How To Unscrew The Ratchet On A Bicycle

How to remove a ratchet on a bicycle. How to remove a bicycle ratchet correctly?

The ratchet is a mechanism that is inextricably linked to the rear wheel hub. It removes the need to pedal without stopping and transfers torque from the chain to the pedals. The ratchet is quite easy to maintain. It just needs to be cleaned of dirt and grass as needed. However, in some cases it becomes necessary to remove the ratchet.

Let’s take a closer look at what the correct algorithm of actions looks like.

When it becomes necessary to remove the ratchet?

  • Tightening the rear wheel hub bearings
  • The need to replace broken dogs
  • Sprocket teeth wear
  • Replacing the spoke in the rear wheel hub

Required tools

Before proceeding with the removal of the ratchet, make sure you have all the necessary bike tools in stock. It:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Wrench
  • Ratchet puller
  • Rozhkovy key
  • A dry, clean, lint-free cloth
  • A hammer
  • Liquid lubricant

Do not confuse ratchet and cassette. These are completely different components and you should not think that they are interchangeable. The main feature of the ratchet is the inner bushing, which is screwed onto the threads of the rear wheel. That is why in order to remove this component, you will need a special puller, which we talked about above. Do not confuse this tool with a cassette remover. Unlike universal tools, they have completely different splines and are designed for specific components.

Removing the ratchet from the bike

In order to dismantle the ratchet, you need to perform a certain action algorithm:

  • Removing the rear wheel.
  • We take out the axle from the bushing.
  • We put the wheel in an upright position and rest it against the wall.
  • We insert the puller into the ratchet and use a large wrench to twist it. It is very important to carry out circular movements counterclockwise.
  • We disassemble the ratchet mechanism. To do this, the flare nut must be turned clockwise.

What to do if the ratchet is stuck?

If the ratchet has been in use for more than two years, it may stick tightly to the bushing and it will not work to unscrew it with a standard puller. In this case, you will need a two-arm lever. You can do it yourself. To do this, it is enough to find an iron pipe up to 50 centimeters in size and connect it with an adjustable or open-end wrench. Then you perform the following manipulations:

  • Take two short bolts with their corresponding nuts.
  • One bolt is inserted into the handle of the adjustable wrench and the other into the ratchet puller. They are fastened with nuts for secure fixation.
  • We have a mechanism called a two-arm lever. Press down hard until we feel like we have ripped off the ratchet.

If you did everything correctly, it will take you no more than a few minutes to remove the ratchet.

How to properly repair a ratchet?

After disassembling the ratchet mechanism, examine the condition of the oil inside it. If it is too dark in color with the obvious presence of metal particles, most likely, the bearing surface has worn out and there is a need to completely replace the entire assembly. You can pick up a new one in the “Bicycle Cassettes” section.

If the ball bearings of the ratchet have various dents or other damage, be sure to replace them with new ones. When assembling the ratchet, thoroughly dry the interior surfaces from moisture. An ordinary household hair dryer or compressor is suitable for this. Do not be stingy when tightening the flare nut, otherwise backlash cannot be avoided.

In maintaining a bike, it is very important to take care of all its components, so do not delay the repair and carry out the necessary work on time!

Of those components that are most often subject to wear and tear and require systematic intervention, the carriage can be distinguished. It is on this detail that we will dwell in more detail.

One of the most important parts of your bike is the rear wheel hub. Therefore, you must be ready to carry out repair work if necessary.

Experts recommend carrying out this procedure after each trip through contaminated areas.

The drivetrain plays a very important role in the operation of the entire bike, so you must carefully monitor the wear of its individual parts.

In order to install disc brakes on a bicycle, you can go to any bike workshop, or carry out this process yourself.

How to remove a ratchet from a bicycle wheel correctly without damaging the mechanism?

Manufacturers can use single or multi-speed transmissions on their bikes. In the case of the latter category of nodes, a ratchet or cassette is installed on the rear wheel. Cassettes have a higher cost, since the ratchet is used mainly in budget models.

It is quite simple to disassemble them at home. In this article, you will familiarize yourself with the main features of the process and learn how to remove the ratchet from a bicycle wheel quickly and with minimal effort.

What is a ratchet?

If you frequently repair and maintain your bike, you might be wondering what is the difference between a cassette and a ratchet on a bike? The second is an integral part of the vehicle’s transmission, designed to change the pedaling effort. All modern ratchets are made of steel, since aluminum models tend to wear out, and given the pricing factor, the installation of this component is unprofitable for the manufacturer.

The cassette is installed on the bushing, it already contains a drum with “paws”, which slides along the body when riding on a roll. In other words, there is a mechanism inside, consisting of pawls (hooks), which, when scrolling the pedals, catch on the protrusions on the body. When the cyclist stops pedaling, the force on the pawls is reduced to zero, as a result of which they slide over the body with the teeth. Removing the cassette yourself is much easier.

Required tools for removing the ratchet

It is quite simple to carry out the removal procedure yourself. All you need is to acquire the appropriate set of tools. So, before removing the ratchet from the wheel, you must use the following tools:

  • special puller;
  • an adjustable or wrench of 24 or 27 millimeters, depending on which model of the part is installed on your bike;
  • a 15 mm open-end wrench, with which it is necessary to remove the bushing from the wheel;
  • a L-key is also used, but in very rare cases;
  • if the design provides for the presence of a “nut”, you will need a center punch with thin edges.
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If the purpose of removal is routine maintenance rather than replacement, you will also need non-lithium grease.

When to shoot?

In most cases, removal of this transmission element is necessary when the cyclist wishes to perform routine maintenance (usually in the spring or fall). Removal will also be required when the teeth of the sprockets installed in the structure are heavily worn. Since the vast majority of ratchets have a non-separable design, replacement of new sprockets is impossible. they are riveted to each other.

It is urgent to dismantle the ratchet from the wheel if there is a situation when, in the process of smooth pedaling, there is a sharp slip of the pedals. This effect is observed when the oil is incorrectly selected when you prepared the bike for spring after storing it on the balcony in winter.

How to remove the rear ratchet?

Remove the rear wheel from the frame before removing the rear ratchet. To do this, raise it, shift the rear derailleur to the last speed (remember that after completing the replacement procedure, you will need to check and correctly adjust the front derailleur), and then unscrew the eccentric or nuts (depending on the hub design). Next, carefully pull the wheel out of the frame, which should also be matched to your height.

The next step is to remove the axle from the wheel hub. Take two adjustable wrenches. with one hold the nut in a fixed position, with the other. unscrew the other nut.

Practice shows that in most cases the bicycle owner is faced with a problem when the thrust nut has become attached to the ratchet body. To fix this problem, you need to use WD-40 spray. Spray the nut and let the wheel sit for five minutes. The liquid will corrode the rust and dirt inside, after which you can safely remove the part from the sleeve.

As you can see, it is quite easy to remove this part. But before you disassemble the bike ratchet, we recommend that you get a special tool. Without it, given the design of the fasteners, it is almost impossible to dismantle the ratchet. After successful removal, you can proceed with further disassembly of the component, proceed with routine maintenance or replacement.

To understand how to remove a ratchet from a bicycle wheel, you need to watch a useful video.

Why use a ratchet on bicycles and how to remove it

A ratchet is a mechanism that makes it possible to transfer from the chain to the pedals. This setting makes it possible to pedal freely and without any stops. The rear wheel hub and this element are one piece. The ratchet consists of a ratchet with a toothed drum. And also a cassette of asterisks, which does not understand.

The bicycle ratchet is removed in such cases:

  • Adjustment of the rear wheel, namely the tightening of the bearings. In theory, it is not necessary to remove it, but it is more convenient to remove the bearings and lubricate the main unit. Thus, it is determined how worn out the cup is.
  • When changing or installing spokes. Placed on the wheel hub.
  • When replacing broken dogs. But it is very difficult to acquire rather small parts. Therefore, you have to buy a node in a compact package with all the components. If you have an old bicycle ratchet, you can remove the pawls from there. When the dogs break, the drum starts to fail, namely to jam. In some cases, it can spin in different directions.

You also have to remove the ratchet from the bike if the sprocket teeth are worn out. In rare cases, if the teeth that are the smallest are broken.


In order to work with these parts, you need to have special tools. These are:

  • A hammer.
  • A rag that should be tight and lint-free.
  • Thin center punch, for parsing the ratchet.
  • An open-end wrench is needed to unwind the sleeve. Size should be 14-15 millimeters.
  • Non-lithium grease.

You will also need a puller for a part such as a ratchet. It can be either nut or adjustable. It should be 27 mm. It is best, of course, to use a spanner wrench. This is due to the fact that when scrolling, the key will not jump off the edges.

Difference between cassette and ratchet

How is a cassette different from a ratchet on a bicycle? Many people confuse a ratchet with a bicycle cassette. If you study these parts correctly, then they cannot replace each other. It is very difficult to find a ratchet on this day. Unless if you take it off your old bike. On newer and faster bikes, only the cassette can be considered. It is a part that has been improved.

unscrew, ratchet, bicycle

The disadvantage of the ratchet is that it is not suitable for the axes of a hollow plane whose diameter is 15 millimeters. If we consider the entire mechanism, then the filling of the ratchet consists of dogs. The mechanism of these ratchet parts, on which the outer sleeve is installed (there are sprockets). The nut plays a special role here. This part is the surface for the bearing and also holds all 2 parts. Bearings are mounted internally, which consist of identical metal balls.

The inner bushing. a ratchet particle. is installed on the wheel thread, which is located at the back. To remove this part, you must select a puller by size.

If you climb a mountain, there is a great load on the chain and rear wheel. It is with this power that the internal filling of the ratchet must be tightened. Further, by this mechanism, it is tightened along the thread into the wheel hub itself.

Under no circumstances should the puller be replaced with other tools. They are also not suitable for cassettes. The reason for this is the incompatibility of the slot. A ratchet or cassette on a bicycle most often breaks under heavy loads. Cassette and ratchet. no difference in parsing.

How to remove ratchets from a bike?

The first step is to remove the rear wheel. Next, you need to remove the axle from the hub wheel. Support the wheel firmly against a wall that stands upright. As for the tire, you can, in principle, not remove it. After all, if it is not there, then it will be possible to scratch the wheel rim at the time of repair. It is also much more convenient to work with the tire.

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Next, you need to install a puller and turn it with a key, which is large in size. You need to twist sharply and in jerks, then it is easier to unscrew the ratchet. You cannot turn the puller clockwise, as the sleeve is right-hand. It is more convenient to install the key evenly horizontally. So it is convenient and easy to twist and crush.

To divide the ratchet into two parts for repair, you must take a center punch and a hammer. If you don’t have a punch, then you can take a regular nail or self-tapping screw. The replacement center punch should be as long and large as possible. Further, the ratchet mechanism is disassembled by turning the nut, which is tapered. You need to twist clockwise, since the thread is left-handed.

“Torpedo” is placed on bicycles that are designed for one speed. That is, these are such bicycles: children’s, road, folding or for adolescents. Basically, this type of sprocket is installed on modern bicycles. Bushings of this origin have one sprocket. Fasteners are made using splines on cones.

In case of breakdown, changing the ratchet and cassette on a bicycle is not problematic for a cyclist.

Bike ratchet

Questions about the structure of the bike arise from riders at the first breakdowns. One of the components of old bike models, or budget modern options, is the ratchet.

It is located on the rear wheel. Every cyclist should know about the purpose of all the parts of his iron horse, so that in the event of a breakdown, he can independently determine the problem and, if he has the right tool, fix it.

Why do you need a ratchet

The bicycle ratchet is a construction that allows the bicycle to move. Consists of several stars, which are combined with a bushing in one piece.

The part transmits torque to the wheel. Due to the action of the mechanism, the bike continues to ride at a time when the rider stops pedaling.

Two similar mechanisms

Often, novice bike enthusiasts cannot understand which structure is installed on their bike, what is the difference between a cassette and a ratchet on a bike.

These two parts cannot replace each other in the event of a breakdown. Visually determine what exactly is installed in two ways, removing and not removing the structure.

  • On the outside, in the center of the ratchet, on the sprocket block, opposite each other, there are two small holes, the cassette is equipped with a nut with teeth designed to press the sprockets.
  • On the reverse side of the structure, parts can be distinguished only if they are removed from the bicycle. The ratchet is threaded and the cassette is slotted.

Due to the differences in the structure of the bike, you cannot install the ratchet in place of the cassette and vice versa.

You can determine what is required to put the ratchet on the rear wheel hub. The element will have a thread designed to install the mechanism. The cassette sleeve has a drum, not a thread. Outwardly they are easy to distinguish.

Why and what to shoot

If a breakdown occurs or for beginners to determine which mechanism is on their vehicle, it will be necessary to remove the ratchet. Also, you will need to dismantle the structure:

  • when you need to replace the spokes, since they are installed on the hub;
  • tighten bearings if necessary.

For dismantling you need:

  • a specialized wrench for removing the ratchet from the bike. ratchet puller;
  • an adjustable or wrench, 27 mm pullers are more common, but 24 mm models are also possible;
  • a lint-free rag;
  • a hammer;
  • open-end wrench, used for the sleeve, is taken at 14 or 15 millimeters;
  • grease, it is undesirable to use thick lithium;
  • may need a thin center punch.

The removable wrench for removing the ratchet is similar to the cassette puller, however they cannot be used for similar parts.

Withdrawal process

Before proceeding with the dismantling of the ratchet, you need to remove the rear wheel from the bike.

  • The first step is to remove the axle from the hub. It is possible that the nuts will interfere with the snug fit of the puller. Provided that the tool is calmly in place, it is imperative to fix it using a nut so that the tool remains in place when the force is applied.
  • For the convenience of twisting the ratchet, it is advisable to rest the wheel vertically against the wall. No need to remove rubber.
  • Having installed a removable wrench in the ratchet, it is required to twist the element to the right, that is, counterclockwise, using the largest wrench.
  • To disassemble the mechanism, you need to use a center punch and a hammer. After installing the tool, the flare nut is unscrewed to the left, that is, clockwise.

Instead of a punch, it is possible to use a large self-tapping screw or a nail.

There are often cases when the mechanism sticks and it is impossible to remove it in the usual way. For dismantling, you will need to lengthen the wrench lever, which can be done by attaching a pipe of short length and corresponding diameter.

If, when removing the ratchet, its mechanism was disassembled, you should see what color the grease is inside. The black tint of the liquid and metal particles indicate that the structure is badly worn out, and it is advisable to replace it.

With proper care and attention, the bike parts will last longer, and all rides on it will be comfortable. Bike maintenance is the first thing a beginner cyclist should learn.

Removing the ratchet and cassette

The rear sprocket block (cassette) is mounted on a ratchet. Maintenance of the cassette is reduced to cleaning it from dirt that gets between the sprockets.

The device of different cassettes is approximately the same, they differ only in the number of stars (from 5 to 9) and the way they are attached to each other. On many cassettes, the sprockets are simply tightened with screws. In this case, the most worn sprockets can be replaced with new ones. Sometimes a block of sprockets is made non-separable (sprockets are riveted into a single block). This increases its strength, but then when some sprockets wear out, you will have to change the entire cassette.

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There are various ways of attaching the ratchet cassette to the hub. Modern imported bikes contain rear hubs with wound ratchets. The body of such a sleeve has a thread on the right side, onto which the ratchet is screwed together with the cassette.

If you have 7 or fewer stars, then, most likely, the stars have a ratchet in themselves and to remove them, a puller is needed to unscrew the entire ratchet as a whole. Actually, there are 7-speed cassettes too, it’s just that a different hub is used for them. with a shorter drum. If the number of stars is 8 or 9, then a cassette hub is usually used and the ratchet is installed on the hub.

Removing the ratchet (for hubs with screwed-on ratchet)

On such bushings, the cassette is removed together with the ratchet, therefore, when adjusting the bearings or replacing the spokes, it is not necessary to disassemble the cassette. This only needs to be done to replace the sprockets themselves.

To change the spoke on the right side of the rear wheel or to change the grease in the bearing, the cassette can be removed with the ratchet without touching the hub axle. The inner surface of such a ratchet has slots into which an appropriate puller must be inserted. The sprocket block rotates here on the ratchet body. The body itself is screwed onto the sleeve and the puller is inserted into the body.

We insert the puller into the slots on the ratchet, and turn it off with an adjustable or open-end wrench. Unscrewing may require considerable force. We recommend using a gas wrench or a long-handled wrench of 24. The ratchet thread is left, unscrewed clockwise (against the freewheel of the ratchet).

Then we remove the cassette together with the ratchet and the protective plastic ring.

If you are going to replace a wheel, leaving the old ratchet, then buy a wheel with a hub just for the ratchet. With such a hub, you will see only the axle without the hub drum.

Removing the cassette

You have to remove the cassette, firstly, to adjust the bearings of the rear hub (in principle, you can not remove it, but with the cassette removed, it is more convenient to adjust the hub), or to replace the sprockets themselves. If during a trip you have to replace the rear wheel spoke on the right side, then the cassette will also need to be removed.

The cassette is tightened to the ratchet with a slotted nut. In order to unscrew this nut, you need a special tool. a cassette puller. And in order to hold the cassette (you have to unscrew the cassette in the direction of free rotation of the rear wheel. counterclockwise), you need a whip.

The cassette sprockets are put on the ratchet body and tightened with a wide nut of a special shape. A bushing with a built-in ratchet mechanism is used. Plastic washers are inserted between the sprockets.

When disassembling a cassette, it is necessary to take into account that not only the order of the asterisks is important, but also their orientation relative to each other. Washers can also differ in diameter and thickness, so it makes sense to carefully lay out all the removed parts in a row.

To unscrew the nut, you will need a special spline wrench, and to keep the cassette from turning, you need a whip, because the direction of rotation of the nut when unscrewing coincides with the direction of free rotation of the ratchet.

We put the whip chain on the largest sprocket of the cassette. We turn off the nut with a wrench, holding the cassette with a whip. If you don’t have a whip, you can use the old chain instead, securing it in some way so that it holds the spider. You can also use an old thicker and larger rag. We fold it in several layers and throw it on the spider, holding it with our hands. The spider is held with its entire palm through a rag and turns with a key.

Remove the nut. Then we remove all the sprockets and washers from the ratchet body, observing their order. If necessary, remove the bushing drum from the axle.

Shimano Cassettes & Ratchets

It is necessary to remove the cassette, firstly, to adjust the bearings of the rear hub or to replace the sprockets themselves. If during a trip you have to replace the rear wheel spoke on the right side, then the cassette will also need to be removed.

In fact, there are no fundamental differences from the method described above. A special feature only in the used puller: it must have an axis that is inserted into the cassette.

The only difference is that several small sprockets can be put on the ratchet independently, and between them there must be washers. spacers. These sprockets and washers must be carefully removed so that they do not fall apart during disassembly. It is better to remove them one at a time, and carefully lay them out somewhere so as not to be confused during assembly.

This applies to Shimano HG-30 / HG-40 / HG-50-8 eight-star cassettes.

Removed Shimano cassette: