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How to Replace a Freewheel

This guide will cover removing a freewheel and installing a new freewheel.


  • Freewheel remover (for your type of freewheel)
  • Large adjustable wrench
  • Piece of pipe that fits over adjustable wrench (optional)
  • Grease

To remove:

1. Remove the rear wheel from the bike and remove the quick release skewer if there is one.

2. Examine the spline system on the inside of the freewheel. BMX bikes will usually require a simple 2 or 4 prong remover, while a road or mountain bike will most likely use a special spline system. I recommend using a Park Tool brand remover. Find the one that fits your freewheel.

3. Slide the remover into the splines or notches of the freewheel. Reinstall the quick release or the axle nut to hold the remover in place.

4. Use the large adjustable wrench to turn the remover counter-clockwise. You may need to use a piece of pipe for leverage.

5. After turning the remover about one full turn you can remove the quick release or axle nut.

6. Then continue to turn the freewheel until it is unthreaded from the hub. It should slide off easily.


To install:

1. Grease the freewheel’s inside threads and grease the hub where the freewheel mounts.

2. Line the freewheel up with the hub and begin to thread it on. Be careful not to cross-thread it.

3. Thread the freewheel on until it is hand tight.

4. On a mountain or road bike, use a chain whip to fully tighten down the freewheel. On a BMX bike, simply remount the wheel and ride. Your pedaling will tighten the freewheel.

5. On a mountain or road bike, if necessary, adjust the rear derailleur to accommodate the new freewheel.