Please school me on a rear cassette upgrade for my Fatboy- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Please school me on a rear cassette upgrade for my Fatboy

    On my Sunday morning ride yesterday I ended up folding the 2nd and 3rd gear chain rings over. We were on a technical rolling section of trail and the rider directly in front of me slipped and stop as we were navigating a sharp, root covered turn starting a short steep climb. I was in the middle of a shift when he stopped and caused me to stall and when I cranked on the pedals to get around him the chain must have been in the middle of shifting. It folded the 2nd and 3rd gear chain rings right over. I was able to get them somewhat straightened out but the chain still jumps in those two rings. I need to replace the cassette and figure before I just buy the replacement I better check and see if I should buy something a little better.

    I know very little about cassette options so I'm looking for suggestions if I should just replace the stock one or if it's a good idea to upgrade to something slightly better?

  2. #2
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    Shimano XT, best bang for the buck and easy on the free hub...
    Todd :thumbsup:

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Todd- View Post
    Shimano XT, best bang for the buck and easy on the free hub...
    Is that compatible with my stock KCM chain and X7/X9 shifters?

  4. #4
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    It's usually a good practice to replace the chain at the same time as the cassette, but yes it is compatible with your current chain/drivetrain.
    Jason
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  5. #5
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    Check it for stretch to see how worn it is, if it's not too bad I wouldn't worry about it...
    Todd :thumbsup:

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Todd- View Post
    Shimano XT, best bang for the buck and easy on the free hub...
    This^^^^^^^^^cannot go wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    It's usually a good practice to replace the chain at the same time as the cassette, but yes it is compatible with your current chain/drivetrain.
    Get a park chain wear indicator tool. 10 bux. Replace chains, not cassettes. haven't bought a cassette in years. A coupla/few 15 dollar chains per year is easy and cheap money.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03'Darin View Post
    On my Sunday morning ride yesterday I ended up folding the 2nd and 3rd gear chain rings over. We were on a technical rolling section of trail and the rider directly in front of me slipped and stop as we were navigating a sharp, root covered turn starting a short steep climb. I was in the middle of a shift when he stopped and caused me to stall and when I cranked on the pedals to get around him the chain must have been in the middle of shifting. It folded the 2nd and 3rd gear chain rings right over. I was able to get them somewhat straightened out but the chain still jumps in those two rings. I need to replace the cassette and figure before I just buy the replacement I better check and see if I should buy something a little better.

    I know very little about cassette options so I'm looking for suggestions if I should just replace the stock one or if it's a good idea to upgrade to something slightly better?
    I'm +1 on the XT cassette. Regardless of mileage, you should check your chain carefully for twist. If it folded with the cog under load, it likely twisted the chain. Der/shifter/chain to cassette compatibility aren't usually an issue unless the manufacture is pretty specific on uses. There are some, your's don't look issuematic.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I probably don't have 100 miles on the bike yet so I'd think the chain should still be good. But I will check it for wear and damage before I ride with the new cassette and replace if necessary.

    I did ride probably another 8 - 9 miles after the cassette damage and repair. The only issue I had was some skipping in the two damaged rings.

    Heading off to look for a deal on an XT cassette now. Thanks again

  10. #10
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    :thumbsup:It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the link. I have bought stuff from Chain Reaction before and already looked at that cassette. I'm checking some stuff here in the states to see if anything is closer to me for faster shipping time.

  12. #12
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    Jenson would be a good start...
    Todd :thumbsup:

  13. #13
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    Go over the chain really well for twisted links. If you folded over cogs on the cassette I would bet money there is chain damage (I have killed a couple cassettes in the past and not once did the chain survive intact). Chain is cheap vs. having another ride spoiled by a bad chain on a new cassette. :-) I killed a cassette/chain on my first new mountain bike on my first ride some 20+ years ago so I feel your pain.
    :-)

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the input guys. I didn't order a cassette yet because I'm going to inspect the chain well tonight when I get home and then order tomorrow.

  15. #15
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    First thing I did on my '15 Expert was swap out the cheesy Sunrace cassette. It's garbage. Shifted like poop new.

    Shame on Specialized for spec'ing that crap on a $2700 bike.

    Wound up finding a cassette at my LBS. Went with the SRAM PG-1070. Good option since you can do an easy 1X conversion.

    If you're not handy, you may want to bring it your LBS to have them set it up and adjust your derailleur. Either way, good time to own 10 speed. Many parts available and affordable.

  16. #16
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    I ended up going with the XT cassette from Amazon. $1 more than Jenson but with my Amazon prime I get free 2 day shipping so it will be here for the weekend ride.

    I'm fairly mechanical so swapping it out and adjusting the derailleur shouldn't be a problem.

    When I was researching what bike to buy I ran across a few comments about the crappy rear cassette that came stock on this bike. So I figured before I bought the bike I may need to change out the cassette. I honestly didn't have a problem with the stock cassette. It didn't shift the greatest while under power and shifting to lower gears but nothing that was really a big deal.

    I did already swap out the grip shift for X9 triggers which made the shifting much more precise than the grip shift.

    I also swapped out the crappy brakes for a set of Avid Elixer CR's with 185 rotors front and back.

  17. #17
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    Just buy a chain too OP. No need to [email protected] around with something that costs less than $20.

    KMC x10.93 if you are wondering.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stump 29 View Post

    Shame on Specialized for spec'ing that crap on a $2700 bike.
    Shouldn't be surprised from them lol. My wife had a Spec hardrock, the factory shift cable rusted within a week.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Just buy a chain too OP. No need to [email protected] around with something that costs less than $20.

    KMC x10.93 if you are wondering.
    agreed. cheap insurance.
    Mike
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  20. #20
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    Even though it happened during a ride and there was a litle bit of user error, have you checked with the LBS for getting a warranty replacement? Putting torque on a cassette when it's in between gears isn't the best, but it shouldn't cause them to fold like paper.

  21. #21
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    ^OP admitted user error, and asking for a warranty replacment would be abuse of the system imho.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    ^OP admitted user error, and asking for a warranty replacment would be abuse of the system imho.
    Is this type of failure expected during use though? Even though it wasn't a clean shift, is bending a cassettes teeth under this condition a failure that should be expected, or is it a material failure?

  23. #23
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    I honestly didn't even think about calling my LBS for warranty. I just figured they would tell me it was something that wouldn't be covered because of how it happened.

    I really don't think pedaling while shifting is user error either. But honestly the bike shop is 40 minutes from me so it wasn't worth the aggravation of a trip down to drop the bike off and another to go pick it back up. That's 2 1/2 hours total out of my work day. So for a $60 cassette and a $20 chain I was just going to replace it.

    Of course that all changed when I went to remove the cassette today and it wouldn't come off without a bunch of effort. Here's what I found:




    Then while inspecting the cassette I discovered that two of the 3 bolts attaching part of the back of the cassette were snapped off:



    So I did call my LBS now (who I know pretty well) and turns out they have a guy that lives up by me and will pick my wheel up tomorrow for inspection. All they said was that they'd take it in, look at it and call Specialized to see if anything can be done.

    On another note can anybody help me with information on the correct rear brake adapter I need. I bought a brake set off of ebay and didn't realize the rear caliper adapter included wasn't the correct one for my setup. The Fatboy has what it sounds like is the post mount rear attachment for the brakes. The kit I bought came with the IS adapter. I've been looking on several web sites and am not exactly sure what adapter I need. I have Avid's with 185MM rotors and need the rear adapter to mount on the Fatboy. Looking on line I only seem to find 185mm post mount adapters for the front. Are they the same?

  24. #24
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    That's an awful lot of broke

    Unless you're changing rotors, you should be able to simply remove the existing caliper and put on the new one. No change to adapter. If you're changing rotor sizes, call your LBS. It should only require the same post mount adapters as the front, but your LBS will be able to answer it more reliably.

  25. #25
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    You have that much free hub damage after 100 miles?! Geez!

    For the record, are you a heavier/aggressive rider?
    Jason
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    That's an awful lot of broke

    Unless you're changing rotors, you should be able to simply remove the existing caliper and put on the new one. No change to adapter. If you're changing rotor sizes, call your LBS. It should only require the same post mount adapters as the front, but your LBS will be able to answer it more reliably.
    I'm going from a 160 to 185 rotor on the rear. I have sent a message to the seller (which is a bike shop) to see if they tell me what adapter I need. I couldn't find anything that showed the front adapter fit the rear.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    You have that much free hub damage after 100 miles?! Geez!

    For the record, are you a heavier/aggressive rider?
    I'm not sure how to describe my riding but I'll give it a shot. I ride a mix of rolling single track, technical rock gardens and short steep climbs. I'm not a strong rider on the pedals though. More of a slow grinder than a guy that stands up and hammers. 99% of pedaling is all done in the saddle. I ride once or twice a week for usually a total of about 20 - 25 miles. In winter gear trim, which has been most of the 100 miles of riding, I'm probably 185-190

  27. #27
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    I was riding in Frick Park last summer and had the same thing happen when I tried to shift starting up a hill. It was even the same ring that folded. Bike probably had less than 200 miles on it at the time. I replaced the both the cassette and chain with XT and have done a lot worse to the bike with no issues with either. Free hub looked just as bad. Recently had to replace the hub as well (the hub body behind the splines gave way). Specialized replaced the hub under warranty but not the cassette.
    2014 Specialized Fatboy
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpa102 View Post
    I was riding in Frick Park last summer and had the same thing happen when I tried to shift starting up a hill. It was even the same ring that folded. Bike probably had less than 200 miles on it at the time. I replaced the both the cassette and chain with XT and have done a lot worse to the bike with no issues with either. Free hub looked just as bad. Recently had to replace the hub as well (the hub body behind the splines gave way). Specialized replaced the hub under warranty but not the cassette.
    Interesting. Did you put the new XT cassette on the damaged free hub and it worked ok? If so when you finally went to replace the hub had it caused any wear on the XT cassette? I was just going to file down the high spots and throw the new cassette on it but then the more I thought about it I was afraid I would damage the new cassette.

  29. #29
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    The cassette was fine when I replaced the hub.
    2014 Specialized Fatboy
    2013 Rocky Mountain Element BC Edition
    2011 Gary Fisher Utopia
    2007 Specialized Roubaix

  30. #30
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    They picked the wheel up this morning. I'm supposed to know something maybe before the end of the day.

  31. #31
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    Just talked to the LBS. They told me the free hub wear is NORMAL, they all get that way.

  32. #32
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    Not all. A lot has to do with how much you mash the pedals and if it's an aluminum hub. If it's aluminum, much higher chance of doing this, even with good cassettes with solid carriers. Mine are all steel, and they still show signs of wear. After 2 years though, it's not this bad.

  33. #33
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    I really don't mash the pedals. I'm 50 years old and ride once or maybe twice a week and probably only average 15 - 20 miles per week. So I'm not in good enough shape to mash the pedals. lol

    If this thing looks this bad with around 100 miles on it what's it going to look like in 300 miles??

    I have a Specialized Carbon Stump Jumper that I've ridden the past 3 years. Same trails and same conditions I'm riding this bike on. That bike has crossmax wheels on and the free hub requires maintenance at least twice a year. That cassette slides right off the free hub with no evidence of wear what so ever.

  34. #34
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    That's crap. With what a Fatboy costs they owe you a hub and a cassette that's compatible with it. They've matched up components that don't go well together. Cheap cassette on a soft aluminum hub.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03'Darin View Post
    If this thing looks this bad with around 100 miles on it what's it going to look like in 300 miles??

    I have a Specialized Carbon Stump Jumper that I've ridden the past 3 years. Same trails and same conditions I'm riding this bike on. That bike has crossmax wheels on and the free hub requires maintenance at least twice a year. That cassette slides right off the free hub with no evidence of wear what so ever.
    The material used for the freehub body makes a huge difference. Many companies use aluminum to save weight. Aluminum splines (at least the Shimano/SRAM spline) will wear much more quickly than a steel or titanium body. If your freehub body is aluminum make sure that the cassette has very wide shoulders or it will wear quickly.

    I've used narrow rear cogs on the back of my single speed with an aluminum body. The cogs dug deep into the splines in just a few rides. Since then I've used cogs with much wider bases to save the freehub body.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  36. #36
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    If weight's not a big issue, maybe work checking with the LBS if you can get a steel hub. shouldn't be an issue if you go XT cassette though.

  37. #37
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    I called the LBS back earlier today and told them I wasn't going to leave the bike that way. So I asked them to see if there is a steel free hub option even if I have to pay for it. I had to use a hammer and punch to work the cassette off after 100 miles. How will I get it off in when there's another few hundred miles on it and the hub needs serviced? Then I'll ruin the XT cassette I'm putting on.

  38. #38
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    The cheap, unclustered cassettes will dig into the cassette, it's normal. Once you have the old cassette off, file down the hih spots and mount the XT cassette. You won't see the same problem, except for the 13t, 15t cog, and even at that it may not be an issue. The big cogs are all mounted to a big aluminum spider that spreads the load.

    You can stress and fuss for a steel freehub, it may or may not exist for that hub. I'll tell you this, an aluminum freehub is safe using an XT or XTR cassette.
    Todd :thumbsup:

  39. #39
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    Cassette digging into fh is nothing new, and bike companies don't really care that it happens. They pass the additional costs and headaches onto the customers.

    Buy a cassette from chain reaction cycles for supper cheap, and be done with it.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Todd- View Post
    The cheap, unclustered cassettes will dig into the cassette, it's normal. Once you have the old cassette off, file down the hih spots and mount the XT cassette. You won't see the same problem, except for the 13t, 15t cog, and even at that it may not be an issue. The big cogs are all mounted to a big aluminum spider that spreads the load.

    You can stress and fuss for a steel freehub, it may or may not exist for that hub. I'll tell you this, an aluminum freehub is safe using an XT or XTR cassette.
    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Cassette digging into fh is nothing new, and bike companies don't really care that it happens. They pass the additional costs and headaches onto the customers.

    Buy a cassette from chain reaction cycles for supper cheap, and be done with it.
    I have an XT cassette that I'll be putting on today. I have the LBS checking on a steel free hub option but after reading these two posts I may just slap the XT cassette on and let it go. The LBS filed down the free and installed the old cassette. Not sure why they put the old cassette on since it's junk. I straightened it the I could but it's still has an obvious wave in both the 2nd and 3rd gear rings.

  41. #41
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    XT cassette will still dig in a little on the highest (smallest) gears, but your 6 lowest gears are all on carriers...so ZERO worries.

  42. #42
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    The stock cassette dug in the entire hub. XT is on so I'll see how that goes.

  43. #43
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    Bikes direct had the same problem with the Lurch and sent out steel freehubs to remedy the problem. Still people balked.

    And my rep got dinged for the above comment?

    Ok...

    Some people just can't take someone else's opinion. I guess that what Chronsy's case.

    You can slice it either way....but that freehub needs a better cassette or that cassette needs a steel freehub.

  44. #44
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    @dledinger. You are too funny son. Don't get all butthurt on me now.

    The parts are compatible just fine and he isn't "owed" anything. Notches in your free hub really aren't an issue to anyone except for the slight bit of extra effort to remove the cassette.

  45. #45
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    The parts failed in very short order, and are not an issue?

    I certainly don't get why you'd call me names - unprovoked - in a message over my post. It was my suggestion to OP after his product failed. A good cassette and he wouldn't be dealing with this. I get it that you work at - and vehemently support - bike shops. That alone doesn't mean this product failing is all his fault, or that I'm wrong for suggesting that the business should be responsible for fixing it.

    A bike priced that high should have came with a better cassette. There are plenty of like complaints by FatBoy owners.

  46. #46
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    Thanks to this thread, I ordered a Shimano XT cassette yesterday for my Fatboy. I had a bunch of Amazon points to use up so I got it for next to nothing.

    Thanks for the informative discussion. Looks like it might save me some free hub headache down the road.

  47. #47
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    I've got a few rides on my new cassette and it's working perfectly. Looking at the contact points where it meets the splined hub the XT cassette appears to have more contact are.

  48. #48
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    After looking at the 2 spiders for the 6 lowest gears I can see why.

  49. #49
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    I had read before I bought the bike that the stock Sunrace cassette was junk based on it's poor shifting qualities. I really didn't have much issue with that until it folded the gears over on a shift. Fortunate for that I guess so I discovered what it was doing to my free hub.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03'Darin View Post
    I had read before I bought the bike that the stock Sunrace cassette was junk based on it's poor shifting qualities. I really didn't have much issue with that until it folded the gears over on a shift. Fortunate for that I guess so I discovered what it was doing to my free hub.
    Yeah I read the same thing and can attest from my own experience that it shifts like crap. My $500 Trek 3 series bike shifts better.

    Knowing that each cog is individually loading the hub instead of being spread out like the XT I can see why there are some hub issues.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    Yeah I read the same thing and can attest from my own experience that it shifts like crap. My $500 Trek 3 series bike shifts better.

    Knowing that each cog is individually loading the hub instead of being spread out like the XT I can see why there are some hub issues.
    I had actually read so many comments like yours before I bought the bike that I priced a new cassette before I bought the bike and figured it was going to be an upgrade right after I got my bike. I decided to give the stock cassette a chance first and it worked ok. One of the other guys that rides in our group has the same bike and he *****es about the shifting pretty regularly. He's changing everything out to Shimano stuff

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