To make sure that you don’t get stuck in a place with no way out, you need to know basic maintenance tasks for your bike. One such task is to remove the bike’s cassette.
As a cyclist, you should know that the best way to do this is by using a chain whip. But what can you do if you don’t have your chain whip with you? In such a situation, there are several options for you to try.
DIY chain whip
First, you can apply your own DIY skills to solve the problem by making your own chain whip from an old chain. You can even try anchoring an old piece of chain to something. Before you proceed, you should first ask yourself if it’s worth the trouble. For one, you must have a lock ring too. But when you’re in a pinch and all you have it an old chain, this will do.
Use a piece of wood
If you have (or find) a piece of wood, you can also use this to remove your bike’s cassette. Here are the steps:
- Brace your bike’s wheel between your legs, then place a thick piece of wood on the left side of your bike’s cassette.
- Hit the piece of wood hard with a rock. This releases your bike’s cassette.
- Again, you will need a lock ring and a wrench.
- Using both the wrench and the lock ring, you can remove the cassette even if you don’t have a chain whip on-hand.
- Then you can thread in a new spoke or replace the cassette.
Of course, this is another quick-fix solution to your problem. But the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction you get when you succeed in doing the task will be well worth the effort.
Try using a spanner
If you have a spanner and a lock ring, then you can also use it to remove your bike’s cassette. Here are the steps:
- Remove the wheel from the frame along with the quick-release skewer.
- Fit the lock ring and put the skewer back. You can use the skewer to hold the lock ring tool in place.
- Lay your bike on the ground with the drive-side facing up.
- Move the lower crank arm to point it away from the seat.
- Push your right foot against it.
- Push the wheel with the cassette side facing up into the corner that your right leg created along with the bracket at the bottom and the chain in front of the derailleur.
- Apply the spanner and twist. This causes the chain to go tight and drive the pedals in a clockwise direction – right into your foot which is strategically placed.
Apart from this task, a spanner can also come in handy to remove pedals, as a lever or hammer, and more.
Other methods that might work too
When it comes to removing a bike cassette without using a chain whip, there are other methods you can use in case the ones above won’t work. Knowing how to apply “first aid” to your bike when it gets “sick” is something all cyclists should learn to avoid any inconveniences. Here are more options for you:
- Use an old length of chain combined with vice grips.
- Take hold of the cassette using a rag then insert a cassette tool with a lever arm like a large wrench. Hit the lever arm using a hammer in the direction where your bike’s cassette turns. However, this alternative method might cause pain as doing this is hard on the hands.
- Using channel locks allows you to get a sturdy grip on your bike’s cassette. But it’s not that recommended if you intend to reuse the cassette. Having a set of channel locks can get you back on the road until you get home or use the right tool.
All of these suggested methods can work but it’s still recommended to get a chain whip to avoid having to struggle. After all, a chain whip isn’t that expensive as an investment like other maintenance tools.
It’s also worth your while because you will use it often. While it’s true that there are several options to remove a bike cassette, you will soon discover that the struggle you go through isn’t worth the few bucks you save. There is one reason why men invent things – to get the job done correctly.
See more mountain biking tips from Bendigo Mountain Bike Club