How to change a bicycle cassette

change a bicycle cassette

You need to change a bicycle cassette periodically due to wear. Internal friction, dirt and rust lengthen the bicycle chain by a few tenths of a millimeter. It gradually rubs off the interdental spaces of pinions and chainrings. You need to change a bicycle cassette before a new chain does not fit exactly in the teeth: It jumps when switching. Depending on the load and the condition of the maintenance, it is necessary to exchange the pinion approximately every three chain change intervals. When buying new, pay attention to the appropriate number and gradation of the replacement cassette when you change a bicycle cassette.

Remove axle

Remove your rear wheel and remove the axle. The toothed locking ring must be freely accessible.

2. gauge wear

Not all pinions wear out at the same time. The most used ones will meet first. Rohloff’s HG-IG-Check wear gauge accurately measures the wear on Shimano and compatible pinions. Place the measuring chain of the tool with the end link up on one of the most worn pinions.

3. Measure wear

Put the measuring chain under pressure by applying pressure to the lever. Then fold down the end link. If it can not be put into the gap without resistance or if it rests on the tooth, the chain will not run clean anymore. The pinion is worn, the cassette must go down.

4 Open the locking ring

Insert the Shimano Nut TL-LR15 into the toothed recesses of the lock ring on the freewheel of the wheel. Use a key with a long lever for the nut.

5 pinions

The lock ring is opened clockwise. There, however, the cassette turns empty on the freewheel. Therefore, you have to counter with a chain whip. Put the chain on one of the larger sprockets and grab the whip handle together with a pair of spokes with one hand. Then open the wrench and nut with the other hand away from the whip. The lock ring is also grained inside and rubs when loosening a bit.

6. Remove pinions

Now you can remove the pinions from the freewheel body. On a 10-speed cassette from Shimano, the pinions are divided so: The smallest three pinions are attached individually and are each provided with a distance collar. Pinion 4 is flat, followed by a single spacer ring. Pinions 5 – 7 and 8 – 10 are each grouped on a spider.

7 Clean the pinion seat

Wipe all old dirt out of the ribs and spaces of the freewheel body.

8 grease protects

Grease the mounting surface well before assembly. This prevents seizure of the cassette even after a long time.

9. Pay attention to the gearing

Pinion and spider, as well as the freewheel body outside, provided with ribs that transmit the driving force to the hub. However, a gap is wider than the others. So all pinions sit in a defined position to each other and the embossed aisles can transport the chain optimally.

10 Align spiders

Slide the spiders of the first two sprocket sets onto the freewheel body. Align the spiders with the widest groove in the ribs and slide them all the way to the fit.

11 single assembly

Then place the individual sprockets so that their lettering and the aisle are always facing you. Do not forget the spacer between pinion number 3 and 4.

12 Attach locking ring

Insert the locking ring into the internal thread of the freewheel body without jamming.

13 Screw in carefully

First turn the ring with the nut slightly in the opposite direction to make finding the thread easier. Then screw it in hand-tight.

14 Tighten

Finally, tighten the locking ring against the freewheeling direction with the key. The grained surfaces at the contact points of the end pinion and locking ring rub during tightening. This roughening prevents the automatic loosening of this screw connection.

Then you can use the quick-release axle and mount the rear wheel in the frame again. 

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