Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take part in the October Giveaway for the Haven Bicycle Co. beach cruiser

How to remove rear wheel and replace freewheel cassette?
OK, so something recently happened with my sisters bicycle during a ride. I don't know what she was doing, but now the freewheel/cassette just spins independently from the wheel; you can also jiggle the cassette around just using your hand. I suspect a broken freewheel/tooth.

I just have a few simple questions.
1. How should I go about removing the rear wheel? It doesn't have a quick-release. Every single tutorial I've found online only shows bikes that have a quick-release.
2. Is this something I can replace myself without a bunch of specialized tools? I'm pretty mechanically inclined.
3. How do I know which freewheel replacement to buy? There are so many different kinds.

Thanks so much, I could really use your assistance.

Also, the bike is basically your run of the mill multi-speed Schwinn bike. (Or at least I think it's a Schwinn, not 100% sure on that.)
Ye no quick release huh. The two nuts on either side of the axle loosen(counterclockwise) and the wheel is removed. A basic wrench will do it. Like an adjustable crescent wrench or a solid one.

As per the gear cluster its either a freewheel or cassette not both. If you can post photo it would help ID it. As a hail Mary pass you can try flushing it with a cleaner and if it starts working lubricate it with some oil. Whatever you got on hand .

OR replace it not expensive. For this special tools will be needed.

Ye in this digital age soon no one will know what clockwise means. :-)))
Never Give Up!!!

Now that I've done more research on it, I am getting the feeling that it actually more likely the freehub body that is totaled, not the freewheel. I looked up a few guides, and it looks rather involved. I'll try to get a picture then.

Even better than a picture, here's a short video.
<embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf" flashvars="file=http%3A%2F%2Fvid283.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fkk303%2FSWITCHFOOTRZ%2FP1000​934.mp4">

I'll have to see how much our local bike shop would charge for a repair. I hope it's not too pricey. How much do most shops charge for this type of repair? More than $50?
It is not a cassette.

Does this bike have a Shimano Front Freewheel System (FFS) ? Please provide pictures (not video) of the whole bike from several angles, with close ups of the cranks from the right side.

IF it has the FFS; then things are more difficult.
You claim to be "Mechanically Inclined", yet cant manage to remove the wheel because it doesnt have a quick release? Oh boy...better head to the bike shop, I wouldn't recommend you take anything apart on that bike. Or, maybe its time to buy a new bike. Itll cost like 1-2 hundred more for a new bike than to fix that old one. Decide what its worth.
I don't appreciate your comments. I can easily take it apart, but I sought advice from other more experienced people to re-affirm that I was going about it the correct way. I would rather do my research beforehand to make sure that there are no unforeseen problems, so that I can be prepared what I'm in for. I'd hate to get it off, apart, find the broken part, and find out I don't have the correct tools needed.

In the end, it was the freehub body that needed to be replaced. And I didn't have the tools needed to replace that anyway.

@The previous replies, thank you for your advice!
Take a look here. He even shows a shop made tool to remove those common freewheels, good if this is a one time repair.


Much can be done with little..........you don't always need a big bag of expensive tools!!

Possibly Related Threads...

Forum Jump:

10 Latest Posts
[Sponsored] Souke Sports Cycling Apparel...
Today 04:19 AM
What was your first bicycle?
Yesterday 03:42 PM
WD40 on chain?
Yesterday 07:29 AM
VINTAGE DERAILLEURS: Campagnolo 50s-80s
Yesterday 02:37 AM
What's your No.1 concern when you purcha...
10-17-2021 09:18 PM
Chain skips under heavy load when pedall...
10-17-2021 06:18 PM
Gears changing by themselves
10-17-2021 06:05 PM
Bike evaluation
10-16-2021 02:06 AM
V Brakes just won’t adjust properly
10-16-2021 12:19 AM
Is this frame dent a concern?
10-13-2021 04:50 PM

Join BikeRide on Strava
Feel free to join if you are on Strava: www.strava.com/clubs/bikeridecom

Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Souke Sports
27 posts
no avatar 2. Criminal
11 posts
no avatar 3. ReapThaWhirlwind
10 posts
no avatar 4. Zviedrs
9 posts
no avatar 5. JoJoJo
9 posts