As the cycling world experiences continuous advancements in cassette technology, numerous brands are introducing higher-speed cassettes. However, with different brands adopting distinct freehub bodies, such as Shimano’s 12-speed Micro Spline and SRAM’s XDR, selecting the appropriate freehub body can be bewildering, especially for newcomers to the sport.
This article aims to demystify the compatibility intricacies between freehub bodies and various cassettes or drivetrains. This knowledge is crucial, particularly when upgrading bicycle wheels and needing to ensure compatibility with the chosen cassette.
Understanding the Freehub Body
The freehub is a pivotal component linking the bicycle hub and cassette, primarily situated in the rear hub. Refer to the image below, highlighted with a red circle.
Diverse Freehub Standards in the Market
Key players Shimano and SRAM each establish freehub body standards that align with their respective drivetrains.
The prevalent freehub bodies encompass:
-Shimano Hyperglide (HG)
Opting for the Right Freehub Body for Your Cassette
To simplify this selection process, let’s begin with mountain bikes. Start by identifying your cassette’s brand: Shimano or SRAM. If your bike utilizes a Shimano drivetrain, your cassette should employ the Shimano freehub, designated as Shimano HG.
Presently, the Shimano 11-speed freehub is widely adopted. For cassettes ranging from 7 to 11 speeds, the Shimano HG freehub suffices. For a 7-speed cassette, installation necessitates a 4.5mm spacer.
However, when embracing Shimano’s new XTR 12-speed drivetrain, the 12-speed Micro Spline freehub body becomes essential for cassette installation.
Conversely, if your preference leans towards SRAM’s 11-speed or 12-speed groupset (such as Sram Eagle 12spd), the appropriate choice is the SRAM XD freehub body. For 7 to 10-speed cassettes, the Shimano HG freehub body serves its purpose.
Transitioning to road bikes, a similar approach applies. Begin by identifying your drivetrain’s brand. If Shimano is your choice, the Shimano HG freehub proves compatible with all Shimano road cassette tiers.
For SRAM enthusiasts with 9, 10, or 11-speed cassettes, the Shimano HG freehub remains a suitable match. However, if you opt for SRAM’s new 12-speed groupset like SRAM Red eTap, the SRAM XDR freehub is the designated choice, exclusive to Sram 12-speed cassettes.
Should you embrace the Campagnolo drivetrain, exclusive compatibility with the Campagnolo freehub is imperative.
Interchangeability of Freehub Bodies
Indeed, some interchangeability exists:
- MTB: Shimano HG freehub is compatible with SRAM 7, 8, 9, and 10-speed cassettes.
- ROAD: SRAM 9, 10, and 11-speed cassettes are compatible with Shimano 11-speed road freehub.
Review the SRAM and Shimano Freehub Compatibility Chart
Determining the appropriate freehub body hinges on your cassette’s brand. First, ascertain the cassette’s origin, followed by selecting the corresponding freehub specification from the respective brand.
At Addictcycling, we offer commonly used freehubs, including Shimano HG, Micro Spline, SRAM XD, and XDR freehubs. If any uncertainties linger concerning your freehub selection, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.