Chain and cassette life?

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
I am wondering how long chains and cassettes are lasting for ebike riders. I would guess the type of riding, dirt vs road and hills vs flats plays into the equation significantly.
I have 5,500 km on my Vado 4.0 with the original chain and cassette. Shifting is still spot on so I expect to go 10,000km on the chain. I clean and lube the chain every 500km or so. Also I have only been caught in the rain a couple of times. After the rain I always clean and lube the chain.
I ride mainly in eco mode except for hills where I will switch to turbo.
So how is everyone else doing?
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
you need to get a chain checker. I got sa max of 3000 miles on my chain thats with weekly wipe down and relive with a dry lube that keeps it clean and careful shifting. usually 2000 to 2500 is more normal. if you don't let the chain go past .5 then you can get a lot on the cassette I have almost 10,000 miles on my first cassette and 5 chains. being in eco helps a lot of course.
 
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Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
I ride in much uglier conditions than most of you, so even with cleaning and lubing the chain every few days (every other day on long trips) I find myself getting about 1000 miles on a chain, sometimes less. And I replace the sprockets (I don't have a cassette) every 4000 miles.
 

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
you need to get a chain checker. I got sa max of 300 miles on my chain thats with weekly wipe down and relive with a dry lube that keeps it clean and careful shifting. usually 2000 to 2500 is more normal. if you don't let the chain go past .5 then you can get a lot on the cassette I have almost 10,000 miles on my first cassette and 5 chains. being in eco helps a lot of course.
Just ordered one but because the shifting is so good I suspect the chain has plenty of life in it. I’ll let you know once it arrives.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If it is more than .5 and you pop on a new chain it will not shift right and will make crunching noises and skip. That is because you did not change it soon enough and gaps between the teeth of the cassette have become too large. Then you will need a new cassette also. I put a new chain on one of my go to rides recently that was shifting fine but was at .5. Now it is not shifting quite right because of the worn cassette. I will ride it anyway and replace the cassette and chain together later in the season.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I would not replace the whole cassette, I always replace just a cog.
They're available on AliExpress, I use ZTTO and quality seems to be pretty much the same as Shimano.. from my experience anyways
 
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Johnny

Well-Known Member
I ride in much uglier conditions than most of you, so even with cleaning and lubing the chain every few days (every other day on long trips) I find myself getting about 1000 miles on a chain, sometimes less. And I replace the sprockets (I don't have a cassette) every 4000 miles.
Give waxing a try, here is my thread ebike lubes it made a big difference in chain life in my mid drives and I have tried many different lubes.

Conditions and where you ride makes a big difference. Waxing in many conditions keeps the chains clean.

There is also the issue of miles not being a good measure for chain wear measurement. Under the same load and conditions other than grade, climbing at 10mph will give half the miles compared to keeping an average speed of 20 mph.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Give waxing a try, here is my thread ebike lubes it made a big difference in chain life in my mid drives and I have tried many different lubes.

Conditions and where you ride makes a big difference. Waxing in many conditions keeps the chains clean.

There is also the issue of miles not being a good measure for chain wear measurement. Under the same load and conditions other than grade, climbing at 10mph will give half the miles compared to keeping an average speed of 20 mph.
It is so true about climbs. I love climbs. On Thursday we did 3,800 feet of climbs over a 40-mile Wine Country ride and had headwinds from both the SF Bay on one long leg and from the Pacific on another. Climbs and headwinds amount to about the same thing regarding chain life on a mid-drive. Because I do climbs with big winds I use all my gears and the cogs all need replacing, not just the high gear.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
If it is more than .5 and you pop on a new chain it will not shift right and will make crunching noises and skip. That is because you did not change it soon enough and gaps between the teeth of the cassette have become too large. Then you will need a new cassette also. I put a new chain on one of my go to rides recently that was shifting fine but was at .5. Now it is not shifting quite right because of the worn cassette. I will ride it anyway and replace the cassette and chain together later in the season.
I had two chains make it to .75 the first one I had was fine around 1000 miles then at 1200 it was a little over .75 but no shifting issues and the last one was right at .75 at 2000 miles again no notice of shifting issues. thats why you cant use that as reference.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
So this is what I always get.

I don't know about you guys, but when I check my cassette, I noticed that 11T (the smallest cog) is the only one that needs replacing.
This is the second bike I made electric a few years ago. It had a small chainring and a BBS01. It ate the smallest cog very quickly and I couldn't get the SRAM replacement, if there is one for a nine-speed. A new cassette and chain was the way to go and I sold it to start making better and better builds. It had an asymmetric chain stay, hence the small chainring, so it would not rub the frame. If you are warring the smallest cog maybe getting a larger chainring could help distribute the load.
 

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rich c

Well-Known Member
3,500 miles on Haibike Trekking for chains, 7,000 miles and still going on original cassette.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Like a lot of riders, I installed DNP 11T-28T freewheels for more gear inches. DNP has a repuation for wearing out. The first two went on our 20" folders. One lasted about 3200 miles before the pawls wore out last summer. The second one wore out this week, as that bike topped 3000 miles. Almost like clockwork, I guess. Same problem. Worn pawls and it skipped like mad.

So DNP's reputation continues. No big deal. I had read the history. so I shouldn't be surprised. Lore has it that Shimano dropped the 11T freewheels because they couldn't make them strong enough, so this is the only game in town. I bought a replacement last summer and just bought another today. Ha. Counting the two busted ones, I own five.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
My first chain failed the park test @ 5000 miles but the shimano 8 spd cassette is fine @ 7000 miles. KMC chain both OEM & replacment, nothing special about it. The new chain is plated since the bike sits in the rain frequently. I oil biweekly with 5 W non-detergent oil and only clean the chain if I get string or johnsten grass stems in it. The dirt migrates to the takeup wheel where I scrape it off as a sludge. I have a hub motor & ride unpowered 80% of the time. Loads are often 280-330 lb gross. I shop off the bike & support my summer camp off it. No car.
 

NordicNorm

New Member
Region
USA
Chainline! 2 chainrings will provide for a much staighter chainline. Inner ring for the lower 3/4 of the gears, outer ring for the higher 3/4 of the gears. This is most helpful for mid drives but is also true for all bikes. The trouble with having a single chainring and a wide cassette or freewheel is cross chaining in low gear and high gear. Low and high also have the highest stresses placed on them making cross chaining a problem for driveline wear.
 

NordicNorm

New Member
Region
USA
Oh yeah, when you get a new chain checker make sure and see what it indicates on a new chain after putting 20 or so miles on it. My parks cc-2 will read 50% on a new chain.