Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bike has the stock cassette... SRAM PG 950... SRAM.com says its 230g.

It says the PG990 (about $70 more) is 305g (11-34) or 275g (for 11-32)?

Can this be right?
Why is the more expensive cassette heavier?????
Whats a good cassette (without going super crazy like dura ace or KCNC)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Even a WalMart bike for $200 will have ramped cogs in it's cassette, so what it will come down to is what you need. If you are shifting smoothly on a less expensive cassette, and weight is not a concern, keep what you have, and get a top-of-the-line chain every year. Use a good chain lubricant, and keep your cables oiled. Otherwise, spendy cassettes are a luxury that you can live without, unless you are building your bike from a bare frame, at which point, I would suggest XTR (the most recent have Ti cogs in them) which are lighter than the rest of the standards and have CAD designed shift ramps. I use an XTR cassette, but if I had to do it again, I would have bought a KCNC.
My reasons for being spendy here are that I don't like having to fiddle with a bike once I have it built, I would rather ride it. If that means using Ti instead of Aluminum regardless of weight penalty, I will. In some cases, you can really pare off weight without hurting anything (there's a guy in Hong Kong making derailleur plates for X-O derailleur long-cages and selling them on eBay for like $10), but in others, you either spend a LOT of money and get something light AND strong, or you take care of the baby, get another pack of smokes, or both, and still have the parts you need. The 'spensive cassettes will not wear as fast, usually (stay away from Aluminum cassettes, they are light as heck because they are good for one short race, then are thrown away). The KCNC cassettes are Scandium. Not sure whether you have seen what that metal looks like compared to the rest, but if I had known KCNC had a cassette like that, I would have bought one. Hmm... is there an 11-34 on their lists?

Seriously though, Sram's 990 is excellent, so is any XT or XTR from the last 3 years, as long as you use a compatible chain. Shimano makes a reliable chain, as does Wippermann (as long as you check it for bad links once in a while), also KMC (really only the X9 and X9-SL). If you want to drop weight and feel it, the further you go towards the rim, the more it matters. A heavier cassette will not make too much difference in the ride, unless it is made of lead or some unstable radioactive element... at which point I would consider shopping for some of the above listed parts (or a serious pair of riding shorts). If you want to get the feeling of lightness, try Stan's ZTR rims. That is loss of weight where you will know right away that something is different,and you will feel faster. Otherwise, $300 on a cassette would be a waste.
 

·
The MTB Lab
Joined
·
2,556 Posts
Skip the KCNC cassette's, they are Aluminum (Scandium is added to aluminum alloys) so they are still soft and will wear.

XTR is still the sweet cassette out there currently, I do run a Sram 980 on one bike because it was cheap.

You do need to compare apples to apples, the Sram cassette's go up in price and down in weight as you go up the model range.

The best bang for the buck is the XT.

As a side note, for chain go for the KMC X10-SL, works on a 9 speed, else try a Sram PC-1090R.

And wheelsets are the best place to save weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,083 Posts
Stock PG950 MTB/11-34 cassettes are the "boat anchors" of the cassette world. One came on my Trance and I couldn't believe the difference between it and an LX cassette, don't even mention between it and an XT cassette.

If it were me for the cash I'd go either LX/PG970 or XT/PG990, main difference being that the LX/970 cassettes are individual cogs pinned together whereas the XT/990 are cogs pinned onto a solid alu carrier which doesn't eat soft freehub bodies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I see that the weight listed for the PG950 is for 11-26. There is no weight for 11-34.

Has anybody weighed one? Just wonder what I can shed by going that route.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Urnicus said:
I see that the weight listed for the PG950 is for 11-26. There is no weight for 11-34.

Has anybody weighed one? Just wonder what I can shed by going that route.

Thanks
The SRAM site has the PG970 11-34 listed at 410g so I imagine the PG950 is at least 410g.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
kinda different animals, one is an 8 speed all steel cassette, one is a 9 speed cassette with an alloy carrier. I would stand to reason that the weight is probably not too radically different. At this level of cassette though, it barely matters. If you plan to use any SRAM cassette, it is best to get the one that matches your shifters and chain, regardless of the weight. If you start your drivetrain at the cassette, you have more options, and weight is more fairly concern. In any case, 400+ grams is heavy for a cassette, and you would do well to upgrade your shifters and derailleurs along with the chain, and get a lighter cassette, like an XTR or American Classic. This is something I only recommend based on your concern for weight, and honestly, bikes that come with those cassettes are either soon upgraded, or are not ridden very enthusiastically.If you ride rarely, or do not care about weight, but want smooth shifting, get the compatible cassette and call it a day. If you ride alot, care about weight alot, and don't mind the expense, take my advice.
 

·
Underweight Rider
Joined
·
439 Posts
i was goin to buy the 980 until i found out the Shimano SLX was a weeeebit heavier and cheaper. Currently using SLX cassette and SLX chain now...couldnt be happier.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,778 Posts
SRAM PG-950 11-34 = Heavy Artillery

The SRAM PG-950 11-34 cassette is 460 whopping grams. Basically, 1.2lbs. After trying out many various cassettes, I am content with my Shimano Dura-Ace 12-27 ti cassette, which is only 178 grams. This makes my 19lb hardtail climb like a billy goat on crack:
 

Attachments

1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top