Best Gear Cassette for Road Bikes

Author: Kier

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A close-up photo of a silver gear cassette
Shimano Tiagra
A close up of a Sram gear cassette
SRAM PG-1050 Cassette
A close up of a Campagnolo Chorus 11 Speed road cassette
Campagnolo Chorus 11 Speed

Have you been struggling to find a new gear cassette to upgrade your road bike that’s quality while still being affordable?

You’ll be pleased to know you’re not the only one.

After looking at 29 different gear cassettes for road bikes, I’ve discovered some crucial points that can’t be missed, so take a seat, grab a pen and paper– some of these are fairly juicy.

A bike cassette is one of the most important components of a bicycle’s drive train. But since cassettes have a similar appearance, it may not be possible to determine the best model which means that you are likely to buy a cheap quality model if you are not careful.

Now, here’s the deal:

To make life easier, to ensure that you don’t end up with a nonfunctional product, we have reviewed the best rear cassettes for road bikes that are worth your money.

Here’s a tip: look for a cassette that provides a wide range of gearing options for the chain to run on. This allows you to use different pedaling cadence to optimize efficiency.

Incredible gear cassettes for road bikes are sometimes hard to find but my top pick was way too easy.

Top 5 Road Bike Cassettes in 2020

Shimano Tiagra CS-HG500-10 Road Bike Cassette

A close-up photo of a silver gear cassette

Shimano’s Tiagra HG500 10-speed cassette seals number one spot for its smooth, even shifts even while shifting under load. It is nickel plated for corrosion resistance and to reduce friction while remaining lightweight. 

The first thing you will be pleased to hear is that Shimano Tiagra CS-HG500 meets all the durability standards for E-MTB applications. It has a nickel shot-peened finish which makes it resistant to corrosion.


It features drilled cogs which makes it lightweight. Another thing you need to know about it is that it is a 10-speed cassette and it is among the most lightweight gear cassettes on the market.

With this cassette, you can easily ride on steeper hills without problems.

  • Excellent quality
  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Allows you to ride on steeper hills smoothly
  • None
Latest deal: Shimano Tiagra

SRAM PG-1050 Cassette [ 10-Speed]

A close up of a Sram gear cassette

SRAM PG-1050 Cassette is another fantastic option that will give you outstanding performance. The major selling point of this cassette is that it offers the best shifting performance as compared to others on the market.

 You will also find that it uses WiFli meaning Wider, Faster, and Lighter in its design, and available in two colors. You will love the PowerGlide technology this cassette uses for smooth shifting.

But that’s not all

It also features an aluminum spider to reduce weight. The cogs are made of nickel-plated steel which makes them rust and corrosion-resistant. It is a brilliant option for mountain biking and road cycling.

  • Affordable price
  • It uses PowerGide technology
  • Rust and corrosion resistant cogs
  • 2 years warranty
  • It could have been a bit lighter
Latest deal: SRAM PG-1050

Campagnolo Chorus 11 Speed Road Cassette

A close up of a Campagnolo Chorus 11 Speed road cassette

Now I can’t wait to tell you about this product, it is specially optimized with sprocket teeth to give you fast and fluid shifting– I was so impressed with how smooth your gear shifting feels with this cassette.

It will provide you with the most out of your Campagnolo drive train, the 11-speed road cassette has advanced construction features that give you a bit of edge on race day.

Here’s the kicker.

It includes three large sets of pinions to be mounted on the aluminum frame, increasing the rigidity by 180% while reducing the sprocket’s resistance by 70%.

This will give you consistent and durable shifting performance even through the tough sprints and climbs. You absolutely need this cassette on your bike– your performance will be unmatched.

  • Increases rigidity by 180% and reduces resistance by 70%
  • Attractive design
  • Perfect for 10 speed and 11 speed
  • Consistent and durable performance even through sprints and climbs
  • Slightly noisier than Shimano
Latest deal: Campagnolo Chorus 11 Speed 

Shimano Ultegra R8000 Cassette

A close up of a Shimano Ultegra R8000 gear cassette for road bike

If you are on a budget, you must try Shimano Ultergra R8000, it is the best option for the price point.

The new Shimano Ultegra R8000 11-speed cassette offers optimum performance, durability, smooth shifting while giving a wide range of gear options. 

But there’s more. 

With the 11-30T or 14-28 T or 14T and wide gearing options, trickle-down technology means this cassette will perform well on flats while allowing you to climb with ease– the shifting is so smooth even in the middle of a climb.

It is super easy to install when paired with the appropriate chain, just pair with your favorite bike lube and you’re good. to go- you’ll love the quiet smooth shifting of this cassette. 

  • Smooth shifting even on climbs
  • Durable while giving a wide range of gear options
  • Trickle-down technology
  • Easy to install
  • Not pre-lubricated
Latest deal: Shimano Ultegra R8000 Cassette

Campagnolo Veloce 10 Speed Cassette

A close up photo of a Campagnolo Veloce 10 SPD gear cassette

I know I shouldn’t have made you wait so long for this cassette but it is definitely worth it. Where do I begin?

The cassette is designed with Ultra Drive geometry. This enhances the chain passage on the sprockets, making shifting to be easy, silent, fast, and precise.

It works great when combined with CT cranksets. Another thing you should know about it is that it has a nickel-chromed finish to enhance durability.


In terms of weight, it only weighs 250 gm which means that it is lightweight. This cassette allows you to have perfect shifting and high precision on every ride while having a cassette that’s built to last. 

  • Durable
  • Very reliable
  • Provides fast and precise performance
  • Lightweight
  • None
Latest deal: Campagnolo Veloce 10 Speed Cassette

Looking for the best gravel bikes under $1000 instead?

We’ve put an in-depth guide together for that.

We have looked at 28 gravel bikes under $1000 to make sure you’re getting the best for your money. We focused on geometry, tires, brakes, and weight to make sure we’ve found the greatest products available to buy.You can see the full guide here which could be more relevant than the one you’re reading now.

Factors to consider when buying road bike cassettes

A bike cassette is one of the most important components of a bicycle’s drive train.  It usually comprises if sprockets or cogs that are attached at the back of the wheel. These cogs and sprockets are held firmly by a threaded cassette lock ring. 

Each ring acts as a gear on the bike and the chain that connects the pedals enables the cassette to power the bike. A standard cassette contains 5-13 sprockets but modern bike drive trains contain either 9, 10, or 11 sprockets.

One of the major benefits of having a reliable cassette is that it provides a wide range of gearing options for the chain to run on, this allows you to use different pedaling cadence to optimize efficiency.

Even if bike cassettes have a similar appearance, the truth is that they differ in terms of quality and performance. Below are some of the things that will help you to pick a good cassette for your road bike.

Price– The price of a cassette varies depending on the brand and the number of clogs and sprockets. Going for the cheapest cassette without checking its features may cost you a lot of money in the long run. SRAM PG-1050 is one of the most budget-friendly options that will give you excellent performance.  The good thing about it is that it comes with a 2 years warranty.

Ease of shifting– The major reason why you may need to change your bike’s rear cassette is when you frequently experience problems when shifting. You should never shift gears when they are stationary. Again, never change gears instantly when cycling uphill because apart from straining them, doing so might cause extreme damages. Therefore, the best cog should work perfectly with your derailleur even without a lot of adjustments.

Durability– Since cassettes are likely to wear out quickly. Therefore, you need to check the materials used to ensure that they will last long. The best cassettes are those made of reinforced steel. However, if you want a material that won’t increase the weight of your bike, you should look for an aluminum cassette. Steel is the best for durability but it is heavier than aluminum. Steel is not only durable but it is also resistant to corrosion and rusting.

Speed– The last thing you would wish is to have a cassette that will affect the speed of your bike. To determine this, you should check the number of cogs on the cassette. However, the cogs should not be very far from each other because they might affect the shifting. Again, the weight of the cassette is also likely to affect the speed of your road bike. Therefore, you should look for a lightweight cassette if you mind about speed.

Installation– Pick a cassette that is easy to install. Getting the cassette installed in a bike store may be a good option but it might cost you extra money. Again, it might not be very convenient since you may need to change the cassette from time to time. A cassette that is easy to install will also be easy to maintain.

Compatibility– You should consider a cassette from the same brand as the rest of the drivetrain. However, Shimano and SRAM cassettes on either mountain bike or road bike can be interchanged because the spacing between sprockets is the same. However, Campagnolo cassettes are only compatible with Campagnolo drivetrains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best cassette for road bikes?
If you are searching for a perfect road bike cassette, Shimano Tiagra Cassette provides the best value for money.  What you will love about it is that it has many features which are only found in expensive models.

Can I use an MTB cassette on a road bike?
It is possible to use an MTB cassette on a road bike but you will have to change to a MTB rear derailleur. You will find that most mountain bike derailleurs feature a long-range which can accommodate a 34-tooth cog or newer cassettes which has 36-tooth cogs.

Are Shimano and SRAM freehubs the same?
Shimano or SRAM cassettes are not the same but they can be interchanged because their spacing is usually the same.

Wrapping up

A bike cassette is one of the most important parts that you should always ensure that it is in good condition. Just like the tires, bike cassettes are prone to wear and tear which means that you need to look for the best. If the cassette is not in good condition, you may not be able to pedal easily.

Photo of author


Kier focuses on improving all things bike, and is always looking to take his ability to a new average (hopefully a higher one!). When not on the bike Kier is normally downing coffee and cake.