Creaking Shimano XTR cassette - two smallest cogs riveted onto carrier. Fixed!

Hi Everyone,
I have a Shimano XTR 1x12 grouppo and recently the cassette started creaking badly, but only on the two cogs that are the smallest ones riveted to the carrier (the 7th & 8th cogs down). All other cogs are perfectly silent. Any ideas? I’ve stripped the cassette and greased everything, but it made no difference. I have about 2500km on the cassette, mostly dry riding.

sounds like all you can do is try to quiet/silence it (because you can’t tighten it). dunno, dribble something like a little red thread locker in there?
good luck, it’d be interesting to see how this plays out.

This is a known issue… it’s been well covered over on Pinkbike if you’re on there.

Basically, the problem is the carrier stack is off a bit so the lock ring bottoms out before its fully torqued down. Shimano’s answer has been to send people a stack of paper thin plastic spacers that go behind the cassette and take up just enough room to stop the creaking.

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Thanks, I’ll give that a try and report back!

When the cassette was new, it creaked in all gears. I fixed that by liberally greasing the carrier/freehub interface. I don’t have a spacer but was able to get rid of the creak that way. The creaking now is new, and only happens in the 7th and 8th cogs. Also, as those cogs are riveted to the carrier, I don’t think that tightening the lock ring will have an effect - it will just snug up the carrier, not the cogs themselves which are not compressed by the smaller loose cogs.

And the prep could make or break it; let the whole thing soak in degreaser for at least a day, then brush/rinse/dry.

you could try immersing the cassette in oil to lubricate the pins?

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If you never correctly drove solved the problem in the beginning, it’s curious that you say you’re sure it’s not the problem now.

You can try other approaches, or you can fix it correctly and not deal with it again. It’s your bike, proceed as you wish.

I’ve had trouble getting a spacer, but will still try that route too. But as I said above, I don’t think the lack of spacer is causing the creaking as it’s only happening in two cogs, not the whole cassette. I’ll try lubing the rivets first and add the spacer when I get one. I’ll let you know how it goes :slight_smile:

Trying a spacer is much easier than the other suggestions. Just use a standard 10-11 speed spacer and tighten firmly. If it doesn’t fix it, or the lock ring won’t engage as the cassette stack is too long, then the problem is the cog carrier pins and that’s a warranty issue. Then it’s a new cassette, or you could try preening the pins if you have the tools for that.

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A standard spacer is much too large… the spacers they send you are literally paper thin. You stack up a handful of them and take up just as much room as is necessary to get rid of the creak. I usually put five of them on to start with and go from there if more are needed but that’s usually enough.

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so shimano actually cocked up the overall stack dimension of this particular cassette?
how’d that happen?

It’s happened before…back when DA 9 spd was introduced, some of the very first cassettes had a spacing issue on a couple of the middle cogs (can’t remember which ones). Shimano had to send out replacement cassettes for all of them

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Yeah… just a couple bad manufacturing runs. Blame covid or whatever but the whole Shimano 12sp mountain launch was a pretty sloppy affair in general so I think there was just some issues all around.

So an update - I’m having trouble getting spacers in my neck of the woods (Stellenbosch) so I tried the lube hack (bodge?). I took off the cassette and soaked the rivets holding the 7th and 8th cogs onto the carrier in Q20 (WD40). I left it overnight and fitted it today and it worked! No more creaking. Happy days.
The 7th and 8th cogs are the only ones that share a set of rivets attaching them to the carrier. Cogs 1-6 each have their own set so much less chance of movement.
Pics to illustrate this:

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Glad it’s working for you but that’s not gonna be a long term fix so drop a line to Shimano and they can send you the spacers.

…and, for the love of God man, clean your cassette! :sweat_smile: