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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just replaced my Sram pg-990 cassette and same level chain (990 chain?) after only 1000 miles (give or take a couple hundred). I have an XTR cassette that I bought in 2003 and its still going strong, in fact I replaced the 990 cassette with this old XTR cassette until I figure out what cassette I'm gonna use for the next 1000 miles (hopefully I can get more then that!).
Is it normal for Sram cassettes to wear out faster then XT or XTR cassettes? or am I just on borrowed time with my ol' school XTR cassette? What cassette lasts the longest? I seem to be riding about 1000 miles a year and I'd like to have some of my drivetrain parts last longer then a year before replacing them. Any recommendations for the longest lasting cassette? I don't really care about weight or cost...
 

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I like Shimano cassettes more than SRAM. SRAM cassettes just seemed soft, they wore faster, shifted slower, and I even bent teeth on really badly timed shifts. I think this was on a 950 or 970 SRAM cassette.

I've since moved on to Ultegra, XT, and SLX cassettes on various bikes and havent had similar issues.
 

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People have reported issues with all types of cassettes....sometimes you get a dud, other times you get a gem.

I would have expected more life...but

How often did you replace the chain??
What lube did you use???

I've had more success with chain/cassette life of late by using Chain-L (developed and sold by one of our forum bros) and KMC chains. YMMV, but both of these products get a good report from users.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
People have reported issues with all types of cassettes....sometimes you get a dud, other times you get a gem.

I would have expected more life...but

How often did you replace the chain??
What lube did you use???

I've had more success with chain/cassette life of late by using Chain-L (developed and sold by one of our forum bros) and KMC chains. YMMV, but both of these products get a good report from users.
the chain didn't need to be replaced until last week. I use ProGold lube and I clean the chain very, very often.
 

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the chain didn't need to be replaced until last week. I use ProGold lube and I clean the chain very, very often.
So is the new chain is skipping on the old cassette. If so, I would have guessed then the chain really should have been replaced earlier. Its hard to tell with these things sometimes, but one chain to a 'normal' stretch rate shouldn't wear anywhere enough to kill a cassette.

Also check your chainrings too. Sometimes the symptoms of worn rings can be misinterpreted for bad cassette.

Ditch the progold. I've never used a lube that lasts less time in your chain than this brand. Try some Chain L if you want a protective lube.
 

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My last two 990's have been solid. On par with XT. The two SRAM 990's and the one 980 I have had over the last several years have very rarely been slow to shift between the 6 and 7 cogs. I have had them on different bikes with different derailleurs and I have never figured this problem out, but they are cheap and I replace them long before I have serious problems. I'm with dirt farmer on SRAM chains and Shimano Cassettes probably being the best shifting combo for 9 speed.
 

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My last two 990's have been solid. On par with XT. The two SRAM 990's and the one 980 I have had over the last several years have very rarely been slow to shift between the 6 and 7 cogs. I have had them on different bikes with different derailleurs and I have never figured this problem out, but they are cheap and I replace them long before I have serious problems. I'm with dirt farmer on SRAM chains and Shimano Cassettes probably being the best shifting combo for 9 speed.
Try KMC chains on Shimano cassettes with SRAM shifters. Seems so wrong but works so well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My last two 990's have been solid. On par with XT. The two SRAM 990's and the one 980 I have had over the last several years have very rarely been slow to shift between the 6 and 7 cogs. I have had them on different bikes with different derailleurs and I have never figured this problem out, but they are cheap and I replace them long before I have serious problems. I'm with dirt farmer on SRAM chains and Shimano Cassettes probably being the best shifting combo for 9 speed.
I'm trying out a KMC chain now bc that's what my LBS sells and I like to support them whenever possible. So far it's been good.

I use ProGold because they sponsor our team and give us their products to use for free. I haven't experienced any problems with the chain lube going away any quicker then any other brands I've used. But then again I clean and relube my chain once a month so maybe some other lubes last longer then a month. I dunno.

I think I'm just gonna use Shimano cassettes for the near future instead of SRAM to see if I'm able to get more life from them. Time will tell...
 

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I just replaced my Sram pg-990 cassette and same level chain (990 chain?) after only 1000 miles (give or take a couple hundred). I have an XTR cassette that I bought in 2003 and its still going strong, in fact I replaced the 990 cassette with this old XTR cassette until I figure out what cassette I'm gonna use for the next 1000 miles (hopefully I can get more then that!).
Is it normal for Sram cassettes to wear out faster then XT or XTR cassettes? or am I just on borrowed time with my ol' school XTR cassette? What cassette lasts the longest? I seem to be riding about 1000 miles a year and I'd like to have some of my drivetrain parts last longer then a year before replacing them. Any recommendations for the longest lasting cassette? I don't really care about weight or cost...
I ride winter and summer lots of salt slush muck and mud...

The XTR cassettes out last everything else I have tried by a good margin.

I use the XTR one with the TI on aluminium carriers...you can get them on sale for about $150 bucks.....they get well over three times the life of other cassettes.
 

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Try KMC chains on Shimano cassettes with SRAM shifters. Seems so wrong but works so well.
There are a lot of KMC fans on MTBR. The PC-991 chain has been great to me over the years, but I may try KMC based on the good reviews. SRAM shifters with Shimano cassettes have worked perfectly for me also. My next cassette may be an XTR if I can find one at a great price.
 

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I just replaced my Sram 1070 cassette after 2400 miles. I live and ride in NH - not the toughest conditions in the world, but a long way from the easiest.

The chain was either a Sram 1051 or 1071, and like the cassette, it also had 2400 dirt miles on it.

I never cleaned the chain. Not once. I would wipe it down after every ride, give it a slathering of Chain-L and wipe off the excess. I now believe this is key to longevity in the conditions I ride; any time I've attempted cleaning a chain I felt like I was just allowing the abrasives to work into places the lube would normally not allow. Do note that I also do not remove the factory lube from a new chain - I use a rag moistened with rubbing alcohol to remove the grease that is external, but the internal goo is your friend who doesn't like to pull aside the velvet rope for dirt.

Yes, normally I would have replaced the chain before it started damaging the cassette or rings, but after an extended period of laziness and a particularly muddy race that I wish I had skipped, the chain and cassette had become like an old couple, working perfectly together, but unable to take on new mates. That was 1400 miles ago. I'm pretty surprised my middle ring (XO) lasted this long under the load of an elongated chain, but since I had the replacement parts on hand, I wanted to see how many miles I could get out of my original drivetrain.

I believe how you maintain your stuff is more important than the brands you pick. Whatever maintenance is 'best', however, is not cut and dry and varies based on the conditions in which you ride. For example, if I regualrly rode in sandy conditions, I would probably find myself cleaning my chain on a regular basis, and I'd also expect a lot fewer miles out of my drivetrain parts since riding sand is a tough gig for a bike.

-Pete
 

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I'm trying out a KMC chain now bc that's what my LBS sells and I like to support them whenever possible. So far it's been good.

I use ProGold because they sponsor our team and give us their products to use for free. I haven't experienced any problems with the chain lube going away any quicker then any other brands I've used. But then again I clean and relube my chain once a month so maybe some other lubes last longer then a month. I dunno.

I think I'm just gonna use Shimano cassettes for the near future instead of SRAM to see if I'm able to get more life from them. Time will tell...
That's the problem right there

Probably should be every few rides at most, roadbikes you can get away with once a month. The lube will be well gone in a month of riding, hell sometimes a few hours is enough if there is water involved
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's the problem right there

Probably should be every few rides at most, roadbikes you can get away with once a month. The lube will be well gone in a month of riding, hell sometimes a few hours is enough if there is water involved
Alex, your advice is noted but I don't believe it pertains to my situation. A chain doesn't need to be thoroughly cleaned just to lube it, in fact, it's a waste of time in most of my situations. I live in the desert were rain is as rare as good advice on mtbr. I know I said I only lube it once a month but I didn't mean only lube it once a month. It's more of a discription of a thorough cleaning once a month. All I usually do is add a couple drops of lube before each ride and clean it, thoroughly, once a month.
 

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I have found SRAM and Shimano cassettes to have similar life spans across the various levels of componentry.

In general the older 7/8 speed stuff seems to last longer. Maybe it is because it is a bit heavier gauge, or maybe it can just tolerate a bit more slop before you notice it. In any case buying components made of steel will last longer than aluminum. Keep this in mind when purchasing those new chainrings and cassettes.

E

I just replaced my Sram pg-990 cassette and same level chain (990 chain?) after only 1000 miles (give or take a couple hundred). I have an XTR cassette that I bought in 2003 and its still going strong, in fact I replaced the 990 cassette with this old XTR cassette until I figure out what cassette I'm gonna use for the next 1000 miles (hopefully I can get more then that!).
Is it normal for Sram cassettes to wear out faster then XT or XTR cassettes? or am I just on borrowed time with my ol' school XTR cassette? What cassette lasts the longest? I seem to be riding about 1000 miles a year and I'd like to have some of my drivetrain parts last longer then a year before replacing them. Any recommendations for the longest lasting cassette? I don't really care about weight or cost...
 

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I have tried a few Sram cassettes and they consistently have shorter life spans than Shimano. Shimano cassettes last 1.5~2 times as long for me. That was using the same chains, same cleaning and oiling techniques, same chain replacement intervals, same riding conditions, etc.
 
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