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How to loosen super tight rear cassette lock ring?

Old 08-13-19, 11:05 AM
  #1  
NoWhammies
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How to loosen super tight rear cassette lock ring?

The lock ring on my Shimano 11speed rear cassette is stuck. And by stuck I mean I can't undo/open the lock ring with the chain whip/cassette tool. That sucker is on there TIGHT!

Anyone have any suggestions on how I can loosen the lock ring?

Thank you.
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Old 08-13-19, 11:17 AM
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Cassette tool held on with QR skewer, LARGE adjustable wrench on cassette tool, apply LARGE mallet to wrench while holding the chain whip steady with your off hand.
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Old 08-13-19, 11:20 AM
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Clamp the lock ring tool on a vise. Set the wheel on top to insert it. Use the wheel as your leverage to unscrew it....the same way you’d do with a freewheel.


Dan
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Old 08-13-19, 11:27 AM
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I use the proper sized socket and a breaker bar if it is too tight.
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Old 08-13-19, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Cassette tool held on with QR skewer, LARGE adjustable wrench on cassette tool, apply LARGE mallet to wrench while holding the chain whip steady with your off hand.
Good tips. I wonder if the through axel (it's not a QR) will hold the cassette tool. And yeah, this might be a good time to invest in a large adjustable wrench. Right now I'm using a set of vice grips.

@_ForceD_ good suggestion. If only I had a vise.
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Old 08-13-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Good tips. I wonder if the through axel (it's not a QR) will hold the cassette tool. And yeah, this might be a good time to invest in a large adjustable wrench. Right now I'm using a set of vice grips.

@_ForceD_ good suggestion. If only I had a vise.
I keep forgetting that thru-axle is a thing now. A threaded rod with washers and nuts would do the job, too.
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Old 08-13-19, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Good tips. I wonder if the through axel (it's not a QR) will hold the cassette tool. And yeah, this might be a good time to invest in a large adjustable wrench. Right now I'm using a set of vice grips.

@_ForceD_ good suggestion. If only I had a vise.
Park makes a version of their cassette tool with a 12mm pin on it that slides an inch or so into the hub and holds pretty securely in my experience, but IMHO not securely enough if you're going to really reef on it or start whacking things with mallets. I would worry about damaging the hub bearings, freehub, or the tool itself or if you hit it cockeyed enough to cam it out (then again I usually worry too much).

If you have a QR skewer available, and it's long enough, I think it would be more secure to use that along with a regular cassette tool (i.e. the kind with a hole in the middle, like the Park FR-5.2) and clamp it in place with the skewer, maybe with a fender washer on the NDS to hold the nut in place. It should be pretty secure if you center everything and snug it down. Never tried it though, so I don't know if a typical 135mm QR is long enough to reach the ends of a 142mm TA hub, plus the added width of the cassette tool and any washers. Maybe some 3/8" all-thread rod with nuts and washers would work better.
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Old 08-13-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Clamp the lock ring tool on a vise. Set the wheel on top to insert it. Use the wheel as your leverage to unscrew it....the same way you’d do with a freewheel.


Dan
Yep
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Old 08-13-19, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Clamp the lock ring tool on a vise. Set the wheel on top to insert it. Use the wheel as your leverage to unscrew it....the same way you’d do with a freewheel.


Dan
W/O a vise, look around for something else immovable that will hold at least two sides of the lock ring tool. Even 2X4s temporarily tacked down to a deck.
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Old 08-13-19, 02:04 PM
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I would hit it with a hammer or mallet only as a last resort.

A proper socket with a breaker bar is what I would use. Pipe on the breaker bar to increase leveage.

Credit where due, the cassette tool with pin recommended by @Metaluna is a great tool.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 08-13-19 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-13-19, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
W/O a vise, look around for something else immovable that will hold at least two sides of the lock ring tool. Even 2X4s temporarily tacked down to a deck.
That's also a good idea. To take that one step further...if you have a wrench for the size of the hex on the lock ring tool...immobilize the wrench to the 2x4 with nails or screws. Put the hex of the tool into the wrench...and then carry-on from there.

Dan
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Old 08-13-19, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Clamp the lock ring tool on a vise. Set the wheel on top to insert it. Use the wheel as your leverage to unscrew it....the same way you’d do with a freewheel.


Dan
Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but wouldn’t the wheel just “coast” or freewheel if you used it as the “lever?”
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Old 08-13-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I keep forgetting that thru-axle is a thing now. A threaded rod with washers and nuts would do the job, too.
I put a bar clamp across the hub and tool to keep the tool in place. Works for BB tools as well.
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Old 08-13-19, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Clamp the lock ring tool on a vise. Set the wheel on top to insert it. Use the wheel as your leverage to unscrew it....the same way you’d do with a freewheel.
Nope, doesn't work. If you clamp the lockring tool in a vise and set the wheel on it, you still can't remove the lockring by turning the wheel rim. The freehub freewheels in that direction. The vise will stabilize the wheel but you need a chainwhip around one of the cogs to unthread the lockring.
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Old 08-13-19, 06:53 PM
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I think the idea was to gain stability and leverage. No reason to not use the chainwhip.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:01 PM
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Well I ended up going to the LBS and having them crack the sucker for me. They had the proper tools and were able to pop it off. I did/do feel somewhat satisfied though in that the first tool/chain whip selected didn't work and he had to reach for something else/another tool.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I think the idea was to gain stability and leverage. No reason to not use the chainwhip.
No, I don't think that's what he was proposing. What he was describing (putting the puller in a vise and using the wheel itself to unscrew the freewheel) does indeed work for a freewheel. It doesn't work to remove a freehub lockring.
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Old 08-13-19, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Well I ended up going to the LBS and having them crack the sucker for me.
That was going to be my suggestion since it appeared you didn't really have the tools available to properly attack the problem.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by frankenmike View Post
Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but wouldn’t the wheel just “coast” or freewheel if you used it as the “lever?”
You are absolutely right. On second thought the cassette/freehub will just spin since the lock ring screws into the cassette. Apologize for the confusion.

Dan
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Old 08-14-19, 04:56 AM
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Here is the through axle version of the lock ring tool.
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Old 08-14-19, 10:40 PM
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Thanks @jadocs. I think I'll have to pick that up the next time I'm at the LBS.

@August West you should have heard the 'pop' noise it made when the mechanic finally loosened it off. There was no way I was going to be able to do that.
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Old 08-15-19, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Clamp the lock ring tool on a vise. Set the wheel on top to insert it. Use the wheel as your leverage to unscrew it....the same way you’d do with a freewheel.Dan
Won’t work - since the cassette spins the same direction as the lock ring unscrews - hence the use of a chin whip to hold the cassette
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Old 08-15-19, 09:17 AM
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They must be assembling some bike parts with an air wrench.
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Old 08-15-19, 09:31 AM
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I had that same problem with a bike I bought. The problem was keeping the whip in place.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Good tips. I wonder if the through axel (it's not a QR) will hold the cassette tool. And yeah, this might be a good time to invest in a large adjustable wrench. Right now I'm using a set of vice grips.

@_ForceD_ good suggestion. If only I had a vise.
Skip the adjustable wrench. Buy a socket that fits the cassette tool. Much easier, and it won't slip off. Use a long ratchet handle, or breaker bar if it is too tight. If you are using vise grips, it is no wonder you are having issues. The right socket, and a ratchet should work.
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