first question at this site. Hoping to get advice. Like many others, I am trying to learn how to service my bike, but when you get stuck.... I used a strap wrench and a cassette tool and I managed to get the lock ring off the rear wheel setup. I thought everything would just "come off", but the sprocket is jammed tightly onto the hub. I feel like I need to rotate it counter-clockwise to get it off, but then the freewheel just turns. Not sure what to do next, suggestions are welcomed.

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  • 1
    Nathan is right, the sprocket has dug into the freehub body. When you install the new one, make sure to grease the lockring and tighten sufficiently. They usually require ~40Nm of torque, which is quite a lot.
    – Michael
    Nov 19, 2021 at 6:24

3 Answers 3


It's probably stuck because it's digging in to the freehub body splines.

Install just the lockring without any spacers. Use your cassette lockring tool to immobilize the freehub from turning, and use the strap wrench on the cog to lightly get it freed from the indentations. You hopefully don't have to apply so much force that the lockring gets torqued down beyond what can be undone afterward by simply grasping the freehub by hand, but if you do, just move the cog down a bit on to a fresh area and do the same thing in the other direction. (The indenting takes a long time to happen, so there shouldn't be a chicken and egg problem here.)

If you get it off and find the hub is chewed up, the other question is whether anything can be done about that. It's nothing you did wrong, but it's not necessarily a problem you can ignore because Gates cogs have been known to sheer all the way through. I don't believe that Gates makes cogs for Hyperglide that differ in thickness to be more appropriate for aluminum freehub bodies. (The basic problem is that aluminum freehub bodies can be problematic at the best of times and when it's one spot bearing all the load all the time, they sometimes get destroyed.) Some hub makers do produce freehub bodies that have interchangeable form factors in steel versus aluminum. Also a couple of the major OE type hub manufacturers also do aluminum freehubs with steel face inserts that can interchange with their regular aluminum ones, the catch here being that figuring out whether this is applicable and then actually getting the part can veer into advanced topic territory.

Don't compromise chainline doing spacer tricks to get the cog to an un-messed-up spot. Gates will have other problems if chainline isn't dialed.

It could also just be a really tight fit, or a tight fit that's getting stuck on the small burr raised up by indenting into the splines slightly even after being rotated back. If it's just tight you can probably walk it off by wiggling in one spot, then go 180 degrees away and wiggle up, etc. If you have to take down the burr, the preferred tool would be a small, fine safe-side square or flat file, but you could probably do it carefully with sandpaper too.

  • I am sure your response is the answer, I did try with my lock ring tool and a strap wrench, but I wasn't able to get the sprocket off. (which could simply be b/c I wasn't willing to go "Rambo" on it. I will bring the wheel in to the LBS and see what they say, and report back on their solution. Nov 21, 2021 at 15:07
  • Thanks for the help with this, the sprocket is off, and this answer is the method that was used. Nov 21, 2021 at 17:22

The Gates sprocket removal tool is the best way to remove the sprocket.

Designed for quick, easy removal of your rear sprocket Page 75
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Here's a link to a short video on how to use the tool.

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    Good find! Looks expensive. There may be a good-enough solution if OP still has one of their old drive belts, and there's a length with good tooth adhesion still. Strap that to a pole using one or two hose clamps (AKA "jubilee clip") and it should achieve similar results.
    – Criggie
    Nov 19, 2021 at 0:46
  • Thanks, yes, I saw a few videos with that solution. I do have a strap wrench. There is also this from Park Tool which looks helpful. parktool.com/product/belt-drive-sprocket-remover-bdt-1 Nov 19, 2021 at 21:43

Do you own a chain whip? If so you can put an old sprocket from a cassette on the freehub, hold it forwards with the chain whip and gently knock the gates sprocket in the reverse direction with a rubber mallet or similar. it generally doesn't take much force to loosen these off an alloy freehub. If it has bitten in very badly you may wish to employ the gates whip tool in the reverse direction, if funds allow.

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