11 speed road cassette gear wear :: 11, 12 & 13 wear fastest?

Is is just me or do the 11, 12 and 13T gears wear out first on your 11 speed cassettes too?

Got a number of cassettes that are good besides the 11, 12 and/or 13T gears. Feels a waste to throw them.
I assume because they are so small, have less teeth, thus are likely to wear fastest.

I think all this damage to these cassettes is from running my last drip lube chain for 6,000km :slightly_frowning_face: Lesson learnt. 11 speed chains need a 0.50 wear checker, a 0.75 is for 10, 9 speed etc. 0.75 wear on 11 speed chain is way too much, damages your cassettes and chainrings. I now own a 0.50 chain checker :slight_smile:


You have too much power…:grin:

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I WISH I was wearing those cogs on the block!



Yup, 11sp you do need to be a bit more careful with wear. That being said, you shouldn’t need to replace your chain at 0.5, that seems quite excessive to me. I still suggest 0.7-0.75, and get good longevity on my bikes (as well as my customers) that way. You are correct that smaller cogs wear more quickly than large ones. Of course that begs the question, how much time are you spending in the very bottom end of your cassette? Usually cassette wear is a bell curve, the middle cogs see the most wear with the least on the biggest and smallest cogs. Are you on rollers or a fluid trainer, where you need to be in those gears to generate sufficient resistance? If possible I would suggest increasing resistance in this case, both to allow you to use more range on your cassette, but also to straighten your chainline. Spending a lot of time with the chain deflected (as it is even in the big ring at the 13, 12, and 11) will also accelerate chain wear, and good 11sp chains are expensive.

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I don’t think that is it. FTP about 270 watts and max power about 1,200 watts. Hardly anything exciting.

:smiley: I do. My ideal cadence is 92-95. From my race on Sunday, I averaged 96 cadence, for example.

I went to 0.75 with my last drip lube chain and I was left with several cassettes with worn out gears (mostly 11, 12 and/or 13). I was later told that 11 speed chains should be replaced at 0.5 while 10 speed and less can get away with 0.75 :man_shrugging:

Not that much. It looks pretty evenly spread. Here’s data from a recent 25km TT. How does that look to others?

Source: http://di2stats.com/rides/view/52347

Lots of good thoughts there jeremy. Thank you. I use a Kurt Kinetic Rock N Roll trainer. It is a bell curve on the trainer, although more recently, with having only the inner ring oval and the trainer being a low inertia (around 5% grade) trainer and having not the best knees, I have tried to stay in the small ring as much as possible, going right down the cassette. A heavier Kinetic fly wheel should be arriving today in fact. That should help solve that.

But having said that, most of these worn cassettes are left over from that 0.75 worn, drip lube chain. It did so much damage, I am still finding cassettes I haven’t used in awhile, damaged, from a year ago.

My thinking is, when I am in the faster gears, I am quite often putting out the most torque (in a crit race). Coupled with them being small, wear is accelerated :man_shrugging:

Thanks all.


Can you buy 11T Sram gears? Using a Sram 11-26 cassette in Sunday’s race, that gave chain “jumping” in the 52-11 for the final sprint :astonished:

I suppose there’s a lot of variability here based on how you measure and what tool you use as well - so if 0.5 works for you then stick with it, just like training in measurement and maintenance consistency is key.

Oh man, I love data.
So here’s a distribution of your time spent at each gear ratio (in inches)
To my eye, that’s an interesting TT. Lots of time in heavier gears, as would be expected. But nothing wild. So let’s break it down and look at it by cassette cog.
Again, pretty good distribution. Definitely heavy towards the 13-15, but you would expect that in a TT. Was any of that useful information? Porbably not. Was is cool? I think so.

I suspect a lot of that wear comes from trainer time. One of the benefits of the trainer for training is that you don’t coast. The extra load on your legs is also extra load on your bike and components. Be dilligent with your maintenance, and mind your gears. That flywheel should help too.

That’s scary. I should have a few kickin’ around my shop, I’ll check and see. Happy to send one your way if I have some.

At a given power and speed, you have a constant torque applied to the rear wheel, and then the force on the cog is inversely proportional to the cog radius (which is proportional to the tooth count). So the teeth on an 11T cog get 2x the force of a 22T at a given power and speed.

Then, the smaller the cog, the less teeth the wear is distributed over.

And on top of it all, 11sp cogs are narrower than 10sp, so less material to handle the same force.

All that equals faster wear on smaller cogs - assuming you are using them, of course.

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I hardly ever use my 11 or 12. Just going downhill. So, they don’t wear much. The middle cogs get the most wear for me.

I ran into this also. 11 speed wears very fast. It took me sometime to find videos and documents but .5 is the wear length for 11 speed. Cleaning your chain every chance you get will help little. There isn’t much you can do about the gear in the back. I still train on 8 speed. Keeping in check with the chain wear is how to make a cassette last the longest. Im still riding 8 speed from cassettes back from 90. Just keep up with that chain.


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That’s a telltale sign of a worn chain and/or cassette. If the issue persists after changing your chain, your cassette needs replacing, too.

There is an uncanny valley where the worn cassette “matches” the larger distance between teeth of your cassette, and then everything seemingly works fine. I write seemingly, because the worn chain accelerates wear on your chain rings.

And if this happens in the front, i. e. your new chain skips teeth in the front chain ring, especially when you give it the beans, then your front chain rings are worn.

Haha, me too!

That’s what I thought.

Nah, it’s definitely from using a chain beyond its use by date; 6,900km on drip lube got it to 0.75 wear. Most of that 6,900km was on the road, before I got into Trainer Road. Once I switched over to new chains, on wax (Nov 2018) I found a number of cassettes not agreeing with my new chains, mostly in the 11, 12 and 13 but some also in other gears. Replaced most of them or frankensteined working cassettes. But still finding cassettes I haven’t used in a year with issues like this 11-26 I used on Sunday, jumping in the 11T, only when trying to sprint :slightly_frowning_face:

Oh wow. That’s a very nice offer. I’ll buy them from you. Thank you.

Yes. I have replaced many of these cassettes and frankensteined together a working cassette. But still finding worn cassette a year later, cassettes I haven’t used in since ditching that worn drip lube chain and moving to waxed chains. My most used wax chain, since switching over, has done 4,100km and still shows 0.0 wear on 2 different chain checkers… Waxing is SO GOOD! But that’s another thread.

Yes, correct. Which is what my last, drip lube chain, that got to 6,900km because I was using a 0.75 chain checker. Lesson learnt, expensive lesson.

Yes, this started happening about 6-9 months ago. Not that often and only when I was using a worn cassette; some how, in this setup, when I changed rear gears, I would drop the chain on the front. I couldn’t figure that one out. I have just replaced the chain rings. They had done 18,529.18km. I didn’t realise how bad the front shifting had gotten. Loving life now :partying_face:

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Wow, that’s plenty!
Usually when that happens to me, I go to the bike shop for a new cassette and a new chain, and happy, ride 10 m and the chain skips the front chain ring (as I put in a lot of force).

BTW, how do you know how much time you spent in each gear? Are you using an electronic groupset?

Yes, I was diligent with my bike/drive chain washing. So got a lot out of my chains, chainrings etc. But now on wax, I don’t need to bother any more. I give my bikes a quick wash twice a year and when I get caught in the rain. Life is good!


Do you need some specialized tool to extract gearing data?

(And curse you, the want for an electronic drivetrain is getting stronger and stronger in me! :stuck_out_tongue:)

Just upload your ride file to di2stats.com

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