How to Replace an Electric Bike Cassette

How to Replace an Electric Bike Cassette

Changing the cassette on your ebike is one of the most basic and straightforward maintenance tasks.

Ebike cassettes are a series of gears located on the back wheel of your ebike. It is mounted on a freehub (a ratcheting cylinder connected to the hub), and it is held in place by a detachable lockring. When you pedal on your ebike, the chain latches onto a gear and drags it forward, bringing you one pedal stroke closer to your goal.

What is the point of removing or replacing your cassette? As the cassette becomes very dirty due to usage, it is better to remove it and thoroughly clean it rather than just spray it with a degreaser. However, wear is the most important factor. When the teeth grow pointed like those of a shark and the gears begin to slide, the cassette needs to be replaced.


How often you should replace cassette?

The cassette should be replaced every 4,000 to 6,000 miles according to most ebike technicians. In general, I change my bike every season or every other season depending on how often and how hard I ride it. Ride-tracking software like Strava may help you keep track of how many miles you've ridden.

Modern motorcycles may have a 10-, 11-, or 12-speed cassette, but they may also have only five or seven gears. If you purchase a new cassette, make sure it is compatible with the existing one. For instance, a cassette with 11 speeds should be replaced with another tape with 11 speeds. You cannot change a nine-speed cassette for a six-speed cassette, and so on.

You can however select a cassette with a variable number of gear teeth. The higher the number of teeth on an 11-32 cassette, the easier it will be to climb hills compared to an 11-25 cassette. (Because this can all be quite complex, you may want to ask a local ebike store for assistance if you have any questions.)

While you do not need to change your cassette every time you put on a new chain, it is recommended that you do so every time you do so.

Check the Hub Type on Your Ebike

The following methods assume that you have a freehub for cassettes. The majority of current ebikes feature this type of hub. Identify the type of hub you are using by removing the rear wheel from the ebike and looking near the smallest gear on the cassette. The cassette freehub will have a lockring outside the smallest cog (often referred to as a "lock").


Step 1: Remove the Rear Wheel from the vehicle.

  • Remove the ebike wheel by loosening the quick release or thru-axle and sliding it out.


 Step No. 2: Remove the Old Cassette from the Player

  • Incorporate the lockring removal tool into the lockring removal process. The combination tool from Feedback Sports is what I'm currently using, but you could also use this one with an adjustable wrench.
  • To prevent the cassette from spinning, apply pressure to the chain whip (often an extended, metal component with a handle and strands of chain connected at one end). Chain pliers, such as these, make the job much more straightforward.
  • Loosen the lockring with the removal tool by pulling it to the left.
  • Remove the lockring from the lock 
  • Please pick up the tape from the bottom and raise it straight up. Make careful to keep your grip on the top of the cassette to ensure that everything remains in place. Many cassettes have numerous rings and spacers, so I usually use a loosely fastened zip tie to keep all components together and prevent losing any of them. It also ensures that they remain in the correct sequence.
  • Given that the old cassette seems to have some life left, I'll either keep it as a backup or contribute it to one of our local child riding groups. In any case, please give it a thorough cleaning before putting it away for the winter. They may be downright dirty when it comes to cassettes, and you don't want your parts bin to be coated in goo.


Step 3: Clear the Area Surrounding the Freehub of Trash

  • Using a cloth soaked in citrus degreaser, wipe away any dirt accumulated around the freehub.


Step 4: Insert the New Cassette

  • Look for the raised notches on the freehub and align them with the tape grooves on the cassette player.
  • Slide each cassette component onto the freehub, ensuring that they are precisely aligned with the ridges on the hub.
  • Tighten the lockring all the way.
  • Fitting the lockring to the front of the cassette is the next step. Initially, carefully screw it into place with your hand. Tighten the lockring to keep the cassette in place while you're working.
  • It is necessary to complete this step because the greater leverage provided by the locking tool makes it very simple to strip or cross-thread the locking.


Step 5: Replace the Rear Wheel with a New One

  • Insert and tighten the quick release or thru-axle by sliding the rear wheel back into position. Check to see that the wheel is spinning freely and that there is no brake rub.
  • You've completed your task! Take a spin on your freshly serviced ebike!


Maintenance of a ebike's cassette and chain

Keep your tape player clean at the very least once or twice a year. Make sure not to damage the hub when you clean around it. Since solvents may dissolve grease in the bearings, it is not recommended to wash off or clean the hub with a solvent.

In addition to changing cassettes, it's a good idea to replace the chain that runs through them. If your chains wear down faster than your cassettes, you will probably need to replace a few chains before you need to replace your cassette. Chains and casseroles must be able to coexist without causing problems. For example, if you have a 9-speed cassette, you will need a 9-speed chain.

If your chain is in poor condition, your cassette teeth may wear out faster than usual. A preventative chain replacement is highly recommended if you live near or at a beach, where sand may get into your drivetrain, or if you live in a damp area, where your chain might rust.

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