I am reading the Shimano specs and I cannot figure out what is the "top sprocket". An example: https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/sora-r3000/RD-R3000-SS.html

"Low sprocket" (I couldn' tell what it is, but the value is more meaningful) describes the rear sprocket, ok, "Total capacity" this I understand as well, but what is "Top sprocket" with min/max values 11/14T (accordingly)?

1 Answer 1


In that context, Top sprocket is the smallest one on the cassette, which gives you the Top or highest gear. (You would think they would match terms Low and High or Top and Bottom.)

  • 2
    Specifically, the smallest cog on the cassette is to be from 11 to 14 tooth. You can't have a smallest cog outside that range. There's a similar restriction on "Low sprocket" being from 25T to 32T.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 2:45
  • @Criggie: Well not entirely true, I have a Shimano road cassette that ranges from 11 to 34. And there are single front ring set-ups that have 11-36 cassettes, i've even read about cassettes starting at 9 theeth.
    – Carel
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 18:49
  • @Carel yes, but this is Shimano's published specification for this derailleur. They're notoriously cautious on the limits, and you can often push 2-4 teeth larger at the big end of the cassette, but less so at the bottom.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 20:05

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