Replacing Drivetrain Bits

When I first got my bike it had cheap unbranded cranks. Which I quickly bent with my awesome power, er, weight. The 2nd cheap set also bent.

4 years ago I was given a 105 group set. That has been fine, but when on the turbo earlier I noticed that there is lateral movement and parts where the chain rubs the derailure. So it looks bent, it’s not the BB as that is reasonable new and there is no play in the bearings.

Anyway I realised that I’ve never changed any bits on the drive chain apart from a new chain. Which I have a habit of snapping. I reckon I’ve done 8,000km in all weathers with a poor history of cleaning and lubrication. How often are people changing chain rings, cassettes, jockey wheels etc?

I have a habit of wearing out the big chainring.

I probably change it once a year. Then change the cassette and chain with it. Jockey wheels not so often

Depends on the bike. Campag equipped bikes, I will change chainrings about every three years but I tend to over change chains (on all bikes),

Shimano, I’ll change about every 18mths, depending on use. FSA I change as soon as the bike is put in my hands.

I think I’ve only changed one or two sets of jockey wheels, ever. I’d more likely change group sets before that.

On my main road bike, I tend to put a new chain on every six months, new jockey wheels and cassette every year. Barely ever change the inner chainring, outer chainring is usually every couple of years. I’m pretty good at keeping things cleaned and lubed. I run Shimano 105 and am probably doing about 4000kms / year on that bike. Would rather replace a £10 chain regularly to help keep all the other bits relatively wear-free.

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I can’t really remember changing many chainrings, unless I wanted a different size, although the SRM ones are probably getting a bit worn now.

My usual problem is the winter roads and if I get lazy and don’t clean the bits after, I tend to get a decent lifespan from cassettes if I take them off and clean them, also rear mechs.

But I seem to go through a lot of front mech’s despite hardly using it.

I cascade my chains down where possible from the TT bike -> summer bike -> winter bike.

Could probably make them last longer if I tried but for the sake of £25 quid it’s barely worth my time.

My road bike is about 15 years old. I don’t think I have ever replaced any of the original Ultegra drive train. Have replaced the Ultegra shifters which broke a couple of times over the years.

Maybe I’m doing it wrong- but still seems to ride OK so im not sure why it would need changing?


Chains I check frequently, and change roughly every 3000km - Winter puts more wear on chain, worn cassette wears chains faster. Just changed the cassette on one bike after 2 1/2 years and probably 15,000km, it wasn’t jumping, but was getting noisy and I felt that it wore my chain out pretty quick

Chainrings, I’ve never changed a chain ring other than to change size

RD: pretty rare to change (I think I just did one) when it got pretty sloppy and wouldn’t hold a gear propperly

FD, I changed a friend’s one after chain wore completely through the cage

Shifters: eventually, after many thousands of KM, shifter can get sloppy. Some of the 90’s classic bikes I have owner, with very early STI and Campag Ergoshift are not what they once were

Bottom Bracket, Probably 5-20,000 km. My Canyon with 15,000km has a nicely creaking BB

Jockey wheels - I have changed some, but not terribly frequently

Gear and Brake Cables. Depends on use, and weater, however I change every couple of years, and it amazes me how much nicer the bike feels with new cables

In summary, buy a Park Tool chain checking tool. Change chain promptly, its less than £30 for a DA or Sram Red chain. Most other parts will last a very long time


Best quote on this thread (for me).

Something i had never ever thought about. Though i’ll be getting through a chain much slower than you guys. Good thing for me to remember though. Going to try to be much more preventative this time around. /

Bang on this.
DA is £44 over here in shops.
Ultegra £38.
105 £32.

I’ve never changed jockey wheels.

I’ll update here on my drivetrain noise later on

So get a SRAM chain, the PC1010 is £10 and the PC1030 is about £16.

The Planet X own brand chains are made by a very well known and respected chain maker, just cheaper.



I would do that for the winter bike, for sure.
My fixed bike is still going strong on a BMX chain.


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That’s the BMX chain I have on the fixie - SOLD!

It’s funny - I’ve had the rear derailleur off of my Propel for ages. Been meaning to give it a proper clean. Just got round to it - One of the guide pulleys spins like shit. So after saying I’ve never really replaced them. I’m now going to order a set :rofl:


that…even someone as negligent at cleaning as i gets 6 - 9 months out of a chain. 12 - 24 months a cassette. and several years out of a chainring…

Booked my bike in for a full service next week. Told them to pre order a new chain as part of that as my bike is 12 months old. Force AXS setup, so thought it wise to flag up front in case they don’t have the flat top chains to hand.

Probably the biggest thing stopping me from doing a 12 speed build at the moment is the availability of things like cassettes and chains. With 11 speed there is so much on the market, with SRAM, Shimano and to a big extent Campagnolo being cross compatible. Hopefully 12 speed will get there too

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