Jim 7 speed cassettes, made by former SRAM people in China
SEVEN is plenty for any riding we do, probably any riding you do. Mountain bike downhillers ride 7s cassettes, but in close ratios. We're now having them made in normal ratios good for hills, too.
It seems like a unambomber strategy, but it's a mild, sane, ultra-reasonable, fantastic — as becomes apparent once you know the details. In fact, once you know the details, it's the other cassettes that have some explaining to do.
WHY "ONLY" SEVEN? Why not 9-10-11-12-13?
• Better chainlines. It makes the big chainring x big cog combo usable. Since the big cog is now more right-board, the chain's path to it is less angled. It's where the next-to-biggest cog is on a 9-10-11-12-13s cassette.
• Longer lasting chains and big cog teeth. This is slight, and nearly immeasurable, but the straighter the chain runs, the longer the drivetrain lasts. We find it super-useful to be able to use the big x big combination--it essentially gives you an extra (and really desirable) gear combo. On my trail Clem, the 34 (big front) x 42 (big rear) is my most-used gear.
• Fewer cogs to shift thru. MORE cogs is useful ONLY if you pedal at a fast and narrow range of cadences. Like, if you lock in at 90-98 rpms. That's peloton and racing pedaling. On solo rides, trails, and regular recreational rides with people you know, I bet your cadence is "whatever feels natural," like mine is, and I'll also bet that's something between 54rpms for hill grunts, and 75rpms for fast riding on flat roads. The 7s cassette is ideal for that. They come in a 34t and a 42t low, good for a lot of roads and trails.
• Works with 7-8-9-10-11 speed chains. Currently the 7s sets ups we're riding have 10s chains. Perfect.
Recommended for any friction shifters, but see the note at the bottom of all this.
1. On a Shimano Deore 9s T610 cassette hub, you just slide on a keyed 4mm spacer first. The cassettes come with this spacer.
2. On a SILVER brand or Shimano 10s rear hub, you use the 4mm spacer and two 1mm spacers, for a total of 6mm spacing. Note: You don't need spacers on a 7/8 speed cassette body.
Spacers are included, as already stated.
In time and maybe by October, we'll have 7sp cassette hubs that won't require any spacers. But the spacers are easy, as we show you here:
Our 7s cassettes are made in China by S-Ride (former maker of SRAM cassettes). They are lightweight, all-steel, and shift great. Ratios and weights:
11, 13, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32
11, 13, 16, 20, 24, 30, 36----11.2oz (convert to grams, multiply x 28.35)
13, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, 34----10.9oz
13,16, 20, 24, 30, 36, 42t---13.9oz
(lighter than a basic Shimano 9s cassette)
Check out our gear inch calculator if you really want to fine tune your gearing.
• Shimano HG compatible cassette
• Nickel-plated steel cogs
You need this tool to remove and install a cassette.
"Jim" in any of our product descriptions indicates a close collaboration with Jim Porter from SomaFab/Merry Sales. He is a third-generation owner of a bike importer and distributorship that goes back to the 1906, and is really smart, well-connected, similar-in-thinking and values to us, and Gets Things Done.
Backstory Stuff: On getting these from China; and indexing with these
When SRAM took its manufacturing from China to Taiwan, probably but who are we to say, to avoid the raised tariffs, it left a colony of Chinese designers, engineers, marketers, and assembly people out of work but still chock full of skills and rarin' to go again. Out of the original batch came at least three new brands: MicroNew, S-Ride, and Sensah, each with its own areas of specialization. For 27 years we sold nothing made in China. COVID has made it impossible to source only from Japan or Taiwan while continue equipping bicycles on time and with the kind of stuff we like. We have nurtured what seems to be a good relationship with some Chinese vendors, and guess what--if they can make Apple products, they can make bike parts. Equally, they're eager to do so, at a time when most Taiwan vendor will laugh your pants off and tell you to leave the room if you want something new, even if it's right up their alley, and furthermore, if you want it within three years. These 7-speed cassettes are made by S-Ride.
We're not an R&D lab, but we dissect things and learn about them deeply, from a bike rider's and bike mechanic's perspective, and purely as a matter of curiosity, Vince and Rich here combines brains and discovered how to make 9-speed indexed shifters work seemingly perfectly with these 7s cassettes. The following instructions are intended for those with mechanical skills and sufficient experience with fussy indexed drivetrains.
Here's all you do, baby: Put the chain in top gear (big front, small rear), with the big paddle fresh and the cable loose. Click twice, essentially wasting the first two clicks. THEN tighten and snug the cable, The next seven clicks seem to shift perfectly. Your results may vary, but it worked great here. We still recommend these for friction shifting...or if you happen to have some dusty, cruddy, eBay'd 7s indexed shifters, try them.