somewhat daily mutterings

/Cycling New Chain and Cassette for Colnago (SRAM Rocks!)

I think I mentioned in one of my Colnago build-up entries that I'd put a new chain on an old cassette. What I didn't mention was why. I'd kind of trashed the chain that came with the drivetrain by putting it into the wrong "saddle" when I used the chain tool to break the chain in order to install the front derailleur. So, I had to install a new chain that I happened to have on hand (originally intended for the Serotta). Of course, in mounting the new chain I used the wrong saddle again (how stupid can one person be?). However, I didn't completely trash the chain and it seemed to be OK once mounted.

After a couple of rides it became obvious that the old cassette (titanium Dura-Ace cassette, that is) had to go. The chain was skipping more and more. So, last weekend I went to Performance Bike Shop and bought a new Ultegra cassette and mounted it. That took care of the chain skipping problem, but there was another problem lurking.

After another fifty miles or so, the drivetrain started producing a series of clicking sounds when I turned the pedals, no matter how lightly. However, I couldn't recreate the sound with the bike on the stand. So, I tightened the cranks and the chainring bolts and re-lubed the chain. Still, with the clicking, oy vey! It finally hit me that it might be the tortured chain from the original install, so I replaced it today with a new SRAM "PowerLink" chain. Oh, how sweet the sound of silence!

Let me say right here and now that I intend to use SRAM PowerLink chains on the rest of my bikes when the time comes for replacement. Not only is it a tool-less install/deinstall (except for breaking the chain to the right length during the initial install, of course), the chains are packaged "dry". That is, they don't come covered in a primordial goop that is impervious to degreasers and which attracts every piece of dirt within a 50-foot radius like the Shimano chains do. Double-plus good!

Of course, the new cassette and chain added yet another $70 or so to the total outlay for the build of this bike. "The gift of Dura-Ace" was an expensive gift, after all.

Posted: Sat Aug 28 20:58:41 -0700 2004

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