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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have a question about how I might make wheel swaps with minimal or no adjustments.

The bike is a 2016 Norco Threshold. It has disc brakes. It came with OEM Alex CXD-6 rims. These are fine and I use them for commuting and when the snow falls, I'll put my studs on them.

The second set of wheels are American Classics, the TCX tubeless.

When I swap the Alexes out for the ACs, the brake disc fits nicely into the caliper. The trouble is that in the two biggest cogs on the cassette, I get a lot of chain run on the inside of the FD, something I don't get with the Alex. Similarly, while the bike still shifts well, it does not drop to the smallest cog but goes to the biggest without going into the wheel. So, it seems the cassettes are not aligned similarly while the rotors are. While both cassettes are 11-speed 11-28, one is SRAM and one is Shimano, but that seems like it shouldn't matter.

So, is there a way to get the cassettes/drive sides in alignment so I can swap and go?

Thanks as always
 

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I believe the spacing between the cogs on Shimano and SRAM are very slightly different. While not usually absolutely necessary, it is a good idea to match all the components on your groupset. You get the smoothest shifting that way.
 

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I don't have any wheels I can swap without making at least a minor adjustment in the rear RD either limit settings or position. It doesn't take much time to do with a bit of practice.

If you are rubbing on the inside of the FD with one set of wheels on the big end you might be able to adjust the FD low limit enough to get rid of that while not risking dropping the chain off the inside with the other wheels, less of a risk if you have a chain catcher on the front. You might have to adjust the inline cable tensioner a little too.

For the rear it sounds like your high limit needs adjusted too, but maybe cable tension also. I'd definitely be checking the low limit on it also though. Just because you can shift on a bike stand or a short test drive and not have the chain fall off into the spokes doesn't mean it can't given the right situation. You're supposed to set the limit so it JUST Barely gets you on to the biggest cog when cross chained.
 

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So, is there a way to get the cassettes/drive sides in alignment so I can swap and go?
Presumably if you have the exact same brand/model of HUB and cassette then you should be able to swap with no adjustments. The tire type, rim type, spoke type, spoke pattern all make no difference. It's all about the hubs, and since your hubs are not the same on these two wheels you can assume that you'll need to tweak the adjustments when you swap. It's possible that different brands of hubs would have the exact same spacing and so therefore would also work, but you can't predict that.
 

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If with the AC wheel
it does not drop to the smallest cog
then that suggests to me that the cassette is very slightly further out than on the Alex wheel. You can play with thin spacers behind the cassette on the Alex wheel, while resetting up the stops etc on the RD, to get the 2 cassettes to index the same.

Alternatively, if the AC wheel has a spacer behind the cassette, try replacing with a thinner spacer stack.
 

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If with the AC wheel then that suggests to me that the cassette is very slightly further out than on the Alex wheel. You can play with thin spacers behind the cassette on the Alex wheel, while resetting up the stops etc on the RD, to get the 2 cassettes to index the same.

Alternatively, if the AC wheel has a spacer behind the cassette, try replacing with a thinner spacer stack.
11 speed wheels should not need spacers. I would first confirm that neither hub has a spacer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everybody. I have a feeling, that I more or less had before I asked, that the differences in the two hubs is where the variances lie and that there's no magic bullet fix. Not sure if I can convince my wife that I need another pair of the ACs. Right now, the swaps are for CX and commuting but once the weather turns, it will be for studs and no studs.
 

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I have a similar problem with 2 different wheels, same width 8 speed cassettes, different hubs. I do change the adjustments to make either work. The alternative is to make the first small cog farthest from the right dropout equal distance as nearest, by adding a very thin spacer on hub axle. For my Shimano loose bearing hub, not hard: others will vary.
 

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11 speed wheels should not need spacers. I would first confirm that neither hub has a spacer.


Ahhh. This reminds me of an issue I had. I have two road bikes - one has a 10-speed cassette, the other has an 11-speed cassette. Both have an 11-speed Shimano hub. If I swap wheelsets, I need to use a different size spacer for the 10-speed cassette depending on which wheel I am using.

So brands aren't necessarily consistent.
 

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Just switching cassettes on my wheels from Shimano to SRAM I find I need a tiny tweak for the small cog (12). I was just changing to a lower gearing and do not really switch stuff around. I just ride the same wheels, cassette, tires everywhere I might go. I do not live in the snow and just toss in some gravel or hard pack every couple weeks to make the rides different. Fun and Fitness is why I ride so maximum performance is not something I seek.

Actually one of the gravel roads I ride on comes into play with only a 35mi bike ride from town. However one pitch is probably 35% and maybe half a mile up. My road tires are to slippery so I have to walk it. I live in a cyclocross community but yet the Strava segment only has 9 riders for some reason. I am 9 out of 9 on the list.

Anyway to much coffee and rambling. I do not have the answer for switching out wheels and such. I suppose you just have to make the required adjustments each time. That is what I would do and would not consider another round of expensive shopping.
 
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