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Old 10-10-08, 02:22 PM   #1
ochizon
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Any reason you NEED to keep a cassette bound?

I want to mess around with different gearing setups, and one of the things that makes it a pain in the butt is constantly pulling the whole cassette, pulling out the retaining screw and sticking in the gear changes I want. Cant I just put the gears in one at a time, unbound from one another? Is there any functional difference?
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Old 10-10-08, 02:30 PM   #2
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I've put them in one at a time before and had no problems.
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Old 10-10-08, 03:08 PM   #3
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Actually I have had problems with the cassette too tightly bound.

I got a new cassette via UPS and it must have been dropped along the way. It looked fine, but when I went to mount it, the screws were so tight that they held it at a bit of an angle... which did not flatten out as I locked it in. (I thought it would just flatten). I tried to ride it like this and it was NFG. I called a friend and he said, "just take the screws out... they don't matter." To my surprise, that was the perfect solution. The cassette just slipped right on and everything sat flat and worked fine.

I was helping my son the other day and after we removed the cassette to remove the dummy disk, one of the screws fell out of the cassette. I told him no problem, you don't need 'em anyway. And sure enough, no problem.
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Old 10-10-08, 03:19 PM   #4
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Binding the cogs together in groups, particularly the largest ones, spreads out the load on the freehub body splines. This is not an issue for steel freehub bodies and not critical on Ti bodies but is important on some Al bodies as the splines can be notched by individual cogs under high pedaling pressure.

One of the reasons Shimano increased the spline height on the first generation 10-speed Dura Ace hubs is that they used an Al body and wanted to provide a larger bearing surface for the cogs so the splines wouldn't be damaged.

Short answer: If you have a steel freehub body, use what ever loose cogs you want. If it's Al, keep them bolted together.
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Old 10-10-08, 05:05 PM   #5
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According to Sheldon Brown they are riveted/screwed together is only for easier assembly and you can remove them without problem.
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Old 10-10-08, 05:56 PM   #6
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According to Sheldon Brown they are riveted/screwed together is only for easier assembly and you can remove them without problem.
That is unless you have a cheap cassette, in which case you cannot remove them from each other.
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Old 10-10-08, 06:04 PM   #7
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The long, skinny screws that hold cassettes together do nothing to prevent cogs from digging into the cassete hub splines IME.

Last edited by frankenmike; 10-10-08 at 06:05 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old 10-10-08, 06:13 PM   #8
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That is unless you have a cheap cassette, in which case you cannot remove them from each other.
Not just cheap ones. Some of the most expensive cassettes (Record and Dura Ace among others) have several of their cogs "bound together" on spiders and cannot be separated into individual cogs as the cogs are just rings and the spider has the only splined opening that fits on the freehub body. This is done as a weight saving measure.

For example, the Dura Ace 12x25 10-speed cassette has the 17 and 19T cogs mounted together on a spider and the 21,23 and 25T cogs mounted a single spider. The newly announced Record 11-speed 12x25 cassette (they don't come any more expensive than that) has both the 16,17,19T cogs as a spider mounted group and the 21.23,25T cogs also spider mounted together.
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Old 10-10-08, 06:14 PM   #9
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The long, skinny screws that hold cassettes together do nothing to prevent cogs from digging into the cassete hub splines IME.
You may be right but the experts have said otherwise.
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Old 10-11-08, 03:54 AM   #10
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Not just cheap ones. Some of the most expensive cassettes (Record and Dura Ace among others) have several of their cogs "bound together" on spiders and cannot be separated into individual cogs as the cogs are just rings and the spider has the only splined opening that fits on the freehub body. This is done as a weight saving measure.

For example, the Dura Ace 12x25 10-speed cassette has the 17 and 19T cogs mounted together on a spider and the 21,23 and 25T cogs mounted a single spider. The newly announced Record 11-speed 12x25 cassette (they don't come any more expensive than that) has both the 16,17,19T cogs as a spider mounted group and the 21.23,25T cogs also spider mounted together.
I believe that this design is for additional protection for lightweight (non steel) hub splines found on many modern lightweight wheel sets. Individual cogs can easily groove such hubs (especially the higher torque lower gears) and make the cassette difficult to remove.
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Old 10-11-08, 06:15 AM   #11
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That is unless you have a cheap cassette, in which case you cannot remove them from each other.
You've got that backward, operator.

The higher end cassettes have several of the larger cogs riveted onto carriers. To remove them from each other you'd have to drill out the rivets. Once you did that I'm not positive other sized cogs would fit the carrier and, evn if they did, you'd have to figure out how to re-rivet them.

The cheaper cassettes are held together by rivets but it's a piece of cake to grind or file them off to disassemble the cassette.

I've made up some mix and match cassttes and, if you use the right cog and spacerthicknesses they index just fine. Frankly however, when you're working with the number of cogs that modern cassettes have, I don't usually see much benefit in deviating from the factory cogsets.

Last edited by Retro Grouch; 10-11-08 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 10-11-08, 08:35 AM   #12
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You may be right but the experts have said otherwise.
According to Sheldon Brown (expert), they are only for ease of assembly.
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Old 10-11-08, 02:03 PM   #13
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According to Sheldon Brown (expert), they are only for ease of assembly.
I bow to superior authority.
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Old 10-12-08, 04:43 AM   #14
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Well.. it's not an either/or thing. You have to have the screws holding the cogs together TIGHT in order for them to spread the load out and not dig into your cassette-body. The ones that are pinned certainly are not tight enough.
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Old 10-12-08, 07:32 AM   #15
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Well.. it's not an either/or thing. You have to have the screws holding the cogs together TIGHT in order for them to spread the load out and not dig into your cassette-body. The ones that are pinned certainly are not tight enough.
I've never come across a Shimano cassette that was "pinned". The higher-line ones (Ultegra, Dura Ace) have several of the cogs on carriers but the lower ones (105, etc.) I've used have all but the top two cogs bolted together with three 3 mm bolts that are installed quite tight. They seem to do a pretty fair job of keeping the individual cogs from moving independently.

Effective at protecting the freehub body splines? I thought so but I don't know for sure. I've never used them on an Al body and my steel and Ti bodies survive them with no apparent damage.
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