I need to replace my rear wheel and have a few questions on component compatibility before I make a purchase.

My bike is a Specialized 2018 Rockhopper Pro; the link gives its stock components/spec.

I have modified it to run 1x11. (Probably) relevant specs:

  • Rear hub: Shimano Center Lock, disc, 135x9mm QR, 28h
  • 1x11 setup with SunRace 11 speed cassette 11-46

Now, for new wheel choices I have considered the following two:

Aside from the obvious - 29", QR, centerlock - what else do I need to be aware of in terms of compatibility? I'm unsure whether the two wheels will fit my bike. How can I tell if my cassette, for example, will fit onto the hub of the wheel?

2 Answers 2


One point not mentioned is the rim internal width. This directly affects what widths of tyre can be mounted. That is, a 60mm wide tyre will mount better on a wider rim than a 25mm tyre.

Additionally, tubeless rims are a thing. If you want to run tubeless tyres, then a tubeless-ready rim makes sense. If you're happy running clincher tyres with tubes, then this is less of an issue.

The hub's cassette interface has to match with the cassette you intend to run. Options like Microspline are available. As long as your cassette fits the hub, then the chain/derailleur won't know or care.

Spare parts - if the hub you get is some odd or rare item, then finding a new freehub in a couple of years could be hard. Less of a problem than it used to be.

You want to consider your riding style as to the number of spokes - a rear wheel with more spokes is better at carrying a load or surviving a bad landing, while a wheel with fewer spokes is reputed to be lighter/more aero, but one spoke going can drop the whole wheel out of true enough to bind the wheel in the frame.

  • Thanks for the insight, much appreciated! In the specific case of the "Shimano | Mavic - Deore XT FH-M8000" wheel and my cassette do you see any problems?
    – Terry T
    Mar 17, 2021 at 13:11
  • 1
    As noted, spokes are strength. Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable on a rear wheel with fewer than 32 spokes but YMMV. If you're interested in a new front wheel as well, it's usually a bit cheaper to buy a wheelset rather than individual front and rear wheels.
    – Armand
    Mar 18, 2021 at 0:08
  • Your current cassette, the Sunrace 11 speed, is compatible with either of the Shimano hubs you may choose. When a wheel has a freehub from another manufacturer, it will look identical and they may market it as Shimano-compatible or HG, which is a Shimano derived technology that others have been allowed to copy. Campagnolo freehubs have a different spline pattern that will only accept a Campagnolo cassette. The newest freehubs are different and new standards from both SRAM & Shimano (XD/XDR & MicroSpline respectively) that are not compatible with each other's cassettes.
    – Jeff
    Apr 8, 2021 at 22:13

All "normal" mountain bike cassettes should fit a standard (8/9/10/11 speed) freehub.

You only run into compatibility issues with 11 speed road cassettes (they are wider) and new microspline etc. interfaces.

So yes, your cassette should fit

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