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I have two separate wheelsets. One with an XT cassette with a bit of use on it, and one with a brand new Sram 990 cassette. My plan was to be able to swap the wheels over depending on the type of riding I'm doing.

I find though that the wheelset with the new cassette doesn't run properly, like the bike needs to be re-tuned.

Can anyone let me know if this will be caused due to the cassettes being different brands/models, if it's probably just because one cassette is new and one isn't, or if there will always be issues like this when changing between wheelsets, even with identical cassettes?

If it's down to either a difference in wear issue, or the different brand issue, I'll just get another Sram 990 and tune the bike up again. If it will likely keep skipping as every cassette is made slightly differently I'll save my cash and just change cassettes when changing wheels.
 

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I doubt it's wear. I would bet on manufacturing tolerances. It doesn't take much difference for a 9 speed drivetrain to go out of whack.

I've had good luck swapping between Shimano cassettes on rear wheels, but I wouldn't count on it, especially if the hubs were two different brands.
 

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+1 to what Chuck said. If your 2 wheelsets don't have identical hubs and cassettes, then some retuning is more or less inevitable. Fortunately, with a bit of practice it's fairly quick and easy to retune though.
 

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Your best bet...

for minimal tuning when swaping will be identical components, i.e. same hubs and same cassette, both brand and model. Notice I said "minimum" tuning. Even with identical hubs and cassettes you are likely to have to tweak it a bit. Different brands and models will likely increase the amount of "tweak" necessary when you swap. I've rarely had a set of components (even identical brand and model) of any type that didn't require a bit of adjustment when swaping.

Good Dirt
 
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