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Changing chain and sprockets


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I bought a new front sprocket and chain. I know you're supposed to change all at the same time but would it be bad if I leave this rear sprocket on? The teeth don't look that worn to me.


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I can't remember what they use to say, is it better to add a new sprocket to an old chain or a new chain to an old sprocket (if that's your only choices)?

I put a new rear sprocket (only) on stock bike chain that already had 6k, to get an extra tooth, I think they all are worn in fine and going strong at 11k.

What really helps is catch the chain lubing religion - never let it dry. I'm semi-retired, not everybody can keep that spirit going when life is full on.


Don't put new chains on old sprockets generalization - bad bad

Edited by Pursuvant
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sprocket are cheap, chain are not, this is my motto 🤣 

 Pursuvant you are absolutely right!

usually I will change all 3 together , only two exception , when the old sprocket is aluminum the new chain will not take a beating even if the sprocket is shot but don' go too far.. The second exception is with premature failing parts/changing gearing, there is no particular need to change a sprocket if it's relatively new.

lets take this deeper!

there are 3 sprocket/chain's materials : ( there are composites sprockets but I'm just considering the material touching)

-titanium: used for chains and both the sprockets 

-steel: used for chains and both the sprockets 

-aluminum: usually coated or hard anodized, just for the rear sprocket


I will not use a old chain on new titanium sprockets just because titanium sprockets are so expensive and I want them to last as long as possible.

I will not use titanium chains with steel sprockets just because they are softer and costly and aluminum is even better that titanium on titanium .

 aluminum sprockets will wear faster than steel ones, so a chain will survive multiple alu sprockets .

the most expensive part of the system is the chain, and it's the piece I will try to favorite. If you are not sure about the state of the sprocket, and you are buying a new chain.. buy all 3


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I can see the asymmetrical wear on the teeth in your picture.  Look closely at it from the side.  You will see the U is not  uniform.  Spring for the rear sprocket, otherwise you will be buying a chain sooner.   The worn teeth will not pull uniformly on the chain, putting load on fewer pins and wearing them faster than if you got new sprockets.   On my dual sport (haven't had to change out the XSR yet) I replaced both sprockets and chain at 15,000 miles.  The wear is there.   The rear sprocket will not show as much wear as the front, more teeth, but it is worn into the "stretched" chain.  

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Just got done. Probably Gonna get a new rear sprocket before I ride it.

The good: I installed the chain

The bad: It took me a couple hours

The ugly: I just found a nail in my tire and it's flat



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