Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

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Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby boss » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:34 am

Hi all,

Another wheel/cassette question.

First time I've had a couple of sets of wheels for one bike, and I have set the wheels up with their own cassette. Both 11-28t.

For others in a similar situation, do you also have separate chains for each wheel? What kinda bad stuff do you run into if you only run a single chain across multiple cassettes?

Thanks.
Last edited by boss on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:02 am

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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby bosvit » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:02 am

I prefer to keep the same cassette and chain together.

If I am changing wheels eg training/racing I either swap the cassette between the two or normally change the chain, which gives you a good chance to give it a good clean (both bike and chain).

Everyone is different you just need to find what suits you and if the extra effort is worth it in your opinion.
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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby jules21 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:40 am

i don't bother with multiple chains, just ensure the chain doesn't stretch past 1/16".

i also build up cassettes - most of mine wear mostly on 3-4 cogs only so i just replace those. i buy high ratio MTB cassettes and low ratio road ones, which means that after 'cherry picking' the replacement cogs, i can combine the unused cogs on the donor cassettes and make a single, new cassette. i do this on my training/commuter bikes which run Tiagra level stuff, but no reason why it can't work on higher level equipment - although i have a SRAM Red cassette which looks like a solid block to me.
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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby reefer » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:50 am

Two sets of wheels with their own cassette (11-25 & 11-28).

One chain.

No problems. :D
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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby Clintoo » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:41 pm

I find the same. 11-23 and 11-25 on a compact chainset, uses the same length chain.

but I do maintain 3 chains. every 500kms or so I swap in a new chain and give the chain and cassette a bath in a cheap ultrasonic cleaner I bought off ebay.

always buy the sram chains as you get the powerlink. I run sram on my campag roadie too.
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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:09 pm

Not sure what the reasoning is for having multiple chains, Ive been around cycle racing for decades and no-one I know does this. Maybe someone can explain?
Personally my young bloke has
Disc wheel with 11-21
Zipp 404 with 11-23
Enve with 12-26 and a 12-29 climbing cassette
Fulcrum 3s with 12-25
I just swap wheels or cassettes as required for training /racing. Replace the one and only chain every 6 months.
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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby handle » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:29 pm

I have a collection of Shimano wheels of various types, all 10 spd, mix of DA/Ultegra clusters. Wear on the clusters varies from practically none to a few thousand km - visually noticeable but nothing extreme.
If I had to swap chains when I swapped wheels that would be a PITA and I don't think I could be bothered. As per DD's comment, I just use one chain per bike.
Previously used 7800/7900 chain, but recently went to 9000 chain. So smooth & quiet! The only time I take a chain off is when it's going in the bin - I use joining pin not quicklinks.
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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby nezumi » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:12 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Not sure what the reasoning is for having multiple chains, Ive been around cycle racing for decades and no-one I know does this. Maybe someone can explain?
Personally my young bloke has
Disc wheel with 11-21
Zipp 404 with 11-23
Enve with 12-26 and a 12-29 climbing cassette
Fulcrum 3s with 12-25
I just swap wheels or cassettes as required for training /racing. Replace the one and only chain every 6 months.


In the OP's case I'd think it was unneccesary as the cassettes are the same size.

In the case of your young bloke, I would have though that the difference in cassette size might cause an issue? Do you size the chain to the 29 tooth climbing cassette?
I think that the general rational is that if you run a small cassette only, you can reduce the amount of "give" in the chain, whereas if you run a larger cassette you need to allow more room.
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Re: Multiple wheels/cassettes - multiple chains too?

Postby KGB » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:00 pm

For the OP: go with your normal chain maintaining routine. There is 100 different opinions and methods that you'll get told are the best ways to do it.

Personally, whatever chain routine you choose, I'd try and "even out" the mileage on each cassette to keep them roughly on par in terms of wear. Eg swap them over from race to training wheel every 6 months or something.
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