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Does the amount of teeth in a new cassette matter?

Old 12-14-13, 05:38 PM
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fowler98
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Does the amount of teeth in a new cassette matter?

Hi, I need a new cassette, I'm currently on a 7 speed cassette and I need to get another 7 Speed cassette, I see some online with 12-32 teeth, does this matter or not, will I have to count the teeth on my current cassette? Thanks
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Old 12-14-13, 05:47 PM
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We generally try to be helpful in the Mechanics forum.

Yes, OP, it matters. The ratio between the front sprocket (known as the chainring) and the rear sprocket (known as the cog) determines how far you have to move the chain in order to move the wheel. Which means how hard it is to pedal up a hill or how fast you can go.
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Old 12-14-13, 05:52 PM
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The gear ratio depends on the number of teeth, so if you are happy with and using the various geas on your cassette, you'll want to duplicate it closely. On the other hand, if you never (or very rarely) use the lower gear (larger sprockets) you can get a cassette with a smaller largest sprocket giving you a narrower range with gears closer spaced.

Steps one and two, count the teeth on your cassette, and decide what changes, if any, you'd like.
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Old 12-14-13, 06:21 PM
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If you will tell us the number of teeth on your current large sprocket we can give a range of options.
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Old 12-14-13, 06:32 PM
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As mentioned above, if you tell us the number of teeth on your current cassette (largest and smallest cogs will be sufficient) , as well as information on the type of bike and whatever else you can tell us about the rear derailleur, we will be able to offer more informed advice. A few sharp, well-lit and focused photos of the side of your cassette (it may be a freewheel) and the rear of your hub will be very useful.

Remember that you are asking strangers for free advice so the easier you make it for us to help you the more likely you will be to get solid advice and less likely to get sarcastic responses.

Not having any idea what you have got I will say that not every rear derailleur will be able to handle a 32 tooth cog and that if you significantly increase the number of teeth over what you have already you may need a new chain as your current one may be too short. You may need a new chain anyway depending upon the wear on your current one.
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Old 12-14-13, 06:59 PM
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If your bike is newer, you should be able to goto the manufacture web site and it will tell you the exact cassette that is on your bike. I replaced my cassett about a month ago and considered going with a larger one to help my uphill rides. I ended up going with smaller sprockets up front which had the same affect.
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Old 12-14-13, 07:48 PM
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7 speed may not even be a cassette, but a freewheel.
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Old 12-14-13, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
You are pretty transparent.
Did I miss a flaming? Where did this come from? All the replies I've read here seem to be straight and helpful. Andy.
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Old 12-14-13, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Did I miss a flaming? Where did this come from? All the replies I've read here seem to be straight and helpful. Andy.
Yes, you missed a mini war. There was a somewhat snyde post, then some back and forth relating to that, not the OPs question. Either the person posting, or the Mods deleted a few posts. Seeing that, I went back and edited or deleted my part of that dialog, so all but this last vestige is gone.

It wasn't apropos to the OP, so nothing worthwhile was lost and all is good.
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Old 12-15-13, 12:59 AM
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for what reason do you need a new cassette ? may be relevant to selection of replacement ...

example , I started using a trailer, I need a cassette with lower gearing ie -more teeth
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Old 12-15-13, 05:03 AM
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I have 14 teeth on 7th gear and 28 teeth on 1st gear, I think it's a freewheel, and for my derailleur I have a Shimano Altus.
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Old 12-15-13, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fowler98 View Post
I have 14 teeth on 7th gear and 28 teeth on 1st gear, I think it's a freewheel, and for my derailleur I have a Shimano Altus.

are you happy with the performance of you bike, currently? if so, try to pick up the same gear ratio. if you want easier gears for climbing, increase your 28 to 30, or higher. if you ride mainly flat, you could keep the 28 and lower the count on your smaller(higher) gears. the lower the count, the more power you'll have to put into your pedalling, but you can go faster.

what kind of bike are you riding?
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Old 12-15-13, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
are you happy with the performance of you bike, currently? if so, try to pick up the same gear ratio. if you want easier gears for climbing, increase your 28 to 30, or higher. if you ride mainly flat, you could keep the 28 and lower the count on your smaller(higher) gears. the lower the count, the more power you'll have to put into your pedalling, but you can go faster.

what kind of bike are you riding?
My bike is a Carrera Crossfire 2, will a SRAM cassette be compatible with my Shimano Altus derailleur?
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Old 12-15-13, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fowler98 View Post
My bike is a Carrera Crossfire 2, will a SRAM cassette be compatible with my Shimano Altus derailleur?
Yes, SRAM uses the same cog spacing and spline configuration as Shimano cassettes so you can use either make. Your rear derailleur won't care.

BTW, I looked up your bike and, based on Halford's description, it apparently has a freehub and cassette, not a freewheel.

Last edited by HillRider; 12-15-13 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 12-15-13, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fowler98 View Post
I have 14 teeth on 7th gear and 28 teeth on 1st gear, I think it's a freewheel, and for my derailleur I have a Shimano Altus.
He can easily go to a 30 tooth freewheel with that derailleur, maybe a 32 - am I right, mechanics? (I'm not a shop mechanic).

You'll for sure need a new chain.
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Old 12-15-13, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
He can easily go to a 30 tooth freewheel with that derailleur, maybe a 32 - am I right, mechanics? (I'm not a shop mechanic).

You'll for sure need a new chain.
Well, we still don't know if he is dissatisfied with his current gear choice so recommendations for going bigger at the large cog end or smaller at the small cog end are still not certain. It could well be he is spinning out the 14T.
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Old 12-15-13, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Well, we still don't know if he is dissatisfied with his current gear choice so recommendations for going bigger at the large cog end or smaller at the small cog end are still not certain. It could well be he is spinning out the 14T.
+1, regardless of technical considerations, the decision depends on how well the existing range suits his needs, and what change is indicated, if any.
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Old 12-15-13, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fowler98 View Post
My bike is a Carrera Crossfire 2, will a SRAM cassette be compatible with my Shimano Altus derailleur?
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, SRAM uses the same cog spacing and spline configuration as Shimano cassettes so you can use either make. Your rear derailleur won't care.

BTW, I looked up your bike and, based on Halford's description, it apparently has a freehub and cassette, not a freewheel.

As Hillrider states, they are compatible.


So, it begs the question, why are you changing your cassette?
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Old 12-15-13, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Well, we still don't know if he is dissatisfied with his current gear choice so recommendations for going bigger at the large cog end or smaller at the small cog end are still not certain. It could well be he is spinning out the 14T.
The reason is, my bike does this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVhIU4Fdf58
So I took it to the bike shop and they said you'd be better off with a new cassette, and yes, when im in 7th on the rear and on the smallest chainring it does slip.
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Old 12-15-13, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fowler98 View Post
The reason is, my bike does this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVhIU4Fdf58
So I took it to the bike shop and they said you'd be better off with a new cassette, and yes, when im in 7th on the rear and on the smallest chainring it does slip.
That's a Freehub problem.
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Old 12-15-13, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fowler98 View Post
The reason is, my bike does this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVhIU4Fdf58
So I took it to the bike shop and they said you'd be better off with a new cassette, and yes, when im in 7th on the rear and on the smallest chainring it does slip.

is it slipping, or catching? that freehub in the video is the problem. changing your cassette will not fix that. the cassette fits over the freehub body thusly https://youtu.be/rfInwZKxRfc.

your cassette may be just fine, unless you have an older 7sp setup that's actually a freewheel. in that case, yes, the "cassette"(it's actually a cassette and freehub in one, if you need the simpler analogy, here) will need to be replaced. if you have the freehub, that most likely is defective and needs to be replaced, not your cassette.

is this your bike? or if not, what year is it? https://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...Id_165534#tab2

given the specifications, you have a freehub, and that should be the focus of any mechanical investigation, unless your cassette has somehow broken and/or has worn the splines on the freehub and is actually slipping in that manner.
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Old 12-15-13, 07:24 PM
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If possible, it might help the detectives here if you took off the rear wheel and took a good quality close-up picture of the cogs.
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Old 12-16-13, 12:13 AM
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It's pretty tough to find cassettes with a 14t small cog, so I'm guessing freewheel here.
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Old 12-16-13, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
It's pretty tough to find cassettes with a 14t small cog, so I'm guessing freewheel here.
Looking at the video, it looks like a lock ring. The video is kind of dark, but look on the bottom portion of the lock ring and you should be able to see the notches.
A Shimano "F" is a 14-32. Could also be a different brand??
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Old 12-16-13, 09:15 AM
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I don't think the video is of the cogs in question. It was uploaded in 2011
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