The procedure for removing the cassette of the rear sprockets of the bicycle
How do I remove the stars from the rear wheel? By and large, for this purpose, simply unscrew the cassette retaining ring, which holds together all the parts of the mechanism. This locking ring has a classic right-hand thread, you can recognize it by the Lock inscription on its surface.
But the trick is that to unscrew this locking ring, you must have a special device (special key). a 12 slotted puller. In this case, it is necessary to simultaneously keep the cassette sprockets from turning on the bearing. The best for this purpose is a special “tricky” device. a bicycle “whip”.
- Perform operations to remove the rear bicycle wheel: install the bicycle on the handlebar and saddle, with the wheels up; unscrew the tightening nuts on the wheel axle (or loosen the eccentric fasteners); remove the chain from the cassette sprockets; remove the wheel from the dropouts, put it on a horizontal platform with the cassette up.
- Throw a piece of the bicycle whip chain over the large star of the cassette so that the whip handle forms a lever that is easy to grip, applying force to the cassette clockwise.
- Insert the puller into the slots of the cassette retaining ring.
- Grip the hex of the stripper (24mm or 27mm) with a wrench.
- Applying opposite forces on the handle of the wrench and on the handle of the whip, it is necessary to turn the retaining ring along the thread. Most likely, you will have to apply considerable effort, as the circlip is usually dirty, “stuck”, and just tightly tightened. Since significant efforts are applied when unscrewing the retaining ring, the use of various handicraft devices and non-specialized universal tools (screwdrivers, pliers, chisels, etc.) for this purpose should be avoided.
Unscrew the retaining ring completely, then pull up the cassette and remove it from the splines of the drum (ratchet) of the wheel hub. If the cassette is assembled on a “spider”, it will all pull together as a single unit. If the cassette is assembled on pins, without a “spider”, then, most likely, each sprocket and spacer washer will be removed separately.
Replacing the cassette on a bicycle
Experienced cyclists are well aware that a set of rear sprockets of an open multi-speed (sports) bike transmission, the so-called cassette, is actually a consumable unit. Indeed, with intensive high-speed skiing, the teeth of the cassette sprockets wear out quite quickly, and approximately every 1000. 2000 km of run there is a need to replace it with a new one.
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Then, how do you replace the cassette on your bike? The first and best option for replacing the cassette on a bicycle is to “take” your bike to a specialized bike workshop, where this operation will be performed as professionally as possible. But, unfortunately, a good professional bicycle service in Ukraine is available only to residents of regional centers, at most, large cities. Also, many avid cyclists and their teams practice long out-of-town “rides”, “move”, during which serious malfunctions of bicycles are frequent, incl. and breakage of the bike transmission cassette. Therefore, any “decent” cycling enthusiast simply needs to have the knowledge and skills how to remove the stars from the rear wheel on their own.
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Fitting the cycling cassette to the bike
- Install the cassette assembly on the “spider” into the splines of the wheel hub drum. A cassette without a “spider” will have to be recruited vertically on the drum, not forgetting to lay washers-spacers between the asterisks.
- Place a retaining ring on the cassette and drum, screw it in manually, if possible, without additional tools.
- Using a whip to block the largest sprocket of the cassette, and a puller and a wrench to tighten the retaining ring, screw it in until it stops.
- Install the rear wheel assembly on the bike, put the bike chain on the gear wheels (stars) of the transmission.
What tools will be needed?
To remove a bicycle cassette yourself, it is imperative to have the following list of tools and accessories in your home workshop or in the set of portable spare parts and accessories:
- bicycle “whip” in the form of a segment of a bicycle chain attached to a handle-lever;
- 12-slot end puller (or one-piece key-puller) of the cassette retaining ring;
- if there is only one end puller, then you will also need a 24mm or 27mm spanner (open-end, box), depending on the size of the hex nut on the spline puller.
Replacing the bike ratchet
It happens that some older sports bikes still have a previous generation rear sprocket assembly called a ratchet. The multi-star ratchet differs from the more modern cassette in that it is screwed (right-hand thread) onto the wheel hub as a whole, with its entire body. Therefore, when dismantling the ratchet, there is no need to keep its sprocket from turning. It is enough to hold the wheel rim with a hand or other fixation, which is incomparably easier.
A special spline puller is also required to remove the multi-star ratchet from the rear wheel. It is similar but not compatible with the cassette remover. The extractor key must be inserted into the corresponding slots on the ratchet cover, and grab the hexagon with a wrench. Applying a force on the wrench counterclockwise, and holding the wheel rim with the other hand from turning, it is necessary to turn the ratchet body along the thread. As with the cassette, this can be tricky and will likely require quite a lot of effort.