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Old 03-17-12, 09:15 AM   #1
Tourist in MSN
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Chain Whip for Travel

On this forum, there occasionally are comments on the merits of carrying a chain whip for removing the cassette on tour. Yesterday I fabricated a new chain whip idea that is a lot lighter (mine weighs 42 grams) and portable than the commercial whips. You still need the tool and wrench to unthread the cassette lock ring, so it is not the perfect solution.

25IMGP2113.jpg

You want to use a cord that is not very stretchy, nylon stretches more than some of the other synthetics like polyester. Some shops tighten the lock ring on pretty tight, I tighten it only a bit more than enough to make sure that it stays on. It however is best to know if this will work on your bike at home (lock ring loose enough) before you really need it.

Yeah there are some specialized tools that allow you to unthread the cassette lock ring without a chain whip, but I have never actually seen one. I am sure others will post the names of those as a followup.
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Old 03-17-12, 09:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Yeah there are some specialized tools that allow you to unthread the cassette lock ring without a chain whip, but I have never actually seen one. I am sure others will post the names of those as a followup.
There's the Stein mini cassette tool or the Unior. Both are available from Harris Cylcery.
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Old 03-17-12, 10:33 AM   #3
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or the NBT2 tool.
The original and best cassette remover, the Pamir Hypercracker is no longer made.
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Old 03-17-12, 10:33 AM   #4
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Good thinking.

I've seen something similar, except the author just used a peice of rope wrapped around the cassette. The teeth of the cogs dug unto the rope and it held.
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Old 03-17-12, 11:45 AM   #5
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Seems like I saw once where someone just used the chain on their bike and a cassette tool. Seems like an awkward way to go, but for the rare situation where you need to remove the cassette on the road (having a hard time imagining when that would be), it might be more efficient not to carry a chain whip.
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Old 03-17-12, 12:44 PM   #6
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i would just make sure i had an easily removable masterlink on my chain. finding a stick is easy.
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Old 03-17-12, 04:46 PM   #7
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A piece of nylon strap, similar to that used on panniers, works well, too. It doesn't stretch much and using buckles on it to wrap it around the rim at one end and the cassette at the other can make the job easier. There's also no need to carry around a bit of chain.

The comments about not reefing down the lock nut on the cassette also are wise.
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Old 03-17-12, 05:04 PM   #8
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A piece of nylon strap, similar to that used on panniers, works well, too. It doesn't stretch much and using buckles on it to wrap it around the rim at one end and the cassette at the other can make the job easier. There's also no need to carry around a bit of chain.

The comments about not reefing down the lock nut on the cassette also are wise.
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Old 03-17-12, 05:10 PM   #9
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A piece of nylon strap, similar to that used on panniers, works well, too.
And if you're really in a pinch, you can spread needle-nose pliers to make a spanner that fits the lockring pretty well. I broke a spoke in the boonies once (rear drive side of course) and managed to get the cassette off with a borrowed dog leash and the pliers.
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Old 03-17-12, 05:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
There's the Stein mini cassette tool or the Unior. Both are available from Harris Cylcery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
or the NBT2 tool.
The original and best cassette remover, the Pamir Hypercracker is no longer made.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerstg View Post
Good thinking.

I've seen something similar, except the author just used a peice of rope wrapped around the cassette. The teeth of the cogs dug unto the rope and it held.
Just so you guys know, some (most?) of these tools don't work well all the time, and can (or will) damage your frame, even when you use them properly.

I have a Pamir Hypercracker. It does not fit a lot of late model frames well, due to the now wide variety in dropout design, chainstay diameter and minor-but-critical inconsistencies in geometry from one frame to the next. The tool fits '80s dropouts and tubing pretty good. Even if you get it to work, it will more than likely damage the CS finish, and possibly dent the tube.

The NBT2 tool can ruin the dropout slot, causing it to spread or crack at the top - could practically ruin the average steel frame, since the repair cost could exceed replacement cost. On an Al frame it would just ruin the replaceable hanger, which would sideline you on tour for days while a replacement is ordered. The Stein tool could similarly bend/break the derailleur hanger or rack/fender boss, depending on orientation.

The rope/webbing chainwhip substitute can work, but only if the cassette retaining ring is not torqued down too much - which also applies highly to your chance of success in using any of the aforementioned mini tools. If you're lucky and the cassette retaining ring is not too tight, then these tools will work without problem.

I think you can go forego this whole repair ordeal if you simply carry a Fiberfix kevlar spoke repair kit. Lighter in weight than any tools, smaller in size, quicker to use, and cheap. Fiberfix will keep you going until you find a LBS for a proper damage-free spoke repair.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fiberfix.htm

I'd never heard of the Unior tool, and when I googled I found this excellent link about

Light Cassette Removal Tools.
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Old 03-17-12, 05:58 PM   #11
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It might not work with every cassette, but I carry a few longer zip ties. I can thread a zip tie through the holes in the cassette and around some spokes. I have used it, and it does work in the place of a chain whip.
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Old 03-17-12, 07:23 PM   #12
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Good concept, but don't bother carrying an extra chain, you already have one on your drive-train. Actually I carry two FiberFix spokes for an emergency fix.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:23 PM   #13
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Has anyone tried drilling a hole through the type of removal that requires a wrench, then place a long bolt or rod through the hole? That could avoid the requirement of a wrench.
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Old 03-17-12, 10:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Just so you guys know, some (most?) of these tools don't work well all the time, and can (or will) damage your frame, even when you use them properly.

I have a Pamir Hypercracker. It does not fit a lot of late model frames well, due to the now wide variety in dropout design, chainstay diameter and minor-but-critical inconsistencies in geometry from one frame to the next. The tool fits '80s dropouts and tubing pretty good. Even if you get it to work, it will more than likely damage the CS finish, and possibly dent the tube.
In the best of all worlds, you'd just build the wheel with Phil Wood hubs and just take the cassette and freehub body off without having to worry about removing the lock ring. (There are other hubs that are constructed similarly.)

However, if you want to be cheap in the short run, the lock ring removal tools work...mostly...in a pinch. If you can save a few bucks on a hub and risk ruining a frame, it's worth it, right?
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Old 03-18-12, 03:31 AM   #15
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The NBT2 is far from ideal but they do warn you in the instructions. It wont remove a workshop-tightened lockring; I tighten to about 7 clicks but no more.
On my horizontal dropouts there is no clear piece of metal for the tool to lean against, it can slip along the dropouts rather than rotate and it can bend a skewer.
I used it more than I thought I would after a de-chaining incident damaged some spokes that were too thin for touring.

Can the hypercracker be designed for modern bikes.
Would a longer arm reduce stress on the frame?
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Old 03-18-12, 01:03 PM   #16
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Along Michael's idea,... just make sure the lock ring is only modestly tightened.

then the piece of flat bar , the short chainwhip is made around, can be aluminum
say 1" wide 1/8" .125" thick, easily stowed in the pannier..

newer splined lock ring tools are not going to fit a wheel in the frame.

the older cassettes were externally threaded, and the small cog threaded ,
securing all the others.
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Old 03-18-12, 07:49 PM   #17
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Good concept, but don't bother carrying an extra chain, you already have one on your drive-train. Actually I carry two FiberFix spokes for an emergency fix.
I carry FiberFix spokes but do wonder how far I could go on those.

Andrew
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Old 03-19-12, 02:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
...if you want to be cheap in the short run, the lock ring removal tools work...mostly...in a pinch. If you can save a few bucks on a hub and risk ruining a frame, it's worth it, right?
Yep, you're right. The mini tools will work provided the retaining ring is not too tight, with some chance of damage.

The ring can work loose over time if you don't make it a little tight. I've used thread locker to keep the ring fixed without added torque. You can use a small amount of Krazy glue if you don't have any blue Loctite.

All things considered, I still think the Fiberfix kit is the lowest cost, least-hassle solution.
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Old 03-19-12, 02:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
On this forum, there occasionally are comments on the merits of carrying a chain whip for removing the cassette on tour. Yesterday I fabricated a new chain whip idea that is a lot lighter (mine weighs 42 grams) and portable than the commercial whips. You still need the tool and wrench to unthread the cassette lock ring, so it is not the perfect solution...
I might try this one day, next time I'm removing a cassette, thanks for the idea.

BTW, another guy had a similar idea (mini tool to eliminate necessity of carrying chainwhips) at least twenty years ago, for the removal of freewheels. The chain engages small cog, the hook engages dropout.

The Pamir Engineering Cassette-*******:

[IMG]http://www.bikepro.com/products/freewheels/fw_jpg/b1_cass_*******_side.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://www.bikepro.com/products/freewheels/fw_jpg/b1b_cass_*******_top.jpg[/IMG]

http://www.bikepro.com/products/free...cas_tools.html
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Old 03-19-12, 03:12 PM   #20
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Remember now the chain whip just holds the cassette by one of the cogs.
its the lock ring tool that removes the lock ring,
and you need to turn that with a wrench.

the above used the chainstay to unscrew the top cog from the cassette,
that is pre Lockring hubs. 7 speed.era.

so the OP's Jury Rig is not far off, the parachute cord, rigging,
might be substituted with some brake cable,
and then sort out how you will make a loop to go around the tire
that doen't become a pain to use in the field.

throwing in a few zip ties in the repair kit, + the lock ring tool
and an adjustable spanner, is an simpler proposition...

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-19-12 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 03-19-12, 03:39 PM   #21
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Yes, I know, I did state "for the removal of freewheels", as opposed to cassette mounted to freehub.
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Old 03-19-12, 04:13 PM   #22
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2 ideas going here, maybe about 3 different things..
#1.. terminology ... Cassettes are not freewheels,
a cassette does not have a freewheel pawl set in it,
it is a sub-assembly of just the cogs.
Pawls, they are within the free-hub body ,it's part of the hub,
there is a set of axle bearings in there, too on the right end..

that pamir thing is a throwback to when,
as I said there were no lockrings on the hub, back then ..
the 13t cog was threaded and tightened onto the freehub body outside edge.
by the drive chain..
the pamir widget held onto that cog while the chain was on one of the bigger cogs
that splined onto the freehub body, and then you backpedaled.

[must have been a bit of strain, on the rear derailleur,
backpedaling against the resistance of that tight cog ],

Shimano obsoleted themselves on that, long ago.

NB: thread is inside the freehub body edge for those lockrings, now.

As to Freewheels..
I just brought a freewheel tool for my freewheel, and borrowed a big wrench,
to unscrew it,
no chain whip is needed for freewheels ,

[other than say in the shop, to remove cogs from the freewheel body,
but that is not needed on the road.]

Being a belt and braces guy, my freewheel hub on the camper-tour bike
is 48 spoke..as is the rim..
so 1 broken spoke only had me touch up the spoke tension balance a few minutes.
(47 left)
to run straight , then rode on for a couple days, till I got the wrench use
and then put the spare spoke in. re trued the wheel and onward I went..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-19-12 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 03-19-12, 09:39 PM   #23
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These are home made, light, and have never failed me on countless roadside repairs.
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Old 03-20-12, 01:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
On this forum, there occasionally are comments on the merits of carrying a chain whip for removing the cassette on tour. .....
Some shops tighten the lock ring on pretty tight, I tighten it only a bit more than enough to make sure that it stays on. It however is best to know if this will work on your bike at home (lock ring loose enough) before you really need it.
..........

So when Miche, Shimano and SRAM all clearly mark those cassette tightening rings 'Lock 40Nm' , which is the same torque required for pedals, bottom brackets and retaining rings for centerlock brakes and the highest recommended torque rating for any bicycle component, why exactly do you figure fingertight is good enough? Just curious - do you do that to your pedals too?

Last edited by Burton; 03-20-12 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 03-20-12, 07:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
So when Miche, Shimano and SRAM all clearly mark those cassette tightening rings 'Lock 40Nm' , which is the same torque required for pedals, bottom brackets and retaining rings for centerlock brakes and the highest recommended torque rating for any bicycle component, why exactly do you figure fingertight is good enough? Just curious - do you do that to your pedals too?
With regards to my pedals. I definitely don't go anywhere near 40Nm. I want to be able to get them undone without too much effort. As it is I remove and retighten mine every service and find I can do this with an Allen key. SO far I haven't had a pedal fall off.

Andrew
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