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Watch - Is It A Freewheel or Cassette?

Cassettes and freewheels are mechanically different and should not be mixed up. A rear wheel hub accepts either a cassette or a freewheel - one or the other. The terms are not interchangeable.

Confusion often arises because these drivetrain components look alike when installed: 

  • Cogset or cluster of a single or more rear cogs (also called sprockets) of different sizes.
  • Delivers one or multiple gears for cycling
  • Multiple gears use a rear derailleur

Bikemanforu's video guide can help you identify the cogset your bike uses. Follow the tutorial instructions and consider these general guidelines.

 Freewheel - External Theading System

  • Contains an internal ratcheting mechanism
  • Spins onto a compatibly threaded hub (English, French or Italian)
  • British Right-hand thread (1.375x24 Threads Per Inch) is most common
  • Tool-free installation
  • Tightens onto hub by pedaling
  • Requires a specific tool for removal
  • Ratcheting mechanism comes off with freewheel

Cassette - Freehub System

  • Cogs are typically riveted or bolted together
  • Ratcheting mechanism contained in freehub of rear wheel
  • Slides over a splined freehub
  • Secures to freehub with threaded lockring
  • Uses chainwhip and lockring tools for removal

Freewheel and Cassette Removal Tools

Some freewheels and cogs on older bikes require other removal techniques - if the tool is no longer made or the part is a transitional type component manufactured during the evolution of bicycle drivetrains in the quarter of the 20th century. For more how-to videos on bicycle repair, check out BikemanforU's award-winning YouTube channel

never-fear-bikemanforu-is-here.jpgSeal of Aplproval