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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this should be in the newb forum or here. Full disclosure, I can't seem to learn anything without breaking stuff.

I was doing a wheel swap on my fat bike, the cassette had low mileage so I figured I'd put it on the new wheel. Grabbed the cassette with chain pliers, popped off the lock ring with the appropriate tool, and all seemed right in the world.

Slide cassette of the hub and all the individual cogs separated and clanked onto the ground. Obviously I know what order they should go in, and they only line up on the hub spline one way, but when I stacked them back I think one (or more) of the spacers might be slightly off because it's making a weird sort of grinding noise when I turn the cranks.

Now it's a cheap 9 speed cassette, I can just replace it for $30, but I'm still wondering what I did wrong. That's not normal is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, but maybe I need to be more generous with the grease.

Still more confused by the cogs separating. Assumed they would be held together with something besides the lock ring? Or do people really manage to balance a stack of cogs?
 

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It's normal for the cogs to be separate and as you found out they only go back on one way. It's pretty hard to mess up the spacers but it's possible.
 

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Sometimes the hubs require a spacer before you put the cassette. Many hubs have spacing for Shimano 11 speed road cassettes which are thicker than the mtb cassettes. If you look in the picture below you can see what I'm talking about. There is a silver spacer on the driver.

Product Text Line Font Parallel


You might want to measure the driver body on both wheels to see if the are the same length. Also some cassettes have spacers in between the sprockets. Make sure that you didn't leave one out.
 

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FYI, cheaper cassettes have all individual cogs, like yours. More expensive cassettes have the larger cogs on 1 or 2 spiders. That saves some weight and spreads the load to prevent cogs biting in your hub. It also makes mounting easier.
 

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Some cogs are thicker than others, have a raised surface. No spacer is required for those.

Assemble the cassette. If you there is spacing between any 2 cogs are are unlike the rest, there is a spacer required, or in the wrong place.

If you have an extra spacer, and all cogs are equally spaced, the spacer probably goes on first.

I didn't know grease was required for a cassette installation. Pretty sure the grease situation isn't the cause of your problems. Adding "extra" grease is likely going to do nothing aside from attracting a lot of dirt forever.
 

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Not unusual...many cassettes have each gear 'stacked' individually and they are held in place with lockring (usually threaded). As stated above, clean everything well then stack cogs onto hub/carrier and install lockring to proper torque. Look closely at the gap between each gear. They all need to be the same to align with 'indexing' of derailleur when you shift up/down. Any cog that has a different gap is installed wrong (spacer, backwards, etc).

I don't think post asking about grease was saying to grease your drivetrain. In 30 years of riding mountain bikes I've never used 'grease' on my external drivetrain...only INSIDE hubs for bearings. Just use chain-lube for drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all, I guess I feel a little better knowing I didn't destroy it.

I've only been riding my fatbike like once a year, so decided I would tinker with it just as a learning project. I'm 99% sure I got all the spacers back where they belong, but I'll give it another once over. Don't currently have a front wheel on the bike, so no particular rush anyway...
 
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