I'm trying to just add some grease to an old MF-Z012.

some pages online says i can remove it just by spining the first gear agains the last one.(e.g. http://www.cyclebanter.com/showthread.php?s=e4a1c90962d5cdf765e2fd15d37c96cd&t=75231 )

i can easily fabricate some chain whips with an old chain and vise-grip and try it... but the question is: is this true? or will i just waste time?

the freewheel does have a connector for a TL-FW30... but I do not have said tool and am more concerned about time to get one than price.

So, did anyone ever removed/installed a MF-Z012 by just spinning the smallest sprocket?


The answer is in the question - freewheel, not freehub or cassette. You will be needing the tool and a vice (or huge adjustable spanner).

Remember to put the skewer or wheel nuts loosely on to hold the removal tool in place whilst you give it the initial heave-ho. Thereafter take the skewer/nut off.

If you don't want to do it/fork out for the tool then ask your friendly local bike shop - it is a given that they will have the tool. Go with your big adjustable spanner and borrow the tool for five minutes (remembering to buy something) if they insist on charging you £10 for the job.

  • Yep, if it's a "freewheel" then you need the tool (plus a vice or large wrench). For a (more modern) "freehub" you can use two chain whips. Take it to a bike shop if you can't find the tool. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 28 '11 at 21:52
  • only thing I can say: should have gone to the bike shop sooner :) – gcb Jul 27 '11 at 8:58

It is not possible to remove using only a chain whip. You will need the proper tool. If you can't get the proper tool, you can remove it by crushing it in a vise until it no longer spins, and then using a chain whip. But it will not be useful after that.

Are you trying to grease the hub bearings, or the freewheel? If the hub, you don't need to remove it. Just the axle, which you want to do from the side of the wheel which has no gears. If the freehub, most of these are designed as sealed units. It is unlikely that you will have the tools (and the skill, no offense meant) to disassemble it, grease it, and put it back together functional, if you don't have the freewheel removal tool to fit it. You might look for a shop with a freewheel buddy. they don't require it to be removed at all, in most cases.

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    Paid $2 on the LBS to remove it :) took it home, opened, cleaned, greased the bearings, closed. it didn't spin at all. worse than with no grease... so opened again, cleaned again, put almost no grease (just enough to hold the bearings for assembly) and then a lot of chain oil. now it's spinning like new! – gcb Jul 27 '11 at 8:57
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    Yeah , the grease will need to be very thin. Slick Honey works well. The chain Lube will not last long enough to be useful, but kudos for finding a solution. :) – zenbike Jul 27 '11 at 9:00
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    Thanks for the slick honey suggestion. will try to remember it if the hub get's too lazy to spin again! – gcb Jul 27 '11 at 9:04
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    No problem. The chain lube will very likely only last a few days or less if you ride often, or it's an evaporative lube. Watch it close. – zenbike Jul 27 '11 at 9:11
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    i ended up using a very thin coating of grease, almost transparent. and thick engine oil 30w50 in abundance. wipe out excess and close. I was hopping it would be all clunk and noise by some months. Still going smooth! the Slick Honey can't be found in any LBS around here, and online it's too expensive! – gcb May 20 '12 at 7:18

Shimano doesn't have a manual for that freewheel, but their Special Tool Techdoc clearly identifies the TL-FW30 as the "Multiple Freewheel Removal Tool for MF-7400 / 6208 / Z012 / Z015 /1600 / HG20 / HG22", as you've noted. The Park FR-1 is the same tool.


I use the special splined nut with a spanner or adjustable wrench along with a chain whip homemade from an inverted dead bike - engage the chain with a sprocket, hold the 'old-bike' chain in place with your foot and turn the special splined nut anticlockwise...

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