I am trying to replace my cassette. I can not use my cassette removal tool as it is blocked by the skewer, so I need to remove it. From what I can see, the skewer is held together by two bolts. I have tried using an adjustable spanner to remove one of these bolts. However, I am finding this impossible because the bolts and the skewer turn together and there is no relative rotation between them.

I think that this problem is similar to the problem described here, and I'm trying out the solution suggested by NFC. I have tried to hold one bolt fast using pliers and using the spanner to turn the other bolt. I have not had success as the pliers slip before I can turn the bolt with the spanner. Is there an alternative solution to my problem?

I have had a lot of trouble finding help because my searches return tutorials on removing a quick release skewer. Apart from the other question I have found a forum post but I did not find it helpful.

This is the first time I have tried to replace a part of my bike. I might have used some terms incorrectly or I might have the wrong idea about the proceedure that I am trying to carry out.

Thanks for any help.

Pictures: Cassette end of the skewer

Tools Back end of the skewer

  • Another option is to modify your lockring tool by removing the big center pin. It will still work on a QR axle. Measure if it will fit over the locknut first though - tolerances look tight.
    – Criggie
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 0:21
  • A simple cheap hollow freewheel tool without the axle pin should be enough. You have some fancy one and hence the problem. Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 8:06
  • The problem in the linked question was that the nut around the axle was too fat for the splined tool to fit around and so the tool wouldn't fit. your problem is that the tool has a long pointy thing in its centre, removing the lockring won't help that. the correct tool should fit around a 17mm lockring no problem
    – Swifty
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 8:48
  • @VladimirF it definitely looks like a cassette lockring in the photos, and the visible Shimano part number confirms. bike.shimano.com/en-SG/product/component/tourney/… IE, it is not a freewheel and a freewheel tool will not fit.
    – Criggie
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 12:32
  • @Crigie, OK, sorry for that, but it does not change that much, the shape of the tool is just a bit different but the point is that one just needs to use the simple cheap (OK, cassette, not freewheel) hollow tool without the pin as Swifty also mentions. I agree with Swift 100% and probably they have chosen better words than me. I now can see that is also in their answer. Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 14:18

3 Answers 3


The wheel you have has a solid axle, not a quick release. If you remove the locknut on the freewheel side, then slide spacer behind the locknut off the axle. You should now be able to get the freewheel tool on.

You may have difficulty getting the locknut off without the locknut on the opposite side turning. If you have a cone wrench, fit that on the cone flats on the non-freewheel side, then loosen the locknut. If a cone wrench is not available, take both axle nuts, thread them on the non-freewheel side, tighten them, and then put a wrench on the axle nut closest to the wheel and then loosen the locknut with another wrench.


You have the wrong tool. Your cassette lockring removal tool has a long pin emerging from its centre, which would fit inside the axle of a QR compatible wheel, to keep the tool centred.

What you have named a skewer is actually the axle and yours is solid, so the axle blocks the tool. The correct and simple way to remove your cassette is to get an inexpensive cassette lockring removal tool which is compatible with your wheel, something like this:

cassette lockring removal tool

Or possibly one with a handle already attached if you don't have adjustable spanner or sockets to suit the size of the tool.

If you start disassembling the wheel axle by removing locknuts, you will have a much larger task which typically requires further tools (cone spanners) and extra skills to accomplish and your tool will still not fit without removing the axle completely. Those skills are worthy to learn, but unnecessary for simply replacing a cassette.


Stop. Right now.

You don’t have a skewer/quick release system, you have a solid threaded axle that is secured to the frame by nuts. A quick release axle has an axial hole through it for the quick release shaft.

What you are trying to remove is the axle itself. This looks like a cup and cone type so if you remove the axle the ball bearings will all fall out.

A cassette or freewheel locknut tool should go over the axle.

  • Ok, I'm now trying P. Barney's suggestion using my axel nuts as it doesn't involve taking the axel off. I didn't know about the ball bearings. I imagine it's difficult putting them back in!
    – kiple
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 19:10
  • 2
    Its not too difficult but having the balls unexpectedly fall all over the floor is something you want to avoid Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 19:29
  • The bearings should not fall as I described it.
    – P. Barney
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 19:34

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