Removing cassettes & threaded multispeed freewheels

by Raymond Parker on February 7, 2012

in Technical

Img description

12″ crescent, (L) Campag cassette tool, Suntour freewheel tool, Chain whip

Whether you’re turning the latest freehub/cassette combo or a retro multi-speed freewheel, here’s a basic guide to removal and installation of derailleur sprockets

Cassette Removal

  1. Remove quick-release skewer from hub and remove springs from same
  2. Insert appropriaste cassette removal tool in cassette
  3. re-install skewer (sans springs) and tighten enough to hold tool in place
  4. Wrap chain whip around middle cassette sprocket in clockwise direction
  5. With large crescent wrench, or equivalent, turn removal tool counter-clockwise to release lock ring
  6. Remove skewer
  7. Remove lock-ring
  8. Lift cassette sprockets off of free-hub
Img description

Wrenching a Cassette

Apologies to Lewis Hine

Replace Cassette

  1.  Stack sprockets and spacers back in same order (splines guide correct placement; make sure spacers are replaced correctly)
  2. Replace lock-ring
  3. Insert tool
  4. Tighten by hand
  5. Finish with crescent or torque wrench (following manufacturers recommendations)

Freewheel Removal

  1. Insert freewheel removal tool into freewheel, or better yet, into a vice
  2. Drop wheel/freewheel onto tool and engage
  3. Turn the tool with wrench or wheel over vice counterclockwise to break the freewheel free
  4. Spin the freewheel off by spinning wheel or tool

Replace Freewheel

  1. Grease threads and spin back on in clockwise direction
  2. Replace wheel and ride; the freewheel will tighten accordingly
Cassette Lock-ring Newton meters Inch-pounds
Campagnolo 50 Nm 442 in lbs
Shimano 29.4~49 Nm 260~434in lbs


Park Freewheel and Cassette tools

Go to VeloGarage

Listed Under Jobs: ,

Listed Under Components: , ,

Conor Ahern February 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

What happened to the bloody knuckles and swearing involved in a freewheel removal?? Maybe you could do a video of stripping, regreasing and reassembling a freewheel, a true test of patience.

Keep up the good work.

Raymond Parker February 8, 2012 at 11:46 am

If you look closely, Conor, there’s a bit of a skinned knuckle there; nothing that required hospitalization, but oaths were heard.

Ah, yes, actual freewheel disassembly–springs, tiny bearings, and pawls. Something I haven’t done in aeons.

Conor Ahern February 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

The last freewheel I can remember rebuilding was a maillard way back in 1993. The only tools required were a hammer, a punch, a freewheel vise, some thread and a tweezers for all the tiny ball bearings. To quote Archie Bunker, “Those were the days!”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: