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Shimano and Shimano-compatible 9-Speed Cassettes

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by Sheldon "Kah Sept" Brown
and John "A neuf already!" Allen
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Cassettes for sale from Harris Cyclery

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This article is your guide to work on Shimano and Shimano-compatible 9-speed cassettes (sprocket clusters) -- replacing worn sprockets, making subsitutions, and building custom combinations. The tables below list current models from major brands, and some discontinued models.

Another article on this site gives more general information about cassettes, and on how to upgrade from an older cassette.

In case you're not sure whether your bike has a cassette Freehub or a thread-on freewheel, we have a separate illustrated article explaining how to tell them apart.

Cassettes listed in the table below will fit most Shimano and Shimano-compatible freehub bodies, with the following exceptions:

Colored backgrounds in the cells of the tables below identify assemblies of two or more sprockets on a spider to save weight. These sprockets cannot be separated from one another. There's a tradeoff: the more sprockets on a spider, the more you will have to pay for a replacement even if you only wear out one of them! Assemblies of the same sprocket sizes shown in the same background color are compatible with one another, though they may differ in materials and finish. Sprockets on spiders can be replaced by flat steel sprockets with spacers sandwiched between them, and vice versa.

Some Shimano flat steel sprockets and spacers are in bolted or riveted assemblies, indicated by tooth counts in italics in the table. The bolts or rivets only serve to keep sprockets and spacers in order when the cassette is not installed on the freehub. Bolts or rivets can be removed to replace sprockets or build up custom combinations..

Model numbers covered in current (2010) Shimano product literature are in boldface, like this: CS‑7700. Older model numbers are included, if verified, in italics, like this: CSHG709 and if not, in plain text, like this: CS5500.

The ramps and shaped teeth of Shimano Hyperglide sprockets, and their imitations, are designed to improve shifting in the stock progressions, but it is possible to mix and match sprockets with some small penalty in smoothness of shifting. Miche sprockets are available individually in all sizes, useful in building up a custom progression.

Individual 9-speed sprockets 16 teeth or smaller are interchangeable between series except that those for a two-tooth jump to the next-larger sprocket have two shifting locations, while those for a one-tooth jump only have one, in a different location.

15T sprocket for one-tooth jump 15T sprocket for two-tooth jump
15T sprocket with one ramp 15T sprocket iwth two ramps

 

Many Shimano 9-speed sprocket combinations are identified by two-letter codes such as "ar" or "be". Cassettes with the same code always have the same tooth counts, though they may use different spider or bolted combinations.

The Shimano parts lists linked below will help you identify models and order replacement parts.

SRAM, IRD and SunRace also offer 9-speed Shimano-compatible cassettes -- see additional sections that follow the Shimano section.

Click here for current stock at Harris Cyclery including custom combinations

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Shimano parts lists

Dura-Ace CS-7700 9-speed
Ultegra CS-6500 9-speed
Tiagra, Sora CS-HG50 9-speed
Deore XT CS-M750 9-speed
Deore XT CS-M760 9-speed
Deore XT CS-M770 9-speed
XTR CS-M960 9-speed
XTR CS-M970 9-speed
Deore LX CS-M580 9-speed
CS-HG80 9-speed
Deore CS-HG50 9-speed, ar group
Nexave CS-HG50 9-speed, au group
CS-HG51 9-speed
Nexave CS‑LG50 bb grp. (8‑sp., 9‑sp. spacing)

Shimano 9-speed combinations

Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 33 34 36
Dura-Ace
CS-7700
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21
Ultegra
CS-6500
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21
Dura-Ace
CS-7700
11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23
Ultegra
CS-6500
11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23
CS‑HG70 (105, CS5500), CS‑HG50‑9 11 12 13 15 17 19 21 23 25
XT bg
CS-HG80
11 12 13 14 16 18 21 24 28
XT bg
CS-HG61
11 12 13 14 16 18 21 24 28
XTR ba
CS-M970
11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
XT ar
CS-HG80
11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
XTR, XT ba, aq
CS-M960
CS-M770
CS-M760
CS-M750
11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
LX ar
CS-HG70‑9
CS-HG50‑9
CS-M580
CS-HG61
11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
Nexave bb
CS-LG50
8-sp., 9-sp. spacing
11 13 15 17 21 25 29 33
XTR be
CS-M970
11 13 15 17 20 23 26 30 34
XTR, XT as
CS-M960
CS-M950
CS-M770
CS-M760
CS-M750
11 13 15 17 20 23 26 30 34
XT au
CS-HG80
11 13 15 17 20 23 26 30 34
XT au
CS-HG70-9
CS-M580
CS‑HG50‑9
CS-HG61
11 13 15 17 20 23 26 30 34
Dura-Ace
CS-7700
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21
Ultegra
CS-6500
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21
Dura-Ace
CS-7700
12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 23
Ultegra
CS-6500
12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 23
HG70 (105, CS5500), CS‑HG50‑9 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 23
Dura-Ace
CS-7700
12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25
Ultegra
CS-6500
12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25
HG70 (105, CS5500), CS‑HG50‑9 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25
Dura-Ace
CS-7700
12 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 27
Ultegra
CS-6500
12 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 27
Harris Century 12 12 13   15 17 19 21 24 27 30
Harris Big Dozen XT 12 13 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
Harris Big Dozen SLX 12 13 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
XTR bd
CS-M970
CS-M952
12 14 16 18 20 23 26 30 34
XT, XTR ap
CS-M960
CS-M953
CS-M750
12 14 16 18 20 23 26 30 34
ba
CS-HG61
12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32 36
Ultegra
CS-6500
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23
HG70 (105, CS5500) 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23
Ultegra
CS-6500
13 14 15 16 17 19 21 23 25
HG70 (105, CS5500),
CS‑HG50‑9
13 14 15 16 17 19 21 23 25
Harris Century Special 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 27 30
Harris Cyclotouriste 13 13 15 17 19 21 24 27 30 34
Ultegra
CS-6500
14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23 25
CS-HG50-9 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23 25
Harris Cyclotouriste 14 14 15 17 19 21 24 27 30 34
Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 33 34 36
Sprockets shown in color are interchangeable with other same-size sprockets shown in the same color.
Individual 9-speed sprockets 16 teeth or smaller are partially interchangeable between series except that those for a two-tooth jump have two ramps, while those for a one-tooth jump only have one.
Sprockets shown with the same background color are attached to a spider assembly and can not be separated. Others may be riveted or bolted together, but the rivets or bolts can be removed to use the sprockets in other combinations.
In addition, Shimano makes a special Capreo
hub and cassette for small-wheel bikes.
The 9 through 13T sprockets are special and non-interchangeable with others.
9 10 11 13 15 17 20 23 26

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IRD 9-speed combinations

IRD has many combinations that are different from Shimano's. Some combinations are rather nice, and others have some uneven steps.

ES series cassettes have the four largest sprockets on aluminum spiders, two sprockets each. The spiders are indicated by background colors in the table below. Alloy cassettes have the two smallest sprockets in steel, the rest CNC machined out of one block of aluminum alloy -- "recommended for racing only" according to the IRD Web site: they will wear out quickly.

Harris Cyclery does not stock IRD cassettes as of this writing. They are included here for the sake of completeness.

IRD Web page describing cassettes with steel sprockets

Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 34
11‑25 CS 11 12 13 15 17 19 21 23 25
11‑28 ES 11 12 14 16 18 20 22 25 28
11‑28 CS 11 12 14 16 18 20 22 25 28
11‑30 ES 11 12 14 16 18 20 24 28 30
11‑30 CS 11 12 14 16 18 20 24 28 30
11‑32 CS 11 12 14 16 18 20 24 28 32
Alloy 11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
Alloy 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 23
12‑23 CS 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 21 23
12‑25 ES 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25
12‑25 CS 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25
12‑28 ES 12 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 28
12‑30 ES 12 13 14 16 18 20 24 28 30
12‑32 CS 12 13 14 16 18 20 24 28 32
Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 34
Sprockets shown with the same background color are attached to a spider assembly and cannot be separated. Others may be riveted or bolted together, but the rivets or bolts can be removed to use the sprockets in other combinations.

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Miche 9-speed Combinations

Miche makes two cassettes to fit Shimano hubs. Miche also sells individual sprockets in all sizes, useful in building up custom combinations.

Harris Cyclery offeres individaul Miches sprockets, but does not stock Miche cassettes as of this writing. They are included here for the sake of completeness.

Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 34
  11 12 13   15   17 19 21 23 26
    12 13   15 17 19 21 23 25 27
Sprockets may be riveted or bolted together, but the rivets or bolts can be removed to use the sprockets in other combinations.

SRAM 9-speed Combinations

The sprockets of SRAM combinations which are similar to each other are probably interchangeable while maintaining smooth shifting.

The PG-990 series cassettes use sprockets on a spider. There have been reliability issues reported with the spiders. The XG-999 has 7 sprockets CNC machined from a single block of steel, for light weight. It ain't cheap!.

Harris Cyclery stocks some SRAM cassettes, where they fill gaps in Shimano's offereings.

SRAM 2008 technical specs listing 9-speed cassettes (see page 34 ff.)
SRAM 2006 technical specs listing 9-speed cassettes (see pages 28-29).

Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 34
PG‑970 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21
PG-970 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23
PG-970 11 12 13 15 17 19 21 23 26
PG-950 11 12 13 14 16 18 21 24 28
PG-990 11 12 13 15 17 20 23 26 30
PG-980
PG-980
PG-970
PG-950
11 12 13 15 17 20 23 26 30
XG-999 11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
PG-990 11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
PG-980
PG-970
PG-950
11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32
PG-990 11 13 15 17 20 23 26 30 34
PG-980
PG-980
PG-970
PG-950
11 13 15 17 20 23 26 30 34
PG-970
PG-950
12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 23
PG-970
PG-950
12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 26
Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 34
Sprockets may be riveted or bolted together, but the rivets or bolts can be removed to use the sprockets in other combinations.

 

SunRace 9-speed combinations:

Harris Cyclery does not stock SunRace cassettes as of this writing. They are included here for the sake of completeness.

Because most SunRace cassettes skip the same sprocket sizes, it is fair to assume that the sprockets are interchangeable while maintaining smooth shifting.

The MD7 8-speed cassettes with 9-speed spacing have a chain protector in place of the innermost sprocket, like Shimano Nexave.

Sprockets are steel. The different model numbers with the same sprockets differ in the finish:

MZ7: TI-alloy nitride/Ti Nitride
MX5: Sandblasted satin
M96: Sandblasted satin/ED Black
M96S: Zinc

SunRace 2010-2011 catalog

Code 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 34
CSR96 9AQ 11 12 13   15 17 19 21 23 25
CSM96 9AS
CSMX5 9AS
11 12 13 14 16 18 21 24 28
CSMD7 8AS
8-speed, 9-speed spacing
11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28
CSMD7 8AT
8-speed, 9-speed spacing
11 12   14 16 18 21 24 30

CSM96 9AU,
CSM96S 9AU
CSMX5 9AU
CSMZ7 9AU

11 12   14 16 18 21 24 28 32
CSM96 9AV
CSMX5 9AV
CSMZ7 9AV
11 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 34
CSR96 9BQ 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25
SunRace cassettes and individual sprockets are compatible with Shimano. Shifting will not be as smooth when mixing brands in the same cassette.

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Building Custom Cassettes

Shimano wants you to use one of its standard combinations, and offers a wide-enough choice to suit the needs of most cyclists, but you don't have to if you don't want to!

It is not difficult to customize Shimano cassettes. If you substitute an un-approved cog, Uniglide or Hyperglide, SRAM, SunRace, IRD, Miche, or some other brand, it will still work, but the shift to/from that cog will probably not be as smooth as a Hyperglide shift normally is. Since people managed without Hyperglide for several decades, this shouldn't scare you off. In particular, if you substitute the top or bottom sprocket, you will only have one shift that isn't HG; shifts to or from the extreme sprockets tend to be less troublesome than intermediate shifts anyway.

Shimano cassettes that don't use spiders have most of the sprockets held together by 3 small bolts or rivets. These are not essential. Their function is convenience, in allowing the cassette to be installed slightly more easily. To make a custom cassette, you will often need to remove the screws or rivets. Just discard them, they are unnecessary in practice.

Harris Cyclery sells some custom cassettes, with sprocket combinations you may find useful:

9-speed custom Cassettes for sale from Harris Cyclery

You might also build up one of your own. Generally, the smallest sprocket needs to be one with a built-in spacer, designed for the top-gear position. While you can't insert or remove a sprocket within a spider module, you can add sprockets on either side of these modules.

For example, if you want a 13-32 9-speed, you can start with a 12-27:

7-speed and 8-speed sprockets are slightly wider than 9-speed sprockets, and the spacers are wider too --see spacing cribsheet. Using one or two 7- or 8-speed sprockets in a 9-speed cassette probably won't cause problems, though you might compensate by using narrower spacers next to these sprockets. The smaller sprockets (11, 12, 13) that gve built-in spacers should ideally be matched, but even this isn't generally a problem in practice.

Sprockets are available individually, too:

Loose sprockets for sale from Harris Cyclery

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