Like every other part of the bike’s drivetrain, the cassette wears out with time, mainly after 1000 miles. So, you should replace it after it outlives its mileage. But how much does a bike cassette cost?
While budget cassettes cost $20-$30, prepare to spend about $50-$150 on a decent Shimano or SRAM cassette. Note, nonetheless, some high-end options cost as much as $300-$500.
As you’ll realize, the cost of buying cassettes varies from brand to brand. We’ll look at a few examples to help you know how much you can expect to spend on your new bike cassette.
I’ll also share other costs other than the cost of buying the cassette. Moreover, I’ll expound on why you should replace your bike cassette, how you can tell it’s time to replace it, and how you can do it.
But before that, let’s talk more about the replacement cost.
How Much Does A Bike Cassette Cost? The Actual Costs
Let’s look at the cost of getting a new cassette, other costs involved, and the total cost of replacing a bike cassette.
The Cost of a New Bike Cassette
While a budget cassette costs $20-$30, you are more likely to spend $50-$150 on a quality option, depending on brand and size.
Overall, Shimano and SRAM cassettes are among the most priced. An option like the Shimano Ultegra R8000 (View on Amazon) costs $70-$130, depending on size, while the SRAM PG1070 (View on Amazon) costs just under $80.
But if you are on a budget, brands like LITEONE and Bolany are worthy choices. You can spend $20-$30 on a LITEONE or Bolany model.
Note, nonetheless, that some high-end models cost more than $150. An option like the SRAM XG-1299 XXL Eagle costs slightly under $500.
Primarily, the high cost is due to its gold construction, 500% gear range, and X-dome architecture.
Other Costs of Replacing a Bike Cassette
The cassette cost is not the only expense that you’ll incur. You also have to factor in the labor cost, which averages $20 in most bike repair shops.
So, unless you plan to replace your cassette yourself (which you can do with the guide that I’ll share later), you have to factor in the labor cost.
Additionally, given that you are likely to replace the chain when replacing the cassette, you also have to consider the chain cost, which averages $15-$30.
How Much To Replace Bike Cassette? The Total Cost
If we factor in the cassette cost at $50-$150 and the labor cost at $20, the total cost of replacing a cassette will be about $70-$170, depending on the cassette type.
But if we include the chain cost at about $15-$30, then the total cost will be about $85-$200.
Note, nonetheless, that if you choose a budget cassette and you go DIY, it won’t cost you more than $50, even if you also replace the chain.
Don’t expect a budget cassette, however, to last you longer.
Why Should You Replace Your Bike Cassette?
You should replace your bike cassette because of the reasons:
- Bike cassettes wear out with time
Cassettes wear down over time, just like I mentioned in my introduction. The average cassette runs for 1000 miles, but with good maintenance, quality options can go longer.
If your cassette has done 1000 miles but looks in good condition, look at the gears. If they are worn out or just hard to change, the cassette is worn out and needs replacing.
- For the best drivetrain performance
If your chain is new, it needs a new cassette to work effectively. You don’t have to replace the cassette each time you replace the chain, but you can do it after two times of replacing the bike chain.
Overall, the newer your cassette and chain are, the more effective your drivetrain becomes.
- Terrain adaptation
If you are used to riding on a specific terrain, your bike cassette is likely optimized for the riding conditions. So, using the same cassette in a different landscape may not be a good idea.
It’s advisable to replace it with an option with a different gear range.
When Should You Replace a Bike Cassette?
Do you wonder how long bike cassette last? The rule of thumb is that you should replace a bike cassette after 1000 miles. On average, 1000 miles is equivalent to 1-2 years of regular cycling.
If you are not sure about the mileage, then you should watch out for signs of wear. In particular, look at the cog’s teeth. If they look worn out, it means the cassette is worn out too and should be replaced.
The other tip is to examine the performance of the bike chain. If the chain is new but keeps on skipping, the problem might be the cassette. So, consider replacing it.
That’s more important if you have replaced the chain twice without replacing the cassette.
Ideally, you should replace your cassette after replacing your bike chain twice. That’s because a chain wears down quicker than a cassette.
How to Replace Cassette Bike
Before we can look at how you can change your bike cassette, let’s look at the supplies you’ll need:
- A new cassette
- Lockring tool
- Cassette pliers or chain whip tool
- Adjustable wrench (optional)
- Bike grease
Here are the steps to follow:
- Start by removing the rear wheel before removing the quick-release skewer
- Place the cassette pliers on the chain whip tool on one end of your cogs
- Attach the lockring tool on the other end
- But if the lockring tool lacks a handle, you can use the adjustable wrench
- Hold the old cassette down with the chain whip tool as you turn the lockring tool anticlockwise to unscrew the lockring
- After that, remove your old cassette
- Grab the new bike cassette and install the spacers and cogs in alignment with the splines
- Fit it in place ad reattach the lockring, and then screw it using a lockring tool
- Apply some grease to ease the threading
- Reinstall the quick-release skewer before refitting the rear wheel
1. How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Bike Cassette?
It cost anything between $20 and $150 to replace a bike cassette, depending on size and brand. There are a few high-end cassettes, nonetheless, that cost as much as $300 or more.
Note that you’ll need to factor in the labor cost and the chain cost (if it’s worn out), each averaging $20.
2. How Many Miles Should A Bike Cassette Last?
A new bike cassette should last you at least 1000 miles. But with proper maintenance, you can expect it to hit 1600 miles or more.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing the bike cassette after replacing the bike chain twice. If not, then the performance of your drivetrain will be hampered.
3. How Much Is New Mountain Bike Cassette?
Depending on brand and size, a new mountain bike cassette costs $20-$150. There are, however, a few costlier Shimano and SRAM options that cost more than $200.
4. Is SRAM Better Than Shimano?
While SRAM dominates the high-end bike market, Shimano runs the entry-level and mid-level biking sectors.
But when it comes to bike cassettes, the gap between the two brands is marginally small. SRAM edges Shimano slightly.
Overall, chains wear much faster than cassettes. For that reason, most manufacturers recommend replacing the cassette after replacing the chain twice.
That makes sense, given that a cassette is costlier than a bike chain.
Note, nonetheless, that you can still replace both of them simultaneously. After all, a new chain always works best with a new cassette.
6. Are SRAM And Shimano Bike Cassettes Interchangeable?
Given that the spacing between the chain wheel (or sprocket) is the same, SRAM and Shimano bike cassettes are interchangeable. You, however, need to stick to the same speed or sprocket number when doing the swap.
7. What Do The Numbers On Cassettes Mean?
The cassette usually has two numbers like 11-40, 12-27, and 11-30. The first number (smaller number) indicates the teeth number on the cassette’s smaller cog, while the second number (the bigger number) shows the teeth number on the cassette’s largest cog.
8. How Do I Buy A Bike Cassette?
You must choose the right cassette type, depending on your bike. That means you must consider the teeth on the cogs.
It’s also essential that you go for a reputable brand like SRAM, Shimano, or any other compatible with your drivetrain.
Additionally, ensure the cassette construction is robust, preferably Chromoly or gold, to serve you longer.
So, how much does a bike cassette cost? From our discussion, the costs of cassettes vary between brands, but you can expect to spend $50-$150 on a decent option.
Remember, nonetheless, that you may have to include the labor cost unless you opt for DIY and sometimes the chain cost (if the chain is worn out).