The Stein Mini Cassette Lockring Remover. This clever little tool takes the place of a conventional cassette removal tool setup, which normally consists of the lockring interfacing tool, a large adjustable wrench to grab the tool, and a chain whip to prevent the freehub body from spinning. The large tools make the job easy and quick in a shop or home setting, but out on the trail this is cumbersome and unnecessary weight.
You may be wondering why anybody would even want to remove their cassette while on tour. The purpose is to allow the replacement of broken spokes in the rear wheel. The rear drive-side spokes are the most likely to break due to the higher tension and torque from the drivetrain. In addition to this tool and spare spokes, Olivia is also bringing a FiberFix kevlar spoke, a handy item I’ve never tried but could have benefitted from in the past on more than one occasion.
Unlike me, the first thing Olivia does is read the directions.
After removing the quick release and rear wheel, the spline interface part of the tool is put on. The wheel is re-inserted into the dropout, and the outer arm is connected via an allen bolt and a few spacers.
Here’s what the tool looks like all put together. You may notice that there is a presta valve nut stuck in there as an extra spacer. Because of Olivia’s extra thick aluminum derailer hanger, the supplied spacers weren’t wide enough.
The cassette tool uses the frame as a lever to break the cassette lockring loose when the pedals are rotated forward.
Success! Olivia took advantage of the comfortable surroundings of her apartment to practice using this tool before she had to do it in the wild. Spokes will invariably break only in when riding through ankle deep mud in the snow in the middle of a swarm of bird-sized mosquitos in the dark.
Lockring removed, off comes the cassette.
No, Olivia is not a tiny person, that is a very large beer.
The Stein Mini Cassette Lockring Removal Tool is a great option for bike touring. It certainly doesn’t replace the full sized shop tools, but when you need it on tour, it will be nice to have. I’d buy one ($45 retail), but I don’t own any bikes with derailers right now.
Are there any other options out there that I haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment!