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Ride it like you stole it
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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I bought a new SRAM chain. Considering I have a SRAM cassette, me being the wise guy I am I figured a SRAM chain would be the most compatiable chain to buy. Althought I had been using a Shimano XT without any problems. WRONG. The new SRAM chain I bought is not compatible with the 2004 or older SRAM cassette.

This seems ludicrous to me, not to mention there tech. specs do not mention this. After repeated trys to get it to work, I went to the MTBR equipment reviews and found that I was not the only one having this problem. So now I am back to a Shimano chain, anyone need a new SRAM chain? See the post below from the equipment post.

"Overall, it's been a great cassette. I've been beating the crap out of it for 6 months and haven't managed to bend, chip, or in any other way screw up any of the cogs (which is reasonably notable for me...). It's a bit heavy, but I'm over that. Now, here's the interesting part. The 2004 version of this, despite what is advertised, is only compatible with Shimano chains. I had to replace the OEM chain, so I put on a Sram chain (it's a Sram cassette, so it'd seem logical, right?) only to have all sorts of shifting problems and ridiculous amounts of noise. I did some investigating and finally found Sram's dealer technical publications, which listed chain compatibility as being only Shimano for this cassette (it used to be on Sram's website, but the link now leads to the 2005 technical publications). So, I put a Shimano HG-93 chain on it, and it's been great ever since. According to the 2005 technical publications, the compatibility is now Sram, but if you find a 2004 version, beware of that.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with this cassette, but I am going to knock a point off for the compatibility thing and the weight. If you need a cassette on the cheap, however, consider this.
 

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"Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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while that may be true

how is it that you've gotten a 2004 cassette to last two years? they usually last about a year give or take and you should usually change a cassette and a chain at the same time anyway.

I can understand you being upset but it's not really the end of the world that two wear items are incompatible and will both have to replaced soon anyway........

YR
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Yeti_Rider said:
and you should usually change a cassette and a chain at the same time anyway.
No, change your chain more frequently and the cassette will last longer.

Not only that, but how many products sit on the shelf for a year, or are bought online and could be more than a year old. Chain wear is exactly what causes the cassette to wear out.
 

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Ride it like you stole it
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Discussion Starter #4
Follow up

I normally change my chain every 3-6 months, I was in Europe for the last four years, the rain and mud played havoc on components there.

Just a note, I changed out the cassette this morning as well, all is running smooth. I suppose the point of the post is that a normal reasonable person would expect components from the same company to be compatible

Jayem said:
No, change your chain more frequently and the cassette will last longer.

Not only that, but how many products sit on the shelf for a year, or are bought online and could be more than a year old. Chain wear is exactly what causes the cassette to wear out.
 

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drewwski123 said:
I suppose the point of the post is that a normal reasonable person would expect components from the same company to be compatible
A normal reasonable person who knew anything at all about what is involved in making entire product lines of mechanical systems wouldn't think this at all. Can I take a piston from my 4cyl toyota engine and plunk it into my 6cyl engine? No. Can I take last years RAM plunk it into this years computer? They're both from the same MFG, why not? A normal, reasonable person would expect to check compatibility before they buy parts for something.

MFG's could easily make all the parts they make compatible. It'd certainly be cheaper for them. But after a thousand generations of fully compatible mechanisms, your 1000th generation system would work only marginally better than your 1st. Compatibility is inversely proportional to innovation.

And anyway, if you think Shimanos stuff is all inter-compat, you haven't even scratched the surface.
 

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LBS Manager
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I agree

Inovation will always lead to incopatability problems and I think Sram has done well in redeisgning every thing for this year to finaly be a complete group. It would have been nice if they listed on their web site what was compatable with what though.
 

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"Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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so, then

Jayem said:
Chain wear is exactly what causes the cassette to wear out.
if you changed your chain once a week then your cassette would last indefinitely?

cassettes wear out because there is metal to metal contact between the cassette and chain links. add some dirt, mud, grunge, and other not so lubricious materials and you've got chain and cassette wear happening simultaneously. Not one because of the other.

granted, changing a chain more frequently will increase the interval between cassette changes but they're both wear items and need reasonably frequent replacement based on how often you ride and what the riding conditions are like. if you never hit mud then you're equipment would last substantially longer than somebody in B.C. who's flogging through puddles all day every day.

YR
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Yeti_Rider said:
if you changed your chain once a week then your cassette would last indefinitely?


Are you really that dim or are you trying to be funny?

Chains stretch with use. That stretched chain then forces the teeth on the cassette to conform, that is where the wear comes from. If you change the chain as you stated in the post above, it would still obviously wear out from contaminants and the metal wear that was still occuring, but chain stretch will kill a cassette much faster than those things, and it's the primary reason that chains wear out.
 

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ballbuster
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Uh... No

You failed to mention the specific problem you are having.

If your cassette is worn, a new chain will skip like mad. I had the same issue. If you let the chain wear past it's limits, and continue to ride, it will kill your cassette. It will widen the space between the teeth.

Of course it still works fine with no problems. That is, until you decide you need a new chain. The new chain will not have the same pitch as the worn cassette, so the chain will jump off the cogs when under torque.

SRAM stuff is perfectly compatable with Shimano stuff. I've been running a mix of Shimano and SRAM for the last 6 years, and never had a compatability issue. As long as you get 9 speed stuff together, or 8/7 speed stuff together you won't have any compatability problems. They are all 1/2" pitch chains. The only difference is the chain width and spacing between the cogs. Shimano and SRAM use the same industry standards. The only exception is SRAMs X derailleurs use a 1:1 cable pull ratio, while Attack use the Shimano 2:1 pull ratio, so you have to use the correct shifters with derailleurs,... And Dura Ace Shimano road stuff uses their own cable pull ratio, so you have to use Dura Ace shifters with Dura Ace derailleurs.

I dunno who you talked to at SRAM, but they should have mentioned the wear issue.

BTW, does Drunk Cyclist himself, Big Jonny know you are counterfitting his bracelets? He may not take too kindly to that.
 

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Ride it like you stole it
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Discussion Starter #10
No comparison

Cloud9 your comparing apples to oranges. We are talking about two systems that are virtually the same and I assumed most people have enterchanged these components quite often. If you read my entire initial post, you will see that a SRAM component(cassette) requires a Shimano component(chain) to work. I have built many bikes, and changed many cassettes(you will know when your cassette needs to be changed, regardless of age or chain usage), but I have never ran into a compatibility problem with a cassette and chain before. I hope that this post helps to inform others that might run into the same problem. I wasn't trying to start a discussion on the proper changing times for cassettes.

Happy Trails. Drew

Cloud9 said:
A normal reasonable person who knew anything at all about what is involved in making entire product lines of mechanical systems wouldn't think this at all. Can I take a piston from my 4cyl toyota engine and plunk it into my 6cyl engine? No. Can I take last years RAM plunk it into this years computer? They're both from the same MFG, why not? A normal, reasonable person would expect to check compatibility before they buy parts for something.

MFG's could easily make all the parts they make compatible. It'd certainly be cheaper for them. But after a thousand generations of fully compatible mechanisms, your 1000th generation system would work only marginally better than your 1st. Compatibility is inversely proportional to innovation.

And anyway, if you think Shimanos stuff is all inter-compat, you haven't even scratched the surface.
 

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ballbuster
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Did SRAM tell you this?

drewwski123 said:
Cloud9 your comparing apples to oranges. We are talking about two systems that are virtually the same and I assumed most people have enterchanged these components quite often. If you read my entire initial post, you will see that a SRAM component(cassette) requires a Shimano component(chain) to work. I have built many bikes, and changed many cassettes(you will know when your cassette needs to be changed, regardless of age or chain usage), but I have never ran into a compatibility problem with a cassette and chain before. I hope that this post helps to inform others that might run into the same problem. I wasn't trying to start a discussion on the proper changing times for cassettes.

Happy Trails. Drew
... and again, what is your actual problem? Chain skipping? ghost shifting? no shifting? Please, for the love of God, tell us!
 

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pimpbot said:
The only exception is SRAMs X derailleurs use a 1:1 cable pull ratio, while Attack use the Shimano 2:1 pull ratio, so you have to use the correct shifters with derailleurs,... And Dura Ace Shimano road stuff uses their own cable pull ratio, so you have to use Dura Ace shifters with Dura Ace derailleurs.
The correct pull ratios are actually 1.7:1 for Shimano and 1.1:1 for Sram (60% difference, not 100%). Dura Ace stopped using the non-standard 1.9:1 pull ratio in 1997. Every D/A group since then uses the current standard 1.7:1 pull ratio. The D/A derailleurs still have the provision to route the cable alternately to make them compatible with old 1.9:1 shifters.
 

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pimpbot said:
You failed to mention the specific problem you are having.

If your cassette is worn, a new chain will skip like mad. I had the same issue. If you let the chain wear past it's limits, and continue to ride, it will kill your cassette. It will widen the space between the teeth.

Of course it still works fine with no problems. That is, until you decide you need a new chain. The new chain will not have the same pitch as the worn cassette, so the chain will jump off the cogs when under torque.

SRAM stuff is perfectly compatable with Shimano stuff. I've been running a mix of Shimano and SRAM for the last 6 years, and never had a compatability issue. As long as you get 9 speed stuff together, or 8/7 speed stuff together you won't have any compatability problems. They are all 1/2" pitch chains. The only difference is the chain width and spacing between the cogs. Shimano and SRAM use the same industry standards. The only exception is SRAMs X derailleurs use a 1:1 cable pull ratio, while Attack use the Shimano 2:1 pull ratio, so you have to use the correct shifters with derailleurs,... And Dura Ace Shimano road stuff uses their own cable pull ratio, so you have to use Dura Ace shifters with Dura Ace derailleurs.

I dunno who you talked to at SRAM, but they should have mentioned the wear issue.

BTW, does Drunk Cyclist himself, Big Jonny know you are counterfitting his bracelets? He may not take too kindly to that.
pimp is spot on here...i had a ghost shift like mad...got a brand new chain and went through adjusting derrailer...could not get it to work, gear 5 just would not hold...took it to lbs, he put on a different cassette and bingo, can shift to all the cogs no problem....the old chain i took off had 2500 miles on it...the chain made a change to the cassette as already mentioned...should have changed the chain more frequently, then would not have had to get new cassette

if you can afford it...replace both chain and cassette if you put a lot of miles on them
 

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adamantane said:
pimp is spot on here...i had a ghost shift like mad...got a brand new chain and went through adjusting derrailer...could not get it to work, gear 5 just would not hold...took it to lbs, he put on a different cassette and bingo, can shift to all the cogs no problem....the old chain i took off had 2500 miles on it...the chain made a change to the cassette as already mentioned...should have changed the chain more frequently, then would not have had to get new cassette

if you can afford it...replace both chain and cassette if you put a lot of miles on them
A cassette's supposed to last 2 chain changes, that's it. Its efimerous like a butterfly....
 

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Mesure the chain!!

Regardless of miles time or conditions of use. A new chain will measure 12 inches from one end of a link or a pin to one at 12 inches. Rule of thumb: if the chain measures 12 1/8 inch or less; you can just replace the chain. If the chain measeures 12 1/4 or more you must replace the chain and cassette.
 

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"Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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gah

Jayem said:
Are you really that dim or are you trying to be funny?

Chains stretch with use. That stretched chain then forces the teeth on the cassette to conform, that is where the wear comes from. If you change the chain as you stated in the post above, it would still obviously wear out from contaminants and the metal wear that was still occuring, but chain stretch will kill a cassette much faster than those things, and it's the primary reason that chains wear out.
not worth the effort to explain that chains don't technically stretch but wear and that other forces cause a cassette to wear beyond just chain wear. neither one is exclusive to causing a cassette to wear out. contaminants AND chain wear are culprits and it depends on the conditions.

first, if you used a new chain every day but were constantly in your small big gear combo (tons o torque), you're large cog on the cassette is going to wear out beacuase A) there's METAL TO METAL contact and B) you're generating tons of torgue for extended periods of time which is going to wear the holy fock out of a cassette. where does chain "stretch" factor into this? it doesn't!

second, if you used a new chain every day and rode in mud and other grunge you're going to essentially sand your cassette to nothing even thought the chain has still not "stretched" if this scenario doesn't cause wear, then add a cup of sand to your engine block and see how well your cylinders handle it...............

So, forces other than chain wear cause a cassette to wear out.

Next, factor in economics. Bear with me 'cuz I'm a bit dim now.........an XT cassette costs $75.00 (www.pricepoint.com). an XTR goes for twice that but let's assume most of us are cheap bastards and recognize that an XT and an XTR cassette both perform equally so we don't pony up the extra coin for the bling. If you're a SRAM guy, then a PG 990 costs $60 so you're getting a bargain.

Now, look at chains. a Shimano XT chain will cost you $23 while an XTR will run $25. A SRAM PC 69 (kinda low end on the chain spectrum) will run $20 while a PC 990 will run $40.

So, let's look at the SRAM scenario first. I can pay $60 for a cassette and cheap out at $20 for a chain. I can then accept the fact that I should replace my chain periodically to get more cassette life. the break even point then is to only replace ONE chain before I buy a new chain and a CASSETTE! it doesn't benefit me to limit wear on the cassette if it then costs me more in chains. if I run a PC 990 chain then I should never buy a new chain to prolong cassette life. it doesn't make sense economically.

the Shimano scenario is essentially the same unless you're running XTR in which case it may be cheaper to buy a couple more chains before replacing the cassette but teh end result is still hte same..........buying new chains with more frequency to eliminate wear on the cassette still costs you more money in the long run AND YOUR CASSETTE STILL WEARS OUT.

I need to go learn me up some though becuase I"m apparently too dim to believe your statements 100% becuase you read them in a magazine or heard them in a bike shop and those sources must always be right.

Y "if I read it on the internet it must be true" R
 

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Start slow and taper off
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Yeti_Rider said:
not worth the effort to explain that chains don't technically stretch but wear and that other forces cause a cassette to wear beyond just chain wear. neither one is exclusive to causing a cassette to wear out. contaminants AND chain wear are culprits and it depends on the conditions.

I need to go learn me up some though becuase I"m apparently too dim to believe your statements 100% becuase you read them in a magazine or heard them in a bike shop and those sources must always be right.

Y "if I read it on the internet it must be true" R
Chains do "stretch", though, as well as wear. Have you ever put a really used chain next to a brand new one? Match them up exactly, then see how the links on the used chain end up not matching up with the new chain. I've seen chains worn to the point where its almost like an extra link compared to the new chain. And yes, I've made sure to count the links. Its a combo of the metal getting a little "longer" over time, and the holes in the links stretching open a bit, but its always been refered to as chain stretch.

Thats how chain wear tools work as well, by essentially measuring the length of a specific point of chain. If there is a lot of wear (ie stretch), they measure that (depending on the brand tool, either by having the pins match up with a hole, ie good through replace--and the pins match up because they chain is now longer than when new, or measuring the space inbetween the rollers)

More often than not, though, chains and cassettes wear together. Replace a chain often enough, and you will prolong the life of the cassette. I've seen cassettes last way longer than you think on riders bikes who ride a lot, simply because they're fanatical about changing chains.
 

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"Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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they didn't "stretch"

neveride said:
Chains do "stretch", though, as well as wear. Have you ever put a really used chain next to a brand new one? Match them up exactly, then see how the links on the used chain end up not matching up with the new chain. I've seen chains worn to the point where its almost like an extra link compared to the new chain. And yes, I've made sure to count the links. Its a combo of the metal getting a little "longer" over time, and the holes in the links stretching open a bit, but its always been refered to as chain stretch.

Thats how chain wear tools work as well, by essentially measuring the length of a specific point of chain. If there is a lot of wear (ie stretch), they measure that (depending on the brand tool, either by having the pins match up with a hole, ie good through replace--and the pins match up because they chain is now longer than when new, or measuring the space inbetween the rollers)

More often than not, though, chains and cassettes wear together. Replace a chain often enough, and you will prolong the life of the cassette. I've seen cassettes last way longer than you think on riders bikes who ride a lot, simply because they're fanatical about changing chains.

in the sense that the metel didn't just become longer. the pins that hold the links together wore down allowing clearance to develop. over the entire length of chain, this clearance creates a poor fit and the links will seem longer resulting in a chain that also seems longer. But, the chain didn't actually stretch (as in, you can stretch a rubber band) but the chain suffered from wear and that wear caused a poor fit between mating parts. since I'm dim, I don't know the technical jargon but I'd have to fathom a guess that the tolerance between pins decreased and over the length of a chain that decrease allows an out of specification situation.

as I stated earlier. chains don't actually stretch. it's a misuse of the term.

From the godfather of the bicycle, www.sheldonbrown.com

Chain "Stretch"

Cyclists often speak of chain "stretch", as if the side plates of an old chain were pulled out of shape by the repeated stresses of pedaling. This is not actually how chains elongate. The major cause of chain "stretch" is wearing away of the metal where the rivet rotates inside of the bushing (or the "bushing" part of the inside plate) as the chain links flex and straighten as the chain goes onto and off of the sprockets. If you take apart an old, worn out chain, you can easily see the little notches worn into the sides of the rivets by the inside edges of the bushings. With bushingless chains, the inside edge of the side plate hole that rubs against the rivet has a smooth radius instead of a sharp corner. This probably contributes to the greater durability of bushingless chains.


and you don't need a tool to measure it, you just need a ruler.

also from sheldon.....

Measuring Chain Wear

The standard way to measure chain wear is with a ruler or steel tape measure. This can be done without removing the chain from the bicycle. The normal technique is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of the ruler exactly in the middle of one rivet, then looking at the corresponding rivet 12 complete links away. On a new, unworn chain, this rivet will also line up exactly with an inch mark. With a worn chain, the rivet will be past the inch mark.

YR
 

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Start slow and taper off
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Yeti_Rider said:
in the sense that the metel didn't just become longer. the pins that hold the links together wore down allowing clearance to develop. over the entire length of chain, this clearance creates a poor fit and the links will seem longer resulting in a chain that also seems longer. But, the chain didn't actually stretch (as in, you can stretch a rubber band) but the chain suffered from wear and that wear caused a poor fit between mating parts. since I'm dim, I don't know the technical jargon but I'd have to fathom a guess that the tolerance between pins decreased and over the length of a chain that decrease allows an out of specification situation.

as I stated earlier. chains don't actually stretch. it's a misuse of the term.

From the godfather of the bicycle, www.sheldonbrown.com

Chain "Stretch"

Cyclists often speak of chain "stretch", as if the side plates of an old chain were pulled out of shape by the repeated stresses of pedaling. This is not actually how chains elongate. The major cause of chain "stretch" is wearing away of the metal where the rivet rotates inside of the bushing (or the "bushing" part of the inside plate) as the chain links flex and straighten as the chain goes onto and off of the sprockets. If you take apart an old, worn out chain, you can easily see the little notches worn into the sides of the rivets by the inside edges of the bushings. With bushingless chains, the inside edge of the side plate hole that rubs against the rivet has a smooth radius instead of a sharp corner. This probably contributes to the greater durability of bushingless chains.


and you don't need a tool to measure it, you just need a ruler.

also from sheldon.....

Measuring Chain Wear

The standard way to measure chain wear is with a ruler or steel tape measure. This can be done without removing the chain from the bicycle. The normal technique is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of the ruler exactly in the middle of one rivet, then looking at the corresponding rivet 12 complete links away. On a new, unworn chain, this rivet will also line up exactly with an inch mark. With a worn chain, the rivet will be past the inch mark.

YR
Yeah, I know all this, but even sheldon refers to it as "stretch", if only in quotes. The chain is longer, so it stretched, regardless as to whether the metal stretched or play developed. Just like cable don't stretch (housing compresses) but its still refered to as cable stretch. You're splitting hairs regarding commonly used terms, and with the chain, it comes down an interpretation of what stretch means. One definition according to websters is "to extend in length" which is what happens to the chain, meaning, its not really a misuse of the term, but a misinterpretation of what someone is referring to as stretch. But again, splitting hairs.

Regardless, replacing a chain more often means a cassette will last longer.
And when you work in a shop, as I used to, its a whole lot simply to line up a chain tool than mark a chain, at least if you work in a shop where the tools are in the right place. :D
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Gilboy said:
Regardless of miles time or conditions of use. A new chain will measure 12 inches from one end of a link or a pin to one at 12 inches. Rule of thumb: if the chain measures 12 1/8 inch or less; you can just replace the chain. If the chain measeures 12 1/4 or more you must replace the chain and cassette.
From working on and changing out chains on said bikes, damage to the cassette occurs past 1/16th of stretch. Somewhere between 1/32 and 1/16th is where you should replace it. I inform customers that bring in bikes with chains stretched to 1/16th or more that they may have to buy the new cassette and front rings in addition to the chain. It's on a case-by-case basis, but I'd never let a chain go past 1/16th
 
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