Knowing how to remove and replace the cassette (the cogs on the rear wheel) on your bike is an important and easy task that any home mechanic should get familiar with.
Why would you want to remove your cassette? Well, if you ride your bike a lot and you don’t clean it as frequently as you ought to, your cassette can wear out.
Or, if you want to rectify your wrongdoings and clean your bike more thoroughly (you should!), this is a good way to get into the bits you can’t normally reach.
Changing your cassette can also allow you to switch to different gearing, perhaps making your gearing easier or harder for your local terrain or a specific event. All of these reasons will necessitate your cassette (and possibly chain) coming off.
It’s worth having a cassette tool and chain whip in your tool kit for all of the above reasons. You don’t need the top-spec tools that can cost more than some bikes. For the amount you’ll use them, it’s just not worth it. However, don’t buy the cheapest ones either – you may bend them within a handful of uses.
Do your research, or ask the mechanics at your local shop. As always, if you go to them for advice, do the right thing and buy it there too.
- Chain whip
- Cassette lockring tool
The best deals on chain whips
The best deals on cassette lockring tools
Now you are good to go! If you have fitted a larger or smaller cassette, you may need to adjust the B-tension on your rear derailleur.
Also remember that you can only fit a like-for-like replacement in terms of the ‘speed’ of your cassette – i.e. you cannot replace a 9-speed cassette with a 10-speed one.