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I honestly don't know when I replaced my cassette last. I got off the bike for a few years & all I know is the chain only had about 200 miles on it. Will the teeth take on a certain wear look or shape?
 

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Give it a crank
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Easy way: when you replace the chain, replace the cassette too.
Hard way: when the most worn cog starts skipping under power, hard to tell sometimes.
 

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Pedaler of dirt
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The teeth can start to look like a shark's fin, when ridden well past when it should have been replaced. Often a chain and cassette will wear together and it will be hard to tell the cassette is gone until you fit a new chain (which will skip off the worn cassette).
 

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Mountain Man Dan
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Just put a new chain on and if it skips on certain gears that you use a lot, then its time.

Replace your chain before 1%, replace it at 1/16th of an inch past 12" mark on ruler when measuring chain from pin to pin. You can get 2-3-4 chains per cassette replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Measured the chain, it is perfect still. Don't note any sharp looking teeth OR odd looking teeth. I'll assume it is good to go until I change out this chain next time.
 

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glad you asked this question rocky. because i had been wondering the same thing. my bike has been doing the rear gear skip thing for the past few weeks. it only skips under load. and it has been taking all the enjoyment out of my rides. was doing this even with me making sure the deraileur hanger was straight( Park tool ), adjusting the rear deraileur after each of those rides, swapping out the rear cable and guides, and thoroughly inspecting the chain for stuck links and excessive wear/stretching. so, maybe it is time to replace the cassette, cuz the skipping is really bumming me out on rides.
 

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Once you replace your chain on a regular basis a cassette will last several chains - I had an XT cassette that I used for about 4 years and thousands of miles, but as said, changed the chain before it was stretch 1/16th over 24", prob changed out 5 or 6 chains before the cassette started skipping. As to how to know when, when it starts to skip, you can also see the teeth loking rather pointed. Sometimes though it's not worn, but has worn a bit and has some burs, take a file to them and it'll be good for a bit more.
 

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Wrap around the cassette. if you can pull more than three links off the cassette while you are pushing down on the lever the cassette is worn.
 

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I honestly don't know when I replaced my cassette last. I got off the bike for a few years & all I know is the chain only had about 200 miles on it. Will the teeth take on a certain wear look or shape?
Well the kinda come pre-worn now a days...so it is pretty hard to tell by looking and the teeth...

Obviously if you see damage it is time for a new one...

Basically when my chains wear in pretty quickly...if they then wear out quickly.....time to change the cassette...
 

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My method

I like to show people their cassette is getting worn before shark toothing happens. If a cassette has shark tooth'd it's been worn for a long time and performance has taken a pretty big hit.

I use a dental pick or a sharpened spoke and see if it catches in the edge of the teeth where the load is. Simply scrap against the cassette teeth and if the pick catches on the edge the cassette is starting to wear.

Yes.... you sound like a dentist trying to describe scraping teeth with a dental pick with no video to show.
 

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Cassette wear indication

max.min, I'm intrigued by your method. Could you give a little more info and maybe a picture or two?
Sure thing.

Here you can see that I'm using a sharp point (dental pick is preferred). If the sharp point catches on the side of the tooth it is pointing to the cassette has worn.




Another common method is to attempt to "pull" the chain up from the cassette, if it lifts more than shown the cassette is worn.
 
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