Ultegra Cassette lasts 25,000 miles

Cassettes wear out eventually. Small cogs go first.

Cassettes wear out eventually. Small cogs go first.


Inquiring minds want to know: How long will my freewheel cassette last? How about 25,000 miles?

That’s what I got from my Ultegra 6700. Here are some caveats:

1. Cleaned the chain regularly, like every 500 miles.

2. Rode mostly on pavement, only about 2 percent off-road.

3. Replaced the chains between 0.5 and 0.75 on the Park chain-wear measurement tool.

So how do you know when your cassette sprockets are worn? The chain skips or catches sometimes; you feel the occasional slip when starting up. Note that when a chain is worn, front chainwheel shifting degrades.

Track your miles. I can’t imagine a cassette lasting more miles than what I got from mine.

Once again, I got about 6,500 miles [WRONG. I SWITCH CHAINS. I GOT ABOUT 3,500 MILES] from Ultegra 6600/6701 chains. I could not detect any difference between the models in terms of longevity or shifting.

Unless you break a sprocket, I wouldn’t bother trying to save money by swapping out the smaller or worn cogs. I replaced only the sprockets, not the body. It’s running smoothly.

Finally, my Ultegra brake pads lasted about 25,000 miles as well. I moved the back to the front to extend life. I still have the originals on the back, so more than 25,000 miles with careful management. Of course, I ride where there are a lot of hills, so these pads could last longer.

5 Responses to “Ultegra Cassette lasts 25,000 miles”

  1. jay Says:

    This is hard to believe. I clean chains more frequently than every 500 miles and the most I got out of a Ultegra (6500) was about 8,300 miles (I had started to use the fourth chain on the cassette and it started to skip on me which meant I had to discard the cassette and chain). Now I just use two chains to one cassette and run it about 5,000 miles (which is a total that takes me much longer to achieve than you).

    I’m guessing you get extraordinary miles of your hard and soft parts because of your light weight.

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    My mileage is accurate. I track miles on plus3network.com. It makes sense that increased force would increase wear, but I’m not an engineer.

  3. Carl Thomas Says:

    6,500 miles on 1 chain? I feel like I keep my chain super clean and I just got 1,949 out of my last Ultegra.

  4. Ray Hosler Says:

    I’m 150 pounds. I clean the chain every 4 months, or so, about 1,600 miles. I use the Park tool to measure wear, toss when the chain’s between .5 and .75.

  5. Ray Hosler Says:

    Carl, I was wrong about chain life. I got about 3,500 miles. I forgot I run two chains, switching off when cleaning. I got 4,000 miles on a previous chain.

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