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tire sizes, cassette and chain replacement, maint. questions(6 posts)

tire sizes, cassette and chain replacement, maint. questionsHaiku d'état
May 23, 2001 12:05 PM
my 2000 specialized allez a1 sport has > 1500 miles on it, and i'm considering:

* check and replace chain
* possibly replace cassette
* replace all cables and housing
* rewrap bars (second wrap on 'em now)
* whatever else comes up

cassette question: it's all 105, except the cranks are specialized. i know to check the chain (don't have a checker, but i have a ruler), but i've heard a couple different takes on the cassette. one source says they're good 'til they start skipping on a new chain, and one source says swap out the cassette with a new replacement WHEN you swap the chain, that they're throwaway like the chain. so, what are the opinions on this?

(i have the zinn book and will get the tools necessary to change the cassette if it's needed. i'll be doing this stuff myself.)

tire question: does anyone ride larger than 700x23 for everyday JRA and training? i'm 190-ish, and not overly careful about what i ride over and how i corner. also ride in rain (as if this matters...does it?). i understand that some tires advertised as 700x23 are actually smaller, but what's the take on 700x25 and x28, etc. -- would there be any benefit in comfort? what about the performance loss? i'm not spending alot on this muffler...errr...i'm not going to blow $35 per tire, so season your answers if they relate to brand.

input appreciated!
You'll get different opinions, but here's mine...Cory
May 23, 2001 12:41 PM
1500 miles isn't a lot for things to need replacement...certainly not the cables and housing, unless you see something obviously wrong, though you could lube the cables if the operation is sluggish. If you have to pull them out for that, you might as well replace them, because they're cheap and it's hardly any extra work.
Checking the chain is a good idea, and you can determine from that if it needs replacement. I'm a kneejerk cassette-swapper, always looking for the perfect gearing, and I don't think I've ever worn out a set of cogs. I know it would take me more than 1500 miles to do it, though. And I rewrap the bars as a hobby, for something to do when things get slow.
But I'm really only doing this to answer the tire question: I ALWAYS use bigger-than-23 tires for JRA. My main road ride right now has 32s (which really measure only about 25mm). I've compared them with 23s on rides I do a lot--they don't make me any slower (hey, I'm JRA, right?), and the benefit in comfort and stability is well worth it even if they did. I'm about 30 pounds heavier than you are, but it's an easy decision for me. I'm resisting the temptation to order some 35s for the Atlantis....
Well, here goes...Greg Taylor
May 23, 2001 1:09 PM
Chain and Cassette: I usually get about 3,000 on a chain (normal care - lube every 100 or so miles, or after a wet ride) and 6,000 on a cassette. You shouldn't have to swap the cassette this time around.

Tires: If you want good and inexpensive, Nashbar and others are (or were) blowing out (bad choice of words) Michelin Axial Sports for under $10.00. Such a deal. I use 25's on my commuter bike because it lives in a more "urban" environment. They are slower, but better for riding on rough streets with me and the 15 lbs. of crap that I carry around in my bag.
re: tire sizes, cassette and chain replacement, maint. questionsDINOSAUR
May 23, 2001 5:06 PM
I replace my chain and cassette as needed, when my chain starts to skip is a good indication. I lube and clean my chain after every ride, I have over 10k on my original chain and cassette, there must be a correlation there somewhere (a clean chain is a happy chain?). I've read it's recommended that you swap out the chain and cassette at the same time.

It's probably a good idea to replace your cables once a season, especially the brake cables, your'e talking safety here.

I replace my handlebar tape when it starts to shred or becomes real grimy. Probably about every three months or so. I use black tape, it hides the dirt better.

I weigh about the same as you and use 700X23 Conti GP3000's. I keep my tires inflated to the recommended 120psi and swap out the rim tape each time I replace a tire and I seldom have rim punctures (knock on wood). Your tire selection has a lot to do with the type of riding you do and the roads you travel on.

At 1500 miles you should be in good shape, just be real meticulous about maintaining your bike and keep an eye on everything, that is the best key for maintenance.

At 1500 miles you might check your brake pads, they might be due.
Depends on the equipment & maintenanceKerry Irons
May 23, 2001 6:29 PM
A lot of chain/cog replacement depends both on the equipment you use and your maintenance practices, along with the obvious riding in grimy conditions. I just replaced the cogs/chain (Campy Record 9) after about 11K miles - the chain had just reached 0.5% elongation (1/16" in 12"). At that point, shifting had deteriorated slightly, and the chain would start to make noises after 200-250 miles, unlike the 350+ when newer. I lube (wipe chain/pulleys/cogs/chainrings to remove any gunk, "sluice" lube, wipe till the rag is nearly clean) every 300-350 miles with ProLink and keep the chain pretty clean as a result. Some argue that they replace their chains very often and so don't have to replace worn cogs. Given the cost of cogs/chains, this seems a wash to me - let your chains run longer and replace cog & chain, or replace the chain more often to save the cogs.

With Campy cables, I've never had a failure in less than 5 years, and 10 years life is common - clean and lube every year as part of the annual overhaul. Sometimes the cable needs replacement but the casing is fine.

Re-wrap bars when you no longer like the looks of your bar tape. Personal preference.

One issue with wider than 23mm tires is that higher end tires are often not readily available in wider than 23. IMO if you buy a tire marked 32 and it is really a 25, that has some quality implications built in. I would say 23 is wide enough if you aren't getting pinch flats when you are pumped to rated pressure.
thanks Cory, GT, Dino, KI...Haiku d'état
May 24, 2001 7:21 AM
good responses. i was a bit worried 'cause shifting has suffered, guess i need to spend some quality time with the bike in the stand. cable caps have escaped and the ends are fraying, plus it's a relatively easy replacement job and i've got the cables, housing and cutter already in my parts kit. so, i'll replace the cables and feel better. on the bar wrap, agreed, it's a recreation in itself, and is all about feelin' i'll do it! now, if i can just figure out a good color...the bike is red and cream with black lettering.

i'm relieved to hear about the time between your chain/cassette swapping, and will give it that extra clean/shine and ride on (after checking with a ruler, of course). have yet to get the tools necessary to change a cassette, but have a chain tool already.

on tires, after your responses, i figure i'll experiment with larger sizes, as i have two road bikes, and the other has recently been seeing more miles ('cause it's still new!) than the specialized. good to have a backup so working on the primary isn't a hardship. i'm not looking high-end for tires, and it'll be awhile before i get 'em (new pedals first for BOTH bikes), so i'll check the sales at nashbar and performance before passing go.

thanks again!