How To Remove Bike Cassette Without Special Tools- Bike Tips and Tricks

Removing the bike cassette seems hard enough, but removing it without any kind of special tools seems bonkers doesn't it? Today we will be showing you how to remove the cassette without any kind of cassette tool or any other kind of special tool. Read on to find out more!
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Taking care of your bike can be a challenging task but it is well worth all the trouble. The key to amazing bike performance is timely and effective maintenance, now this is something that you would have to do yourself or with the help of a local bike shop. There could be troubles with the bicycle chain or something else, that is where you will have to be very careful.

In this guide, we will be showing you how to remove your bike cassette without the help of any special tools. Trust us, after the guide, you will be able to remove the bike cassette from the comfort of your home or even the side of the road. There are a few things that will be required for this endeavor, extreme strength is obvious, but focus and skill will be necessary. If you lack these qualities then there could be serious repercussions.

Tools Needed?

Although there won’t be any kind of special tools needed for this job, there are still some tools that you will have to use. We made a list of them so you don’t have to look anywhere else.

Mechanic Repairing Bike
Mechanic Repairing Bike


Let’s start with the simplest of tools, some people might think that gloves are completely optional but that is where they are wrong. The first thing to look after is your own health and safety, and the gloves will ensure that. Wearing gloves all the time while you are doing the repairs/maintenance is very necessary. 

There is also a loophole around this, if you are using the pliers, let’s take the needle nose pliers then there won’t be a need to use the gloves. 

Bike Chainset 

It is pretty obvious that you will be needing the bike chainset to remove the cassette, there is no workaround for this. With the bike chain, removing the cassette will be like a walk in the park. 

Needle Nose Pliers 

Your personal toolbox has a lot of tools that are necessary for repairs and maintenance, but you will also be needing needle nose pliers. These pliers have a very long nose, which makes them very effective for cutting objects, you can also hold objects with the pliers.

You just need to have these simple tools to remove the bike cassette. 

Removing Cassette Without Tools

Remove Bike Cassette
Remove Bike Cassette

Start By Putting On Gloves

In order to get started with the whole process of removing the bike cassette, you need to take care of your safety first. Wear gloves before anything else, this will make sure that your hands are protected from dirt and other hazardous materials. 

The gloves are not just for protecting your hand against dirt. The bike cassette and other components are pretty sharp, there are high chances of getting a cut without the protective gear. Another great example of gloves is the use of cycling gloves, these gloves protect and warm your hands when you are out cycling.

Remove The Rear Wheel Carefully

In the next step, we will be removing the rear wheel of the bike carefully. Detach the rear wheel of the bike, it can be done so without any kind of special tools. This is where the bike cassette is located, you are one step closer to your objective. 

Search For The Arrow Mark After Leaning Your Bike Wheel

Now that you have removed the rear wheel, it is time to lean it against the wall or somewhere else. The objective over here is to look for the LOCK icon, this will be located on the cassette lockring. What you are looking for here is the arrow icon, find it and you will be able to detach the bike cassette.

What Does The Arrow Mean?

You need to look for the arrow option which is located on the bike cassette. This indicates the correct way where you have to rotate the cog. In most cases, you will have to rotate it counter-clockwise, this way the cassette just comes off without any kind of effort. Although this could still change, so be ready for that.

Wrap The Bike Chain 

Chain whip is a special kind of tool that you can use to remove the bike cassette although in this guide we will be showing an alternate method. You can use your bike chain to remove the cassette, this way you won’t be needing any kind of special tool. Bike chain has a lot of advantages, and we are just scratching the surface with them.

In one of the previous steps, you removed your bike chain, now you will have to wrap this chain on the bike cassette. As the chain lies on the ground, put one foot on it, and make sure that it does not slip off. Now you will need to wrap that bike chain on the sprocket, if done correctly, the wheel will turn up against your foot that is holding the chain down.

This makes sure that the bike cassette does not make any kind of unnecessary motion. All of these steps are going to ensure that the bike cassette comes off easily without problems.

Use Pliers To Remove The Cassette

In the next step, we will be using the pliers to remove the cassette but it has to be done in a specific manner. The bike cassette needs to be at a stable place where it does not make any kind of motion, from there you will be inserting the needle nose pliers into the grooves of the bike cassette.

Caution Advised: You will be needing a lot of strength for the last part, you can either use an extra pair of hands or you can just do it yourself. When you know that you have the strength to go on, turn the pliers.

Keep on turning the pliers until there is a clicking sound, that is when the lock ring will detach itself. You can either use the help of a friend or have extra pliers with you. This will make the detachment a lot easier. When you hear a blaring noise, that is when the cassette has loosened. Just have patience, and you will get through this.

Check out the video guide:

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After going through this guide you will now have a clear idea of how to remove the bike cassette without any kind of special tools. You just need a pair of needle-nose pliers, warm gloves, and the bike chain, this will be enough to remove the bike cassette.

Removing the cassette without any kind of special tools is a necessary skill, there will come a time when you don’t have the correct tools with you. Just make sure to follow the directions that are mentioned, otherwise, you could end up destroying your bike instead of fixing it.

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Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry

Rhodes is a writer, social justice advocate, and passionate cyclist. He primarily spends his time in the saddle commuting or riding multi-day, self-supported tours, and volunteers time wrenching at his local bike coop.


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