Groupset Life Expectancy – what do you get?

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  • Groupset Life Expectancy – what do you get?
  • daern
    Member

    So, I’m finally retiring my M9000 groupset from the Tallboy. It’s had a few chains (and a couple of sets of jockey wheels) on it, but when I tried a new one this time around, it was clear that both the chainrings and cassette were both starting to pick up, so time for a refresh. The bike gets a lot of use in filthy Yorkshire weather, so I’m not too unhappy with this mileage.

    A quick check on Strava shows that it’s done 2,500 miles and while it will certainly do more if I replace the worn out bits, now that Hope have released their Micro Spline freehubs, I’m swapping the 2×11 XTR for a 1×12 XT as, TBH, this will cost virtually the same as a pile of XTR replacement bits.

    So, STW, what sort of mileage are you getting from your groupsets?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I stopped upgrading at 10s, but used to get 2000 miles from a chain and cassette, replacing both at the same time annually and not bothering to measure chain stretch. That was mostly in the Peak so nothing lasted and replacing chains wasn’t economical.

    Switching to putoline extended that somewhat, but I also moved so it wouldn’t be an entirely fair comparison.

    Bought a bike with GX eagle now so will be using putoline and rotating 2 chains to try and make it last given the price of replacements!

    enigmas
    Member

    I used to have awful luck with shimano slx/xt 10 speed drivechains, usually 500-800 miles a cassette, but that was mostly because I was 1×10 and sat in the top 3 alloy cogs most of the time.

    Since I’ve moved to GX eagle I’m at 2000 miles and the cassette is still going strong. I’ve been swapping two chains since the start which might have helped. The jockey wheels are rubbish though and need regreasing every few months, and I got maybe 1500 miles out of the eagle chainring.

    That said, most of my riding in winch and plummet stuff in the welsh valleys, so usually muddy and loads the top end of the cassette much more than the rest. Usually do 15 miles and 3000-4000ft of climbing a ride.

    It’s a pice of string question. Riding Cannock vs Malverns for instance. Cannock Chase will sand your shit to paste in short order, yet hereabouts it’s all leaf litter and rock with fairly harmless mud that just rinses off.

    IIRC Replacing chains, jockey wheels, cassettes and chainrings is not really the groupset, but the drivechain? IME (Shimano Deore) shifters, calipers and derailleurs can and do last decades. They usually get moved on because of changing standards/upgrading, not because they are worn out,

    daern
    Member

    IIRC Replacing chains, jockey wheels, cassettes and chainrings is not really the groupset, but the drivechain?

    True enough, although with modern 1x groupsets, there’s a pretty hefty chunk of the cost of the groupset in these items – much more so than in pre-1x days.

    An interesting “feature” of M9000 which I’ve never experienced before is that the jockey wheels appear to be made from soft window putty. I chomped through two sets, literally wearing the lower wheel down to small points, before swapping to Hope wheels, which while noisier, do at least last a decent length of time! I’ve been really impressed with the cassette though – despite it being made of very light materials, 2,500 miles is actually far better than I expected for the use I give it.

    Other bits (brakes, cranks etc.) are still good. BB was swapped 6 months or so ago and is still ok. I’ll leave the XTR brakes on, but the cranks will be swapped for the new M8100 ones with the switch to 1x. I’ll be surprised if I don’t cover a decent chunk of the M8100 groupset when flogging the XTR stuff, despite the wear.

    tjagain
    Member

    Ages for me. Its a long time since I changed either a cassette or chainring. Putoline on chains and replacing them at 0.75% wear ( or if I miss that then waiting till the whole lot is worn out)

    I really do not know how many miles but my guestimate would be well over 5000.

    They usually get moved on because of changing standards/upgrading, not because they are worn out,

    This not the case IME.

    If SRAM derailleurs survive rock strikes long enough to actually get old then they seem to go sloppy at the pivots where as Shimano just keeps trucking on.

    Where as Shimano brakes develop leaks. It’s just a question of whether you get an early failure and later failure

    Premier Icon Sir HC
    Subscriber

    4500miles & 3500miles on a X01 11speed cassettes, 3 chains each, replaced at 0.5 wear, then cycled them round.

    2000miles on a X01 eagle cassette, missed my chance to replace the chain.

    1400miles on another X01 eagle cassette, on its 2nd chain, should take a third which will go on in the next few weeks, see if it will take a 4th, otherwise will rotate.

    Chainrings are replaced with the chain.

    Bottom brackets and jockeys wheels replaced when they wear out.

    3500miles a year across two bikes, tend to get through quite a lot of parts!

    Was averaging six months for an X01 eagle mech, clutches wearing out and the chain starts slapping around. Swapped over to M9100, 4 weeks in and good so far!

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Subscriber

    I use sram Gx 11 speed stuff with an entirely steel GX level cassette and the steel direct mount chainrings. I’m not the highest mileage rider but my original cassette has done service on one bike for 2 years and has now had another year on another bike. On its 3rd chain and it still keeps taking new chains ok at the moment. Cassettes are about £80, chain usually £20 for X1 and chainrings are under £20. I consider that pretty good value.

    Roughly 2000 miles so far on a GX Eagle Cassette and Blackspire snaggletooth chainring. Single chain, but shifting is starting to go to shite so my plan of nursing it through to spring may not work.

    There is a pile of XT 12 speed stuff in the garage waiting to go.

    daern
    Member

    Ages for me. Its a long time since I changed either a cassette or chainring. Putoline on chains and replacing them at 0.75% wear ( or if I miss that then waiting till the whole lot is worn out)

    I really do not know how many miles but my guestimate would be well over 5000.

    My guess is that I’d easily get another 1000+ miles out of mine before it was properly dead (based on other, similar builds that have come to me, completely worn out, for replacement).

    My concern is running a drivetrain where I can’t actually replace any component of it (especially the chain) without swapping the lot. I don’t do it often, but I’d be concerned about killing a chain when away from home and then realising that there is no way to put a new one on it due to the wear on the rest of the drivetrain. I guess I could carry some part-worn chains from my garage stock, but it’s remembering to do this and sod’s law says that I’d never have one on the day that I needed one!

    philjunior
    Member

    For MTB it’s absolutely a piece of string question like Mr Rider says.

    If you ride pretty flat stuff, you could be covering 2x or more of the distance. If you’re fully #enduro and you push up everything, you’re reducing the pedalling time and chain wear hugely.

    Then you get where you ride and what weather you go out in.

    All that said, SRAM I’d expect a rear mech to be wobbly in about a year, 1000 to 1500 miles. Shimano I’d expect to get years and years out of the mech, possibly with a couple of jockey wheel changes.

    Jockey wheels, cassette and chainrings depend on how you look after the chain really. Clean it regularly and replace at .75% wear, you should get at least about 2-3000miles from a casette, perhaps more. Similar for a chainring although I found since going 1×10 on one bike, the chainring is outlasted by the cassette. No real difference between SRAM and Shimano on these things, although some extensive testing on the internet suggests some chains last a lot longer than others (I tend to use KMC which apparently wear quicker than other brands, which could be why I’ve not snapped one in years as they get replaced so early.)

    I used to get ages and ages out of my Shimano 10 speed stuff. I haven’t done enough mileage on my GX Eagle to need to change anything.

    But on my Levo which for the last year has done a lot of full turbo commuter miles as well as MTBing, I got a shocking 600 miles out of a cassette and chain before it started playing up. Replaced them and it did it again after 600 miles. That was a SRAM 11 speed cassette 11-42 and then a Shimano 11-42 (SLX I think), both with SRAM chains (one of the cheapest 11s chains).

    I switched to Putoline with the third cassette and have three chains to swap between to even out cassette wear. Will see if this helps! It’s certainly sounding good.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    Managed 5 1/2 years out of an X01 cassette, despite covering a LOT of all weather Peaks miles. That said, I changed the bottom sprocket twice, and I’ve gone through god knows how many chains and rings.

    Got 5 years out of the mech. Unlike a lot of people ^^, I seem to find SRAM mechs far more robust than Shimano ones. The 10s XT ones I had used to bend or break on the thin shadow knuckle bit that bolts onto the hanger if you farted in the same room. The SRAM ones are easier to hit admittedly, but don’t really seem to care about it. Eventually changed it as the pivots had got too sloppy to live with the shift quality any more. Got through a lot of jockey wheels though – crap bearings.

    With my sloppy shifting (having trouble hitting 50t and reliably downshifting at the same time) – is wear to the top jockey most likely to be a factor? How much play is normal?

    daern
    Member

    With my sloppy shifting (having trouble hitting 50t and reliably downshifting at the same time) – is wear to the top jockey most likely to be a factor? How much play is normal?

    Speaking generically (and assuming that limit / b-screws are set correctly), I’d be looking at the jockey wheel condition (upper one especially), gear cable (when were they last changed, inner and outer?), hanger alignment (oft-missed cause of inconsistent shifting) and, as others have mentioned above, bushing play in the rear mech. All can cause untunable shifting problems, but which it is (it may be more than one!) is hard to tell without looking. That’s where I’d start though.

    My money is on B tension.

    Yep, trying to work through causes. Gear cable changed, no effect, b-screw tinkered with (don’t have the checker tool), some improvement, jockey wheels removed and cleaned/regreased, some improvement. Hanger ‘looks’ straight, but will have to check it properly.

    The chain seems to just want to ride up and down between the 42t and the 50t unless I set tension high enough to interfere with downshifting correctly.

    It’s possible that Eagle is fussy enough that multiple factors are combining.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Replace chain, cassette, chain ring, and jockey wheels annually regardless of wear or milage. All XO1 I can’t be arsed with measuring stretch or any of that bollards, life’s too short

    daern
    Member

    Replace chain, cassette, chain ring, and jockey wheels annually regardless of wear or milage. All XO1 I can’t be arsed with measuring stretch or any of that bollards, life’s too short

    Fair enough, and you don’t say how many miles you are doing so this may well be entirely justified based on wear, but I make that getting on for £500 in bits which is a fair bit to throw at a bike if it’s not actually needed. I can only speak personally that I wouldn’t do this myself without at least half an eye on whether it was needed or not.

    Well, not /every/ year, anyway 😉

    philjunior
    Member

    Replace chain, cassette, chain ring, and jockey wheels annually regardless of wear or milage. All XO1 I can’t be arsed with measuring stretch or any of that bollards, life’s too short

    It really doesn’t take long to measure chain stretch. Still, it’s your money and this method does keep the drivetrain OK.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Subscriber

    On the above if it was still working and shifting ok I wouldn’t be changing the entire set of gears / chain annually – especially not at XO1 costs

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I do a couple of thousand miles a year, and where I live that’s normally about enough to start having to look at changing stuff. I tend to do it all in one go as I’ve found replacing parts either wears out the others faster or just delays in the inevitable need to change the rest anyway. So once a year I do the whole thing: Cables, transmission, the lot.

    Plus I hate sloppy shifting with a passion

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Subscriber

    No idea on my MTB. The FS doesn’t get used much, under 1000km in two years, still on the original 10sp stuff I built it with. The SS HT gets quite a bit more use, but doesn’t wear quickly.

    The gravel bike has done nearly 12000 km in two years, a lot of gritty, muddy, winter riding as part of that. It’s on its 3rd chain, 3rd cassette and second set of chainrings in that time. The GXP BB lasted about 1500km, the Praxis works one I replaced it with is still going strong. Still the original SRAM Rival mech.

    daern
    Member

    The gravel bike has done nearly 12000 km in two years…(snip)…The GXP BB lasted about 1500km, the Praxis works one I replaced it with is still going strong.

    The only surprising thing about this is that you managed to get 1500km out of an OEM GXP BB. I don’t think I’ve even managed half of that! 🙂

    Premier Icon UK-FLATLANDER
    Subscriber

    Didn’t record mileage until recently, but my Orange C16R, 1996 vintage, is still on the original chainset, with 3 chains and 3 cassettes. Bit disappointed that I had to replace the BB last year – what are Shimano playing at only got 23years out of it!

    ivantate
    Member

    My Roadrat is running a 2006 XT groupset.

    Not sure on the miles and not too much mud but plenty of winters.

    1 set of chainrings, a number of cassettes and chains.

    Bb is original and although the cranks are a bit creaky it will do a few miles yet.

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