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I have been trying to get a lock ring off of an old wheel. I have the correct cassette removal tool and (homemade) chain whip. I've gone so far as to use a vise but to no avail. I'm attempting to turn it counter clockwise. One thing that really confuses me is that I've seen bike mechanics and videos online where they put it on the vise and turn it counterclockwise but in my reality it spins.

Any thoughts? I've always worked with freewheels so I very well may be attempting to do something that applies to them and not cassettes.

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  • Use the chain whip on the biggest sprocket for extra leverage.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 7:32

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One thing that really confuses me is that I've seen bike mechanics and videos online where they put it on the vise and turn it counterclockwise but in my reality it spins.

I assume that you're using the chain whip. Which direction are you turning it? If you're removing a lock ring in a vice you'll hold the removal tool with the vice and use the chain whip to turn the cassette counter-clockwise. If the lock ring is really stuck (which it shouldn't be since the lock ring isn't tightened by pedaling like a freewheel) you could use a piece of pipe on the handle of the chain whip as a "cheater" to get extra leverage.

Pink Bike has a nicely illustrated article on how to remove cassettes, and this article from Park Tool also explains how to remove cassette lock rings and all manner of other rear-wheel gears.

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  • Thanks for directing me to Pink Bike! Great info of all sorts. I ended up taking the darn thing to my LBS. The mechanic was able to get the thing off by using tons of leverage and upper body strength. Assured me that it wasn't anything that I was doing wrong. Just on super tight.
    – Fujigirl
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 1:22
  • You're more than welcome. A lock ring doesn't need to be super tight… I meant to mention it, but then forgot as I was writing that you could add a "cheater pipe" to the chain whip to get more leverage. With the lock ring tool in the vise it wouldn't be too hard to manage the chain whip and cheater.
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 3:43
  • The lock rings should be thight with ~40Nm. Otherwise they tend to come loose and/or damage the freewheel body. Of course you can and should install them with grease.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 7:32
  • Otherwise the cassette can damage the freewheel body, is what I wanted to say.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 10:55
  • This wheel is old (10 or more years?) and has obviously had no service. I think that's why it was so tight - years of gunk. My primary reason for bothering with it is because although I've repacked/restored plenty of the old style freewheels, I have wanted to have my hand at the cassette type. So, again, thanks!
    – Fujigirl
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 10:11

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