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I would like to know for some future works on my bike whether I have a freewheel or a cassette?

I will look at the bike in itself, but just for a little heads-up: my bike is a 2012 FX 7.2 (Trek).

In these days, are freewheels even still used anymore on new bikes? and anyone can tell me what I have?

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Freewheels (in the conventional sense) are used rarely, if ever, on new bikes. –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 1 '13 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are really three components to the multi-speed hub:

  1. The hub proper, and most of the bearings
  2. The ratchet mechanism that allows the hub to "freewheel"
  3. The sprocket cluster

On older bikes the sprocket cluster and ratchet mechanism are combined, whereas on newer bikes the hub and ratchet mechanism are combined.

As with "clipless pedals", the terminology is not chosen to actually make things clear, but simply to avoid reusing terms that were previously used in a different sense. So cluster+ratchet = "freewheel", leaving only the hub, while ratchet+hub = "freehub", leaving the cluster = "cassette".

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You have both. The freewheel is built into the hub. The cassette is the cluster of gears slides onto the freewheel of the hub.

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I don't understand, Saint Sheldon has precisely a specific page stating a freewheel and a cassette are two different concepts! sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html –  Nic Mar 1 '13 at 21:23
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The term used to describe a freewheel built into the hub is "freehub". –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 1 '13 at 21:37

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