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I just bought this Shimano HG41 cassette and I noticed that not all of the teeth and dips between them look the same. You can easily see this in the image that I included if you compare the teeth on the largest sprocket on the left with those on the right. You will notice that those on the left are wider and the ones on the right are smaller. Also, the dips look like they have different shapes. I am wondering if that is how it is supposed to be, or if there was a manufacturing defect, or if I was sold a used cassette. For reference, I bought the cassette in-person and it came in the box (the box was a bit beat up) and instructions, although there was no plastic wrap over the cassette in the box even though there normally is (although I am not sure if they only do this for higher end cassettes). enter image description here

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In all likelihood, the cassette is new. The cassette is manufactured this way. The difference in teeth shape and depth is to assist the chain take-up when you change gears.

Look for wear marks on the ramps and grime between the cogs - a new cassette should be clean with no marks. While it could be possible to clean a used cassette to 'new' condition, (likely more expensive than a new cassette), it would be next to impossible to remove wear marks off the ramps.

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    Interesting - this is the only answer, and this question hits the HNQ. So "number of answers" isn't what makes the question "hot" – Criggie Sep 17 at 8:06
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    @Criggie number of answers never was the sole reason. Number of views also took a part in it, and I suppose this particular topic may be important to many people. – Mołot Sep 17 at 9:40
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    @Criggie I always had the impression that the criteria was how much the title was phrased as click-bait. The many answers only followed afterwards. I think I observed this several times with bad questions getting on HNQ and then disappearing again after someone fixed the title. In this case, I bet if the title had been "Is this cassette used?", it would not have gotten onto HNQ. The reason it did get on HNQ is because the title is emotional and conveys outrage. – Nobody Sep 17 at 12:26
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    The word 'just' helped... 'oh, maybe he was! Quickly, let's help!' – Lamar Latrell Sep 17 at 19:11
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    I check the HQN when I have time. I saw cassette and didn't know what it was referring to and didn't bother to check the icon. I thought it was either music or IT stuff. Now I know that's what gear assemblies are called. Neat. - Edit - So, the multi- platform term may have helped with more views. – MacGyver88 Sep 17 at 19:42

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