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Looking to upgrade.  What's the lightest and most durable cassette currently out there?  I know they may be two seperate animals but I want my cake and eat it too.


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Ultegra or a high end offering from SRAM.


That said, a cassette is about the worst place to save weight. The weight reduction is minor and  it comes at the cost of durability. I buy  105 level cassettes and try and have three since I usually have a training wheel and then two sets of wheels for each bike. That gets pricey really fast if you have two hundred dollar cassettes.

Weight is not my primary concern but I like to add it to the info. in making decisions.  The drivetrain is Sram XO but I am not married to any one system.

You said lightest and most durable. For almost all cassettes those are opposing forces given the lighter weight comes from less durable material.


I have no personal experience but the XX cassettes seem like they would be light and durable. But durability is largely a component of how well you maintain your chain. Even if you had a cassette that would never ever wear out ever the chain would begin to skip at some point. Best to just replace chains often [twice a 'cross season for me].

I just put on a KMC SL ti nitride chain.  Never used one but thought I'd give one try.  I hose the bike after rides and generally keep the drivetrain pretty clean.

Always  fighting the durability vs. weight contradiction. 

Sram Red
I'll second the SRAM Red, but be careful since they don't fit on all free-hub bodies and some wheels (Easton) require a special free-hub to accommodate the power dome cassette's hollow design (the cassette only touches the free-hub in two places). I just bought an 11-28 used/new takeoff for cheap and put it on my CX race/road wheels. I must say that it's light, but noisy on the shifts since it hollow - not a deal breaker. Most of the cassette is machined out of one piece of chromoly steel and I can only assume that it will be more durable than Ti or Al cassettes of the same weight. If you have money to burn or find one on C's-List cheap I say go for it, if not look into the SRAM 1070.

General rule of thumb, pick 2

  • Light
  • Affordable
  • Durable

Light + Durable = Not affordable

Affordable + Duarable = Not light

Light + Affordable = Not Durable


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