Six simple steps for replacing a worn cassette

If your cassette is looking a little worse for wear, follow our tips to replace it

Team mechanic for the An Post-Chain Reaction UCI Pro Continental team, Freddy Vangoidsenhoven, shows us how to replace a worn road bike cassette in a few simple steps.

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1. Rear wheel removal

1. Rear wheel removal
Remove the rear wheel
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Remove the rear wheel by shifting the chain into the smallest sprocket and releasing 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
You’ll need a chain whip for this step
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

With the chain whip hold the cassette in place by wrapping the chain around the sprockets of one of the larger cogs. Fit the lockring tool into the lockring and loosen it by turning the tool anti-clockwise.

3. Old cassette out

3. Old cassette out
A ziptie can be useful here to keep things together
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

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
Line up the new cassette in order
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

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
Tighten the lockring
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Now take the lockring and fit it to the front of the cassette. Screw it gently into place by hand. Tighten the lockring sufficiently to hold the cassette in place.

6. Locked in

6. Locked in
Be careful not to overtighten
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media
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You don’t need the chain whip for this as you’ll be tightening in a clockwise direction and the freewheel will provide resistance. Don’t overtighten as you’ll want to take it off again some day!