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Identfying a cassette
Having a jumping chain in the small ring on the rear cassette - How do i identify the cassette?

This is on a 2004 giant fcr3 soit is a 9 speed presumalbly shimano, but not positive of that. ( edit - it does use a shimano hg chain) Is there a pdf online somewhere showing the parts on a particular model of giant?

Also is there a way to clearly differentiate if this is chain stretch or a minor damage to the chainring?


If you have a shimano chain and shimano shifters, safe to assume it is a shimano cassette (or shimano compatible). Other than brand, you need to know the number of speeds (9) and the range of teeth. Cassettes are identified like "Shimano, 9 spd, 12-28" meaning the smallest cog has 12 teeth and the largest has 28.

If your happy with your gear range, get the same thing. If you want to tweak it a little, you can play with the gear spread some (depending on how much range your derailleur can handle - usually going a couple teeth larger or smaller is fine).

Unless you see some specific damage, it is probably chain "stretch" and cog wear. If it's skipping pretty bad, I'd change both chain and cassette. I like shimano cassettes and SRAM chains, but everybody seems to have their own preferences.

You could contact Giant for specs, but you should be able to figure out what's there without having to.
Thanks for your response

Counting teeth i find that i have a shimano 9 speed 12-26. Looking online i see a huge difference in price between a 9 speed cassette and an 8 speed - like 109 to 30 bucks..

I *almost* never use that low gear anyway. The question is is there a quality drop or is it just a lower price for one less gear?

again thanks for the input

You can fit a Shimano 8 speed cassette in place of a 9 speed but it won't work properly. You will find a variation though in prices of the different grades of 9 speed but mainly it's down to weight and materials. Though cheapest cassette will be plain steel whereas the higher grades will have cut-outs (holes) and/or lighter construction.

Chances are you will not really notice any difference in performance. I have never come across any tests that the more expensive ones last longer? The same goes for chains. Although, from my own experience, the higher grade chains seem to change gear easier.

I would also agree with Dave about getting a new chain as well.
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bingo thanks... after reading your post i looked again and found a 12-23 for 33 bucks... that should be perfect actually, not quite as low but with 9 speeds. so basically i should probably spend some money on a good chain and do the cheaper slightly higher ratio cassette.

thanks the info is very much appreciated

Hm. 12-23 is (for me) a serious flat terrain cassette. Compared to the old cassette, you'll miss your two lowest gears. If you are either a strong cyclist or ride exclusively in the flatland you should be ok, though. I'd also go (as you mentioned) for a slightly better chain, but not the highest possible level since those are (in my opinion) built mostly to be light and not to be sturdy.

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