Cleaning your bike cassette is one of the most important bike maintenance that an owner should do. You need to remove the cassette and clean it at least once a month. However, removing the cassette from the freehub can be difficult. Of course, you can clean the cassette by simply pulling a cloth in between the gears but it takes frustratingly long. I also think that cleaning the cassette that way is not effective.
This article will show you how to properly remove a cassette using a bike cassette removal tool. And I will share with you my technique on how to clean a bike cassette properly.
Tools we need for removing the Bike Cassette
Before we start we need to have the following tools. A Chain Whip and a Lockring tool. If you don’t have these tools you can use a Needle Nose Pliers and your Bike Chainset as a substitute. You will also need gloves to protect your hands.
Removing the Bike Cassette
Since most of us don’t have a Chain Whip or Lockring tool I will teach you how to remove the cassette using a Needle Nose Pliers and your Bike Chainset. The first step is to remove the rear wheel from the frame. Once the wheel is removed, you can now start with the process of removing the cassette. Put the wheel on the floor the attach the chain on the cassette while pushing it in a clockwise direction to hold it in place. Unscrew the cassette using the Needle Nose Pliers. Insert it into the cassette mouth and start rotating it in the opposite counterclockwise direction. Once the cassette is loose you can now remove it with your hand.
Cleaning the Bike Cassette
Put the cassette into a small bowl and soak it with a degreaser of your choice. After a few minutes, you can start brushing to remove all the oil and debris. You need to brush thoroughly to remove all the gunk from the cassette. If you don’t have any degreaser you can also use paint thinner or dishwashing liquid with water to clean the cassette. Once you’ve removed all the dirt, use a clean cloth and pat the cassette dry before installing it back.
Note: You need to wear rubber gloves when cleaning the cassette using a paint thinner.
Before reinstalling the cassette back make sure that you clean and apply grease to the freehub. Placing the cassette is as easy as removing it however you need to remember where the spacers are placed. Once the cassette is properly placed, tighten it down with the Needle-nose pliers.