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Hands On: Wolf Tooth Components 16t Cassette Cog

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Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (5)

Who ever thought we would need to review a single cog as part of a cassette, right? Thanks to the crazy world of 1x drive trains and drive train conversions as well as the lack of readily available 16t cogs, this is the reality. Fortunately, while also providing us with aluminum 40 and 42t cassette adapters, companies like Wolf Tooth Components have also provided us with steel cassette cog replacements to provide a better jump between gearing.

Whether you’re running Shimano or SRAM, the WTC 16t cog will provide a better experience along with your GC – just make sure to install it correctly…

Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (3)Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (4)

If you’re unfamiliar with the need for a 16t cog, let’s get you up to speed – the use of cassette adapters like the WTC GC 40 or 42t require the elimination of one cog from the cassette. In the case of 11-36 mountain cassettes which are used for the conversion, you have the choice of eliminating the 15t or 17t cog, both of which leaves a 4t jump some where in the cassette (11-13-17-19 or 11-13-15-19). By removing both the 15t and the 17t cog and replacing them with a 16t cog, you’re left with nice 3t jumps (11-13-16-19). The smaller jumps result in better shifting, and a better gear range between shifts.

In order to shift as smoothly as possible, the WTC 16t has unique tooth profiling similar to that which you will find on a current MTB cassette. It is also designed to work for both Shimano and SRAM cassettes depending on how the cog is rotated on the freehub body.

Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (9) Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (8)

The clocking of the cog is very important for optimal shifting so pay attention when you install it. SRAM cassettes run the tab with a single dot in the wide notch in the freehub (above, left), while Shimano cassettes run the tab with two dots in that wider notch (above, right). Of course installation requires the removal of both the 15 and 17t cogs in addition to the installation of a GC cassette adapter.

Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (1)

The end result is a wide range cassette with better spacing between the lower cogs. Shifting has proven to be better than expected but not quite as perfect as a full Shimano cassette (without any cogs removed). I will say that the addition of a 16t cog makes a huge improvement as far as the gearing choice of the cassette and I would consider it a necessity if you’re using a cassette adapter.

Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (7) Wolf Tooth 16t cog cassette adapter  (6)

For the gram counters out there, technically the 16t will ultimately replace the 15t which is 2g lighter. The improved shifting performance is well worth the 2 grams.

Note that the 16t cog is not included with the GC cassette adapter, so you will have to purchase it separately for $19.95. Like just about everything else we’ve tried out from Wolf Tooth Components, it seems to be worth the money.

wolftoothcycling.com

 

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24 Comments
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Falk
Falk
8 years ago

I´m running a standard Shimano 16t cog for $4. works fine – no need to spend $20.

Macr
Macr
8 years ago

A 16T comes standard with the One Up system. It also looks ‘very’ similar in design.

someguy
someguy
8 years ago

I saw that shimano made the 16th. Why are people not review it? so cheap! I ordered one also for my 42th E13 cog. Hasn’t arrived yet though.

David
David
8 years ago

I just pulled the 11T and created a 13-42. It’s not like the difference between a top speed of 20 vs 23 mph is going to make a difference on the 2 mile stretch of highway back to the trailhead, at least not for me. Perhaps if there was a lot of flat fire road around here, but there isn’t…

David
David
8 years ago

I can buy an ovalized chainring, why can’t somebody make an ovalized cassette?

Calvin
Calvin
8 years ago

David,
I’m not sure if you’re being serious about the oval cassette but there are many very good reasons not to make a oval cassette.
1. No pedal stroke timing. The cassette turns with the wheel, not your cranks. This means a super unpredictable gear ratio throughout the pedal stroke. The gear ratio will also change different amounts of times during the pedal stroke depending on the gear you’re in.
2. Shifting. The reason oval chainrings came back was because single rings don’t have to deal with shifting. The changing distance from the cogs to the derailleur also effects the quality of shifts. Also, since the chain wrap around the cassette isn’t close to 180degrees, the chain length will grow and shrink multiple times per wheel rotation.
3. Cost of manufacture. Lots of engineering going into the product and irregular shaped parts like spiders increase cost.
I hope this clears things up a bit.

bee bee
bee bee
8 years ago

The OneUp cog barely works. There is a significant lag in shifting on either side of the 16T which cannot be removed.

The Shimano cog works a little bit better, but it wasn’t designed to be placed in this position. The phase difference between the surrounding cogs is enough to throw off the shifting.

Not sure I want to experiment with the Wolftooth 16T for $20+.

I wish Shimano would just make the correct cog… (but why would they)

bb

Charly Tri
Charly Tri
8 years ago

I have been riding the with the Wolftooth cog for a while now, works very well. I had used a Miche cog before that, and it did not work all that great for reasons stated above. How did I get one? I know a guy who knows a guy.

mateo
mateo
8 years ago

@ David – If you pulled your 11 to make a 13-42, you should have just swapped chainrings.

The whole point of adding the 42T is to increase gear range.

SRAM 1×11 = 10-42: 420% range
WT cogs = 11-42: 382% range
You = 13-42: 323% range
Std 11-36: 327% range

So you’ve spent a lot of money to have a nearly identical gear range to a standard 11-36 cassette.

If you’re running a 32t ring and 13-42 you have roughly the same gearing as a 28t ring with a standard 11-36.

James S
James S
8 years ago

Mateo – you are absolutely correct about the ratios, but I wonder about the cost given that a standard 104BCD crankset cannot run a 28 tooth chainring. If you need a new crankset plus a 28 tooth chainring, then I bet that costs you more than $90. So actually, David might have been the smart one here.

groghunter
groghunter
8 years ago

@James S Not on the the 104BCD, but the 64BCD would work just fine: https://bikerumor.com/2013/08/26/absolute-black-brings-narrow-wide-chainrings-to-64-bcd-chain-lines-rejoice/

If you’re assuming cheap is the objective. I’m more inclined to think David was one of the many uninformed who don’t know that it’s pointless if you lose the 11t, from the tenor of his post.

David
David
8 years ago

@Calvin 3:26pm
I was just a little joke I thought of while riding one day.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
8 years ago

@James S while 28T on a 104BCD won’t fly you can get 28T rings in 64 BCD to run in the granny ring position and there are a number of 64/104 and 80/120 10 speed doubles with 28T inner rings so David may have simply acted impulsively without doing the math.

Luiggi
Luiggi
8 years ago

@Mateo, the jump from 36 to 42t on the lower end of the spectrum while maintaining the same chainring and loosing the 11t cog makes sense, at least for me. You have better climbing capabilities without sacrificing too much final speed while pointed downhill. I’m running the same setup as David, but with a 34t N/W chainring.

David
David
8 years ago

@Mateo @groghunter @slowjoecrow

Nice catch! I hadn’t thought of a 28T x 11-36, mostly due to the non-linear path I took. When I went 1×10, 42T add-on cogs weren’t readily available [only the General Lee?], so I went 32T [std] x 11-36, and then 30T N/W x 11-36 [hills are steep]. Immediately after, 42T came out and I put the shiny new thing on and got the bailout gear I was missing. I was always looking for lower gearing, as opposed to the wider range.

Money-wise, I spent $90 more than I needed to, which isn’t bad [30T costs about the same as 28T]. As luck would have it, when I ordered one 30T ring, the online seller accidentally sent me 5 [five] instead. I’ll sell two and make up the difference.

Calvin
Calvin
8 years ago

good. I wasn’t quite sure 😉

mattie d
8 years ago

@ bb

I too used a Shimano 16t and found the upshift laggy and troublesome. This was using a oneup RAD cage as well. The 16t was a road 16t from an ultegra cassette. I swapped to a 16t from an XT cassette and now it works perfect.

J
J
8 years ago

Put me into the group of “Shimano cog doesn’t work as well” group. I pulled it out of my parts bin and it was great for a month, then shifting issues started to take place. :/ Oh well.

Caspar
Caspar
8 years ago

Got one of the early 1up 16t cogs (i guess) , shifting was OK but it kept skipping under moderate load.
1up exchanged it, no problems, no skipping , guess the first batch was machined a little off. I would say shiftingquality was 90pct of a new complete 11-36 xt cassette.
Got the RAD Cage and now its 99,5 pct.

mountguitars
mountguitars
8 years ago

hey guys, where’d you buy your shimano 16t cogs if you don’t mind me asking? thanks!

tonik666
tonik666
8 years ago

Been using OneUp 16 cog since July, together with Rad Cage and 40z OneUp cog. No issues with shifting so far, and I feel no difference between One Up setup and a Shimano 11-36 cassette. The only thing I can notice are the increased ratio changes between 13-16-19 compared to 13-15-17-19.

Jw
Jw
8 years ago

@mattie d

You nailed it. The 16T cog from the XT nine speed cassette works great based upon my experience. I’ve been running mine for a season now. It was $4, but hard to find. If I couldn’t find this cog again, I would definitely go for the 16T WT cog because the evenly spaced ratios really improve the 42T Shimano drivetrain modification.

don
don
8 years ago

$20 is expensive? the forum comments in bike rumor are a daily source of amusement. I spend that much on beer every few days.

don

PTymn Wolfe
PTymn Wolfe
8 years ago

@don
The best part of Bike Rumor is the comments!

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