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Cassette or Freewheel?

Cassette or Freewheel?


bicycle cassette

What is the difference between a cassette and a freewheel?

You get a pretty clear idea if you look at the image above.

Freewheels for Threaded Hubs

Traditional rear hubs came with a standardized set of threads to which a standard freewheel/sprocket cluster could be screwed on. This allowed any brand of freewheel to be mounted on any brand of hub. If you wore out your sprockets, or wanted different gear ratios, you could unscrew the cluster and install a new one.

Shimano Free Hub Cassettes

Most bike these days employ the use of Shimano designed free hub cassettes. 

SRAM, Sturmey-Archer, Sun Race and other common brands have adopted the Shimano Freehub design, and their cassettes are interchangeable with genuine Shimano ( and each other).

Campagnolo and Mavic products are not.


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