Features of SRAM cassette sprockets and how to distinguish between model numbers and grades

Posted at: Mar. 18, 2021

SRAM cassette sprockets are said to be usable with Shimano components, and this article summarizes the model numbers, how to distinguish between the different grades, and their features.

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Model number of SRAM cassette sprocket

The model number for SRAM cassette sprockets is very simple: “Type - (hyphen) gearshift + grade”.

SRAM sprocket type and model number

The type of SRAM sprocket determines the first two letters of the alphabet.

Model number Detail
XG PowerdomeX model
PG PowerGlide model

In terms of price, the XG is more expensive than the PG grade.

SRAM Sprocket Grade and Model Number

There are five basic SRAM sprocket grades as shown below.

  • 10
  • 30
  • 50
  • 70
  • 90

The higher the number, the higher the grade.

For example, the highest grade of 11-speed is the PowerdomeX model “XG-1190”, and the lowest grade is the PowerGlide model “PG-1130”.

Compatibility of SRAM sprockets with Shimano

Although not acknowledged by the manufacturer, SRAM and Shimano components are said to be interchangeable. In fact, in many cases, Shimano and SRAM are very close or have the same values for shifting related specs.

Bicycles/Maintenance and Repair/Gear-changing Dimensions

As summarized in the above page, the sprockets up to 10 speeds are exactly the same in sprocket pitch and thickness between SRAM and Shimano, so it is safe to say that they are interchangeable.

However, SRAM and Shimano have slightly different specs for 11th and higher speeds, so even if you can’t use the sprockets, there is a possibility that the shifting will be erratic.

Performance of SRAM sprockets

Generally speaking, it is said that SRAM cannot match the quality of Shimano, which has the No. 1 share in the world market.

However, even if there is a difference, it is said to be a small difference in performance when shifting gears, so unless you are a professional level rider, you will not be able to say that SRAM is not good at all.

SRAM also has its own strengths that Shimano does not have, such as top 10T sprockets and 12-speed sprockets as differentiation from Shimano.

SRAM sprocket price

When looking at sprockets by themselves, SRAM does not have a price advantage over Shimano, as far as the official prices are concerned. In fact, Shimano’s sprockets are probably cheaper.

In this sense, if you are using Shimano components, it is better to use Shimano sprockets with the same tooth count configuration from the standpoint of compatibility.

We’ve looked at the features of SRAM’s cassette sprockets and how to distinguish between model numbers and grades.

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