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The cassette or freewheel is located in the hub of your bike. The difference between these two is that older bikes use freewheels while newer bikes use cassette hubs. This is why this guide covers the two types; you might be using either.
Firstly, if you are using an older bike, it is very likely to be freewheel. Traditionally, it is located on the right side of a bike’s rear wheel hub. It is an assembly of cogs and it has a built-in non-return mechanism and you’ll usually find it screwed on a thread located in the hub.
A cassette uses what is called a freehub system. This is a type of clutch mounted to the body of the hub. It is a cylindrical mechanism that ratchets counter-clockwise when you coast, and clockwise when pedaling.
When installing or removing this component, you need to have the right device. For cassettes, you should get the ideal tool. Each hub type has its own specific removal tool. For instance, a 12 spline hub would need a Shimano cassette tool.
To remove this, the first thing to do is mount the bike on the repair stand and remove the rear tire. The next step is to remove the quick release skewer. Next, check it and make sure you have the right type of remover.
Then place the remover into the splines/notches. Next, install the quick release skewer and put the skewer nut outside the remover.
Now, turn the remover counter-clockwise. You can do this with a large adjustable wrench. You should hear a loud clicking sound as a sign that the lockrings are separating.
Finally, if you are using a vise, fixate the removal tool in the vise and hold the wheel flat. Use the sprocket chain whip tool when you turn the sprockets in a counter-clockwise motion.
You should not hold the wheel when you are turning the sprocket. Instead, let the wheel rotate. The only thing you should pull is the chain whip tool.
If you are using this type, these are the steps to follow to remove it.
The first thing to do is to mount the bike on the repair stand. Next, you remove the rear wheel. Then you remove the quick release skewer. Next, inspect it and select the ideal removal tool.
The next step is to reinstall the quick release skewer, with the nut outside the remover. After that, place the skewer nut against the remover. The next step is to turn the remover counter-clockwise. You can use a larger adjustable wrench to make this easier.
At this stage, you should only turn the remover one full revolution counter-clockwise. After this, you should remove the skewer before proceeding to remove the freewheel.
Finally, turn the remover counter-clockwise until you unthread the freewheel. Then, lift it from the hub.