a question for geared riders
  • How often do you change your cogs/chain?

    I started this job on my touring bike back in September and quickly realised I was fucking up the components (it survived 1 month roundtrip to spain but less than a month in London almost destroyed it!). I bought a cheapo fixed but lent that t someone who destroyed it in a collision so now I'm on my backup hybrid.

    I bought a new chain/cassette setup and after a month it's starting to skip/grind and looks like it's on its way out.

    I've read/heard from others that if you're working every day on a geared setup you're looking at replacing the cassette and chain every 2 months? That's effectively a tax of 60 quid every 2 months?

    Would it be worth getting one of those singlespeed conversion jobbies? What is the most durable singlespeed kit/tensioner? Or would the use of a 9 speed thin chain still be the weak link in this setup?

    cheers!
  • Cheap Shimano cassettes and chains, usually bought on sale for around 30 quid per set. Keep going ok for around 3 months, sometimes longer. I mostly use 2 out of 9 gears and use them until the teeth start falling off.

    Before that, on 8speed setup, replacement was a bit cheaper, but lasted shorter, so narrow chain isn't a factor in my opinion.

    Add bottom brackets to expenses (one in every 3 months).
    I usually don't buy the cheapest bog standard kit, but one step up, slightly more expensive, allways when there is a sale and often stock up for emergencies.

    If you spend 60quid on chain/cassette then you buy too expensive kit which gives you no real advantage in this job, and usually lasts same time as cheaper bits. Or you shop in the wrong place.

    Singlespeed conversion would last roughly same time, single sprocket replacement is a bit cheaper I think. Still I think 8/9 speed single sprockets are more expensive then 1/8 inch.

    But the component prices (especially road) are taken out of somebody's arse and just fucking ridiculous IMHO. It's probably snobs in Rapha jerseys and wannabe pro's ruining the market since cycling became fashionable. Or maybe I just hate them for trying to race me all the time and sometimes beating me, fucking lycra twats :)
  • A new bottom bracket every three months? You'd get longer than that if you just whacked a hunk of Tesco vintage mature West Country cheddar in there.
  • Don't buy cheap shit!
  • Almost 90kilos(6'4") without clothes and the rest of kit, 175mm cranks, I tend to mash on the pedals standing a lot. I don't know, but I'm just killing the poor bastards in no time.

    Never experienced more expensive drivetrain to last significantly longer in my case.
    At least not significantly longer to pay twice the price or more. And for what? To have the bike 240g lighter? What difference does it make to me? Takes 3 seconds off my climb up Theobalds Rd? Fuck snobbery, it's a working bike, not a cure for midlife crisis or something to wank over it.

    Never said it's the only way to go, but it works for me. I don't buy the cheapest but one or two steps up, when on sale. Economically viable I call it. If you call spending 60 quid for 1 month of work and a trip to Spain a good deal...

    If I wasn't commuting 10 miles one way over some fucking hills, I'd probably switched to single speed anyway. But then staying geared gives me chance to humiliate ambitious Team Sky wannabes now and then. On my 12kg steel cx beast of a bike equipped with worn out cheap shit components.

    Right, I admit: I'm in my thirthies and have midlife crisis... And I wank too much... Will I go blind from it? /sob.../
  • Body weight must play a huge part in it. I'm a whippet thin shortarse 65kgs and it took me 6 months on circuit to knacker the drivetrain on the first bike I couriered on - an EBC revolution hybrid with OK-but-not-amazing parts (went over to fixed after that so no other comparisons to make) and I've yet to end a BB in spite of some pretty rough riding.
  • Probably a combination of my weight, long cranks, mashing high gears and generally crap riding style and specifics of the cirquit where heavy parcels are a daily occurence (personal record 20kg, but 10-15 isn't uncommon). Sometimes I look and feel like a fucking donkey, or an ass to put it better.

    Personally I believe that manufactures drop the quality of metal in bearings and sprockets in regular intervals since a long time, simultaneusly increasing retail price because:
    -it saves factory cost and bumps up profit
    -forces users to buy more often, bumping up profit
    Same as the on car market, estimated wear time is much less than it used to be. Welcome to the first world and swallow the effects of consumptionism.

    Snobbery in road circles also must have some effect on the market. How to explain the fact that most road components is at least 50% more expensive than mtb/hybrid equivalent?

    Anyway, if others mentioned aparently change drivetrain every couple of months, my three don't look too bad in comparison. Buy cheap shit!

    dOus, did you include service labour in the price of your parts or you do it yourself. That also plays a part in the overall maintenance cost.
  • Climb up Theobalds Road?
  • Ride fixed or die skint.
  • Edit.
    Die skint but ride skint and fixed.
  • Up Clerkenwell in direction of Theobalds of course. Dementia praecox.
    Ride chainless. New fad.
  • Cheers for your views.

    My prices are sans labour but they are pricey i guess because I just walked into the closest cycle surgery/evans or whatever.

    The hybrid is a heavy piece of shit but being a heavyish guy the wider tires saves me money on tubes. I've been getting pinch flats on my fixed with 23c tires twice a day every time I hit cobbles. Only had one puncture since making the switch
  • I only get pinch flats from failed bunny hops on kerbs (every fucking time :) tried higher pressure?
    Buy cheap shite/cheddar cheese off internet. Stock up, saves your money protects you from famine.
    Ride pressureless, no pinch flats.
  • Geared you only use 2 or 3 gears 95% of the time. When these wear out the whole cassette is junk. I switched to single free as a result. Less weight, less friction, no mechs in the rear wheel, no dropped chains, cheaper to replace.... better all round.
    In those days the hub was threaded so I used a BMX single free and chain. They are stronger and dont stretch as quickly so dont wear so fast. Not too expensive either.
    Assuming you are on a Shitmano freehub you can get splined sprockets and spacer kits from loads of places. Dont buy DMR sprockets they're made of old digestives. I got sprockets from a guy in the US with a wide seat so they wont notch the freehub. @ £20 inc postage in 7000 series alloy. Homebrewed components will make you any size and spline you want but are more expensive and he takes ages to make your order.
    Use an 8 speed chain, 1/4", it wont stretch as quickly and is cheaper than 9/10 speed.
    I'd try Condor they are big on S/S gear.
    Get a singlespeed frame, tensioners are crap and will either drop your chain or stick in the wheel over the rough.
    The investment in a Chris King headset and BB will repay long term. Cheap bearings will pit and break up quickly. £20 every 3 months adds up to 1x Chris King head set in under a year if you buy direct from the US. Likewise the BB. Cheap cranks, pedals and drive chain makes more sense. Grit and water wears this stuff at the same rate no matter who makes it.
    Over sized innertubes help to stop pinch flats. Never had much bother with them on 23c's doing this, even in Edinburgh: cobble city.
  • If you're looking to cut out drive train wear and ride silent then theres always the belt drive system. Pricy though.
    Look on the Nicolai site for details
    Needs a specific frame as the belt cant be separated to fit.
  • So pretty useless for 99.99% of people. good advice karrimor.

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