How to replace your cassette

Is your cassette looking a little worse for wear? No fear, you can easily replace it yourself

Freddy Vangoidsenhoven, former team mechanic with the An Post-Chain Reaction UCI Pro Continental team, offers his expert tips on how to replace your bike’s cassette.

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How to replace a bike cassette in 6 easy steps

1. Rear wheel removal

1: Rear wheel removal
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Shift the chain into the smallest sprocket and release the quick-release skewer, allowing the wheel to drop out. You’ll need a chain whip or chain-whip pliers and a lockring tool.

2. Whip into shape

2: Whip into shape
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With the chain whip hold the cassette by wrapping the chain around the sprockets of a larger cog. Fit the lockring tool into the lockring and turn anti-clockwise to loosen.

3. Old cassette out

3: Old cassette out
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Remove the lockring and then pull the old cassette towards you to remove it from the freewheel. If you want to keep the old one, it’s a good idea to zip-tie it all together in order.

4. New cassette on

4: New cassette on
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Slide the new cassette on, in order, making sure you line up all the splines. There will be one wider gap on the rear of each cog, which you need to line up with the double or wider spline on the freewheel.

5. Place holder

5: Place holder
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Take the lockring and fit it to the front of the cassette. Screw it gently into place by hand initially. Tighten the lockring sufficiently to hold the cassette in place.

6. Locked in

6: Locked in
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You don’t need the chain whip for this step as you will be tightening in a clockwise direction and the freewheel will provide resistance. Remember not to overtighten as you’ll want to take it off again some day…