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  3. Mismatched Wear Between Chain and Cassette Sound
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  3. Mismatched Wear Between Chain and Cassette Sound

Mismatched Wear Between Chain and Cassette Sound

You may hear this type of sound if you’re using a new cassette with an old chain, an old cassette with a new chain, or any combinations of components where the wear of one does not match the other.

In this example, the worn cassette was from one bike, and the worn chain was from a completely different bike, and the combination was a perfect storm of disharmony.
Video Credit: Ming Lee

Root Cause

Chains wear out in a mostly uniform manner as the diameter of the pins is reduced due to material loss from friction between the pin and the roller. As the roller therefore changes position slightly when it is engaged with the cogs of your cassette, the cassette will also wear to match the placement of the roller.

If the chain and the cassette have relatively even wear, the shifting and pedaling will feel smooth. If the wear is uneven, the sensation will be a crunchy, grinding feeling through the pedals, and an audible crunching sound while pedaling.

While consistently worn components may feel smooth, they will eventually create a problem. As your chain wears, your cassette will then follow, and then ultimately your chainrings will begin to deform.

Steps To Resolve

Remove all used components and replace them with new components.

Additional Information

To ensure the best quality experience, we recommend starting with new components on your Neo, meaning a new chain, and new cassette. The minor investment in these components will help to ensure a better experience for you with your Neo.

We also recommend that you purchase at least two chains, and swap between them weekly using a master link system to reduce the onset of wear for your cassette.

Finally, use a high quality chain lube to keep your chains running smoothly, and delay the onset of wear in your chain link pins. For indoor riding, we recommend a heavy wet lubricant, as there is little risk of contamination. Viscous lubricants will generally last longer and lubricate better than thinner lubricants.

Although wax lubricants are excellent at reducing chain wear, they will generally shed cruft around your trainer, your bicycle, and your floor. They are also noticeably louder and less smooth through the pedals. We love wax lubricants (like Molten Speed Wax) for outdoors, but not for indoors.

Updated on January 1, 2019

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