How to recognize a cassette or ratchet on a bicycle

Bicycle cassette designation

Usually cassettes are marked with a range and number of stars, for example 11-36T 10-speed. Road bike cassettes can be compatible with one of the following systems: Shimano or Campagnolo. third-party models are labeled accordingly.

Classification of cassettes

By the material of the stars

  • Steel (chrome-plated, nickel-plated or otherwise coated) is inexpensive, durable and the most common material. Cheap cassettes naturally serve less expensive ones.
  • Titanium alloy. used in top cassettes (sometimes only on large stars), very high price, low weight. There is no consensus regarding the durability of titanium stars versus good steel stars.
  • Aluminum alloy (anodized). used in Weitwinner cassettes. Very low weight, high price, low resource (may be at the level of a bad steel cassette).

By stars

Cassettes are available with 7 to 11 sprockets. Generally, modern rear hubs are compatible with 8-10 sprocket cassettes. 11-star cassettes are available only for the Campagnolo system and are only compatible with the corresponding hubs.

Dismantling process

It is advisable to disassemble the ratchet in the order shown below in order to do it quickly and smoothly.

  • Remove the rear wheel and place it on the wall.
  • Unscrew all bolts and nuts securing the mechanism to the wheel axle.
  • Put the puller on the nut of the sleeve and hammer in with a hammer if it does not fit tightly enough.
  • Install an adjustable wrench or wrench on the puller and unscrew the ratchet with frequent short jerks counterclockwise. If it does not give way, you need to lengthen the lever. To do this, you can screw a tube or a metal pin between the puller and the key with long bolts. The longer the tube, the less force will need to be applied to spin the ratchet. The second way is to set up any stable stationary holder as a shoulder and, using it as a lever, turn the wheel.
  • Remove auxiliary tools and ratchet stars and unscrew the last, smallest, counterclockwise.
  • When removed, the bearings spill out of the sleeve, which must not be lost. And don’t forget about the second track of balls directly under the wheel.

In the future, you should check the quality of the oil and inspect the structural parts for wear and contamination, then clean them and lubricate them again. Too dark color of the oil indicates that the parts have not been lubricated for a long time and are badly worn out. In this case, a complete replacement of the ratchet mechanism may be required. The bearings should also be sorted out and replaced with wrinkled and speckled ones.

How to determine the assembly of a bike

If the bike is new, then with almost 100% certainty you can say that it has a cassette. But there are times when there is only a bushing on the hands and the number of driven stars is unknown. Then it is worth checking the presence of threads at the bottom of the sleeve. There is a thread only on ratchet bushings, and slot drums are installed on cassette drums with small alternating protrusions that repeat the slots on the inner circumference of the cassette.

cassette, ratchet, bicycle

Removing the ratchet

Dismantling this mechanism is not an easy task if you have to do it for the first time or if it has not been removed for a long time. For the procedure, you will need a special puller and an adjustable wrench.

Bicycle ratchet or cassette

Both experienced and novice cyclists, who have a two-wheeled “iron horse” in their garage, need to be able to service it with their own hands and know how to replace and lubricate wheel parts. The ratchet on a bicycle is one such mechanism, the removal and handling of which requires skill.

Why do you need a part

The ratchet is part of the chain mechanism that transfers the force from the pedal to the axle of the bicycle wheel. It consists of a freewheel, driven sprockets and a threaded ring. During the ride, the entire structure twists so tightly that it becomes difficult to unscrew it without a special puller and a key.

If the bike is used frequently, dirt, grass and sand are stuffed into the teeth of the sprockets and dogs, which can lead to breakdown. To prevent the ratchet from sticking to the hub and rusting due to improper maintenance, it must be disassembled, cleaned and oiled or replaced.

It is also required to remove it in the following cases:

  • the dog is worn out, which can lead to a wedge of stars or to free rotation of the drum with stars not in one direction, but in both;
  • the teeth of one of the small stars have worn off;
  • a broken spoke needs to be replaced.

Required tools

In addition to these two tools, old rags should be prepared as you will have to be smeared with oil when removing the stars, and a container for ball bearings so that they do not wake up and are not lost. A mechanism that is too old is recommended to be replaced, and a tightly screwed or stuck mechanism should be lubricated with WD-40 liquid and left for a couple of hours so as not to break the wheel when pulling by force.

The difference between a ratchet and a cassette

Despite the strong similarity between ratchet and cassette, do not confuse them with each other.

Most modern bicycles are already equipped with cassette blocks, and they also need to be removed in a special way, since ratchets and cassettes are not interchangeable.

You can find out if there is a cassette in front of you or a ratchet in two ways:

  • They differ from each other in the number of stars. On older bicycles with ratchets, there can be a maximum of 6, rarely 7 stars for gear shifting.
  • Outwardly, they are similar, but there is an important difference, and it allows you to more accurately determine the type of mechanism. There are two grooves on the ratchet cage, which are intended for removing the cover and accessing the bearings. There are no such recesses on the cassette, but there is a nut with slots inside. In addition, the dismantled ratchet and cassette differ from the reverse side: on the first there is a thread for screwing in the sleeve, and on the second there are all the same slots for installing a cassette drum with stars.

Which is better, cassette or ratchet

The ratchet is an older and obsolete mechanism found on older or cheaper bicycles. Outwardly, the difference with cassette drums may not be visible, but it is.

A ratchet bike can be used if the owner rarely gets out into the city or for walks, rides calmly, on smooth roads and without rolling, that is, does not overload the rear axle.

Axle breakage is common on this type of bike due to uneven bearings at the base of the hub. When riding, balls accumulate at the center of the ratchet and exert pressure transmitted to the axle.

In cassette drums, bearings are assembled symmetrically along the edges of the bushing and, conversely, balance the axle, which suggests that these mechanisms are better than ratcheting.

On bicycles with cassettes, you can ride fast and overcome obstacles, drive up a hill and not be afraid that the rear wheel will fail. But even such a block must be periodically inspected and disassembled using a slotted puller and a whip key so that the mechanism will serve for a long time.

Rear sprocket for Torpedo bushings

Torpedo hubs are installed on most modern single-speed bicycles. road bikes, teenagers, folding and children. Such bushings are equipped with one driven sprocket, which is attached by means of a splined connection to the driving cone. First, a boot is put on the driving cone, then the star itself and then all this is clamped with a support ring in special grooves of the driving cone.

Attaching the rear sprocket to the hub of a single speed bike

Bicycle rear wheel ratchet

The bike ratchet is part of the bike’s drivetrain and consists of a set of sprockets combined with a freewheel hub. This type of chainring appeared earlier than cassettes and is considered obsolete. These days, cassettes are mostly installed on entry-level bicycles that are not subject to heavy loads. The downside of this design is incompatibility with the hollow eccentric axle. Due to the fact that the freewheel bearings are outside the bushing, part of this axle can burst under heavy loads. That is why almost all ratchet bushings have an axle for nuts. In addition, ratchets can contain a maximum of seven stars, very rarely eight, while cassettes are also available with 11 stars. The main advantage of the ratchet is its affordable price, which has made it popular among non-professional bicycles.

Attaching the Ratchet to the Bicycle Rear Wheel Hub.

The ratchet of the rear wheel of the bicycle is attached to the hub using a threaded connection, but the ratchet can only be removed using a special puller (see the figure below).

The ratchet bushing device is quite simple and it is based on a ratchet mechanism, therefore it is often called a ratchet. On the axis of the sleeve there are pawls, which are fixed with a special ring. The axle itself attaches directly to the rear hub of the bike. On the inside of the body there are special serrated protrusions. There is a set of stars on the body. The axle and housing interact with each other through pawls and bearings. When the cyclist presses on the pedals and transfers the force to the ratchet stars, the pawls rest on the lugs and twist the wheel hub of the bicycle. As soon as the ratchet stars stop, and with them the body of the ratchet bushing stops, the dogs begin to slip over the lugs. The wheel spins further freely from the rear sprockets and, accordingly, the pedals. With a free wheel, you can hear characteristic clicks, these are the dogs beating against the protrusion on the ratchet body.

Ratchet bushing details

Ratchet bushing

Materials for making cassettes

The most ideal option is steel with special coatings. Such cassettes are more durable, but also heavier than titanium and aluminum. The more expensive the steel cassette is, the longer it will last.

Aluminum cassettes are very lightweight but wear out very quickly. The titanium alloy is used only in the manufacture of professional cassettes, since they are obtained at a price like “gold”. The weight of titanium cassettes is noticeably lower than that of steel ones, and are similar in strength.

Bicycle rear wheel cassette

A cassette is a part of a bicycle, consisting of a set of stars fixed to each other. The cassette is put on the free wheel of the rear hub using a splined connection and secured with a special nut. The difference between cassette and ratchet is that the freewheel hub (drum or nut) at the ratchet is integrated into it, while at the cassette it is located directly in the rear hub of the bike.

Cassette and hub with drum for cassette

It makes no sense to consider the device and the principle of operation of the drum of the cassette sleeve, since it is similar to the freewheeling sleeve of the ratchet.

Classification of cassettes by the number of stars

Cassettes can contain seven to eleven stars. over, the bushings are most often produced for 8.9 and 10 stars, since with a smaller number of stars, a ratchet is usually used. Eleven star cassettes are currently only available for the Campagnolo system and are only compatible with similar hubs.

What is a ratchet and what is a cassette?

Topic: In this article, we will briefly talk about the difference between a ratchet and a cassette. We will also tell you what is better and when is better.

Who the article is for: The article is intended for those who want to assemble a high-quality bike exactly for their parameters, no more and no less.

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Conclusion: Both threaded chainrings and cassettes are suitable for cycling. It all depends on the size of your wallet. But it is important to know the features of each type of structure in order to avoid unpleasant situations.

In this article, you will learn:

Ratchets are too easy, but you need to know how to unscrew and tighten them correctly.

Cassettes are even simpler than ratchets. But you need to know how to choose them correctly.

A ratchet is a ratchet and sprocket mechanism that transfers torque from the chainrings to the rear wheel. Ratchets are both threaded and slotted. Very often, the word “ratchet” means a threaded ratchet. This “thing” was installed on the top bicycles of the mid-20th century and on the simplest bicycles of our times.

Why Threaded Ratchet? It turns out that in the threaded ratchet the ratchet is mounted outside the sleeve. Such a system is unreliable and outdated. At the same time, ratchets are the simplest and cheapest. The cost of a ratchet that can roll over 3 thousand km. no problem. about 10, which is very nice for the

In practice, it is worth noting that the stars then wear out faster than the ratchet mechanism itself, and the disadvantage of such a mechanism is the impossibility of replacing individual stars. Although, it is very convenient and cheap, when you constantly ride a 5-6 star, it has worn out and instead of replacing the cassette, you only change one or two stars. The disadvantages of ratchets include a small number of stars. Ratchets have 5 to 7 stars as standard. Some unique threaded ratchets have 8 stars.

Why does my bike make a clicking sound when I am not pedaling?

And we have not yet indicated all the disadvantages of ratchets. We want to warn you that most of the disadvantages will only be noticeable to experienced cyclists, so you should read carefully.

As the pedals are rotated, the ratchet spins onto the thread of the sleeve each time. stronger and stronger. Sometimes, then unscrewing the ratchet is almost impossible! There are two ways to unscrew the ratchet.

The first is a wrench spline bushing. This bushing is inserted into the slots inside the ratchet, and unscrewed with a wrench. In practice, there are several broken spokes, and sometimes the splines are torn off. We know a unique method for unscrewing the ratchet with such a puller. Soon, we will post a video where the principle of removal will be shown, but for now we will describe in words. We need the puller itself and a vise securely attached to the table. The splined part of the puller is inserted into the ratchet, and the hexagonal part of the puller is clamped in a vice. As a result, the wheel takes a horizontal position, it looks like a steering wheel. Next, we take the tire with both hands on the edge of the wheel and unscrew the wheel. It is because of the large lever and two-handed grip that the spokes remain safe and sound.

The second method is with a handle-shaped puller and pieces of chain. Please look at the photo. Of course, the price of such a puller leaves much to be desired.

But when installing the ratchet, the main thing is to get on the thread. After all, the thread pitch is small, and the likelihood of damage to the thread is high. The most important thing is that you will only notice this when you screw it to the end and you will see the skew of the ratchet. Be careful and wind the stars smoothly.

We see no point in disassembling the internal ratchet mechanism. It’s not worth it, and then collecting is problematic. We advise you to sprinkle a little WD-40 grease into the ratchet mechanism, and then pour silicone grease, this will be quite enough. |

Cassettes not for a tape recorder

The cassette has the same ratchet and stars, the difference is that the mechanism has been moved to the hub. Cassettes are designed for spline-mounted bushings, which are a negative factor, since when switching to a larger number of stars, the bushing must also be changed, from threaded to spline. But cassettes, or drums (as they are also called) have a huge number of advantages and, in our opinion, there is only one drawback. the price.

By the way, we see no point in describing the problematic removal of cassettes, since these are isolated cases. But we will be happy to answer in a comment to someone who will be really interested in this question.

The clamping nut provides secure fastening of the cassette to the splines of the bushing. In quality bicycles, this nut is lubricated with a special thread sealant to prevent self-loosening. That is why we advise you to heat the nut with an industrial hair dryer before unscrewing it. Also, when removing, it will be necessary to fix the stars so that they do not scroll. This is possible thanks to a special whip.

Here we come to the end of the article. Today the velo-travel team decided not to overload you with a large amount of information. After all, everything is simple. What to choose for your bike? It’s up to you to decide. If you are not an avid cyclist and use a bike without too much stress. the threaded ratchet is enough for you! It is reasonable to purchase cassette cassettes only for constant participation in competitions, or for serious hikes.

Thank you all for your attention, and may your bike horse never let you down!

What is the difference between a cassette and a ratchet?

Novice bike bikers buy a new bike and ride for fun. When a malfunction occurs with the rear sprockets. questions arise. It is not uncommon to chat or over the phone. people come to us with a request to help choose rear sprockets. Asking the client: “Do you have a cassette or a ratchet?” many do not know the answer and do not understand how to distinguish visually.

How to distinguish cassette from ratchet?

The cassette is put on a special bushing drum.

These are fundamentally two different designs. They are not interchangeable. This is a completely different constructive approach.

If you turn both options with the back side. then:

At the cassette you will see a slotted seat on the hub.

There will be a thread on the ratchet. The thread is standard and the same everywhere. The number of stars does not affect the type of mount.

How to visually distinguish a ratchet from a cassette?

When rear sprockets are installed on a bicycle, the average user cannot navigate the type of sprocket just by looking at the model. Not everyone wants and can google it. Therefore, we look at the front, the most extreme part:

All cassettes are tightened with a special nut. The design is the same, regardless of the number of speeds.

All ratchets have some kind of void between the axis and the stars themselves. The ratchet itself in this part will have special splines, and not a nut.

What’s better. cassette or ratchet? And what to choose?

Constructively. ratchets are already a very outdated topic. With a calm and gentle ride. It’s enough. For aggressive riding, especially for teenagers, because teenage bicycles are not equipped with cassettes. it becomes an unsolvable problem. The axis from the edge of the hub runs inside the ratchet stars and goes to the frame dropout. Between the axis and the stars. emptiness.

And all the load on the axle does not go along the edge of the ratchet itself, but from the edge of the bushing. and when jumping, jumping off curbs, hitting holes at speed. often breaks the axle in half. This is a constructive miscalculation that could be corrected by a new type of stars.

Feature of cassette bushings. is reliability and durability. Previously, either cage bearings or ball bearings were used as a bearing. Now more reliable units are equipped with prompts. The system has always worked reliably and stably. The center of axle weight is correctly distributed. Under loads, there is no large leverage on the axle

As you understood. all the trump cards went to the cassette. This is the best option offered by manufacturers today. Not whimsical and reliable to use. always a plus for city travel and long distance travel.

Choose a new bike and there are no financial constraints. of course choose a cassette. With a ratchet bike. do not run to instantly change the ratchet to a cassette, this will pull a complete wheel replacement. In case of a serious breakdown of the rear wheel, when the rim or hub cannot be repaired. think about the transition from a non-modern standard to a more modern and reliable one.


A simpler transmission system, which consists of a set of fixed stars and is connected to the rear wheel hub via a ratchet mechanism by screwing clockwise.

Ratchets appeared much earlier than cassettes, and you can see such a system most often on old and inexpensive models of children’s, teenage, city and women’s bicycles. The system got its funny name due to the crackling sound that is emitted during free rotation or rotation in the opposite direction.

The ratchets differ among themselves in the total number of stars (from 3 to 7 stars) and the number of teeth (at least 11 on a small star). There are also ratchets with 8 stars, but they are extremely rare and have a deeper fit, which makes it impossible to install on bushings for 5-7 speed ratchets.

A special “ratchet puller” is used to remove the ratchet. With its help, the ratchet is twisted counterclockwise. In order to install the ratchet, no additional devices are needed.

Determining Cassette/Freewheel Type & Tool

The advantage of the ratchet is its low cost and ease of dismantling. As stated above, this is a fairly old system that is found on inexpensive bicycles. Replacing the ratchet will not hit the bike enthusiast’s hard and will require a minimum set of tools.

The disadvantages of the ratchet include its unreliability under high loads while driving. The stars wear out faster than the ratchet mechanism itself, and it is impossible or very difficult to replace the stars separately.

These disadvantages will become barely noticeable if you are used to a smooth ride on a bike weighing up to 80kg and are not ready to pay an impressive amount for infrequent use for a bike with the best attachments and transmission.

Cassette or ratchet

Earlier we talked about the main components of a bicycle in the article “In simple language about what a bicycle consists of.” how could you find out what a transmission is and what elements it consists of. The rear sprocket system, designed to raise or lower gears on a bike with multiple speeds, is divided into just two types: ratchet and cassette.

Today we will tell you about their differences, as well as note the main advantages and disadvantages. This information can be useful if you need to replace or repair the system, as well as when choosing a bike that must meet certain requirements.


An advanced transmission system, which consists of a set of riveted sprockets and is slipped onto the rear hub drum and secured with a special stopper. There are grooves inside the cassette, and there are protrusions on the surface of the drum of the hub.

The cassette is mainly found on expensive bicycle models, where the manufacturers took into account the shortcomings of the ratchet and constructively corrected them. Thus, the cassette is gradually replacing the outdated mechanism.

Unlike the ratchet, the cassette is already a collapsible type of system and allows you to change the stars separately, if necessary. Cassettes differ among themselves, like ratchets, in the number of stars (from 7 to 12 stars) and teeth (from 11 on the smallest star).

Two tools are already used to remove the cassette, although the process itself requires less effort when compared to removing the ratchet. You will need a cassette puller and a whip (a small bicycle chain attached to the handle). The cassette stars are held by a whip, and the stopper is unscrewed with a puller. Note that you can also unscrew the ratchet with a cassette remover, but you cannot remove the cassette using a ratchet remover.

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The disadvantage of the cassette is the high price of the mechanism, which significantly increases the total cost of the bike. However, due to the greater durability and higher maximum permissible load, such a system is much less likely to need a complete replacement or replacement of individual stars. Therefore, the issue of saving becomes controversial and may not be in favor of a cheap ratchet.

To the pluses, we also add more speeds compared to a ratchet and a greater spread of gear ratios on the stars. The actual weight of the cassette is less and will play an important role for those who want the lightest bike possible.

Please note that different rear wheel hubs are made for cassettes and ratchets. For the ratchet. threaded bushings, and for the cassette. drum bushings. Therefore, it will not be possible to install the cassette on the hub where the cassette was previously installed and vice versa.

So, from the above, we can conclude that a bicycle with a ratchet should be purchased if the weight of the cyclist does not exceed 80 kg, if a non-aggressive ride at a moderate pace without heavy loads is expected, for children and adolescents.

If the cyclist’s weight is more than 80 kg, a large number of speeds (from 21 and higher) are required, high loads and active riding are assumed, then it is worth considering models of bicycles with a cassette.

How to remove / put on a cassette?

Insert the cassette remover into the slotted nut.

We put a whip on the largest sprocket of the cassette.

Holding the cassette with the whip, rotate the puller with a wrench. The effort is likely to be quite decent. Unscrew the nut completely, and then remove the cassette.

On the removed cassette, you can now determine the degree of wear of the cassette.

Types of cassettes

All cassettes fit onto slots and are interchangeable. Let’s say an 8-cc cassette can be changed to an 11-cc cassette, having the necessary switch and shifter, without changing the rear hub. If we look at the cassettes in profile, we will see the cassettes are almost the same in width, although the number of stars is different. In order to keep the same cassette width, the distance between the stars is reduced.

  • On the pins there is a block of stars fastened by pins, and the stars are separated by spacers. Such cassettes are installed on bushings with steel drums or simply on inexpensive bicycles. The advantage will be that they can be disassembled to zero by removing the pins from the grooves, but, at the same time, they cannot be placed on light aluminum drums, since the high torsional load (especially of large stars) will damage the drum.
  • On the spider. the stars are dressed on the so-called single spider that goes in the form of a ladder.

The torsional force is transmitted not only to one star, but to the entire block of stars dressed on a spider. Thus, the load on the drum is reduced. Also, such cassettes are lighter. On a spider, you can change the last 2-3 stars. On 2 or 3 spiders. the stars are dressed on 2 separate spiders.

This is done so that the depleted stars can be replaced individually with blocks of stars, rather than changing the entire cassette entirely. In case of wear, you can replace one of the blocks on the spider or the lower 2-3 stars separately. Depending on the cassette level.

Solid milled cassettes. the entire unit is made as one piece.

It is put on on the slots on the left side of the drum, and fixed on the lower star. The cassette is at the same time a slot for the drum. Among the analogues, this is the most expensive option. Sophisticated manufacturing process pays great price and requires a dedicated SRAM-XD drum per hub.

Cassettes and ratchets for beginners

Bicycle cassette. rear chainring system for changing the gear ratio combined into a cassette.

The cassette is fixed to the rear wheel hub. The cassette is a consumable material, it wears out over time, which requires its periodic maintenance. replacement of the chain, individual stars or the unit as a whole.

The cassette is stars (all or individual, depending on the design) attached to a fastener that has grooves, and there are projections of the corresponding configuration (slots) on the hub body, which ensures the correct installation of the cassette. The ratchet is hidden inside the drum.

The cassette drum mechanism has several advantages:

  • stars from 8 to 12 on modern models
  • Less rolling resistance than a ratchet
  • Less weight
  • Easier to take off
  • Greater mileage

Ratchet. ratchet mechanism with a threaded or slotted mount on the hub, the ratchet is located outside.

  • The number of stars ranges from 5 to 7
  • Large load on the thin axle of the bushing due to which they bend
  • It spins with great torque, it looks like this: as the pedals rotate, the ratchet spins on the thread of the sleeve every time, more and more. Sometimes, then unscrewing the ratchet is almost impossible!

The cassette is a more complex, high-quality and functional unit than a ratchet. Should you opt for a cassette tape? Definitely yes!

When to shoot?

In most cases, removal is necessary when you need to carry out routine maintenance on the bike (for example, in the spring or fall). It is urgent to remove the cassette when there is a sharp slip of the pedals during the ride.

Installing a cassette looks exactly the opposite of removing:

  • Put a cassette on the drum
  • Tighten nut

How to remove / put on the ratchet?

It is impossible to remove the ratchet mechanism just like that, so we need a special tool. a puller, an adjustable wrench or a 24 or 27 millimeter wrench, depending on which model of the part is installed on your bike. To remove the cassette you will also need a cassette whip.

Insert the puller into the ratchet and pull the puller nut counterclockwise. It will take a lot of effort to loosen the slot, and exactly the same when tightening.

Cleaning and lubricating the cassette

Bicycle transmission mechanisms sometimes wear out not so much from applied loads, but from careless maintenance. dirt stuck together with lubricant spoils the operation of the system and grinds off the teeth faster. Before servicing the cassette, it is necessary to remove it. analysis and its correct sequence above. The sprockets on a bicycle are cleaned with a special flat brush:

Long and hard villi are able to crawl to the very axis and clean out dirt from the most problematic places. After we have cleaned the cassette, we lubricate the chain and further forward to meet new adventures!

Cycling Speeds: Important Facts

If the dimensions of the wheels and the frame of a bicycle are far from being accurately determined by eye, then the number of speeds can be “felt” literally by the piece. Apparently, this attracts so much attention to this property of the bicycle among cyclists.

In fact, the number of speeds on the bike is not the most important parameter. First of all, because in everyday riding, you are unlikely to use more than 3-4 speeds. An exception may be athletes or residents of mountainous or hilly terrain abounding in steep and long climbs. For walks, this number of speeds is enough for the eyes.

But why, then, do most bicycles have at least 21 speeds? This is largely a consequence of the marketing strategy of their manufacturers. On some bicycles that have an impressive number of speeds, their quality is poor. To understand why more does not mean better, let’s try to understand the technical component.

Ratchet or cassette?

The ratchet is a composite device that, in addition to the stars, also includes a ratchet mechanism that is responsible for the free wheeling of the bicycle. It is attached by screwing it onto the bicycle hub.

The cassette consists only of a set of bicycle stars that are put on the hub (bushing) of the rear wheel with a drum. At the same time, it is held by the slot. And the ratchet in this case is part of the bushing.

Externally, when assembled, these two transmission elements are difficult to distinguish from each other, especially for an uninitiated user, but still possible. As a rule, if the number of rear sprockets is 6-7, it is most likely a ratchet. The number of stars in the cassette starts from 8, although there are exceptions, so this method does not give a 100% guarantee.

To be sure, you should take a closer look at the rear wheel. If you see a nut whose inner diameter consists of rectangular teeth, then it will be a cassette.

As mentioned above, the cassette may differ from the ratchet in the number of stars, but it may also have an equivalent number. But do not think that in this case the quality of the first will be identical to the second.

The cassette will be better and more reliable in any case, thanks to a more thoughtful design.

Speed ​​switches

Much more important than the number of speeds are the switches themselves, which are responsible for switching them. Two bicycles with the same number of speeds will ride differently if they have different transmission equipment classes.

If we talk about mountain and city bikes, then most often you can find derailleurs from two manufacturers: the Japanese company Shimano and much less often the American SRAM. Both companies have their own ranking of manufactured equipment from the simplest to professional.

What does this classification depend on? First of all, on the reliability and quality of gear shifting, the higher the class, the more reliable the equipment.

But here it is worthwhile to understand that the most top-end models are intended primarily for sports, they differ not only, and not so much in reliability, but in low weight, which is very important for racing.

Number of leading stars

Another important parameter, which also affects the number of speeds, is the leading stars, or rather, their number. The classic layout is considered to be 3 leading stars on the “spider” (the basis for attaching the stars), but gradually they begin to abandon it.

Due to the large difference in the number of teeth of adjacent drive sprockets, gear shifting can be accompanied by big problems, for example, chain slack.

In professional racing bikes, this trend can already be clearly distinguished, with many manufacturers either reducing the number of leading stars to two, or returning to the classic version with one star. This helps to avoid various troubles, to reduce the weight of the bike, and, therefore, to increase sports performance.

The difference between cassette and ratchet

  • The presence of small round openings on the outside, which serve to remove the cover, under which the bearings themselves are hidden;
  • The presence of a thread for fastening to the sleeve on the inside.
  • The presence of a flat nut with slots on the outside, which presses all the stars to the drum itself;
  • On the inside, there are slots for the bushing drum.

If you are still in doubt, then for complete confidence, you can count the number of stars (how many rings there are). If there are no more than seven of them, then we can say with almost complete certainty that this is a rattle. If there are more than seven of them, then you have a cassette. If there are exactly seven of them, then it is best to still find the visual differences described above, since sometimes seven stars can be found on both the ratchet and the cassette.

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Another way. count the number of teeth on the smallest sprocket. if there are eleven or twelve. it’s a cassette, if there are thirteen or fourteen. so it’s a rattle.

If you have only a hub or a wheel in front of you and you need to understand what part you have, then this is easy and simple to do. A characteristic feature of the ratchet bushings. the presence of a thread on which the ratchet itself is screwed with stars. At the cassette bushings you can see the drum on which the cassette is put on.

Removing the cassette

You will need two tools to remove the cassette. In addition to a special cassette puller, you will also need a whip key. If you are doing this for the first time, the process will seem complicated to you. We highly recommend stocking up on paper towels and rags so you don’t mess around in the oil.

How to extend the life of a ratchet or cassette

During the operation of your two-wheeled friend, dirt, grass and sand get into the sprocket teeth, which can cause an early possible malfunction of this component. To avoid this, you need to take care of this part. disassemble, clean and lubricate with oil. Sometimes possible wear and tear will require a complete replacement, as in the case of erasing the teeth on the sprockets themselves.

Ratchet or cassette?

Let’s start with the simplest. Why is this interesting attribute needed at all?

The ratchet, through the chain, transfers all your pedaling efforts to the rear axle of the wheel, which sets the bike in motion. The structure itself consists of 3 elements. freewheel clutches, driven stars, threaded rings.

What is the difference between a ratchet and a cassette? The cassette, in turn, at first glance, is very similar to a ratchet, but has its own characteristic differences.

Removing the ratchet

In order to remove the ratchet, you need a special puller. They may look different, but the essence and principle are the same. Without it, you will not be able to remove the ratchet from the bike.

Differences between a ratchet and a cassette on a bicycle. What’s better?

Sooner or later, many bicycle lovers face this question. Someone asks this question in advance, even before buying their new “war” horse, and someone later, in order to understand how to maintain and care for him. Regardless of which category you belong to, soon the veil of this mystery will open for you once and for all.

Ratchet and cassette what is the difference?

Motor. a wheel with a motor for a ratchet and a cassette. What is the difference?

The cassette, just like the ratchet on your bike, is a block of sprockets on the rear wheel of a bicycle for changing the gear ratio between the sprocket on the bottom bracket of the bike and the rear wheel. They look almost identical at first glance.

The picture shows the rear hub of a bicycle for installing a cassette and for installing a ratchet:

In a bicycle rear hub or cassette motor, the ratchet is mounted in a slotted drum. The drum itself is attached to a bicycle hub or engine. And the actual cassette is just a set of stars rigidly fastened together. The cassette is put on the slots of the drum and fixed on it.

The bike’s rear hub or ratchet motor has a thread onto which the ratchet can be screwed. There is a similar ratchet mechanism inside the ratchet.

There is also a slight difference in the bearing arrangement: In the rear cassette hub, the bearings are equidistant from the hub center. This provides practically very little bending force on the hub axle; In the rear ratchet hub of the bike, the bearings are located asymmetrically. At very high loads, this sometimes leads to bending of the hub axle and, as a result, to problems with the operation of the speed switch.

Bicycle motors are also available for cassette or ratchet installation.

Often asked: How to identify a cassette or ratchet installed on a bicycle? Ratchets usually have 6 or less often 7 stars. There are no more stars on the ratchet Cassettes usually contain more than 7 stars. Seven speed cassettes are rare.

The difference between a ratchet and a cassette

In this post, we will talk about the rear sprockets of a speed bike. about ratchet and cassette and how they differ from each other.

Ratchet. This is an assembly component that includes: a drum with sprockets, a free-wheeling mechanism (allows you to rotate in one direction and does not allow it to be done in another), bearings and a threaded ring. The number of stars on such components is from 5 to 7. If the stars on such a mechanism wear out, then usually the ratchet twists off the bushing and changes completely. If you have the opportunity to get a separate drum with stars in normal condition, then just unscrew the threaded ring and change it.

Cassette. component which consists of 7-10 stars, it depends on the level of the retaining cap. The freewheel mechanism is located in the drum of the rear wheel hub (freehab). Cassettes have the advantage that one star can be replaced in them without completely changing the entire mechanism. Cassettes are much more expensive than their “fellow” ratchets, but they have many advantages. The main plus is that the hub has its right bearing not in the middle, but at the edge of the axis. This reduces the axle load and the likelihood of bending or kinking the rear axle is minimized.

Summing up, we can say that there is a fundamental difference between cassettes and ratchets. the cassette is put on the bushing drum, and the ratchet is screwed onto the bushing thread. With all this, cassettes are superior in class to ratchets, their resource is much greater than the last.

What is a bicycle cassette?

A bike cassette is a cluster of sprockets located on the rear hub of your bike. They are held firmly in place by a threaded cassette retaining ring. A typical cassette can have 5 to 13 sprockets, although an impressive variety of modern drivetrains use 9, 10, or 11. Recently, 12 sprocket cassettes have become more common in high performance groups.

Which is better cassette or ratchet?

Most inexperienced cyclists are interested in the question of which cassette or ratchet is better. You can give the answer right away. a cassette is better. Starting to consider these two mechanisms, we can come to the conclusion that the ratchet was used earlier and had a list of shortcomings. The cassette was invented later, after which the best characteristics were introduced into it, completely eliminating the previously present shortcomings. Due to this, cassette owners can use the bike more comfortably for themselves during daily use. One of the main defects of ratchets is a broken axle or its partial curvature. The difficulty is that gear shifting becomes problematic. Almost all bicycles made in the late 1980s used this system.

Which is better cassette or ratchet for a bicycle?

When it comes time to service or upgrade your bike, it is important to know which of the two systems is being used on your bike. Namely: ratchet or cassette, because they are not the same. This particular page is meant to help you determine what type of bike your bike is equipped with, because there is a lot of confusion about which one. The terms “ratchet” and “cassette” are often used interchangeably, a mistake that can lead to a lot of waste of time and money.

Traditional rear hubs came with a standardized set of threads to which a standard sprocket cluster could be screwed. This made it possible to install any overrunning clutch on any brand of hub. If you have worn out your sprockets or wanted to use different gear ratios, you can unscrew the cluster and install a new one.

Cassette mechanisms

Recently, more and more often you can see cassettes installed on new models of bicycles, instead of ratchets. Most decent quality bikes from top brands use this vastly improved design.

The purpose of this page is to help you distinguish one type from another. Our site also contains much more in-depth articles on freewheels and cassettes explaining the pros and cons of each system. Bike cassette is a cluster of sprockets located on the rear hub of your bike, held firmly in place by a threaded cassette retaining ring. Find out everything you need to know in our cassette buying guide.

What do cassettes do?

Your cassette is an integral part of your bike’s drivetrain. Located on the drive end of your rear hub, it consists of several round metal discs with serrated edges ranging from small to large — these are called “sprockets.” When purchasing a new cassette, you will notice that they vary in specification, from the number of sprockets to the number of teeth on each sprocket.

Your cassette usually has 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 sprockets depending on the number of gears in your drivetrain (9, 10, or 11 for road bikes). For example, a transmission with a 9-star cassette and three front chains offers a total of 27 gears (3×9), while two front chains and a 10-speed cassette will provide 20 gear options (2×10).

Sprockets vary in size depending on the number of teeth. Therefore, the cassette can be 11-32t in size. The first number refers to the number of teeth on the smallest sprocket (highest gear, for fast pedaling at speed), and the second number refers to the largest sprocket (lowest gear, for climbing hills). The closer the two figures are to each other, the less noticeable the difference between the gears (for example, an 11-21t cassette is called a “narrow” gear range, and an 11-34t cassette is called a “wide” gear range).

The gear range on your cassette, combined with the size and number of front chains, gives you your bike’s gear ratio, or “gear”. Bikes that will work in a wide variety of terrain. both on-road and off-road. require a wide variety of gears, while professional racing / racing bikes require a narrower range and smoother gear transitions.

Your cassette, along with other transmission parts, will wear out over time, so it is important to keep it clean and well lubricated and replace when worn. If you don’t want to read our in-depth cassette guide, you can go directly to the respective product pages in the catalog. If you are thinking of upgrading to a 12-speed system, chances are you will have to change your case.

On modern road bikes, cassettes are sold as replacement units rather than individual sprockets. However, the special retaining ring that secures the cassette for your bike may need to be replaced if damaged. If you need to remove the cassette to fit in a new one, or replace the retaining ring, you will need specialized tools. Including a chain whip and removing the tool cassette is as good as a good adjustable wrench. Remember to keep your cassette. and the rest of your transmission. clean and well lubricated to prolong its life.

Cassettes typically offer a wide range of gears to allow riders to cope with the changing terrain they may encounter. From short, steep technical climbs that require very low gear (largest sprocket) to longer descents that can be twisted quickly (smallest). They usually differ from road cassettes by the presence of large gear gaps between each sprocket. Considering the answer to the question of which cassette or ratchet is better, we can conclude that the first option is the most convenient and innovative for modern bicycle owners.