SRAM AXS Red 12 sp Cassette Installation Issues

Has anyone had an issue installing the SRAM Red AXS 12 sp cassette onto the hub? I’m installing one onto a DT Swiss XDR hub (swapped out the hub body from the stock one that came on the Roval Rapide CLX wheelset) and the cassette will not slide onto the splines far enough to allow the threads to engage. Looking at the install video from SRAM, one would assume this is a very simple matter, but I’ve been going nuts for 3 hours trying to get this damn cassette onto my wheel. This is my first foray into 12 sp. I have no other wheel or cassette to try, and I can’t ride the bike without a 12 sp cassette.

Has anyone encountered this issue? I can’t be the only one. A Google search revealed two similar issues, but the “fix” was not applicable to my situation in either case. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I can’t offer much help other than to confirm it’s usually easy… as long as the cassette is flush with the wheel so the thread lines up to screw in. I put my whole hand on the around/on cassette and push down as I’m turning the lockring tool (slowly) to make sure the thread engagement is clean for the first few turns.

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Thanks. I don’t think the threads are getting close enough to each other. The cassette seems to ride at the edge of the splines. If I push down, I can get the splines to catch slightly, but the lock ring spins and spins, and the threads never catch.

It LOOKS to me like the cassette doesn’t move onto the splines anywhere near close enough to allow the threads from the hub body to meet the threads in the cassette.

Appreciate the response… just very frustrating to have an issue I never saw coming keeping me from riding my new AXS system.

Are you sure the new XDR update is properly installed w/ your hub? If so, it should slide in far enough w/o problems. At least it did so when I converted a pair of Rolf Prima wheels a while back.

Can you clarify exactly what you mean when you say “Are you sure the new XDR update is properly installed w/your hub?”

I don’t know how it would be installed incorrectly. Everything with the hub body slides right on and the end cap keeps it together. The cassette fits fine until it gets to the splines. Then it sits barely over the top of the splines but won’t go any further.

I’m probably telling you something obvious that you’ve already tried and understand, but it’s worth mentioning. There is kind of a “two-step” process to getting a XDR SRAM cassette “seated” to engage the threads.

  1. Slide the cassette onto the body as far as it will go, until it “bottoms out.”; and then

  2. Slowly rotate the cassette clockwise, by hand, until it “drops in,” or “seats” onto the splines/threads.

Once it is “seated” or “dropped in,” it should catch in place, and not independently rotate back and forth off of the splines. Once you hit this point, then use the cassette lockring tool to tighten the threads, and they should engage and start to tighten onto the body. Again, you have probably already tried this, and I know it seems obvious, but I’m just checking to make sure that you are getting that second step before you try tightening.

Hey! Thanks for the reply. Yes, I’ve done this. However, it doesn’t really “drop in”. It looks like in the SRAM video that when you turn the cassette to seat it, it should drop in somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 the way down the splines, but it’s hard to tell from the video. Mine is nowhere near that much, but more like it’s just barely on the splines. If I let go of it and try to turn the lock ring it slips right off the splines.

It just doesn’t seem to seat itself far enough down the splines so that the threads are able to engage. If I hold it in place and try to tighten the lock ring, it just spins and spins with the threads never catching… probably because they aren’t close enough to each other.

This is the hub body (DT Swiss) mounted to a Roval Rapide CLX 60 rim brake wheel (QR, not through axle):

Another probably obvious suggestion: push the cassette down onto the XDR hub WHILE turning the locking ring. Also, there are no spacers, correct?

Thanks for the suggestion. I really appreciate everyone’s take. No suggestion is too obvious… seriously, I’ll try anything at this point. Yes, I’ve tried pushing down while turning the lock ring. No love. There are no spacers.


Good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m not crazy. The cassette does not fit properly on the splines of the hub body. I took it to my LBS and they couldn’t get it on there, either.

The bad news is that their best guess is that the hub splines are out of spec (ever so slightly too wide). They had a different XDR hub body, and the cassette went right onto it as I suspected it would. Another XDR cassette also would not fit onto my hub.

So… I’m not insane, but I can’t ride… which will soon drive me insane.

Thanks for everyone’s suggestions. Looks like just bad luck that I got a bad hub body.


I had the same issue when just shoving it on but tightening the lockring fixed it (dt swiss hub too btw)

I wish that worked for me, but mine won’t slide on far enough to allow the threads to meet and catch.

Use a bit of grease?

Tried that several times. No love.

Good to know you’re not crazy. Also, kind of good news, it should be relatively easy to source a DT Swiss freehub body, maybe even locally from another shop.

No such luck. Can’t find anything in store within a reasonable driving distance except 1 store, and they are closed today because of staffing issues due to illness. So, I had to bite the bullet and order a new one and pay extra to have it shipped next day… which will probably mean Thursday even though I ordered mid-morning. Meanwhile, I can’t ride the bike. Grrr!

Thanks for the follow-up. Keep us posted on the eventual outcome too. :ok_hand:t3:


The new hub body just arrived. The cassette slides over the splines like butter. No issues. Clearly, the first hub body is out of spec. Thanks for all the suggestions. Time to finish the build!


Hi Steve,

I’m dealing with this same issue right now when trying to install a brand new XDR force cassette onto a DT Swiss freehub body that came on a set of bontrager aeolus carbon wheels, they have the newer EXP version but the cassette just won’t engage the splines on freehub body. I have tried everything. So you just got a brand new freehub body and that solved all your issues? I am totally stumped on this one

Did you try greasing the splines? From what I remember it took me quite a bit of rotations with a lockring too before the cassette latched on (dt swiss hub too btw)

(Even harder and more frustrating was putting an xdr hub on my kickr🤬)