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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took out the large and small chain rings on my bike, leaving me with a 32T chainring and 9 gears. Ready to get a new cassette. Currently have a Shimano CS HG300-9, 12-36 Tooth. As a novice tinkerer who is learning as I go, I have watched some videos and read articles, but still have a few questions:
  • What do I need to look for in a cassette? Will any 9 speed system work (assuming right hardware/fit), regardless of type, size etc?
  • Any issues with shifting through the range of gears if too great a span?
  • When installing, is there anything else I need to do besides put the new cassette in?
  • Interested in something like 10(ish)-50(ish), thoughts?
  • Best bang for the buck? Are the cheapies I see for $35 no go for sure? I assume you get what you pay for.
  • Anything else?
Really appreciate the insight and help.
 

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Your current cassette shows you have a standard HG freehub. Any cassette from your 9 up to 12speed can be fitted to it providing it is HG compatible.

HG freehubs and cassettes will only allow an 11t small cog, any smaller than that then the freehub would have to be an XD Driver or Microspline and the cassette would need to be compatible with one of those.

Fitting big range cassettes will require a derailleur that is capable of working mainly with the biggest cog on the cassette (max low sprocket capacity) but this can be pushed a little or you could possibly use a hanger extender or GoatLink if the max low sprocket capacity is exceeded by a big margin.

Easiest way would be to buy a groupset with shifter, derailleur, chain and cassette in the same speed to ensure good shifting and less complications or compatibility issues. Just an example:-


I guess if your looking for good bang for buck then 1x 10 or 11 would be cheaper than 12speeds in general but it is doeable and there is reasonably priced 12speed stuff out there.

12speed is obviously the newest type with more advanced shifting performance tech so some other factors could need to be considered also.

The difference between 2x or 3x compared with 1x is that chain retention is important so better to have a narrow wide chainring up front and derailleurs also normally have a clutch system to help with this too.

I currently run 1x11 with an older model Shimano SLX shifter and derailleur with a (max size rated 11-46) HG Sunrace cassette and 32t narrow/wide chainring. This set up is perfect for me and where I ride so have no plans to change any of it, providing I can continue to get these 11speed components in future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your current cassette shows you have a standard HG freehub. Any cassette from your 9 up to 12speed can be fitted to it providing it is HG compatible.

HG freehubs and cassettes will only allow an 11t small cog, any smaller than that then the freehub would have to be an XD Driver or Microspline and the cassette would need to be compatible with one of those.

Fitting big range cassettes will require a derailleur that is capable of working mainly with the biggest cog on the cassette (max low sprocket capacity) but this can be pushed a little or you could possibly use a hanger extender or GoatLink if the max low sprocket capacity is exceeded by a big margin.

Easiest way would be to buy a groupset with shifter, derailleur, chain and cassette in the same speed to ensure good shifting and less complications or compatibility issues. Just an example:-


I guess if your looking for good bang for buck then 1x 10 or 11 would be cheaper than 12speeds in general but it is doeable and there is reasonably priced 12speed stuff out there.

12speed is obviously the newest type with more advanced shifting performance tech so some other factors could need to be considered also.

The difference between 2x or 3x compared with 1x is that chain retention is important so better to have a narrow wide chainring up front and derailleurs also normally have a clutch system to help with this too.

I currently run 1x11 with an older model Shimano SLX shifter and derailleur with a (max size rated 11-46) HG Sunrace cassette and 32t narrow/wide chainring. This set up is perfect for me and where I ride so have no plans to change any of it, providing I can continue to get these 11speed components in future.
Thanks! Great info, really helpful. Much appreciated.
 

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I recently ditched my 3x setup. I have an 11-34 9spd cassette and I installed a raceface 30T narrow wide ring on the front. Thats all I did. No issues with dropping chains or poor shifting. I havent dropped a single chain at all, and that includes lots of hard miles on a hardtail including one race. I did lose my granny low bailout gears which sucks. This is mostly a stopgap measure until I upgrade this thing to 1x11 this winter (hopefully) but its working well enough that I am not in a big hurry to change it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I recently ditched my 3x setup. I have an 11-34 9spd cassette and I installed a raceface 30T narrow wide ring on the front. Thats all I did. No issues with dropping chains or poor shifting. I havent dropped a single chain at all, and that includes lots of hard miles on a hardtail including one race. I did lose my granny low bailout gears which sucks. This is mostly a stopgap measure until I upgrade this thing to 1x11 this winter (hopefully) but its working well enough that I am not in a big hurry to change it.
That's basically what I did as well, but I climb enough where I miss those low gears. Definitely getting stronger, and more tired, quicker. Thanks for the info.
 
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