Enginerve : Bikes

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Last Man In House to Switch Cassettes



I am the last man in the house to switch cassettes and it allowed me to switch wheels in preparation for building a wheel with a new rim. Commuting is a bit of wear and tear on the equipment.

Cassette Cog Lockring Removal and Installation

Shimano®, Campagnolo®, Sun Tour®, Sun Race®, Chris King®, DT-Hugi®, and other brands.


If your cogs look like this, you probably have a lockring type cassette.

With the modern cassette cog systems, all cogs are fitted with splines. Cogs slide onto the freehub body and are held in place by a lockring. The lockring sits outward from the smallest cog. Look for the word, “LOCK”, and an arrow on the lockring indicating direction to turn for locking. Turn the lockring counter-clockwise, the opposite way of the arrow, to loosen it. There may be a loud noise when the lockring breaks loose. There is often knurling under the lockring to help keep it in place, and this knurling makes noise when the ring is loosened or tightened.

Mount bike in repair stand and remove rear wheel from bike.

a. Remove quick release skewer.

b. Inspect cassette and select correct type of remover.

c. Engage remover into splines/notches.

d. Install quick release skewer and install skewer nut on outside of remover.

e. Snug skewer nut against remover. Skewer acts as a holding device for freewheel removal tool.

f. Hold cogs in clockwise direction with sprocket chain whip tool. Turn remover counter-clockwise, using a large adjustable wrench, the hex end of another Park Tool sprocket chain whip tool SR-1, or the Park Tool freewheel wrench FRW-1. It will require force to remove the lockring. Expect to hear a loud clicking sound as the locking teeth of the lockring separate.

g. If using a vise, grab removal tool tightly in vise with wheel held flat. Use sprocket chain whip tool to turn sprockets counter-clockwise. Do not hold wheel while turning sprockets, allow wheel to rotate, and pull only on sprocket chain whip tool.

The process is of a typical cassette lockring and cassette stack removal is in the short clip below.

Using FR-5G with Guide Pin

Remove the skewer and install the FR-5G. Make sure the teeth are fully engaged in the lockring. Hold cogs as described above and turn FR-5G counter-clockwise.

FR-5G with pin



Installing Cassette Cogs

Cassette freehub bodies and cassettes are often designed so the cogs will fit in only one orientation. This permits manufacturer to align “shifting ramps” to specification.

a. Inspect splines of freehub body. Look for a wide space between splines. Inspect the internal splines of cogs. Look for a wide spline to mate with wide space in freehub body. Align splines and engage all cogs.

b. Install spacers in same orientation as when removed.

c. Grease threads of lockring and thread lockring into freehub.

d. Install cassette lockring tool and install quick release skewer. Thread skewer nut on outside of lockring tool.

e. Snug skewer nut against remover. Skewer acts as a holding device for freewheel tool.

f. Turn remover clockwise until lockring is tight, at least 360 inch-pounds (approximately 40 Nm). For installing lockring, use of the sprocket chain whip tool is not required.

FR-5G speeds installation as well. Simply insert the FR-5G into the lockring splines and tighten fully.