Freehub & Cassette Compatibility Manual

There are two brands that dominate the freehub/cassette market - Shimano and Sram.As standards evolve, the number of compatibility issues rise. We have created this simple manual to explain the history and talk through the various formats available. If you have a Campagnolo cassette, you require a Campagnolo freehub, they are not compatible with Shimano or Sram.

If you have a cassette or freehub you wish to use and simply want to ensure your parts are compatible, you can skip to the chart at the bottom of this page.

Shimano


Shimano’s Hyperglide (HG) freehub design was introduced in the 1980s. It is distinguished by its 13 splines, with a keyed (wider) slot in order to align the cogs so they shift properly. There were several variations of these HG freehubs to be aware of.

Shimano HG “8-10” speed Mountain Freehub

shimano-8-9-10-11-speed-mountain-hyper-glide-freehub.jpeg

When 9 speed was introduced, they used narrower chains and had less spacing between cogs compared to 8 speed. The overall cassette width was exactly the same and you do not need to run spacers with either cassette. Shimano had a mind for 11 speed, so when they introduced 10 speed, they made the spacing much narrower than 9 speed. A Shimano 10 speed cassette is even narrower than a 9 speed so you need to run a 1mm spacer behind the cassette in this case. When 11 speed mountain cassettes came out, they would fit on the 8-10 speed freehubs without the use of a spacer. Road 11 speed, however, would not fit unless you were to remove one of the inner cogs.

Shimano HG 10 speed ONLY Freehub

shimano-10-speed-only-freehub-incompatible-with-other-speed.jpeg

There was a short period of time when some freehubs were made that were only compatible with 10 speed Shimano cassettes. With this setup, you don’t need a spacer. You cannot run 11 or 12 speed cassettes on these 10 speed only freehubs. Non-10 speed cassettes won’t likely fit as splines on the 10 speed freehubs were taller.

Shimano HG 11 Speed Road Freehub

shimano-hg-road-11-speed-freehub.jpeg

Since 11 speed mountain cassettes fit on 8-10 speed freehubs, this HG road freehub is intended for road 11 speed cassettes. You can, however, run an 8, 9 or 11 speed mountain cassette on these with a 1.85mm spacer. If you want to run your Shimano 10 speed cassette, you can add a 1mm and 1.85mm spacer. A handful of hub manufacturers used the “road” 11 speed spacing and included a spacer as they assumed Shimano would be releasing 12 speed mountain cassettes and would require this wider freehub. However, when Shimano released their 12 speed it ended up using a completely different design (MicroSpline, explained later).

Mavic Shimano-style HG 8-11 Speed Mountain Freehub

mavic-shimano-style-8-9-10-11-speed-freehub.jpeg

Works with Shimano/Sram HG 11 speed cassettes without spacers. If you want to run your Shimano 10 speed cassette, you can add a 1mm and 1.75mm Mavic spacer. If you want to run an 8-10 speed Sram HG or Shimano 8/9 speed cassette, you can run a 1.75mm Mavic spacer.

Shimano MicroSpline (MS) 11/12 speed

shimano-micro-spline-11-12-speed-mountain-freehub.jpeg

When Shimano mountain cassettes grew to 12 speed, they introduced a long-awaited freehub revision - MicroSpline. The MS freehubs are characterized by being much shorter and having 23 splines (HG-type has 13 splines). The increase helps distribute forces thus allowing for lighter alloy freehubs to be used.

MS freehub splines and cassettes are mounted differently and can’t be combined with other standards. The largest cogs are mounted to an alloy spider, while the four smaller steel cogs slide onto the freehub body individually. The smallest cog is only 10t (11t was a standard). The spacing is the same between 11 and 12 speed MicroSpline cassettes, there is just 1 less sprocket with 11spd.

shimano-8-9-10-11-speed-mountain-hyper-glide-freehub.jpeg

Shimano HG “8-10” Speed Mountain Freehub

When 9 speed was introduced, they used narrower chains and had less spacing between cogs compared to 8 speed. The overall cassette width was exactly the same and you do not need to run spacers with either cassette. Shimano had a mind for 11 speed, so when they introduced 10 speed, they made the spacing much narrower than 9 speed. A Shimano 10 speed cassette is even narrower than a 9 speed so you need to run a 1mm spacer behind the cassette in this case. When 11 speed mountain cassettes came out, they would fit on the 8-10 speed freehubs without the use of a spacer. Road 11 speed, however, would not fit unless you were to remove one of the inner cogs.

Shimano HG 10 Speed ONLY Freehub

There was a short period of time when some freehubs were made that were only compatible with 10 speed Shimano cassettes. With this setup, you don’t need a spacer. You cannot run 11 or 12 speed cassettes on these 10 speed only freehubs. Non-10 speed cassettes won’t likely fit as splines on the 10 speed freehubs were taller.

shimano-10-speed-only-freehub-incompatible-with-other-speed.jpeg
shimano-hg-road-11-speed-freehub.jpeg

Shimano HG 11 Speed Road Freehub

Since 11 speed mountain cassettes fit on 8-10 speed freehubs, this HG road freehub is intended for road 11 speed cassettes. You can, however, run an 8, 9 or 11 speed mountain cassette on these with a 1.85mm spacer. If you want to run your Shimano 10 speed cassette, you can add a 1mm and 1.85mm spacer. A handful of hub manufacturers used the “road” 11 speed spacing and included a spacer as they assumed Shimano would be releasing 12 speed mountain cassettes and would require this wider freehub. However, when Shimano released their 12 speed it ended up using a completely different design (MicroSpline, explained later).

Mavic Shimano-style HG 8-11 Speed Mountain Freehub

Works with Shimano/Sram HG 11 speed cassettes without spacers. If you want to run your Shimano 10 speed cassette, you can add a 1mm and 1.75mm Mavic spacer. If you want to run an 8-10 speed Sram HG or Shimano 8/9 speed cassette, you can run a 1.75mm Mavic spacer.

mavic-shimano-style-8-9-10-11-speed-freehub.jpeg
shimano-micro-spline-11-12-speed-mountain-freehub.jpeg

Shimano MicroSpline (MS) 11/12 Speed

When Shimano mountain cassettes grew to 12 speed, they introduced a long-awaited freehub revision - MicroSpline. The MS freehubs are characterized by being much shorter and having 23 splines (HG-type has 13 splines). The increase helps distribute forces thus allowing for lighter alloy freehubs to be used.

MS freehub splines and cassettes are mounted differently and can’t be combined with other standards. The largest cogs are mounted to an alloy spider, while the four smaller steel cogs slide onto the freehub body individually. The smallest cog is only 10t (11t was a standard). The spacing is the same between 11 and 12 speed MicroSpline cassettes, there is just 1 less sprocket with 11spd.

Sram


Shimano HG-Style

Sram HG-style cassettes are largely the same spacing as Shimano, with the 10 speed exception. The Sram 10 speed cassette is the same width as 8/9 speed, whereas with Shimano it’s 1mm narrower.

Compatibility and Spacer Chart :

XD 11 & 12 Speed

sram-xd-mountain-11-12-speed-freehub.jpeg

Sram XD driver is created to allow the smallest cog to be 10 teeth for high gear ratio. It’s lighter and more durable than HG freehubs because cassettes won’t gouge into the splines.

XD-R 11 & 12 Speed

sram-xdr-road-11-12-speed-freehub.jpeg

The road version (XD-R) is compatible with mountain cassettes if you add a 1.85mm spacer. There is no spacer required with a road XDR cassette. As it relates to the freehub, there is no compatibility difference between 11 and 12 speed Sram cassettes. SRAM RED eTap AXS and Force eTap AXS road cassettes use the XDR freehub.

Sram XX1, XX1 Eagle, X01, X01 Eagle, X1, GX, GX Eagle all use the XD freehub body. The Sram NX 12 speed cassette uses the Shimano HG freehub body, so you need to watch out for this one. A good way to check compatibility is to see how many teeth your Sram cassette has. If the smallest cog is 10T, it should use an XD-style freehub, but if it’s 11T then it likely uses a Shimano HG freehub.

Campagnolo


Campy 9 & 10 & 11 & 12 Speed

Campagnolo-8-9-10-11-spd-freehub.jpeg

Campagnolo freehubs are compatible only with Campagnolo cassettes. In late 2000, Campagnolo introduced the Ultra-Drive standard, for greater shifting smoothness. Its 9/10/11-speed freehubs are compatible with all the Ultra-Drive cassettes of either 9, 10, 11 or 12-speed (11t starting cog) with no spacers required.

N3W 13 Speed

Campagnolo-N3W-freehub.jpeg

Designed to work with their newer 12 or 13 speed cassettes, Campagnolo’s new freewheel body is a patented standard. Sharing the same grooved design as their classic body, the N3W is lighter and shortened by 4.4mm which allows it to handle the smaller 9t or 10t cogs.

Adding the AC21-N3W adapter will create the same length as the classic freehub body, making it backwards compatible with their 9, 10, 11 or 12 speed cassettes (model’s starting with an 11t cog).

sram-xd-mountain-11-12-speed-freehub.jpeg

XD 11 & 12 Speed

Sram XD driver is created to allow the smallest cog to be 10 teeth for high gear ratio. It’s lighter and more durable than HG freehubs because cassettes won’t gouge into the splines.

XD-R 11 & 12 Speed

The road version (XD-R) is compatible with mountain cassettes if you add a 1.85mm spacer. There is no spacer required with a road XDR cassette. As it relates to the freehub, there is no compatibility difference between 11 and 12 speed Sram cassettes. SRAM RED eTap AXS and Force eTap AXS road cassettes use the XDR freehub.

sram-xdr-road-11-12-speed-freehub.jpeg

Sram XX1, XX1 Eagle, X01, X01 Eagle, X1, GX, GX Eagle all use the XD freehub body. The Sram NX 12 speed cassette uses the Shimano HG freehub body, so you need to watch out for this one. A good way to check compatibility is to see how many teeth your Sram cassette has. If the smallest cog is 10T, it should use an XD-style freehub, but if it’s 11T then it likely uses a Shimano HG freehub.

Campagnolo


Campagnolo-8-9-10-11-spd-freehub.jpeg

Campy 9 & 10 & 11 & 12 Speed

Campagnolo freehubs are compatible only with Campagnolo cassettes. In late 2000, Campagnolo introduced the Ultra-Drive standard, for greater shifting smoothness. Its 9/10/11-speed freehubs are compatible with all the Ultra-Drive cassettes of either 9, 10, 11 or 12-speed (11t starting cog) with no spacers required.

N3W 13 Speed

Designed to work with their newer 12 or 13 speed cassettes, Campagnolo’s new freewheel body is a patented standard. Sharing the same grooved design as their classic body, the N3W is lighter and shortened by 4.4mm which allows it to handle the smaller 9t or 10t cogs.

Adding the AC21-N3W adapter will create the same length as the classic freehub body, making it backwards compatible with their 9, 10, 11 or 12 speed cassettes (model’s starting with an 11t cog).

Campagnolo-N3W-freehub.jpeg

Cassette Compatibility Chart


If you are unsure what freehubs will match your cassette, please contact us (sales@lightbicycle) and we’ll reach out to confirm your order.

COMMENTS

A

Andy 2021/05/11

Can you advise if a Shimano Ultegra 11 speed cassette can be fitted directly on to a SRAM XDR frrehub ?


LightBicycle 2021/05/11

Hi Andy, You can see from the compatible chart that the XDR freehub can only mount with SRAM 11/12 speed road XDR cassette. If you want to use an SRAM XD cassette, you will need a 1.85mm spacer. So, you cannot use a Shimnaon cassette on. Thanks, Lightbicycle


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M

mark 2021/04/27

Hi - I have a 10spd Campy Voloce rear deraileur (with campy shifters, around 2013 era) - I have a shimano hub and I've been using a campy/shimano conversion cassette (12 - 28) for many years but its worn out and I cannot readily find a replacement. Do you have any recommendation on what I can use - prefer to replace cassette only and if that is to much I'd like to keep as much of current set up as possible. Easy question - can I use a shimano cassette? All help is appreciated.


LightBicycle 2021/04/27

Hi Mark, I was able to find a compatibility chart for a 10-speed groupset and cassettes. I hope this is helpful. https://cdn-ctstaging.pressidium.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Compatibility-tables.001.png Thanks, Lightbicycle


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M

mark 2021/04/13

I have a 11 speed Shimano Ultegra groupset R8000 series, with a 11 speed Shimano HUB, i currently use a Shimano cassette which has a ratio of 11/34. My question - can i swap the existing cassettte and replace with a 11 speed Shimano MTB cassette with a 42/11 ratio. If required i will change the rear derallier for one compatible with the 42/11 MTB cassette. Thankyou Mark Gallacher


LightBicycle 2021/04/13

Hi Mark, You are using an 11 speed Shimano Ultegra groupset R8000 series now, which means your current freehub is Shimano road 11s. You could use a 1.85mm spacer if you want to change the cassette to 11 speed Shimano MTB cassette. Thanks, Lightbicycle


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H

Herb 2021/03/13

Hello how r u. I just wanted to know is a rs21 freehub body compatible with a rs10 rear hub i have wore out my freehub body on my rs10 rear wheel i have 11spd


LightBicycle 2021/03/13

Hi Herb, No matter what the hub manufacturer is, the freehub bodies are designed according to groupset companies' standards. We listed three majoir cassette brands on the market, Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo. Which 11-speed freehub standard that you have on your wheels? Thanks, Lightbicycle


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C

Craig 2021/03/01

Hi I have the 11 speed Shimano Deore FH-M615, Centerlock on my 2017 cube ltd pro. I require a new freehub as the bearing casing has worn. I'm struggling to find the right part and so would be grateful for any links or advice on where I can purchase a shimano 11 speed freehub thankyou.


LightBicycle 2021/03/01

Hi Craig, It is better that you check with your wheel/hub supplier. Thanks, Lightbicycle


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R

Roy 2021/02/08

I have a Mavic Equipe road wheel with a 8/9 speed hub. The freehub body needs to be replaced. Do you have a freehub body that will fit this wheel? Is this freehub interchangeable with a Shimano 8/9 speed freehub? Thanks.


LightBicycle 2021/02/09

Hi Roy, For different hubs, it needs different free hub body to match. Maybe you have to check with your hub brand and wheel supplier. We can only offer DT Swiss/Hope free hub bodies here. Thanks, Lightbicycle


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D

datuklapar@gmail.com 2020/08/24

Bravo


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A

Ayu 2020/08/22

Nice


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