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.

1. Rear wheel removal

Remove the rear wheel
Remove the rear wheel

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

You'll need a chain whip for this step
You'll need a chain whip for this step

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

A ziptie can be useful here to keep things together
A ziptie can be useful here to keep things together

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

Line up the new cassette in order
Line up the new cassette in order

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

Tighten the lockring
Tighten the lockring

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

Be careful not to overtighten
Be careful not to overtighten

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!

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