How to Remove Rear Bicycle Sprockets

By Frank Whittemore

The gear assembly on the rear wheel of a multispeed bicycle consists of a set of stacked gears called sprockets. Each sprocket is sized to provide a different gear ratio when riding. During regular use or as a result of damage, a sprocket might occasionally need replacing. Whether your bike uses a freewheel-type set of sprockets or the newer cassette-type sprockets, removing an individual sprocket from the set is a simple task with the proper tools and usually takes just a few minutes. Each type of sprocket set requires specific tools to remove it from the hub of the bike.

Freewheel Sprockets

Remove the axle bolts or the quick-release mechanism on the rear wheel of your bicycle. Remove the rear wheel from the bike.

Insert the notched freewheel remover tool over the axle and into the inner slots in the face of the freewheel set.

Stand the wheel on edge and hold it steady. Place the adjustable wrench onto the flats of the freewheel remover tool. Turn the freewheel remover tool counter-clockwise using the wrench to release the freewheel set.

Remove the wrench and the freewheel remover tool. Spin the freewheel set counter-clockwise to remove it from the wheel hub.

Cassette Cluster Sprockets

Remove the axle bolts or the quick-release mechanism on the rear wheel. Remove the rear wheel from the bicycle.

Place the chain of the chain whip one clockwise turn around the largest sprocket on the sprocket cassette.

Insert the long center pin in the spline lock ring tool into the center of the lock ring. Align the notches in the tool with the those in the lock ring.

Place the adjustable wrench on the flats on lock ring tool. Hold the chain whip handle. Turn the lock ring tool with the wrench counter-clockwise to release the lock ring.

Unscrew and remove the lock ring. Pull the sprocket cassette from the wheel hub.

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