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Pacenti Pushing for Cassette Body Standard

Published July 4, 2011

CHATTANOOGA, TN (BRAIN)—Kirk Pacenti is aiming for a new industry-wide standard when it comes to cassette bodies for 10/11 speed systems.

Pacenti wants to work together with the biggest component makers—Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM—to help make it a reality. He likened the concept to other industry-wide standards such as One-Point-Five, ISIS, BB30, ISGG05 and ISO disc tabs. Fewer SKUs and less variation, Pacenti said, would be a boon to hub/wheel makers like Mavic, Zipp, FSA and others.

“I think 10/11 speed drive trains represent a line in the sand,” said Pacenti, vice president of NuWave. “Now that we've crossed it we may as well optimize the cassette body for those systems rather than cramming them into an obsolete 7/8/9 speed standard.”

Pacenti also thinks cassette body splines are outdated because they were created at a time when cassette bodies were made from steel. “A polygon shape can be made stronger and lighter, and possibly even from composite materials,” Pacenti said. “The industry doesn't necessarily have to use my shape, the point is to come up with a standard that works across the board.”

Pacenti is already testing a single speed polygon cassette body in hubs that they’ve made in Tennessee. He’s tentatively dubbed it “P-Drive” and may patent it, but would prefer to see an open-source standard for the whole industry.

“I think every company will come at it from a different angle and for different reasons, but in the end if we can get to a single standard for all 10/11 speed drive trains by 2014 or 2015 it would be a very good thing for manufacturers and consumers alike,” Pacenti said.

Pacenti Cycle Design was sold earlier this year to a local investment group, Top Five, which is also based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The partners formed a new company, NuWave, of which Pacenti Cycle Design is a division.

(PHOTO: Open Source Polygon Cassette Concept)

—Jason Norman

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