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How to Clean a Bike Cassette

how to clean a bike cassette

There is no doubt that the bike cassette is an integral part of its performance and ride quality. This part allows you to change gears during the ride, but the cassette is also prone to mud and dust. Combined with the oil that you constantly put makes the cassette dirty, which can affect the overall ride quality.

So, how to clean a bike cassette? It’s relatively easy and should be done when the dirt or grease accumulates on the cassette. Please see below the step-by-step guide to cleaning the bike cassette properly.

What To Prepare:

  • Degreaser
  • Set of Brushes
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Rags
  • Bike stand or kickstand

Step 1: Putting the Bike in the Proper Position

When learning how to clean a road bike cassette, The initial step is to position the bike so that the cleaning will be easy for you. The best position is to remove the back wheel so you will have full access when cleaning the cassette. You can put the bike on the bike stand to put the bike in a better position.

Step 2: Removing the Back Wheel

removing the back wheel

Once the bike is positioned correctly, you can start removing the wheel. Begin by shifting to the lowest gear and disengaging the lowest brake. This step will start loosening the chain and allow you to remove the wheel quickly.

Please note that there are various ways to remove the bike wheel, depending on the brand. Some bikes will need you to twist on a lever located on the side of the bike’s brake. Then, you can now start turning the release skewer counterclockwise and begin removing the wheel.

Step 3: Start the Preliminary Cleaning

start the preliminary cleaning cassette

Once the wheel is removed, you can now start cleaning the wheel. Start by sitting down with the wheel between your legs spread apart. You can wrap the wheel around your knees while making the cassette face away from you.

Use the rag to start cleaning some parts of the bike that are reachable by the cloth. After that, put some degreaser into the cassette and again wipe the rag thoroughly on the surface to remove all the dirt that clings to the cassette.

By the way, you can put some coverage under the wheel to prevent the dirt from going to the ground. The covering can be a towel, a piece of paper, or a plastic that will be spread out and will catch all the nasty gunks that will fall from the cleaning.

Step 4: Cleaning Between Clogs

After cleaning the easy-to-reach part of the cassette, the next step is to clean parts that are difficult to reach, such as between each clog. You can pull a side of the cloth between the cogs while sliding the length of the cloth to remove the dirt. Repeat the same cleaning process in the other places between the other clogs.

After cleaning all the clogs, you can use the degreaser in the same area while doing the same cleaning process after. Doing this step will remove the remaining dirt that was not removed in the preliminary cleaning, as the degreaser will soften the dirt to allow easy cleaning.

Step 5: Deep Cleaning the Cassette

deep cleaning the cassette

After cleaning in-between cogs, the next step is learning how to deep clean bike cassette. After the previous step, the next thing to do is to take the cleaning to another level using a pipe cleaner. The pipe cleaner will be used to clean the flat portion of the cogs since the rag will not be able to reach these areas. But the pipe cleaner will be perfect for these areas.

You can start by cleaning in between cigs the way the rag was used in the cleaning process. You can hold the cleaning material and slide it between the first and the second cogs. Then, start dragging the pipe cleaner back and forth to remove the dirt.

Repeat the same cleaning process in the other cogs. Then, you can slide the pipe cleaner between the grooves, which is the exterior rim of each cog. Start on the first cog until you finish everything. But in this particular step, you will need to use another pipe cleaner.

Step 6: Cleaning the Chain

After cleaning the cassette, it is highly advised also to include the bike chain when cleaning. The reason? It will keep the cassette from being dirty moving forward. You can spray the bike degreaser and then wipe it with a cloth. If you have the time, you can even tighten each chain link using an Allen wrench. Then, you can relubricate the chain by putting a few drops of oil.

Step 7: Remounting the Wheel

The final step is to reattach the rear wheel back to the bike. You can pull the bike derailleur back while putting the chain on the bike’s smallest bracket. Ensure the rear wheel is aligned before slowly releasing the bike derailleur. Then, tighten the nuts and everything that holds the bike to secure it properly.


Just like the other parts of the bike, the cassette also plays an essential role in the performance of the bike. With this role, it is just right to learn how to clean a bike cassette as part of your skill that will be used regularly in maintaining the bike.

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