Cassette Compatability

I’m struggling badly with my Kickr Core setup and want to check the fault isn’t with my chosen cassette.

My bike has an 11-28 10speed rear cassette on SRAM Force, as I believe Shimano/SRAM to be interchangeable I’ve fitted a Shimano 11-25 10speed CS-HG500-10 Cassette to the trainer. Should this work ok?

It sounds like a bag of bolts when I ride and I can’t get the gears indexed correctly despite endless cable adjustments.

I have put in the spacer for 10speeds and have used the 130mm quick release setup as this is the gap between the inner sides of my drops.

Please help, I’m getting desperate at this point.

I’d remove your sram cassette from your wheel and test that. I’ve never run sram and shimano mixed. Might also be an indexing issue or old stretched chain on new cassette.


I agree with @DameLisa. I’ll also share that my outdoor bike started to sound like a “bag of bolts” over the summer and was impervious to cable adjustments. So I brought it to my bike shop, they replaced the cable, and everything was perfect. They showed me the old cable which was literally hanging by a single strand.

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Need to get myself a chain whip as I can’t actually remove the cassette I’ve just out on. So much for getting straight onto the trainer, regretting selling my old spin bike straight away!

I had read that shimano/SRAM cassettes were interchangeable and my tri bike is shimano so I was hoping this cassette would work for both.

The sound was awful from the get go and I’ve messed with the cable tension so much I’ll need to index the original cable from scratch again too!

I’ve used 10 speed SRAM Force with Shimano cassettes and chains for years without any problem. Typically this setup was more silent than using the more expensive Force cassettes.

Last winter I’ve bought a kickr core and changed my bike to 11 speed Force. This time with Force cassette and chain just because they were available in contrast to Shimano parts that were on backorder.

Comparing both setups I haven’t noticed any real difference between Shimano/SRAM mix and pure SRAM setup.
But after mounting my bike on the kickr I have to slightly adjust the cable tension of the rear derailleur. Otherwise only a few gears work and the rest is quite noisy.

A few things to consider:

  • SRAM setups are really sensitive to chain lengths. Using a cassette with a smaller top gear leads to a chain that is slightly to long. This might cause all kinds of problems especially on the small front ring.
  • I guess that you’ve used your road setup for quite some time while the cassette you have bought for the kicker is new. Depending on the age of your cassette and chain wear might be an issue, i. e. cassette and chain “adapted” to each other leading to problems with a new cassette without an ywear.

One thing I’ve always found with the two KICKRs I’ve had is that I always need to slightly adjust my gears, which to be fair I also have to do sometimes when I switch to my old winter wheels.

Luckily I have eTap so I know it’s 3 micro clicks one way for the turbo, then back again when I put my wheel on. When I had mechanical gears it was just a small turn of the adjuster barrel. Downside when I was on mechanical is it was a pain if I forgot before getting on the bike :slight_smile:

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Hi there.

The chain/cassette comments above are where I would start

Can you tell us if the chain is old or new? and how old (ie miles) the cassette you were using on your bike was before you put the bike in the trainer with the new cassette?
(Of course some folk hardly wear chains and some people wear them heavily dep on climatic conditions and so on but it would help get a ‘sense’ of things)

Have you used a chain wear gauge in your chain? If so, what’s the current wear rate if you have?

Having asked all of that, what I’d do for now, until you can check out the chain/cassette/get chain whip and so on is:

Get the thing set up in one single gear in the middle of the cassette and index as needed to make that one single gear work fine. Then use ERG for all workouts and let the trainer do the work. That gets you out of the hassle of the priority is getting on the trainer.

One last thing - with the bike set up in the trainer, if you hold one of the cogs between two fingers, is there any play in the cassette when you wiggle the cogs ‘side to side’? Any at all? (There shouldn’t be). If there is then let us know. (Sometimes if the wrong cassette lockring is used, the cassette can look all great, but there is some play left as the lock ring is right against the hub but doesn’t have enough thread to lock against the small cog, leaving play in the whole cassette). Worth checking.

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Thankyou all for your input, @kah great to hear you’ve been interchanging cassette brands as that gives me hope I haven’t bought the wrong thing! As you and @Martin suggest the chain could be an issue, a bit outside my mechanic skillset really. I have no idea about chain wear gauges sorry.

I think the chain and cassette on the bike were replaced in a service a couple of years ago and I ride 2-3 times a week through warmer months, so not excessive.

I’m not at home at the moment but will check for any play, it seemed solid when I fitted it to the kickr.

I may have to resort to begging for assistance from the local bike shop at this rate … if they can fit me in at all!

The park tool video on the subject is useful - as are their chain wear tools!


You definitely need to head to your bike shop. Looks like it is new chain and cassette time. I replace chains at about six months and cassettes about every year (I lube my chain about once a week or every 200km or so). I’m holding off getting a new cassette for the time being due to availability. However, I suspect your cassette is worn too far and will cause premature chain failure.

Keep in mind there are two versions of this tool as well. This is for the gentle reader. One for 10/11 cogs and one for 12 cog. These chains have different wear specifications.

Cheers for your replies everyone, I resorted to the bike shop. A new chain and chain rings seemed to have resolved the worst of it!

Having ridden a magnetic spin bike before it’s still noisier than I’m used to but I don’t have a point of reference yet as to what to expect.

At least I’m riding again!


Glad it’s improved! Also worth making sure you run a quality dry lube over the chain on a regular basis.

Not a big mechanical guy so it was surprising to me last year when I purchased my kicker I also got a new cassette thinking it would just be easier to leave one on the kickr and one on the wheel. So noisy and shifting was poor as well until I swapped out the new cassette for the one I had on the wheel and what a difference that made. Maybe it should have been common sense, but I had no idea how much effect wear in could have on that aspect. I was freaked out the first time I got on the bike on that setup. :roll_eyes: