Leonardi Factory unveils General Lee 11-speed cassette

New cassette offers 9-42t gearing and XD compatibility


Italian component manufacturer Leonardi has released details of its latest product, an 11-speed cassette boasting an expansive 9-42t range.

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Leonardi already offers its wide-range General Lee cassette in a 10-speed version as well as a wide-range expander kit. This latest addition to the line is intended to compete head-to-head with SRAM’s own 10-42t 11-speed cassettes.

We’re expecting e*thirteen to release its 9-42T 11-speed ‘EXP’ cassette soon, however, Leonardi is first to market.

Design details

SRAM had issues with 9t cogs when it was developing its 11-speed mountain cassettes: sram had issues with 9t cogs when it was developing its 11-speed mountain cassettes

Much like SRAM’s 1x cassettes, the Leonardi General Lee features a two-piece construction using steel and aluminium. The eight smallest cogs are machined from steel, while the three largest cogs are machined from 7075 T6 aluminium. The two halves of the cassette are held together with 12 pins. The cassette is designed to fit SRAM’s XD driver body standard.

Price, weight and availability

The General Lee has a claimed weight of 315g, making it 55g heavier than SRAM’s top-end XX1 cassette, 30g heavier than the X01 cassette, and 10g lighter than the entry-level X1 model.

The General Lee is available now for €359. (US, UK and Australian pricing have yet to be announced.)

Too few teeth?

The 11-speed General Lee cassette has a wider range than SRAM’s offerings, but that may come with drawbacks.

According to SRAM, the reason the company opted not to go smaller than a 10t cog was due to a shuddering sensation that occurs when pedaling such a small cog under load.  As cog size decreases, the rotation of the links on a chain increases exponentially, which causes what SRAM’s engineers dubbed the “polygon effect” — a feeling that the chain is going from slack to taut, resulting from variations in speed as the chain transitions from one tooth on the cog to the next.

Time will tell if this cassette suffers from the same issues as SRAM’s early 9-36t prototypes.

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Below is a chart of gear ratios offered in 11-speed MTB cassettes by Leonardi, SRAM and Shimano.

Leonardi 11-speed 9 11 13 15 17 20 23 27 31 36 42
SRAM 11-speed  10 12 14 16 18 21 24 28 32 36 42
Shimano XT 11-speed 11 13 15 17 19 21 24 28 32 37 42