35 PM
The everyday bike's chain has about 3,000 miles on it, and I replaced it at the lower end of the chain wear indicator, yet it seems to have done the cassette in as usual. This seems to always happen, even using the chain wear indicator--I try to get by with just the chain but it always skips under load. Yet I keep trying. Anyway, the number of miles on your chain seem really good now (updated from my "decent" rating of earlier). So congrats.

The chain on my 11-speed bike that never plays in the rain has about 3,000 on it too and I'm about to replace it to hopefully save the cassette. It's not even at 0.5 on the chain indicator; I just want to finally replace a chain without killing a fricking cassette.

vvill
10-06-2016, 01:39 PM
Bike part manufacturers will say 10/11-speed chains will need replacing after as little as 1000 miles. 2-3k is more reasonable imo, but it depends on riding conditions.

Chain ~$15-30, cassette $30-60 for non-fancy ones.

In terms of services, I mostly use LBS for advice and stuff like removing a stuck seatpost from seat tube, stuck BB from BB shell, stuck cassette from gouged freehub, stuck fixed cog on threaded hub, etc. and some other annoying/larger projects like cutting/installing a fork/headset, wheel builds, replacing internally routed cable bits, etc. Most bike maintenance is fairly simple and teaches you a lot about your bike. I do still need to learn how to service hydro disc brakes but other than that I'm good with all the routine stuff.

Vicegrip
10-06-2016, 02:02 PM
Agree ... but also a question of how much free time one has to do the work themselves, and how much one values it. Yes, there is value in letting others do the work at times. Running a gas line in the house is not a DIY item. Also some folks are better at some things than others. I can't carry a tune even if I had a bucket but can fix a bike.
Most DIY on bikes takes less time to do than the time spent loading up the car and taking the bike to the LBS, loading it taking it in going over the work driving home coming back later paying, loading it up and driving home.*
Having basic DIY skills is a positive safety item when you have problems while out riding. The second time you change out a bike chain it will be real easy and take perhaps 15 min start to finish including clean up. Unlike working on cars as example bike work is quiet work that does not take up a lot of space and does not expose you to dangerous, conditions, procedures or materials. A good basic bike tool kit can be had for far less than even some single tools I own for cars. There is also a certain satisfaction you get out of work well done and knowing how you steed works that cannot be purchased. You carry this with you when you ride as well

*riding to the shop and hanging out while Pete or another one of the other fine mechanics in one of the local shop does the laying on of hands while you drink coffee and talk bikes is a whole nother thing.

hozn
10-06-2016, 03:00 PM
I stopped checking chain wear since it didn't matter -- just run until it skips -- BUT for my next road bike config, I am probably going to start measuring and changing chains in short intervals since I am looking at more expensive ($160-180) cassettes.

I get 4000-5000 miles from a chain and cassette now (replacing the first time it skips), so the OP's experience sounds pretty good/normal. (When I measured and changed chains I got maybe 1000 more miles from a cassette but it cost me 3 additional chains which made no economic sense.)

sethpo
10-06-2016, 03:10 PM
I stopped checking chain wear since it didn't matter -- just run until it skips -- BUT for my next road bike config, I am probably going to start measuring and changing chains in short intervals since I am looking at more expensive ($160-180) cassettes.

I get 4000-5000 miles from a chain and cassette now (replacing the first time it skips), so the OP's experience sounds pretty good/normal. (When I measured and changed chains I got maybe 1000 more miles from a cassette but it cost me 3 additional chains which made no economic sense.)

Yeah but that new chain feel!!! (smell???) I dunno. I like replacing my chains when that little tool tells me to. It makes me feel engaged with my bike's core being.

lordofthemark
10-06-2016, 03:16 PM
Reasons to have the shop do it

1. I do not need to drive the bike there. As long as the bike is functional, I can ride it to Bikenetics. It is a lovely ride up the W&OD. Y'all should try that some time;)
2. Since I need to take it there for the annual tune up anyway, the incremental time is less than it is taking me to type this
3. IIRC, Bikenetics charges me for parts, but not labor to install, as part of the original deal when buying the Dew.
4. I am not so concerned about the time it would take, as worried I would do it wrong.

Reasons to do it myself

1. I could order the parts cheap on Amazon (but that would mean not supporting my LBS)
2. I would learn something I could use "in the field" (though on the other hand, in the field I would not have all the tools available in my bike room)
3. I would get all this mntnce cred.

So I will probably start using the chain measuring tool, and at some point may change the chain myself, but probably will not change the cassette myself.

huskerdont
10-06-2016, 03:27 PM
I get 4000-5000 miles from a chain and cassette now (replacing the first time it skips), so the OP's experience sounds pretty good/normal. (When I measured and changed chains I got maybe 1000 more miles from a cassette but it cost me 3 additional chains which made no economic sense.)

Mind if I ask which chain you're using? I wouldn't mind me some of that 5k action.

I went ahead and ordered a cassette for the 11-speed to have on hand for when changing the chain makes it skip. Although, come to think of it, there's no reason now to change the chain; I can just wait until it starts skipping, which could be 5k.

(Ultegra on the 11-speed, Sram 971 on the other).

TwoWheelsDC
10-06-2016, 03:34 PM
Reasons to do it myself

1. I could order the parts cheap on Amazon (but that would mean not supporting my LBS)


Or split the difference and buy the parts from the LBS and install on your own. Also, the techs at Bikenetic may be willing to show you how to do it if you ask nicely (just don't ask if you don't buy the part from them!).

hozn
10-06-2016, 06:18 PM
Mind if I ask which chain you're using? I wouldn't mind me some of that 5k action.

I went ahead and ordered a cassette for the 11-speed to have on hand for when changing the chain makes it skip. Although, come to think of it, there's no reason now to change the chain; I can just wait until it starts skipping, which could be 5k.

(Ultegra on the 11-speed, Sram 971 on the other).

So, I use KMC 10.93 chains. This is for the commuter (10sp). The road bike has had chains changed more because I don't have patience to wait that long before changing something like ring sizes etc.

First cassette since my "no more changing chains!" resolution was closer to 4k miles. That included the last half of winter, though. We'll see how the wear goes this winter.

Crickey7
10-08-2016, 02:36 PM
So, I asked several mechanics this question, and they all said if it's a 10 or 11 speed cassette, you should plan on 1200-1500 miles per chain, and if you wait longer you'll be replacing the cassette with it. The newer drivetrains are less robust and less tolerant of wear.

Vicegrip
10-08-2016, 06:42 PM
So, I use KMC 10.93 chains. This is for the commuter (10sp). The road bike has had chains changed more because I don't have patience to wait that long before changing something like ring sizes etc.

First cassette since my "no more changing chains!" resolution was closer to 4k miles. That included the last half of winter, though. We'll see how the wear goes this winter.How do you keep the elongated chain from eating chain rings too? I went too long on a chain and had to replace the chain, cog set and $$ chainring to get back to the silky smooth feel of properly meshing metal.

Harry Meatmotor
10-08-2016, 07:03 PM
I've got over 7k miles on my road bike's chain and cassette and chain stretch measures at less than 0.50mm on a Rohloff chain checker, i.e., less than 50% worn.

On my commuter bike (that i'm trying to kill) i typically get 2k miles out of a chain.

An old auto mechanic adage: "grease is cheaper than steel". if your chain makes noise, it probably needs to be cleaned and lubed. milage doesn't matter. number of speeds doesn't really matter, either.

Also, buying bike parts from a reputable brick and mortar bike shop means we all go home happier.

hozn
10-08-2016, 07:49 PM
How do you keep the elongated chain from eating chain rings too? I went too long on a chain and had to replace the chain, cog set and $$ chainring to get back to the silky smooth feel of properly meshing metal.

Well, this is a 1x setup, so there's no front shifting; maybe that makes a difference? I run chainrings for 2 -- maybe 3 (we'll see) -- cassettes. In the most recent case, I couldn't tell any difference in performance between the new Wolf Tooth chainring and the 10k mile X-Sync that it replaced. I would have kept using the X-Sync, but the 46t chainring rubbed my replacement frame, so it had to go.

During the life of the cassette, I usually will end up fine-tuning the tension at least once. Perhaps it's because one can be a little sloppy with tension when a cassette is new but as the ramps wear down it needs to be more exact? But I've never had any problems getting crisp shifts on SRAM cassettes for the full 4-5k that the chain (and cassette) lasts. I feel like Sram 1:1 shifting helps a lot there, since I felt like shifts were always sloppy with Shimano (and I was changing chains more back then).

I'm trying out XT 11-36 cassettes right now (with KMC chain) and so far I would say these do not shift as cleanly as the PG1070 (SRAM) cassettes they replaced. Maybe things just aren't adjusted right, but I've tuned it up at least once since putting on the cassette and there is still some occasional sloppiness in shifts between the little cogs. I'll check again, but at this point am pretty sure I'll either go back to SRAM or try something else for the next cassette.

hozn
10-08-2016, 07:54 PM
So, I asked several mechanics this question, and they all said if it's a 10 or 11 speed cassette, you should plan on 1200-1500 miles per chain, and if you wait longer you'll be replacing the cassette with it. The newer drivetrains are less robust and less tolerant of wear.

That matches what I was measuring -- about 1200 miles for the chain to measure 0.50 at which point I'd replace it. I just never saw sufficient savings on life of the cassette; I'd put the 4th chain on and it'd skip in the busy (14-16t) gears. Maybe others are able to get more than 4 chains on a cassette without skipping?

peterw_diy
10-08-2016, 08:52 PM
Maybe others are able to get more than 4 chains on a cassette without skipping?

Absolutely! The key is simple: use a lower horsepower engine!

Less Torque, Less Trouble.

Crickey7
10-08-2016, 09:24 PM
Absolutely! The key is simple: use a lower horsepower engine!

Less Torque, Less Trouble.

I was talking to another mechanic about whether a riding style could toast bottom brackets faster, and he said two things that resonated with me and explained why I quickly destroy a piece of equipment many riders never, ever have to replace. High torque and any unevenness in your stroke will put stresses on the bearings that will cause pitting and eventual failure.

This was at the new location of City Bikes in NW DC. This mechanic really, really seemed to know his stuff, to diagnose my issue with bottom brackets (I run through a new bottom bracket every 12-24 months) without even knowing my riding style.

peterw_diy
10-08-2016, 10:05 PM
Ooh, that's it. It's my perfect form! All those hours sweating on rollers still playing off, decades later! :-)

Vicegrip
10-09-2016, 08:14 AM
I was talking to another mechanic about whether a riding style could toast bottom brackets faster, and he said two things that resonated with me and explained why I quickly destroy a piece of equipment many riders never, ever have to replace. High torque and any unevenness in your stroke will put stresses on the bearings that will cause pitting and eventual failure.

This was at the new location of City Bikes in NW DC. This mechanic really, really seemed to know his stuff, to diagnose my issue with bottom brackets (I run through a new bottom bracket every 12-24 months) without even knowing my riding style.Not commenting on the Bike Arlington's Lake Wobegon above average power and mechanics.:)
Considering the amount of power a human can make and the present state of bearing design and metallurgy this would be a severe case of design failure or some other factor that is causing premature failure. Bearings far smaller in contact area such as wheel bearings are subjected to ball/race contact pressures and thrust loads far in excess of the pittance seen in the far larger bottom bracket bearings. In basic terms I can make 205 watts all day long while on my bike but my track car with 275 HP can make 205,000 watts all day long. The rear wheel bearings in the race car are subjected to large changes in RPM, load and thrust, are not larger by the same factor yet they last in excess of 50,000 miles.

Crickey7
10-09-2016, 06:58 PM
Research indicates that 43% of bearing failures are to inadequate lubrication. Since these are largely sealed systems installed by a half dozen different mechanics on several different bikes, that does not seems to be an explanation for me. Beyond that, it becomes something of a detective game. There are a number of factors that explain individual failures, few that explain repeated ones for person that only occasionally rides in rain. I'm not alone in seeing brackets lasting only a year or two, so I'm not quite buying that riding style has nothing to do with it. I have several factors that might explain things, at least according to this mechanic. One, high initial torque. Two, not having a smooth riding style with roughly even stresses. Third, I have a moderate case of spinal stenosis that permanently weakened one leg, so that the right is stronger than the left. Stresses will come from several vectors for me. I'm not cheaping out on these--it was service once at Freshbikes and once at the old Cycle Life in Georgetown.

Harry Meatmotor
10-09-2016, 07:51 PM
Research indicates that 43% of bearing failures are to inadequate lubrication. Since these are largely sealed systems installed by a half dozen different mechanics on several different bikes, that does not seems to be an explanation for me. Beyond that, it becomes something of a detective game. There are a number of factors that explain individual failures, few that explain repeated ones for person that only occasionally rides in rain. I'm not alone in seeing brackets lasting only a year or two, so I'm not quite buying that riding style has nothing to do with it. I have several factors that might explain things, at least according to this mechanic. One, high initial torque. Two, not having a smooth riding style with roughly even stresses. Third, I have a moderate case of spinal stenosis that permanently weakened one leg, so that the right is stronger than the left. Stresses will come from several vectors for me. I'm not cheaping out on these--it was service once at Freshbikes and once at the old Cycle Life in Georgetown.

Vicegrip makes a good point. The bearings in a bicycle BB and other mechanical contraptions are not different. I'm not saying you don't service/clean your bearings properly, but I am saying that in general bearings fail due to neglect, IMHO. Riding a bike with a square taper, adjustable BB out of adjustment for more than a few miles will trash it. As far as sealed cartridge style bearings, crud is crud, and I've not yet come across a bearing that's 100% impervious to crap getting splashed up from the front wheel. pedaling squares won't prematurely doom a bearing. try looking for angular contact bearings - they're less susceptible to failure from side loading or misadjusted preload.

Crickey7
10-09-2016, 10:15 PM
I appreciate the insight.

Thank you.

Harry Meatmotor
10-10-2016, 07:24 AM
I appreciate the insight.

Thank you.

I'll add, too, that perusing the CX forums a little white ago, it seems like those guys are getting good longevity out of Wheels Manufacturing ZERO ceramics (http://wheelsmfg.com/enduro-6806-zero-ceramic-sealed-bearing.html). Pricey, but apparently they aren't just made to spin better, they actually hold up to mud and grit pretty well. I've been thinking about trying them out after I get through this winter. It's been about a year since I dug around on BB bearings, tho.

Edit - another option, tho hard to find are Enduro XD-15s.

huskerdont
10-10-2016, 07:47 AM
Interesting the problems some seem to have consistently. I've never really needed to replace a bottom bracket on a road bike. (I have replaced them--did it once trying to eliminate a noise problem. It didn't work, and months later it turned out to be the chainstay had been going all along and eventually broke. I've broken two bikes at the chainstay, so it might have something to do with riding style.)

Yet I do seem to get fewer miles out of chains than some, and even replacing early, always get the skipping cassette. I do keep my chains clean and lubed. However, I've never used an actual plastic chain cleaner before. I just picked up a Park CM-5.2 chain cleaner after watching that GNC video about reduced chain friction. Perhaps that will help them last longer than my old method of merely wiping the gunk off and occasionally using a brush if it looked bad.

I'm going back to my old method of always replacing the cassette when I change the chain though. It's worth the little bit of money to me to not have the skipping problem occur. That bike is just sitting in the stable until I change the cassette.

EasyRider
10-10-2016, 08:58 AM
Interesting the problems some seem to have consistently. I've never really needed to replace a bottom bracket on a road bike.

I've never had to replace a bottom bracket because of wear, either, though with a daily 15 mile commute, 3 of which are towing a child trailer -- I think I should expect to. What model BB are you using? I've only ever used square taper units, either adjustable or sealed. Antiquated sure, but set up right the first time, in my experience, adjustable units are durable.

My daily rider is a old Trek 950 that I bought on CL 5 years ago for $50. It was clearly neglected, but the original adjustable BB and crank are doing just fine after 26 years! I figured let sleeping dogs lie and I'll replace it when it gets noisy. Not yet. It continues to surprise me. I've used the same sealed shimano square taper unit since 2006 on my fixed gear/singlespeed/rain bike. I stopped riding it daily when my commute got longer and I bought the 950, but it's got plenty of miles on it and was installed 10 years ago. In both cases I'd have thought the grease would've turned to gunk by now, and maybe it has. But they feel fine and don't make noise.

huskerdont
10-10-2016, 10:01 AM
I've never had to replace a bottom bracket because of wear, either, though with a daily 15 mile commute, 3 of which are towing a child trailer -- I think I should expect to. What model BB are you using? I've only ever used square taper units, either adjustable or sealed. Antiquated sure, but set up right the first time, in my experience, adjustable units are durable.

My daily rider is a old Trek 950 that I bought on CL 5 years ago for $50. It was clearly neglected, but the original adjustable BB and crank are doing just fine after 26 years! I figured let sleeping dogs lie and I'll replace it when it gets noisy. Not yet. It continues to surprise me. I've used the same sealed shimano square taper unit since 2006 on my fixed gear/singlespeed/rain bike. I stopped riding it daily when my commute got longer and I bought the 950, but it's got plenty of miles on it and was installed 10 years ago. In both cases I'd have thought the grease would've turned to gunk by now, and maybe it has. But they feel fine and don't make noise.

Threaded BB; I think it was a Shimano BB-RS500 shell.

26 years, sweet. I took apart a one-piece crankset from a 1965 Schwinn Varsity, and the bearings looked like charcoal.

EasyRider
10-10-2016, 10:36 AM
I rode a Varsity fixed for a year and repacked the bearings monthly. The grease, it'd just disappear!

huskerdont
10-10-2016, 11:49 AM
I rode a Varsity fixed for a year and repacked the bearings monthly. The grease, it'd just disappear!

I converted this one to fixed thinking I'd ride it, but it weighs more than a mountain bike so I only use it on the trainer. The bearings feel smooth, tho I don't really want to look to see.

I suppose we're way OT, but here's the bike:

12540

hozn
10-10-2016, 03:25 PM
I get around 6k miles on external threaded bottom brackets, maybe a little more. People talk about bottom brackets lasting forever, but my experience is that an alloy BB in my ti frame needs to at least be pulled out once a year to have anti-seize added or it'll be stuck in the frame forever. (This was my experience with CK serviceable BB; destroyed the threads removing it after a little over a year.)

I am sure I could also squeeze a lot more life out of my bottom brackets, but as soon as it clicks the first time it gets scheduled for replacement.

Interesting about the Enduro Ceramic Zero bearings being longer-lasting. Maybe I will press those into my BB shell when these bearings are done. I jut ordered a bunch of Enduro ABEC-5 bearings to replace the ones that will come in the Novatec hubs I just ordered; maybe I should have sprung for the pricier ceramic. Though I have yet to wear out cartridge wheel bearings.

Harry Meatmotor
10-10-2016, 04:44 PM
Though I have yet to wear out cartridge wheel bearings.

CX will destroy hub bearings. My GF's rear hub sounds like a freight train is following her around on course. they're all getting replaced after this season. I think the idea with the zeros is that they're hard enough that any gunk that gets inside get pummeled into dust/fine slurry and although the hubs may run dry, they'll still spin forever.

hozn
10-10-2016, 09:44 PM
CX will destroy hub bearings. My GF's rear hub sounds like a freight train is following her around on course. they're all getting replaced after this season. I think the idea with the zeros is that they're hard enough that any gunk that gets inside get pummeled into dust/fine slurry and although the hubs may run dry, they'll still spin forever.

Yeah, that makes sense about the cx conditions destroying the bearings. I'm sure BB bearings (and hub bearings) would last much, much longer if they were actually impervious to the elements (and the dirt that gets carried in).

Interesting about the bearings. Looks like it's ~$90 for a set of the Ceramic Zero bearings, so not entirely sure it's worth the price of 4 bottom brackets for my usage, but if I were killing a bottom bracket every other race, I'd do it.

Vicegrip
10-11-2016, 07:19 AM
Yeah, that makes sense about the cx conditions destroying the bearings. I'm sure BB bearings (and hub bearings) would last much, much longer if they were actually impervious to the elements (and the dirt that gets carried in).

Interesting about the bearings. Looks like it's ~$90 for a set of the Ceramic Zero bearings, so not entirely sure it's worth the price of 4 bottom brackets for my usage, but if I were killing a bottom bracket every other race, I'd do it.ding! I suspect we have a winner. Cartridge bearings even within a single size, format, hardness and finish spec can be furnished open, simple dust shielded, sealed and environmentally sealed form to list but a few formats. The higher the environmental resistance the the bearing seal system the higher the internal resistance they often exhibit. Resistance is not a positive aspect for us low power producing meat motors. If you are on set # 3 or more of a brand and seal type of bearing you might want to look at increasing the environmental protection factor of the bearing. Bike makers don't make bearings. Bearing makers make bearings and for the most part bike and bike component makers select the bearing they want to use from what is available. I suspect that bike based bearings rarely fail due to load and fail after being contaminated. I had a single front wheel bearing go bad. On disassembly and inspection I found that it had a little tiny ding/grit scrape in the wiper ring of the seal, the lubricant had been contaminated and had dried up. The other bearing, which saw the same service and exposure, was in great shape internally. if your wheel or BB bearing spins forever I bet it uses shielded bearings. I would not want a non sealed bottom bracket bearing on anything less than a fair weather race day bike. The watt loss from the seals is hard to measure and bottom brackets are exposed to dirty road water spray at the least.

Below is a cut-n-paste description of the most common formats for shields and seals on ball and roller bearings.

"Ball and roller bearings are available with different types of shields and seals. These are commonly referred to as closures. Closures can extend bearing life by preventing contaminants from reaching the critical surfaces inside the bearing, and they help retain the lubricant in the bearing. Different types of closures may be supplied on the same bearing. Special designs are also available. The following are descriptions of the most common types AST can supply.

Type ZZS - Removable non-contact metal shield retained in the outer ring with a snap wire. This type of shield is manufactured from 300 series stainless steel and is available only on miniature and instrument series bearings. Max operating temperature is 600 F. Since there is no contact made with the inner ring there is no appreciable impact on torque or speed and operation can be compared to that of an open bearing. The removable closure allows for cleaning and re-lubrication. The code for a single shield is ZS.
Type ZZ - Non-removable, non-contact metal shield retained in the outer ring via crimping, or pressing. This type of shield cannot be removed once installed. This type of shield can also be manufactured from 300 series stainless steel. On larger bearings, this type of shield is manufactured from 1008 or 1010 strip steel. Max operating temperature is 450 F. Since there is no contact made with the inner ring there is no appreciable impact on torque or speed and operation can be compared to that of an open bearing. The code for a single shield is Z.
Type 2RS - Molded rubber seal. This type of seal is Buna-N bonded to a steel insert. The seal is fixed into a groove in the outer ring. This type of seal can be removed but care must be used not to bend or cut the seal lip. Max operating temperature is 240 F. This type of seal makes contact with the inner ring providing better protection in contaminated environments than a metal shield. However, this results in an increase in torque and reduces the max speed capability of the bearing. Certain lubricants and chemicals react with rubber. The code for a single seal is RS.
Type 2RU - Molded rubber seal, non- contact. This type of seal is Buna-N bonded to a steel insert. The seal is fixed into a groove in the outer ring. This type of seal can be removed but care must be used not to bend or cut the seal lip. Max operating temperature is 240 F. This type of seal has a very thin lip adjacent to the inner ring but does not make contact. It provides better protection than type ZZ or ZZS, but without the increase in torque exhibited by type 2RS. Certain lubricants and chemicals react with rubber. The code for a single seal is RU.
Type 2VS - Molded Viton seal. This type of seal is made of Viton bonded to a steel insert. The seal is fixed into a groove in the outer ring. This type of seal can be removed but care must be used not to bend or cut the seal lip. Max operating temperature is 400 F. This type of seal makes contact with the inner ring providing better protection in contaminated environments than a metal shield. However, this results in an increase in torque and reduces the max speed capability of the bearing. This seal has excellent chemical resistance. The code for a single seal is VS.
Type TTS - Glass reinforced PTFE seal is retained in the outer ring with a snap wire. This type of seal can be removed but care must be used not to bend or cut the seal lip. Max operating temperature is 400 F. This type of seal makes contact with the inner ring providing better protection in contaminated environments than a metal shield. However, this results in an increase in torque and reduces the max speed capability of the bearing. This type of seal exhibits less torque than type 2RS, but is more delicate. This seal has excellent chemical resistance. The code for a single seal is TS. Teflon seals are only available on certain series of bearings."

Harry Meatmotor
10-11-2016, 09:39 AM
ding! I suspect we have a winner. Cartridge bearings even within a single size, format, hardness and finish spec can be furnished open, simple dust shielded, sealed and environmentally sealed form to list but a few formats. The higher the environmental resistance the the bearing seal system the higher the internal resistance they often exhibit. Resistance is not a positive aspect for us low power producing meat motors. If you are on set # 3 or more of a brand and seal type of bearing you might want to look at increasing the environmental protection factor of the bearing. Bike makers don't make bearings. Bearing makers make bearings and for the most part bike and bike component makers select the bearing they want to use from what is available. I suspect that bike based bearings rarely fail due to load and fail after being contaminated. I had a single front wheel bearing go bad. On disassembly and inspection I found that it had a little tiny ding/grit scrape in the wiper ring of the seal, the lubricant had been contaminated and had dried up. The other bearing, which saw the same service and exposure, was in great shape internally.

I'll add one little thing: part of why folks pay the big bucks for Chris King is that they use nice seals in all their bearings. Similar to what enduro uses in their most expensive ceramics. And CK bearings are easily re-buildable.

hozn
10-11-2016, 11:23 AM
I'll add one little thing: part of why folks pay the big bucks for Chris King is that they use nice seals in all their bearings. Similar to what enduro uses in their most expensive ceramics. And CK bearings are easily re-buildable.

Do CK use cartridge bearings for their hubs and headsets? (I think so, right?) I was surprised they didn't for their bottom brackets. I was disappointed in those bearings/seals/system/whatever; with regular re-greasing (... I purchased their $55 grease injector ...) I only got 9k miles from that bottom bracket. Just commuting. At $140 I figured it needed to last me at least 6 times as long as a regular BB to make economic sense. Probably more if I factor in that damned grease injector. Since it didn't even last twice as long as a standard GXP, I decided I won't ever buy another.

(Would anyone like to buy a CK bottom bracket grease injector fitting for $20?)

But obviously people love their hubs and headsets, so I imagine those are actually measurably better than the competition. But I have 20k miles on my Hope Pro II hubs and they don't seem to be giving any indication of getting tired. So I'd need to be getting at least 40k miles from CK to justify the cost difference. And who has patience to ride the same wheelset for forty thousand miles !? :)

EasyRider
10-11-2016, 01:45 PM
Fenders may be another reason I get years of service from my cheap square taper BBs, and for that matter, my chains and cassettes. All of my bikes, running tires from 28mm to 52mm, have fenders. Several years ago I zip-tied a strip of rubber stair tread mat to the front fender my commuter. After a messy commute, one glance at the DIY extension shows that it really does block a lot of salt, sand and grime from spraying the drivetrain.

Harry Meatmotor
10-11-2016, 06:34 PM
Do CK use cartridge bearings for their hubs and headsets? (I think so, right?) I was surprised they didn't for their bottom brackets. I was disappointed in those bearings/seals/system/whatever; with regular re-greasing (... I purchased their $55 grease injector ...) I only got 9k miles from that bottom bracket. Just commuting. At $140 I figured it needed to last me at least 6 times as long as a regular BB to make economic sense. Probably more if I factor in that damned grease injector. Since it didn't even last twice as long as a standard GXP, I decided I won't ever buy another.

(Would anyone like to buy a CK bottom bracket grease injector fitting for $20?)

But obviously people love their hubs and headsets, so I imagine those are actually measurably better than the competition. But I have 20k miles on my Hope Pro II hubs and they don't seem to be giving any indication of getting tired. So I'd need to be getting at least 40k miles from CK to justify the cost difference. And who has patience to ride the same wheelset for forty thousand miles !? :)

I don't like the king grease injector thingy - the split washer and seal are easy enough to remove (hint: use dental tools!) that overhauling the bearings is easier than fiddling with the grease injector. a trip through the parts washer/degreaser then alcohol or a lot of hot water is a given. also, use King's Ring Lube to lube the bearings. don't use ordinary Park or Phil's grease.

Harry Meatmotor
10-11-2016, 06:38 PM
Fenders may be another reason I get years of service from my cheap square taper BBs, and for that matter, my chains and cassettes. All of my bikes, running tires from 28mm to 52mm, have fenders. Several years ago I zip-tied a strip of rubber stair tread mat to the front fender my commuter. After a messy commute, one glance at the DIY extension shows that it really does block a lot of salt, sand and grime from spraying the drivetrain.

if your feet get wet when you ride through a puddle, there's gonna be gunk sprayed at your bottom bracket - long tail front fenders FTW!

hozn
10-11-2016, 10:02 PM
I don't like the king grease injector thingy - the split washer and seal are easy enough to remove (hint: use dental tools!) that overhauling the bearings is easier than fiddling with the grease injector. a trip through the parts washer/degreaser then alcohol or a lot of hot water is a given. also, use King's Ring Lube to lube the bearings. don't use ordinary Park or Phil's grease.

The folks at CK suggested Phil's grease was a good choice, but I will bear this in mind if I find myself with another CK component. But all that cleaning sounds like way more work than a $20 replacement BB! :-) Are you using a ultrasonic washer?

On that note, my BB is sounding pretty creaky today. I think the culprit was my "gravel" ride last weekend.

http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161012/d5d19827fb00e65e97fe5183952f8e5f.jpg

Crickey7
10-12-2016, 08:48 AM
So, to rewind about halfway back, why don't automotive wheel bearings fail more often? They're submitted to the same environmental factors, higher weights and rpms. It is that they are simply sealed better and, if so, why aren't bicycle bottom brackets sealed better?

bentbike33
10-12-2016, 09:40 AM
On that note, my BB is sounding pretty creaky today. I think the culprit was my "gravel" ride last weekend.


<retrogrouch>On an ancient mountain bike that I recently donated to "Bikes for the World", there was a plastic derailleur cable guide attached to the bottom bracket shell by a screw the hole for which went entirely through the BB shell. Since the BB was of the threaded-cup variety, I used this hole as a grease port and kept the shell filled with grease. Then, periodically injected more grease until it came out clean around the seals. Those bearings lasted forever without any noise.</retrogrouch>

EasyRider
10-12-2016, 10:35 AM
I don't know much about cars, but I think we'd have to define "fail" in both contexts.

Subjectively, for me, a BB bearing fails when the crank doesn't spin or the knocking is so much as to interfere with pedaling. Minor pitting of the races, or a bit of grittiness or noisiness would annoy me, but I wouldn't consider it failure, even if it does mean it's time for servicing or replacement. Perhaps car wheel bearings suffer from these same ailments but it doesn't justify replacing them, since a driver wouldn't notice them the way a cyclist would.

KLizotte
10-12-2016, 02:21 PM
I don't know much about cars, but I think we'd have to define "fail" in both contexts.

Subjectively, for me, a BB bearing fails when the crank doesn't spin or the knocking is so much as to interfere with pedaling. Minor pitting of the races, or a bit of grittiness or noisiness would annoy me, but I wouldn't consider it failure, even if it does mean it's time for servicing or replacement. Perhaps car wheel bearings suffer from these same ailments but it doesn't justify replacing them, since a driver wouldn't notice them the way a cyclist would.

When my front hub started making a horrible noise all of a sudden because it needed to be re-lubricated I read that it was dangerous to ride in such a situation because the hub could freeze up without warning. :eek: True, not true?

Crickey7
10-12-2016, 03:21 PM
I've had bearings in wheels disintegrate. The hubs don't actually freeze, but they get really sluggish really fast. And you destroy the entire component because the wreaked bearings score the walls.

mstone
10-13-2016, 07:52 AM
So, to rewind about halfway back, why don't automotive wheel bearings fail more often? They're submitted to the same environmental factors, higher weights and rpms. It is that they are simply sealed better and, if so, why aren't bicycle bottom brackets sealed better?

Because the bearing assembly on a car weighs as much as a whole fancy bike. Also the spinny parts on a car aren't in the spray line from the wheels. (They're all inside some big piece of metal which also weighs as much as a bike.) A better analogy to bikes are boats, whose moving parts have lifetimes measured in hours...

Harry Meatmotor
10-13-2016, 08:00 AM
<retrogrouch>Those bearings lasted forever without any noise.</retrogrouch>

Well, they ought to in a 3lb grease bath!!!! Jeeez...

Vicegrip
10-13-2016, 08:08 AM
So, to rewind about halfway back, why don't automotive wheel bearings fail more often? They're submitted to the same environmental factors, higher weights and rpms. It is that they are simply sealed better and, if so, why aren't bicycle bottom brackets sealed better? (Caution the following answer contains opinions and 45 years of mechanical mayhem life learned advice. No text books were harmed during the formulation of this post but plenty of machines were put under the knife)
Simple answer on the bottom bracket question. Torque. A fully sealed bearing has a lip seal that is fixed to the outer race and gently contacts against the inner race forming the seal. The contact between the two parts one spinning one not causes a slight amount of friction. In a car this amount of friction is so small it is not measurable. On a bike we measure everything to the last erg. So bike part makers boast that that their bearing saves XX over 40 miles or the like when by far the torque or internal friction is largely the seal and lube used. No contact and light lube makes for an easy spinning and short lived bearing when exposed to commuter type environmental conditions. Bearings are made to set standards and finishes even within the same format. Two bearings of the same size might be rated one for 2000 and the other 20,000 RPM with a wide range of temp and environmental exposure conditions between them. Ceramic bearings are harder than steel but still suffer from contamination and lube loss damage like steel. (and are often not 100% ceramic)

Answer to the automotive bearing question. Fully sealed bearings.

We can dither all day long about washing with a hose of not. If your bearings are not fully sealed dust and water can get in when you ride in said conditions. Keeping direct spray out of the bearings helps. total submersion of a non fully sealed and fully lubed bearing is the beginning of the end unless you fully service the bearing. Operation while submerged is even worse as you are now very efficiently blending water and grit into the lube. This messes up the surface adhesion of the lube. Surface adhesion and the thin film it promotes is the whole key to the lube. If the grease looks like mousse it is no good.

Pushing new grease into a dirty bearing only delays the inevitable failure as it leaves contamination behind in the nooks and crannies.
In order to save a contaminated but not damaged bearing you need to 100% remove the lube. You cannot do this by flowing grease through it. Remove the bearing, remove the shields*, remove all the lube, remove all the solvent**, repack with correct lube and reinstall the shields. I suppose you could push new in run the bearing for a while and repeat with the contamination being further diluted with each cycle.

*Some shields are removable if you take care and don't touch the inner lip area.
** For Dog's sake don't spin a dry bearing with compressed air. Compressed air is great for removing solvent from a bearing but don't let the bearing spin while you are cleaning it. It is great fun and cool to watch but it just kills the bearing. It is not hard to air spin a dry unsealed bearing to 100,000 RPM.

dkel
10-13-2016, 08:12 AM
^^^ tl:dr Just replace the bearing. :rolleyes:

dkel
10-13-2016, 08:16 AM
Interlude: I talked to a guy last night who had his cassette serviced by a shop, and when they reassembled it, they swapped positions of two of the cogs. He has to shift twice at that spot, then back one, then twice again to access those gears in order. He's been riding it that way for years (which is the weirdest part of the story).

Ok, back to arguing about bearings.

Vicegrip
10-13-2016, 08:36 AM
I guess I missed the argument part. :rolleyes:

huskerdont
10-13-2016, 08:37 AM
Apparently I don't worry enough about bearings and need to start.

dkel
10-13-2016, 09:13 AM
I guess I missed the argument part. :rolleyes:

We argue about everything on this forum, don't we?

Harry Meatmotor
10-13-2016, 06:14 PM
We argue about everything on this forum, don't we?

"SOME A-HOLE DIDN'T TURN OFF HIS HEADLIGHTS WHEN I APPROACHETHED HIM THIS MORNING!!!!"

"PEOPLE WHO WEAR LYCRA AND RIDE CRABON BIKES [and don't wear sandals] ARE A-HOLES!!!"

just teasing!!!!

I would like to add that bikes are such beautifully simple devices that we often forget that they're the mechanical equivalent to a car with no hood or doors. or bumpers. or seatbelts. If you don't attempt to keep them clean and lubricated in some reasonably sound fashion, sh*t's gonna wear out really fast.

BobCochran
10-16-2016, 10:31 AM
I stopped checking chain wear since it didn't matter -- just run until it skips -- BUT for my next road bike config, I am probably going to start measuring and changing chains in short intervals since I am looking at more expensive ($160-180) cassettes...

More expensive cassettes? What does a more expensive cassette give you over a cheaper one? (Asked for my own education, I need to learn.)

BobCochran
10-16-2016, 10:36 AM
For the original poster: my last chain replacement was around 1400 miles on my newer bicycle. My 2009 Giant had to have the cassette and chain replaced at about 1100 miles. It is my fault. I need to be a lot better about chain cleanings and lubes. In fact there is this little voice in me right now, "Go get the Jamis on the stand right now clean it."

Bob

TwoWheelsDC
10-16-2016, 11:09 AM
More expensive cassettes? What does a more expensive cassette give you over a cheaper one? (Asked for my own education, I need to learn.)


It's one of those "if you have to ask, you shouldn't bother" type of questions. Mostly the difference is weight, and even then it's a matter of a few tens of grams...it's actually one of the more cost-effective weight reductions, but basically imperceptible to 99.9% of cyclists.

Harry Meatmotor
10-16-2016, 01:39 PM
More expensive cassettes? What does a more expensive cassette give you over a cheaper one? (Asked for my own education, I need to learn.)


less weight, better shifting, better durability. Shimano 105 represents great value for road 10/11spd. I haven't yet fiddled with the new-ish Tiagra stuff, but i suspect it's nearly the same as 105, for a few bucks cheaper. Sun Race is good value for the crazy wide-range MTB stuff, otherwise, just go with lower-end SRAM. For anything fewer than 9 speeds, there's no point to spending more than $40 or so on a cassette.

hozn
10-16-2016, 03:06 PM
More expensive cassettes? What does a more expensive cassette give you over a cheaper one? (Asked for my own education, I need to learn.)


So, I'm looking at 11-speed 11-40t cassettes which is making these a bit more expensive without even striving for lower weight, etc. But for my road bike I was looking for something lighter than 400g. So I'm trying a Shimano XTR 11-40 cassette; we'll see how it goes (uses titanium for some of the bigger sprockets), I picked up a "lightly used" one for $100, so it wasn't crazy money. That saves around 70g compared to the Sram XG1150 (which costs around $100 new). Generally I wouldn't really consider saving weight on a high-wear item, but on my road bike I use at most one cassette a year, so that's worth it to me. I have saved less weight for a bigger markup elsewhere. I might consider SEQlite 11-40t cassettes (where largest cog(s) are aluminum) and may also decide that 11-36 is enough range for my 50t front around here.

hozn
10-16-2016, 03:11 PM
On that note, my BB is sounding pretty creaky today. I think the culprit was my "gravel" ride last weekend.

So, I took out my BB today and a whole bunch of water poured out of my frame. (And sure enough, the DS bearing was completely shot.) I guess (1) removing the bolt from my chainstay bridge was dumb (I'm guessing that's how the majority of the water is getting in) and (2) I'm annoyed that my frame doesn't have a drain hole in the BB. I fixed #2 with my drill before installing the new bottom bracket.

I ordered a Wheels Mfg road BB and 2 sets of extra angular-contact bearings (which were surprisingly cheaper than the standard ABEC-3 bearings). But for now, I've just put in an external Hope BB from my lightly-used parts bin.

BobCochran
10-16-2016, 05:18 PM
So, I took out my BB today and a whole bunch of water poured out of my frame. (And sure enough, the DS bearing was completely shot.) I guess (1) removing the bolt from my chainstay bridge was dumb (I'm guessing that's how the majority of the water is getting in) and (2) I'm annoyed that my frame doesn't have a drain hole in the BB. I fixed #2 with my drill before installing the new bottom bracket.

I ordered a Wheels Mfg road BB and 2 sets of extra angular-contact bearings (which were surprisingly cheaper than the standard ABEC-3 bearings). But for now, I've just put in an external Hope BB from my lightly-used parts bin.

Did you take any photos of the procedure you followed? Although I have no skill with bike repairs to speak of, I'm always interested in things mechanical. It is interesting to see how a repair was done.

Thanks

Bob

hozn
10-16-2016, 05:23 PM
Did you take any photos of the procedure you followed? Although I have no skill with bike repairs to speak of, I'm always interested in things mechanical. It is interesting to see how a repair was done.

Thanks

Bob

No, not this time. I just drilled carefully and slowly so I wouldn't add a modern-art etching to my BB shell then I used some fine sandpaper to deburr it and then scotch brite green pad to restore the ti brushed finish on the outside of BB.

My second-favorite feature of titanium is the fact that you can easily fix scratches in the raw finish. (First favorite is it not rusting -- even when it has water in the BB shell for extended periods of time.)