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I am having trouble removing the axle/skewer from the below MF-ZO15 shimano freewheel.

It is threaded and secured with bolts rather than quick release and the only way I can see to remove it is using a freewheel remover tool. I have a 20mm shimano one that a lot of other threads suggest is the right one but it doesn't fit over the bolt you can see in the photo below that appears to be attached to the axle/skewer itself.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • If the tool you have is the right spline pattern you may be able to make it work by removing the right side locknut and maybe some spacers under it. Tighten the left cone and locknut hard against each other, then put a cone wrench on the left cone and use any wrench on the right locknut, and try to wrench English the nut free. Commented May 10, 2017 at 22:29
  • I'm confused. There appears to be some sort of a cap over the end of the axle, and lock nut on the axle has not been removed. What does the axle look like from the other side? Commented May 11, 2017 at 0:31
  • It looks like you're just seeing the axle from straight vertically. So basically, take a freewheel remover (Park Tool FR-1), put it on, snug the nut on. Then, turn the remover counterclockwise one turn with a large crescent wrench or whatever. Then, remove the nut and use the remover to turn counterclockwise until the freewheel is out. If it's really stuck, you can use a vise to grip onto the remover and turn the whole wheel. Or, worst case, go the destructive route.
    – Batman
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 6:10

2 Answers 2


The 'bolt' you can see in the picture (nice clear picture by the way, thanks,) is the outer locknut of the axle. If your tool won't go over it, you'll have to take it off. This is fairly simple: one spanner over the nut on this end and another over the nut at the other and unscrew. Either the nut comes off this end (together with spacers), in which case you got it easy, or the nut comes off the other end and you have to pull the axle through the hub. No biggie, just don't lose the bearings, keep everything clean and don't disturb the spacing at the other end - it will make sure the alignment's right when you put it back together again (with some fresh grease).

  • Welcome to SE Bikes! And good description! Commented May 11, 2017 at 21:19

Depending on the brand and model of the tool, you may have one that is simply too short. For instance, the cassette lockring tool for Shimano by Park Tool, the FR-5.2, has the same splines as the freewheel remover, but much shorter. Best bet right now would be to get a Park FR-1.3, which is the current model, which is significantly deeper set than Park's old model.

Either way, you shouldn't need to remove the axle to remove the freewheel, but you probably need to remove the freewheel first if your aim is to remove the axle. Once you remove the freewheel, you need a 15mm box or open ended wrench and a 13mm cone wrench to unlock the locknut, and the rest should just thread off.

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