General Discussion Triathlon Talk » cassettes/chains Rss Feed  
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2016-10-19 11:27 AM


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Subject: cassettes/chains
Hi all,
Wondering how you find out all the intricacies of DIY on your bike. For example, if I want to put on a different cassette:
1) do I need different size chain if cassette is bigger?
2) how to determine if derailleur will handle new cassette.
3) if I need #1, 2, how to figure out if my bike will be compatible.
4) Where is a good place to find all this stuff
Is there a guide out there that has been helpful to anyone? These are just some of the questions I keep running into. I don't want to rely on LBS for everything as I find all this very interesting too.
Also, when installing a cassette, is it necessary to torque? I have read that the torgue is around 50-which people have indicated would be about as hard as you could tighten anyway.
Any advice would be great. Thanks!


2016-10-19 11:35 AM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: cassettes/chains

Originally posted by Burchib Hi all, Wondering how you find out all the intricacies of DIY on your bike. For example, if I want to put on a different cassette: 1) do I need different size chain if cassette is bigger? 2) how to determine if derailleur will handle new cassette. 3) if I need #1, 2, how to figure out if my bike will be compatible. 4) Where is a good place to find all this stuff Is there a guide out there that has been helpful to anyone? These are just some of the questions I keep running into. I don't want to rely on LBS for everything as I find all this very interesting too. Also, when installing a cassette, is it necessary to torque? I have read that the torgue is around 50-which people have indicated would be about as hard as you could tighten anyway. Any advice would be great. Thanks!

1)  in most cases, no, but you might want to get a new chain with a new cassette to match the wear

2)  you should be able to check the specs of the particular RD - it does matter (e.g. short cage vs. long cage - I had to switch mine to go to 11-28 at the time)

3)  if you just replace it with the same groupset, you should be fine

4)  there are a TON of books and youtube videos on bicycle maintenance, etc.

As for the cassette, ya tighten that sucker hard.

2016-10-19 11:56 AM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: cassettes/chains
1) Maybe, but it comes down to how much of a change there is. The function of the rear derailleur (except for shifting from cog to cog...) is to take up the slack you have in the chain to accommodate the difference between large (outside) chainwheel and small (inside) chainwheel as well as difference between smallest cog on the cassette to the largest cog. More often than not, you'll be fine with existing chain (although chain is a wear part and will need to be replaced periodically and also, the chain and cassette wear in together, so replacing the chain, especially if it has some miles on it and nearing end of life when you replace the cassette makes sense).

2) The manufacturer (Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo) all state on their website what is the maximum for the short and the long (and medium, if they have that...) derailleur. That is stated in a single number. You take the number of teeth on the large chainwheel minus the small chainwheel (attached to the crank) and then add the difference between the largest cog on the cassette minus the smallest cog on the cassette. For example, if you have a compact crank with the typical 50 outer and 34 inner, combined with a 12-27 cassette, the equation would be (50-34)+(27-12)=31

3) Stay with the same manufacturer (i.e. Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo) and the same number of cogs on the cassette (11 speed has 11 cogs, 10 speed has 10 cogs etc.) and you will be fine. There's a certain overlap between Shimano and SRAM (you can use the cassettes interchangeably for example).

4) Lots and lots of places... YouTube, Park Tools, Google search etc. etc. etc.

I never used a torque wrench for the cassette, but you tighten it without cranking it down with al your might. Basically, you lock it into place, but since the rotation of the wheel is in the opposite direction of the thread, it won't spin loose.
2016-10-19 1:12 PM
in reply to: audiojan


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Subject: RE: cassettes/chains
Great information. Thanks a lot to you both for taking the time to write!
2016-10-19 3:54 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: cassettes/chains
2016-10-19 6:45 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: cassettes/chains

Just went through all of this on my bike. I upgraded from a 6sp to 8sp cassette and derailer.

I found a lot of information on this website. Some of it antiquated, some fresh. The guy was huge in the bike community and passed away, the site still seems to be kept up and current by friends and family.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

Now before we get into all the questions lets look at what you are trying to do. Typically there are 2 types of cassettes folks are looking for, Racing or Climbing. Typically racing gears are going to be close ratio and higher geared (small numbers/diameters) for speed. Climbing gears for tackling tough climbs are going to be a little more spread out and lower geared (big numbers/diameter). This will also coincide with a matching derailer, or you will end up missing some gears which maybe a acceptable sacrifice, sometimes its physically not possible since the derailer will actually crash into the larger gear diameters.

For instance my lowest gear is a 25 and my chain is already set tight, my derailer will handle a max gear of 28 and I would have to add a couple links to my chain to pull that off. If I wanted to go to say something like a 32 I would need a matching derailer and probably want a matching length chain to go with it. So its totally possible to have 2 complete setups, but just be aware you will want to change out all 3 components at once to make a smooth shifting setup. This all assumes the same speed.

1) chains will typically stay the same width within a range of speeds, although length will typically change depending on gear ratios(size) and derailer.

2) derailer will have to be the same speeds as the new cassette, also lower gears (bigger number, bigger in diameter) will require a longer derailer cage.

3) Not sure what you mean on this question other then its best to keep everything matched together.

4) Check the link I posted above and google search.

Good luck with the research, It took me some time but I was able to get my setup working flawlessly on my own without the bike shops help. I had them double check the work and change out my cassette but that was it. My upgrade was not much of a upgrade but it was what I had to work with and it did make a difference. I am able to tackle a category 1 climb on a 12-25/38-53 gear set and yet I was able to maintain 25mph over several miles with a average speed of 19.8mph over 16 miles. This is my sacrifice on a 27yr old road bike. Now I need to work on better brakes, lol!

Also this information is as I understand it and what has worked for me, so if I am not correct on something feel free to correct me.

 



2016-10-20 5:00 PM
in reply to: rjcalhoun


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Subject: RE: cassettes/chains
Thanks again everyone!
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