Old 03-05-14, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by LeicaLad View Post
Final question, is there difference to speak of between the HG-20 / HG-50 / etc. model numbers? It seems that new (nos?) Standard 7-speed cassettes come in these different models. I see variation in color. Anything else?
The notable differences with Shimano's cassettes as you go up, are finish, weight, and finally material. I haven't found much performance difference between the entry up to mid level. The lower end usually come with an oxide finish, powdercoating, and the cogs are less finished (ie. more material, sharp edges). As you go up in number, for example an HG50, the cogs are lightened, more material is machined off, holes are drilled or forged to remove more weight. And they are chrome-plated.
IMHO, HG50 is the best compromise for the price. Nice finish, lighter, wears well, not costly. The higher models now reduce weight by using aluminum carriers that rivet 2-3 cogs together, resembling chainrings more than cogs. (Ultegra level), and top end uses titanium cogs mated to the carriers (DA/XTR).

I also like using SRAM cassettes, which come chrome plated and lightened like the HG50 and better models, but lower priced. But not sure if they offer 7 speed anymore.
Taiwanese Epoch, and Sunrace made HG-spec cassettes with a 13t high and chromed.

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