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3 simple methods on how to remove a stuck freewheel cassette

In this article I’m going to explain how to remove a stuck freewheel cassette from a rear wheel bicycle hub. In this case I’d already removed the sprockets from the freewheel body, so technically we’re only going to remove that part. Since I decided I would downgrade the Koga Miyata Adventure to its original 6-speed and buy a new freewheel, this one had to go.

YouTube Tutorial

Freewheel remover tool

freewheel remover

Since I didn’t have one I had to buy a freewheel remover. Unlike today’s cassettes which are tightened with the help of a lockring onto the splined body, freewheels contain both the body and the sprockets and are screwed onto the rear hub. To unscrew them you insert a freewheel remover into the body of the cassette and turn it counterclockwise. ]

FR 1 3 001
Park Tool Freewheel Remover FR-1.3

I bought the Park Tool Freewheel Remover FR-1.3, but different freewheels might necessitate different methods of removing them. The freewheel has a body with 12 splines which correlate with the inside of the freewheel.

There are 2 reasons why freewheels are much more difficult to remove than your standard freehub cassette.

  • First, they are screwed on, and riding your bike only screws them tighter.
  • Second, freewheels are made of steel thus have a tendency to corrode and seize on the rear hub.

How to remove a stuck freewheel using an adjustable wrench.

adjustable wrench

There are several methods when you try to remove a stuck freewheel and fortunately, I only had the use the most obvious one, which is applying force with an adjustable wrench.

removing stuck freewheel

It didn’t go willingly so it needed a little more convincing. By moving the rear wheel upright and sitting over it, you’re in a better position to apply the necessary force to get it to loosen.

How to remove a stuck freewheel using a cheater bar

A cheater bar is a piece of pipe to extend the leverage of the adjustable wrench. More leverage means you can exert more force, it’s that simple.

How to remove a stuck freewheel using a vice

Another method to exert more force on the freewheel is by using the entire wheel as a lever. To do so you’ll need to place the freewheel remover into a vice. You have both hands free to rotate the wheel while the tool stays in place because it’s being gripped by the vice.

And that’s how you remove a stuck freewheel! If you like this article give it a thumbs up. If you have any questions or suggestions for new articles, let me know in the comments below. Cheers.

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