While I think just "cassette" is far more common, which is the more correct term for the sprocket cluster?

"cassette sprocket" has half a million hits on google, while "sprocket cassette" only has 127 thousand.

That being said, a "cassette sprocket" sounds strange to me as a sprocket cluster. It sounds like a single sprocket made for cassette type wheels.

What is it normally referred to in the biking world?

  • The same part has many names, even when restricted to just English. BLOCK and CLUSTER are also names for the same item, though they're more UK-isms.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 3:48
  • 1
    Aside - be aware that your search terms will not all relate to the cycling context. Sprockets are in machinery and motorbikes, cassettes could be audio tapes or printer ribbons. Take the numbers with a margin of error.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 3:51

5 Answers 5


Do not know if it technically correct, but most common usage to describe the collection of sprockets is simply 'Cassette'

The common description for 'Cassette' on bicycle web sites falls along the lines of "A bicycle cassette is the cluster of sprockets located on the rear" - with synonyms for cluster and sprockets. Its rare to see any other words added to 'Cassette'

While I understand the meanings, the terms "cassette sprocket" or "sprocket cassette" are both unfamiliar and sound 'off' to me.


A cassette is the collection of sprockets that slides onto the freehub body. Sometimes these are individual sprockets, sometimes a few sprockets are on sub-carriers, and sometimes the whole thing is one piece.

"Sprocket cassette" doesn't mean anything to me. "Cassette sprocket" suggests one of the sprockets found in a cassette, to distinguish it from a sprocket found in a freewheel, perhaps.

Sprocket. Sprocket. Say it enough times and it loses meaning.


And "cassette cog" is probably the most correct/common US name for any one individual gear out of a cassette - as in "11t cog" or "19-tooth cog"

I get 3,680,000 hits for https://www.google.com/search?q=cassette+cog with this in the "What is a cassette cog" dropdown:

The gears on the rear wheel are called 'cogs' and when you put a few of them together in ascending size and attach them onto your back wheel, they are referred to as a 'cassette'.

  • I'll see your "What is a cassette cog" and raise you a "What is a cassette sprocket" (16.5 million hots). No idea what it says about the right answer though :)
    – mattnz
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 3:00

The "sprocket cluster" you refer to are typically collectively referred to as a "cassette," as describing the cogset, the set of multiple rear sprockets that attaches to the hub on the rear wheel called a freehub which contains the ratcheting mechanism, But which can include varieties of multiple sprocket freewheels, which have sprockets mounted on a body which contains an internal ratcheting mechanism and mounts on a threaded hub..

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Yet I have seen cassettes called "rear chain wheels, and "Cassette Flywheel," and "Freewheel Cassette Sprocket."


A 'cassette sprocket' is a single sprocket in a cassette. It indicates that the sprocket is in a cassette, and not in, for example, a movie projector.

A 'sprocket cassette' is a cassette that consists of sprockets. This distinguishes it from for example a 'pulley cassette' that could occur when multiple belt drive ratios are desired.

As such, 'sprocket cassette' is technically the correct term of the two to use when you want to indicate the entire cassette, and not an individual sprocket. However, in practice you would always just use 'cassette'.

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