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Bicycle Repair/rear cog set replacement

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Question
Hi James,
my rear cog set on my bike needs replacement. But on the 1st cog is worn - is it possible to replace the one cog rather than replacing the whole cassette?

Answer
It depends on the make/model of your cogset. If you are running a "freewheel"-type cog set, where the cogs and freewheeling mechanism are threaded onto the hub body, then the likelihood of replacing individual cogs is slim; the trade-off is that  a replacement freewheel/cogset shouldn't cost more than $40.
If your bike features a "free-hub" type cogset, where the cluster slides onto a splined free-wheel mechanism that is part of the hub itself, you may be able to source an individual cog. The downside, again, may come down to availability. The biggest drawbacks to replacing individual cogs are  that unless you match the exact make/model, you may experience compatability issues regarding the shift assisting profiles, etc, built into the faces of the cogs. Further, the price of an idividual cog may be close to the cost of an  entire cluster. The overall caveat is that replacing individual cogs means that the wear on the cassette as a whole becomes uneven, raising a whole other host of potential problems.

Bicycle Repair

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James Novak

Expertise

I can answer most inquiries with respect to bicycle assembly, repair, tuning and maintenance. I am less than inclined to speak on such questions as "What kind of bike should I buy?", &/or "What is this bike worth?", etc. Any answers to these types of questions may correlate poorly to an acceptable "fact/sarcasm" ratio.

Experience

7 seasons of "Professional" bicycle service/repair, etc. 4 seasons as Instructor, Professional Bicycle Mechanic training college. n-1 seasons of riding, cracking, crushing, mutilating and breaking bikes of any & all varieties, and thus requiring intense and at-hand skills development, etc.

Education/Credentials
Certified Professional Bicycle Mechanic; Winterborne Bicycle Institute/Conestoga College

Past/Present Clients
The Hub Bicycle Shop, Hespeler Winterborne Bicycle Institute

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