Lets get some things ticked off:

  • Friction shifting, check
  • Narrow stance cranks, check
  • 2 or 3 spacers on the right hand side, check
  • Single chainring, check

(That's the context.)

  • Are there cassettes which can be disassembled completely and reordered?
  • If so, what type/what manufacturer/what time period/what product line?
  • If you take out cogs 6, 5, 3 from a 7spd cassette, is there a derailer capable of handling that range?

... Anything I haven't thought of?

edit: I just thought of something else... The spacers may not be such an easy part to get hold of. The spacing is all completely different. Would 4 7spd cogs + 3 of what might be called '7 to 8spd' spacers all fit together nicely on a 7spd freehub? This is what I'm not sure of.

  • 1
    What is your purpose for doing this?
    – Kibbee
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:01
  • One thing you've missed is that on modern cassettes the relationship between the tooth positions on adjacent gears is important for sorting. Taking some gears out will break the smooth shifting.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:16
  • So you have 7/8 speed free hub? Why not just use 7/8 spd cassette?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:28
  • I know the shifting will not be smooth, but I don't care. If I wanted to I could copy the profiling that was done in the factory with hand tools.
    – lazyrabbit
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 21:24
  • I want a single chainring except also have range and good chainline. 1x10 drive would not work on a road bike - only MTB could get away with it (and so by extension, neither would 1x7). I never spend anytime on the other two chainrings even going uphill (and yes I do spin fast uphill in the big ring). OK its not for long rides, but it would be ideal for the city.
    – lazyrabbit
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


Because you can does not mean you should, however as an experiment, if it does not work you can always put the cassette back together as it was in the factory.

Most Shimano cassettes that don't use spiders can be disassembled (usually cheaper ones). They are held together by either rivets or small screws with hex head. You can drill out the riveted one easily enough - these are no needed once the cassette is installed.

With the right spacers, it would be possible to custom make a cassette with 3 or 4 cogs and any sizes you have availble (Do make sure the cogs a placed in ascending order, although ). The shifting won't work smoothly, as the ramps and stuff on the cogs will be in the wrong places.

Refer Sheldon Brown - section "Building Custom Cassettes"

  • I had to google 'cassette spider' to get an idea what those things look like. Answering one of my own questions - Sheldon states that the rivets are unnecessary to the main function of the cogs. It looks like I will be able to eye up a particular cassette to see if it is made like that, pick a cheap one, then I can experiment. Thx.
    – lazyrabbit
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 21:34

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