Old 03-06-14, 09:38 AM
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Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760, '87 Miyata 712

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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
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.

And it's my pleasure to help in any way. A C&V Forum tradition.
the HG20 is another fine example and is my 7sp choice for the Cannondale build I'm doing.
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