Changing the cassette on your ebike is one of the most basic and straightforward maintenance procedures.
For those who are new to riding, a ebike cassette is a series of gears located on the back wheel of your ebike. It is mounted on a freehub (the ratcheting cylinder connected to the hub), and it is held in place by a detachable lockring. Every pedal stroke you make on your ebike causes the chain to latch onto one of the gears, dragging it forward and bringing you one pedal stroke closer to your goal.
So, what would be the point of removing or replacing your cassette? When the cassette becomes very filthy due to usage, it is preferable to remove it and thoroughly clean it rather than just spraying a degreaser on it. The most crucial factor, though, is worn. Replace a cassette when the individual teeth grow pointed, like those of a shark, and the gears begin to slide since this indicates that the cassette needs to be replaced.
How often you should replace cassette?
According to most ebike technicians, you should replace the cassette every 4,000 to 6,000 miles. Depending on how frequently and how hard I've been riding that specific bike, I usually change mine every season or every other season, depending on how much I've been using it. If you're riding a ebike, ride-tracking software like Strava may help you keep track of how many miles you've covered.
Most modern motorcycles may feature a 10-, 11-, or even 12-speed cassette, but they may also have as little as five or seven gears in the transmission. When purchasing a new cassette, please make sure that it is compatible with the existing one. A cassette with 11 speeds should be replaced with another tape with 11 speeds. It is not possible to swap out a nine-speed cassette for a six-speed cassette, and so on.
However, you can select a cassette with a variable number of gear teeth. The higher the number of teeth on an 11-32 cassette, the simpler it will be to climb hills than if you were riding an 11-25 cassette. (Because this may all be quite complicated, ask for assistance from your local ebike store if you have any questions.)
It is unnecessary to change your cassette every time you put on a new chain, but it is recommended that you do so every time you put on a new cassette or chain.
Check the Hub Type on Your Ebike
The following methods for removing your cassette are predicated on assuming that you have a freehub for cassettes. You may find this kind of hub on the majority of current ebikes. Remove your rear wheel from the ebike and look near the smallest gear on the cassette to determine the sort of hub you are using. In the case of a cassette freehub, you will see a lockring outside the smallest cog (which will often be labelled with the term "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
At the very least, thoroughly clean your tape player once or twice a year. When cleaning in and around the hub, use caution. It is not recommended to wash off or clean the hub with a solvent since this may cause grease in the bearings to disintegrate.
When changing cassettes, it's also a good idea to replace the chain that runs through them. If your chains are worn down quicker than your cassettes, you will probably require a few chain replacements before you need to replace your cassette. Cassettes and chains must be able to work together without causing problems. Consider the following example: if you have a 9-speed cassette, you will want a 9-speed chain.
Poor chain condition might cause your cassette teeth to wear out more quickly than usual. A preventative replacement of your chain is recommended for anybody who lives at or near a beach, where sand may get into your drivetrain, or who lives in a damp area, where your chain might get rusted.