General Question

emilyrose's avatar

Does getting a new bike chain require getting a new cassete?

Asked by emilyrose (2269points) July 24th, 2008

My chain was making a horrible noise and no amount of cleaning or lubing was making a difference. I finally caved and went to a shop and the mechanic who helped me said my chain was really stretched out and that I needed a new one. Then his manager said I also needed a new cassette, but they didn’t have one that matched my old one, and I didn’t want a smaller one, so I said, no thanks. Then I was hanging out with a mechanic friend last night and she said I probably didn’t need a new chain and I definitely don’t need a new cassette. I am having some shifting issues now (very difficult to get the chain in the center front chain ring but it eventually works), but the offending sound is gone although there is a NEW squeak. Obviously I need to go back to a different shop, but if anyone has any ideas about things I should ask about that would help. The guys I talked to yesterday were perplexed and kept thinking that the sound I was referring to was the chain hitting the derailleur which it wasn’t, it was a squeaky sound.

FYI the chain was a little over a year old. I ride 99% of days, and as of late probably average 80–100+ miles a week and lots of hills.

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3 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Sounds like you do put a lot of wear & tear on the thing. If you’re averaging 80 mi./week for 50 weeks of the year, that’s 4,000 miles you’ve logged.

Chains do indeed stretch and need to be replaced regularly.

Cassettes and the big sprockets up front can have their teeth worn down, especially if the chain is ill-fitting. So it’s certainly possible that replacement there is warranted, too.

Find a shop you can trust. Keep receipts of the work done. In my experience, the repair of a single item might need multiple visits to allow the mechanic to get everything dialed in just right. Especially around shifting, as cables stretch, need proper tension, and derailleurs need to be aligned just so, etc.

emilyrose's avatar

Thanks, yeah wear and tear is definitely true in this case! It’s the only functioning bike I have at the moment and I use it to commute AND for my weekend rides. It’s a steel touring bike with a rack which has gotten ridiculous on my long rides so I am now road bike shopping. FUN!!!!

emilyrose's avatar

Update: Went to the store where I bought my bike and he fiddled with things and its all good now. New sqeak= my cleats!!

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