Is there an easy way of working out which way round to apply a chain whip to a cassette for its removal? I've taken plenty of them off in my time but always end up having a couple of tries at it before I put it on the right way round.

  • If you have trouble with a whip, try the pedros vise whip. It's like a pair of vise grips that grabs the cog instead of a chain. I havn't used a standard chain whip since I picked this up.
    – Benzo
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 14:08
  • Sounds like a good product, I'll look into it. It's not a pressing concern, just a minor annoyance!
    – mjsqu
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 14:35

4 Answers 4


Not something I do often enough to worry about, but certainly a 'problem' I also have.... One solutiojn that comes to mind is write "Install" and "Remove" in the side of the handle you can see when installing and removing (My luck would be I would get it wrong way round).

  • How do you use a chain whip for cassette installation? I've never needed anything beyond the lockring tool.
    – jimchristie
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 15:45
  • @jimrings: You are absolutely correct. If one side has "Remove" on it, its natural to put "Install" on the other, you could write "Will not Remove!!!" :)
    – mattnz
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 7:49

The easiest thing may be to just think of it as applying the same exact force that you would be if you were riding the bike...

  • I had to think about it, and draw a diagram, but that's actually a pretty good way of remembering! Cheers.
    – mjsqu
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 2:25
  • ...or, to put it another way, in the direction that the freehub won't allow the cassette to spin... Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 5:54

To quote Park Tool: "Hold cogs in clockwise direction with sprocket chain whip tool. Turn remover counter-clockwise, using a large adjustable wrench, the hex end of another Park Tool sprocket chain whip tool SR-1, or the Park Tool freewheel wrench FRW-1. It will require force to remove the lockring. Expect to hear a loud clicking sound as the locking teeth of the lockring separate."

Though I think actually doing the task enough times would instill it (kinda like how "righty tighty, lefty loosy" gets instilled in your mind eventually, without the little mnemonic).

  • Thanks for your answer, however I was looking for a non-technical 'trick' by which to remember. I've done the task several times, but no instillation of the right method has occurred!
    – mjsqu
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 12:54

I stick the lockring remover in and undo it, see which way the cassette turns, and then put the whip on to stop that rotation.

The other way (for me as a righty) is to use the primary (right hand) on the lockring tool and use the left hand on the chainwhip. You're always facing the cassette from the right side of the bike, so the chainwhip is up from behind.

Or treat it like a USB port... try and if it doesn't work, stop and flip it, try again, and repeat till it works.

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