I know my bike's rear cassette needs replacing, but before I do that, is it feasible to dismantle the 8 sprockets to reverse their spin? Can you increase the lifespan of a cassette by letting the cogs wear and tear the other way?
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Assuming you have Shimano-compatiple Hyperglide cogs: No, you can't. The cassette body is not symmetric, the cassette fits in only one position. You could resort to adapt the cogs with a file, though. But shifting will be problematic at least, the cogs have certain indents to make shifting smoother.
The problem is that any rear cluster designed for indexed shifting has directional cogs. There are ramps embossed on the sides of the cogs to catch the chain pins and lever the chain up to the next larger cog when the chain is shifted. If you somehow reverse the cogs these ramps will be on the wrong side of the cogs and will be running the wrong direction.