3. How to Replace a Cassette Cluster

Applies to most Shimano cassette/freehub combos (not freewheels).

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Replace a Cassette Cluster
DVD Vol. 1 DVD Volume 1
This video is available on DVD

Today we’re going to replace a common rear cassette cluster. It’s actually quite a straight forward procedure, but you will need a couple of special bike tools for the job: a chain whip and a lock ring tool. Some lock ring tools have a built in handle, but the one we are using today is most common, and requires the use of a large wrench or vise clamp to hold it in place.

Cassette Removal

The first step is to wrap the chain whip around one of the bigger sprockets. This basically holds the cassette body firmly in place while we loosen the lock ring. Next, insert the lock ring tool into the lock ring’s inner notches and place a wrench securely over the hexagonal fitting.

As you can see in the video, I’ve positioned both tools to give me maximum leverage. Now simply push the handles toward each other until the lock ring loosens. Once you remove the lock ring the rest of the cassette should easily slide up and off the freehub body. Since the cassette is removed, it’s a good idea to check the freehub body to make sure it spins freely and is not loose.

Click on this image to visit Sheldon Brown’s page on this topic:
Cassette Freewheel

Cassette Installation

Installing the new cassette is basically the opposite procedure. Take a close look at the splines on the freehub and cassette. You’ll notice that one of the notches on the body and cassette is wider than the rest. Once the notches are lined up, simply slide on the cassette body, spacer and outer sprocket, and then thread the lock ring into place.

This time we only need the lock ring tool for tightening. We certainly don’t want the cassette coming loose, so it’s a good idea to stand the wheel up, so we get enough downward leverage to tighten it properly. You’ll hear the lock ring ratcheting as it tightens.

Once installed, check again to make sure the cassette spins freely and is not loose. It’s also a good idea to examine your sprocket spacing to make sure all of the sprockets are correctly positioned. If it all looks good then you’re ready to reinstall your wheel and go for a ride!

Tags

Related Links

Discuss this topic in the Drivetrain Forums

01/24 Hmm how about renovating?

Well, hello everyone this is my first post.

I have been trying to renovate an old road bike a British hercules. The thing is that the bike has old components and I have trouble finding other ones. I want to keep the front chainring 48t but remove the internal hub that my gramp was using. Instead i decided to buy a nice wheel with a 9 cassette and the suitable deraileur. Well my main problem is...Will this fit with the 48t chainring? Is the deraileur going to be ok with the claw type hanger (the bike has no built-in hanger)? In copenhagen where I live we have no steep hills, every... Read more >>

01/21 Are Tracer Two Rings Cranks any Good?

I have a two ring Tracer crank on my ross road bike. I am just wondering if it's any good or not.... Read more >>

01/21 How to put the quick chain link together more quickly?

I got a Bell brand chain from walmart for my other bike and the quick link is so annoying to put back together when I need to take it off for some cleaning. Well, I try and hold the derailleur and put the chain back together but I suffer from panic attacks from time to time and I just get so annoyed with having to hold the derailleur and putting the link back together at the same time. Any tips to help me do it better without getting frustrated or annoyed?... Read more >>

01/17 Chain problem

So my bike kind of broke and I adjusted some things to fix it, but then a new problem arose.

The thing that broke and bent badly was the metal that held the two cogs in the back wheel of the bike ( the gear shifting thing) so I bent it back into shape and screwed it back on but whenever I pedal the bike the chains starts going into its cycle but in a few seconds the chain slips off the bottom cog in the gear shift and the chain slowly slips off everything else. Is there anyway I can fix this?[/align]... Read more >>

01/17 I can't get to high gear.

So I'm new to these forums and also to bicycling, like I just recently learned how to ride a bike and a 2 weeks ago I bought my first bike.

So I have been having troubles with my bike for some days now, It got really bad at one point but I've been able to fix it a bit. With very bad in the form of the chain falling from the front gears.
I have fixed that, however, the chain cannot get to the biggest gear of the front. I'm not really sure why.
Can someone help me?... Read more >>

01/08 SRAM to Shimano Cassette Compatibility

I'm running a full SRAM X9 / X0 on my hard tail with XT discs. I want to move from 2x10 to 1x10 set up. The biggest cost is the cassette to give me more choice will a Shimano cassette fit onto a SRAM ready hub?... Read more >>

01/07 Shimano freewheel or cassette?

I am/was in the middle of changing a snapped rear axle, and came to the conclusion I needed to remove the cassette to tighten the components of the new axle enough.

Anyhow on removing the cassette/freewheel ball bearings went everywhere and it seemed to be much more complicated than first thought.

Below are a couple of pics of how everything now is.

What do I need to get this thing going again?

Excuse if I have mixed terminology etc, bikes are not my strongpoint although I am curious to learn.... Read more >>

01/04 Inside link falls apart when fixing

I've been having a problem with a broken new chain. When I removed the broken link, the inside link falls apart. When I remove the inside link, the next inside link falls apart. Is this something wrong with the chain? I haven't had this problem in the past. I noticed that on old chains, the oil and dirt might have been holding the inside link parts together, so I wondered if that's why I didn't notice it before.

Is there a tool to hold the inside links so they don't fall apart? (I guess I could just use a vice grips.)

Thanks.... Read more >>

12/31 Trek 820 (1998) Crank and Deraileur Replacements

I'm refurbishing my Dad's old 1998 Trek 820 with the following OEM
specs for the crank and bottom bracket - first bike I've ever done this to but thought it would be an good entry into bike repair (since I just got a bike tool set and XMAS $ to do the project)

Shimano Altus CT92 (24/34/42 Square Taper) 170mm crank length paired with a
BB-CT91E, 68mm / 118mm spindle length bottom bracket

Its easy enough to crossover (and find online) the BB to a UN55 (68mm/118mm/English). The questions revolve around the crank (which seems to be harder to find a repla... Read more >>

12/27 Front chainset running uneven

Hi guys.
Im a new member although I have been visiting this site for sometime now and have had many of my questions regarding buying a bike answered thru existing threads.

I have bought myself a Diamondback XR3 as a cheap starter bike and plan to upgrade to a mid range road bike in the future.

Im hoping i can get some advice regarding the front chainset. Ive noticed that it isnt running true and straight as it rotates. Id say there is about 6mm variation. It is far enough out of alignment to cause the chain to come off when Im on either the largest or smallest... Read more >>

12/06 Freewheel without a clutch

What? You might say...

I hope someone can help me with an odd request. I'm planning on building a robot and want to build treads from old bicycles. I've spent a couple days searching for my answer but not knowing all the bike part nomenclature I'm afraid I don't know the words I'm looking for either.

Is there a way to modify a freewheel sprocket so that the ratchet doesn't work and the sprocket can move freely both forwards and backwards?

I got a couple kids bikes for a few bucks at goodwill and have realized that I probably can't do what I'm asking wit... Read more >>

11/18 Think I found cause -- Pedal Reverse -- Chain Jumps off

~1970 Gitane Mixte. Prior to rebuild wife could only pedal forwards, as peddling backwards would have chain occasionally jump off.. but only in larger rear gears and larger front sprocket.

To my knowledge, this bike has not been serviced.

I believe I now know why.

If I look from rear of bike forwards with eyes at axle height, I'm seeing the that the chain from what would be the middle of 2 front sprockets, would hit the 4th of 5 gears (next to smallest rear gear)...

Looking at internet posts, this would seem to want to be aimed for the 3... Read more >>

11/17 Changing from 12/25 to 11/28 ?

I currently have Shimano 105 12-25 10S but want to change the rear cogs to 11/28 to make it easier to get up hills, Is it just a matter of switching them over or do i need to do anything with the chain ?... Read more >>

11/11 New chains wearing out quickly?

Hey guys,
I replaced the chain on my wifes road bike about 800 miles ago and I just happened to check it today and it is already at the .75 wear indicator on my chain checker tool. I have kept it lubed(dry formula lube) just about every time we did a century or other ride, but can't figure why they are wearing out so fast. Can't you normally get at least a couple thousand if you maintain them right??
Seems like I read somewhere that if the cassette gears are worn considerably(does not skip a link in any gear) that the chain will wear out quickly. Is this true or am I just crazy? <... Read more >>

10/21 Question about chain length

Hi I have bike called specialized secteur 2013
Did on it 4500 miles and wanted to replace a few parts. Chainring, cassette and chain

I replaced cassette from 12-25 to 11-28, chainring will stay the same I mean 50t. And new chain kmc x9

Can someone please tell me how long chain should be for 11-28 cassette and 50t chainring?

Rear Derralieur is standard sora.


Thanks... Read more >>

New Thread
How to Replace a Cassette Cluster
Repair Guide / Help Forums

Free Email Updates: