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Cassette Removal Tools – What to Look for When Buying This Professional Device

Want to change your bike’s cassette? Then you’ll need a cassette removal tool, often also referred to as a lockring remover. This special tool isn’t particularly expensive, so making the small investment will quickly pay off. What you should make sure of, however, is that the cassette remover you buy works with the cassette you want to change. What’s more, this tool comes in different versions. Read on to find out more about how to tell which cassette remover is the right one for you. Read more

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Cassette Removers – The Types Available

Cassette removers aren’t really part of every cyclist’s basic equipment, but if you’re looking to expand the range of tools in your home workshop, then this addition to your bike toolkit is the next logical step. As it says in the name, a cassette remover – together with a chain whip, which you need to hold the cassette in place – can be used to remove the cassette (a type of sprocket cluster) yourself, even with derailleur gear systems. A cassette remover is an essential tool for this job, regardless of whether you ride a road, mountain or trekking bike, as it’s needed to remove the lockring used to secure the cassette onto the freehub body at the rear wheel. By buying one of these tools, you won’t need to go to the bike shop every time you buy a new cassette, or if you have multiple cassettes with different-sized cogs and want to change these on a regular basis. 
In general, cassette removers come in two types: the more affordable version is a small cap which you use in combination with an open-ended spanner (usually 24mm), ratchet spanner or sliding cross-handle with square box spanner. The more expensive version is a complete tool which combines a cassette remover with a handle. If you don’t have a suitable open-ended or ratchet spanner, then this is definitely a better choice for you. Some cassette removers also have a centre pin which fits into the axle of the cassette hub. and provides additional support. 

Cassette Removers Come in the Following Designs:

  • Cap-type cassette remover: To use this more affordable version, you’ll need to have an open-ended spanner (usually 24mm) that fits the hex shape on the back of the tool, meaning it’s only worth buying this version if you already have this kind of spanner in your toolkit. 
  • Cassette remover as a complete tool with handle: This version is slightly more expensive and features a handle attached to the cassette remover so you can apply the necessary leverage to loosen the lockring. If you don’t own an open-ended spanner, this is the right tool for you.
  • Cassette remover with pin: Some cassette removers also have a central guide pin which fits into the axle of the cassette hub. and provides additional support. 

Cassette Removal Tools – It All Comes Down to the Teeth

Depending on the manufacturer, cassette lockrings can have different numbers of teeth: Shimano and Sram cassettes are the most popular and have the same number of teeth, whereas cassettes by the Italian gear manufacturer Campagnolo are different, with smaller brands such as Suntour, Sachs or Falcon featuring rarer tooth designs. When making your purchase, you should therefore make sure that the cassette remover you choose matches the teeth on your cassette, but this is normally easy to work out: the cassette removers themselves usually have information on what brands they can be used with. At BIKE24, you can also find this information in the cassette remover product descriptions. Please note: There are also combi cassette removers with two types of teeth and these can usually be used for Shimano/Sram and Campagnolo. This is a particularly practical solution if you have cassettes made by different brands.

Cassette Removal Tools Come with the Following Tooth Systems:

  • Shimano cassette remover: This is the most popular tooth system by far and is also used by Sram, Chris King and Sun Race, as well as some other brands.
  • Campagnolo cassette remover: The Italian brand uses its own particular tooth system.
  • Suntour cassette remover: This tool is suitable for use with older cassettes with four notches.
  • Sachs cassette remover: This tool can be used with PG cassettes.