Types and Differences of Shimano 9-Speed Sprockets

Posted at: Feb. 4, 2021

The 9-speed sprocket is used in Shimano's SORA compo for road bikes and ALIVIO compo for MTB. In this article, we summarize the types and differences of 9-speed sprockets.

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Types of Shimano sprockets for 9-speed

CS-HG50-9

This is a sprocket from the current R3000 series of Shimano’s SORA components for road bikes. The finish is nickel plated. Because it is designed for road bikes, it has a cross-ratio gear configuration.

  • 11-12-14-16-18-20-23-26-30T (bQ)
  • 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25T
  • 13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25T
  • 14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-25T

CS-HG50-9 | Shimano

CS-HG400 9S

This is a sprocket of the current model M4000 series of Shimano’s ALIVIO compo for MTB. The sprockets are nickel-plated and feature a wide range of tooth counts, including 11-25T, 11-28T, 11-32T, 11-34T, 12-36T, and 11-36T. They are easy to use not only for MTB but also for road bikes.

  • 11-12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25
  • 11-12-13-14-16-18-21-24-28
  • 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32 (ar)
  • 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34
  • 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-36
  • 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36

CS-HG400 9S | Shimano

CS-M770

This is an older model from the 9-speed era of Shimano’s DEORE components for MTB. The finish is shot chrome. The weight is reduced because it has been cut out.

  • 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32
  • 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34

CS-HG80-9

This is a sprocket for the SAINT, SLX and DEORE LX generation of Shimano MTB components. The material is steel with shot chrome and shot nickel finish. The material is steel with shot chrome and shot nickel finishes, and is bored out to reduce weight. The gear range is 11-28T, which is similar to road gears.

  • 11-12-13-14-16-18-21-24-28
  • 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32
  • 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34

CS-HG80-9 | Shimano

CS-HG70-S

This is a 9-speed sprocket for Shimano’s capreo component for small cars. The finish is tin-cobalt plating. This is a special gear configuration, 9-26T, which is not seen on road or MTB because it is designed for small cars. It can be used only with the dedicated FH-F700 hub.

  • 9-10-11-13-15-17-20-23-26

CS-HG70-S | Shimano

What are the differences?

Differences in finishes

All current models of Shimano’s 9-speed sprockets are nickel-plated.

The older models are available in the following three finishes.

  • Shot chrome
  • Nickel plating (dark silver)
  • Tin-Cobalt Plating

The difference is basically in appearance (color), with nickel plating being coated with nickel. Nickel plating has a slightly darker silver color due to the thin plating layer.

Difference in the number of teeth on the cog

The 9-speed Sprocket CS-HG50-9 for road bikes has a low side of 25T or 30T, but the CS-HG400 9S for MTB has a much wider lineup with a low side of 25T to 36T, and can handle cross ratios to wide ratios.

Since the CS-HG400 9S can be used on the road, the choice would be CS-HG400 9S for wide ratio and CS-HG50-9 for cross ratio.

Differences between models

Difference between CS-HG50-9 and CS-HG400 9S

The only difference between the CS-HG50-9 and the CS-HG400 9S is the tooth count configuration.

In terms of grade, the CS-HG400 9S is Shimano’s ALIVIO for MTB and the CS-HG50-9 is Shimano’s SORA for road bikes, so a simple comparison is not possible.

However, since ALIVIO is the fifth from the top and seventh from the bottom in MTB components and about the lower middle grade, and SORA is the fifth from the top and third from the bottom in road bike components, we can consider them to be equivalent grades.

Difference between CS-HG50-9 and CS-HG80-9

The main differences are the tooth number configuration and the finish (nickel plated or shot chrome/shot nickel).

The CS-HG80-9 has a wider ratio in terms of tooth count, so if you want a wide ratio, go for the CS-HG80-9, and if you want a cross ratio, go for the CS-HG50-9.

The CS-HG80-9 is a product that is rarely sold now, and its replacement is the CS-HG50-9 for MTB.

Difference between CS-HG400 9S and CS-HG80-9

Again, the main differences are tooth count configuration and finish (nickel plating or shot chrome/shot nickel).

The CS-HG400 9S is Shimano’s ALIVIO MTB component, and the CS-HG80-9 is Shimano’s SAINT, SLX, and DEORE LX MTB component.

The CS-HG80-9 is the higher grade, but since it is an older model, the CS-HG400 9S is currently the only choice for new products.

What are the different grades of Shimano sprockets for 9-speed?

The differences we have seen so far can be divided by grade as follows.

  1. CS-M770
  2. CS-HG80-9
  3. CS-HG50-9
  4. CS-HG400 9S

However, since Shimano components are said to be “generation difference > grade difference”, the following are some of the factors to consider.

  1. CS-HG50-9/CS-HG400 9S
  2. CS-HG80-9/CS-M770

We have looked at the different types of Shimano 9-speed sprockets and their differences.

The 9-speed sprockets are often found on the more expensive entry-level complete bikes, but they may not be as popular as the 8-speed sprockets, and there are fewer choices than the 8-speed sprockets.

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