In this article, we will approach the difference between the BMX freecoaster and cassette standards. It is a crucial point when choosing a cool sports bike.
1. Word sign: If the keyword “cassette” comes in that item, there is a high possibility that it is a BMX cassette mechanism. If there is a description such as “F/W” or “freewheel,” it may be a BMX freecoaster mechanism.
2. The unique feature of the freecoaster (a mechanism that only the wheel turns when you stop rowing) is its integration with the gear: This gear part is called “boss free” or “freewheel.” The corresponding hub is sometimes called a “boss hub.” Most sports bikes that use this mechanism are now 6 to 7-speed models.
3. Unlike boss-free, they integrate the free part with the hub. There is no free mechanism on the gear side. This gear part is often called “cassette sprocket” or “sprocket.” The free part of the hub is often called the “free body” and the hub is often called the “cassette hub.” Most models with eight or more rear external gears have this mechanism.
Table of Contents
- Freecoaster VS Cassette BMX
- What Is a Freecoaster BMX
- What Is a Cassette BMX
- Main Differences Between Freecoaster and Cassette BMX
- Checkpoints for Repairs and Replacements
Freecoaster VS Cassette BMX
If you cannot decide whether to drive a freecoaster or a cassette, we will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both hub types in this section. According to bike experts, the biggest advantage of a freecoaster is that you can reverse faster with it than with a cassette hub.
You do not have to worry that the pedals are in the right position when jumping. This difference makes some fake tricks easier. However, it is difficult to control the speed when reversing with a freecoaster, because there is no possibility of braking by counter-pressure on the pedals. This counter-pressure can also be helpful with fakie manuals, especially when doing them as a G-turn.
Many specialists admit it is probably all a matter of practice. And all tricks can be done with either type of hub. What we dislike about a freecoaster at all is the so-called slack. It is the fact that the hub does not engage directly when you pedal. It can lead to problems, especially when riding jump boxes or when a spot has only a little run-up.
What we think is amazing about a freecoaster is that things are noiseless. You can only hear the tires while driving. However, there should also be people who turn it up and for whom a cassette hub cannot be loud enough.
As the last point, it is the reliability and durability of freecoasters. There has been tremendous progress in this area in the past few years that is certainly true. We had no problems with his Cult Freecoaster during the six-month experiment phase. But we still believe that cassette hubs are still much less prone to failure than freecoasters.
What Is a Freecoaster BMX
The clutch shaft (freecoaster) is a rear axle unique to BMX. To explain briefly, the clutch shaft is a rear axle that allows the chain and cranks not to follow the flywheel to rotate backward when your wheels turn backward. Early clutch shafts were mostly available in the rear wheel action of the BMX flat-land fancy event.
Because the traditional rear axle will drive your crank in the backward motion of the rear wheel, it makes the practice more challenging. So, almost all the rear axles of the flat racers use the clutch axle.
Besides flat riders, many BMX street riders also use clutch axles instead of traditional rear axles. Today, when clutch shafts are becoming popular, a critical problem in the design and structure of clutch shafts has been exposed. It is the clutch shaft phantom (Slack).
The definition of vacant position means that when the clutch shaft is ideal. There will be a certain amount of stepping in the air, especially when in the clutch environment. This range can sometimes reach 180 degrees that are more dangerous for street riders in some sense. But again, some BMX flat riders are frustrated by the lack of space.
As a result, the clutch effect is not good. The larger the vacant position, the greater the stopping distance, and the better the clutch effect. The smaller the vacant position, the smaller the stepping range, and the worse the clutch effect.
There are two types of clutch shaft structures currently on the market: the KHE clutch system and the NANKAI clutch system. The clutch shaft structure of the KHE clutch system is relatively simple, and the change is also relatively convenient. The brand clutch shafts that use this system are ODYSSEY, COLONY, and ST MARTIN. Currently, 95% of clutch shafts on the market use THE clutch systems.
Unlike cassette hubs, freecoasters suffer from slack. It takes to engage the pedals and thus be able to push forward. Be careful because if you try to pedal at full strength. You risk falling forward. It is because of the low resistance initially offered by the pedals, and hitting the handlebars with your knees. “
What Is a Cassette BMX
Cassette BMX is responsive pedaling that we have to counter. The pedal clothespins make noise when opening and closing. The problem with cassette hubs is timing. You can never stop pedaling and you can only jump at the exact moment when your feet are perfectly aligned. If you do not take the time correctly, pedal to go back and try again. It is an enormous waste of energy before returning to attack a curb or other obstacle.
So, do novices mostly use cassette hubs? Not at all! Lots of parks, flow, and dirt riders use a cassette hub because they need all the momentum they can get from the first pedal stroke and do not want the pedals to move while in the air. Plus, several tricks, like a tail tap, are easier with a cassette hub.
Main Differences Between Freecoaster and Cassette BMX
Freecoaster and Cassette BMX can be distinguished by whether the free mechanism is on the gear side or the hub side. The top is a freecoaster hub, and the bottom is a cassette hub. The red line part is distinct.
Number of Teeth
The cassette type has more variations in the number of teeth. Depending on the grade, you can combine the number of teeth you like one by one. Since the freecoaster gear is integrated, it is not possible to combine fine numbers of teeth.
There is a ball push part that holds the bearing in place. We also have a nut that holds the ball push in place. The top is the axle of the cassette hub, and the bottom is the axle of the freecoaster hub. The bearing position is unique, so the ball pushing position is also different.
If you compare the width of the part surrounded by red, you can see that the cassette hub is wider. The width of the bell push is different means that the width that supports the weight is different.
The wider this width, the more stable the weight can be supported. When considering harder riding, the stable cassette hub will be the best choice.
It is a tough part to understand at first glance. But this step is the most crucial part. It is a part you want to check in advance when choosing a great BMX bike.
Checkpoints for Repairs and Replacements
Check the following when repairing or replacing a boss-free hub.
If the hub shaft breaks,
We can consider bending or breaking of the hub shaft as a failure. It occurs in the freecoaster hub. Shimano always sells shafts, but in most cases, unbranded hubs are more popular. So, there is a high possibility that it will completely replace the hub. Here are the standards that you should know when replacing the hub.
Overlock nut dimensions
The width is between the nuts on the outside of the rear hub. Most MTBs are 135MM, and cross bikes are 130MM. If this width is different, the hub will not fit. If you do not know, measure the width of the rear hub directly.
Stay using freecoaster or make it a cassette hub
We can use both quick release type and locknut type with both freecoaster and cassette hubs as long as the number of rear stages is correct. By replacing the freecoaster, we can repair BMX at the lowest cost.
Replacing with a cassette BMX will incur additional costs, as you will also need to purchase the rear gear. Because of the difference in the ball’s position pushing part mentioned above, the cassette is more durable. So, if you have a budget, we recommend upgrading the system. Keep this in mind when looking for a repaired good wheel for your bikes.
The BMX world will continue to be divided into two camps for the foreseeable future because both freecoaster and cassette hubs have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it depends on your personal preferences and your bike mechanic skills what you choose.