I got two HG 700 cassettes. One came on my gravel wheelset with my canyon grail (received in January 2023) let's call it A and I bought the other one recently (September 2023) to fit on my road wheelset, let's call it B.

Cassette A doesn't have the 1.85mm spacer presented in Shimano documents but fits without play on both wheelset.

Cassette B has the 1.85mm spacer and only fits properly (without play) on my rear wheels with said spacer.

I don't understand this difference (that annoys me) also, when using cassette B for the first time I had to adjust my rear derailleur (To account for the spacer?) And I'd like not to have to do it every time I switch wheelsets. Any information to help me understand or even "fix" this would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


If the biggest sprocket of the cassette has 34 teeth or more, it is built for a MTB spline (also called HG8/9/10), and it needs the spacer when mounted on a 11-speed road spline. Some "MTB" cassettes can be "physically" compatible with the 11-speed road spline, but it's not the "according to the book" way of proceeding. It's apparently not uncommon for manufacturers to omit the spacer, that being said.

Once you've set up your derailleur, simply keep using a spacer if you are using this size of cassettes (or larger), and it will be properly adjusted.

Note that this question may be a duplicate of this recent one, but given the OP didn't react nor accept the answer, not sure the proposed answer is correct, but it may provide useful insights.

  • Thanks for the answer, indeed there is a huge overlap with the post you mentionned. I still don't understand why one of the cassettes has play when mounted without the spacer (if the other one doesn't) but clearly getting a spacer for both seems to be the path of least hasle.
    – Jao
    Sep 24, 2023 at 10:09
  • 1
    @Jao my hypothesis in the other post was that the small sprocket of the cassette that doesn't engage has shorter grooves (the ones that should engage in the spline). As a result, when tighting the lockring, the small sprocket gets blocked by the spline instead of the other cogs. But if you want to follow strictly the specs, that shouldn't be an issue since the spacer is needed anyway. So your cassette A is more "fault tolerant" than the B.
    – Renaud
    Sep 24, 2023 at 10:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.