How much should one worry about cassette weight?

I’m hoping the answer is “not at all” but figured I’d check :rofl:

Building a 1x and as the cassettes get bigger, they get heavier of course. Garbaruk or eThirteen cassettes should be lighter than more basic eagle or XT cassettes. I’m leaning towards GX Eagle mullet on my Cutthroat and the cassette is 450g or so. I’m used to more road cassettes so this sounds like a boat anchor, but I don’t know if its worth spending a bit more for eThirteen for example, which might save 100g and have replaceable large cogs.

I have a Garbaruk and love it. Super light and comparatively not that expensive. Looks like they have a 65 day lead time on shipping right now. 100 grams isn’t much, but, as they say, grams lead to kilograms. I think it’s the second easiest way to lose some weight, after wheelset. I have been looking at an ethirteen for my gravel bike. I like the idea of a 9t. And you are gonna get the ever so clever, “it’s cheaper for you to lose weight” or “take a dump” responses. But I’m 6’ 152, so for me, no.


One thing that looks really cool about these is their machining…they look beautiful.

Nothing wrong with XT/GX cassettes but they’re nothing to look at haha. And the premium ones are just too expensive from Sram/Shimano.

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I wanted to make a witty post, but ultimately its your money - spend it how you want (no judgement here). I wouldn’t as eagle is proven solid and good value, I’ve also got weight to lose before worrying about 100g on my bike

“Are you mad at your money?” - its 100 g

“Not at all”- its a 100 g

“its cheaper if you lose weight” - for many of us this is true

“strong, light, cheap, pick two” still rings true

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I hear you about losing the 100g off my body etc.

In this case, an Eagle GX cassette is 450g and $215. REI has an eThirteen 9-50 cassette for $289 @ 345g. Considering I’d get 10% back as a dividend, that’s a big weight savings for not a whole lot of money.

And the indecisiveness spirals further out of control…



I don’t think Gabaruk shifts as well as Shimano XT. I can’t recall where that was discussed, but it makes logical sense to me with Shimano’s ramps etc for smooth shifting.

I have no experience with SRAM but it’s possibly less of a difference.

How much cost difference is there? I thought Garbaruk was mega $$$$? I suppose X01 etc is also $$$$ so depends where the comparison is :blush:

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I’d do some research in to durability of e-Thirteen and Garbaruk in normal usage. The high end SRAM cassettes last a long time, the cost would spiral if you had to replace your cassette twice as often.

Just throwing ideas into the ether.


Assuming that is the best price you can get for both, that’s not a lot of money to save about 0.25lb off your bike weight (only $75). I don’t think you’d ever notice the difference in performance coming from that difference in weight. That’s a few sips out of one of your bottles


The XD driver 12 speed garbaruk cassette weighs 350g (vs 470 for XT and 455 for GX) and costs $261 (vs $160 for XT and $215 for GX) . While the microspline one is 335g for $250 (unless you want a color which is $266). That seems like a decent weight savings for not a ton of money. I think generally the number that gets thrown around as a tipping point is 1g/$1. So this would be sitting right on the cheaper side of that line.


Go ask on the WeightWeenies forum!


@FrankTuna with respect to everything drivetrain, I think it’s important to focus on things like friction, shift performance, wear and reliability. IMO/E these are the things that are noticeable. If a certain cassette fits those criteria and happens to be lighter then bonus. But, I wouldn’t recommend buying a lighter cassette just to buy a lighter cassette.


On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a zero.



The reason the weight would matter is less about just carrying the weight up a hill but rather because it is unsprung mass. So the less weight at the wheel, the faster a rock or bump can accelerate that wheel upward to be handled by the suspension the better. And it will also be able to be pushed back into the ground better by the suspension rebound.

Weight, who cares?

Performance, that is a different story. The X01 cassette out performs the GX cassette by like 5:1. You save money today on the GX, you save money on the long term with the X01.

I just ordered a Garbaruk (should be here soon actually) for my XTR bike because I couldn’t get an XTR cassette (the Shimano cassette is shit in my opinion). I won’t know how it performs until I start riding it.

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I’ve been disappointed with durability or shift performance when I’ve tried third-party cassettes or mixed drivetrains, so I try to just stick with SRAM or Shimano depending on the drivetrain I have. Others report differently, but as a bigger, stronger mountain biker who frequently shifts under load (sometimes it’s just unavoidable), my experience with eThirteen cassettes in particular has been annoying. It sucks, because as you note, XT cassettes weigh a ton and XTR cassettes cost a million bucks – if you can even find one!

That said, supply chain being what it is, I actually gambled once again and purchased one of their newer Helix 12spd cassettes. But in the stand I couldn’t get it to shift reliably, no doubt due to the fact I was using a well worn derailleur and slightly used chain (and tired cables and housing). In the end I threw on an old XTR cassette that had ~3,000 miles on it under my 120lb wife (who doesn’t like to shift) and it’s been going strong for months!

The Helix cassette is just collecting dust in my shop, so if you want it, I’d sell it to you for the same price as a new GX cassette - $215 according to you. On a fresh drivetrain perhaps it’d work great.

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@JSTootell When you say outperforms, do you mean cleaner shifting and/or longitivity? I just looked it up…not saying it’s not worth it, but at $400 that gives me anxiety. I’ll be curious to hear how the Garbaruk works out for you.

@NoahColorado sorry to hear about the eThirteen troubles. I saw a video by LoveMTB on YouTube about that cassette and he said it appear to shift as well as SRAM. Maybe everything does need to be fresh? It seems like a good cassette in principle but if it doesn’t shift well it’s just a cool looking paperweight.

Yeah, Pinkbike gave it a glowing review – that’s what made me take a chance on it. And maybe it is good? I just had limited time to mess with it, and I tried it back to back to back with XTR and SLX cassettes and those two others shifted flawlessly in stand. I basically had time to pick one and go for a test ride on it before heading to a stage race this fall, and since the XTR worked I never circled back to investigating the Helix.

I was going to keep it for my next build, but I have a brand new short-cage XTR derailleur that won’t accept that range and I can’t find a long-cage XT, so I cut my losses and found a 10-45t XT cassette.

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Never had the pleasure of having an XO1 cassette. But am interested in upgrading!
So far I have been really happy with the shift performance of the GX cassette in combination with XO1 derailleur & shifter. Other than the weight, where did you experience the benefits?

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I didn’t keep perfect track of the mileage, but somewhere between 700-1500 miles on the GX cassette and it was totally shot. By comparison I have 4000 on an X01 and it still looks new. Well over double the mileage of the GX, and no visible wear. I actually bought a second X01 for a new wheel build, probably a waste of money.


wow! That makes it cheaper to run than the GX over time!
thank you for the feedback! Now I just need to hunt for a stack of cash!

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