Cassettes

Cassettes

KASS-ettes

Noun

Cassettes are collections of sprockets at the rear wheel of a bicycle.

Example usage: I'm going to change my cassette to give me a lower gear ratio.

Most used in: Mountain biking and road cycling.

Most used by: Cyclists who need to adjust their gear ratios for different terrain.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Cogsets, Freewheels, Block, Cluster,

What is a Cassette?

A cassette is a cluster of sprockets on the rear wheel of a bicycle, which is used to change gears. It is connected to the rear wheel hub and is the primary component of the drivetrain of a bike. Cassettes come in a variety of sizes and configurations, depending on the model and type of bike.

The most common sizes for cassettes are 8, 9, or 10 speed. The number of speeds refers to the number of sprockets in the cassette, which determine how many different gear ratios a bike has. Higher-end cassettes may also have 11 or 12 speeds, allowing for even more gear ratios and a wider range of riding options.

The majority of bikes on the market today come with cassettes, with the vast majority of these being 8-speed cassettes. This is because 8-speed cassettes are the most affordable and are suitable for most types of riding. 9-speed and 10-speed cassettes are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer more precise gear shifting and a greater range of gearing options.

Cassettes are an essential component of any bike, as they are what allows you to shift gears and adjust your speed and power output when riding. Whether you're an avid cyclist or just getting started, understanding how cassettes work can help you get the most out of your ride.

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The Origin of the Cycling Term 'Cassettes'

The cycling term 'cassettes' is used to refer to the collection of sprockets connected to the rear wheel of a bike. The word was first used in the early 1970s and is attributed to the French cyclist, mechanic and frame builder, Gerard Vitus. It was used to describe the sprockets, which were then made of steel, in contrast to the traditional cogs, which were made of brass.

At the time, the cassette was considered an innovation in the cycling world, and Vitus was the first to popularize its use. He was also the first to introduce the idea of replacing the entire cassette, rather than just the individual cogs. This allowed the cyclist to customize their gear ratios to match their riding style.

Since then, the term 'cassette' has become a standard part of the cycling lexicon and is used to refer to the sprockets at the rear of the bike. It is widely used in cycling circles and is a testament to the influence of Vitus' innovation.

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