I'm trying to replace a cassette. I got a chainwhip tool set + two lockring tools. I assumed it would be compatible as it's a 'common' 8 speed cassette from sram.

However after trying this yesterday, the lockring seems a tiny bit too small (though all the grooves seem to line up. But it won't budge with the nut going through the lockring. I even tried to gently hammer it in, but that just left a 'hexagonal' marking on the lockring...

Potentially I need to remove the nut? However there is very little contact area (a few mm) that could occur between a spanner and the nut, unless perhaps it'll come off with very little force (I could give this a try tomorrow).

I did find this thread that seems to mention a similar problem: Is this an unsuitable cassette lockring tool?

However it's not clear in that question on how to determine one from the other?

My main question here is:

  1. What lockring tool do I need?
  2. Do I need to remove the nut?

Actually, this is starting to make sense. In the question I linked, it seems likely that they had a freewheel, and their lockring tool was too BIG. In my case I have the opposite problem, but it seems I have an actual cassette rather than a freewheel. In which case my lockring tool seems to be for a freewheel rather than a cassette..

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  • Does your tool have a code or anything on it ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 23:16
  • 1
    Can you say more about the lockring tools you got? I think that SRAM cassettes that fit on a Hyperglide freehub use the Shimano lockring tool. You don't normally need to remove the nut to take off the cassette.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 23:18
  • The lockring tool has no code, it seems to be a fairly generic set off ebay. The other one in the set is a lot larger - so that one can be excluded. Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 23:30
  • 2
    Your tool is most likely a rip-off fake, since it's from ebay, looks like the thing but isn't.... You need either a SRAM or a Shimano tool, which are identical.
    – Carel
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 8:13
  • @Carel Cheap Asian freewheel and cassette tools work just fine for me. Calling it rip-off or fake is out of place unless the design is patented or the seller claims that it comes from a brand it does not. And that is normally not the case. Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 13:16

2 Answers 2


You're right - you shouldn't need to remove the nut to change the cassette. That would throw the bearings off and would make a small job into a large job.

However this might be a matter of tolerances with the nut being slightly too big, or it may be that your tool is not a cassette lockring and is for a freewheel instead.

I have a couple of different cassette lockring tools and sometimes one fits when another one doesn't.

  • 1
    Just tried the new lockring that arrived and it fit's perfectly, so yes definitely seems like the first was a 'freewheel' lockring. Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 11:20

The tool you have looks to be for freewheels. Here’s a photo of a known good cassette tool (Park Tool FR-5.2): enter image description here

See how the splines are way deeper than your tool’s?

The other large tool you have is likely a bottom bracket tool and is not for cassettes at all.

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