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How To Replace A Chain And Cassette On An EMTB

How To Replace A Chain And Cassette On An EMTB


– The drivetrain on your e-bike takes a hell of a hammerin’, especially of all that
torque from the motor, your legs torque, you’re
gonna be riding more miles. That chain’s gonna be
going around that cassette under a lot of more pressure
than a regular trail bike so today we’re going to be
looking at replacing the chain and the cassette on your e-bike. (energetic music) The signs of wear on your
drivetrain on the e-bike gonna be things like your
gears skippin’ under load. Especially on the smaller cassettes ’cause you haven’t got as much
chain coverage around them. The teeth gettin’ sharper
on the gears you use most. And your chain, actually
feeling that chain, you’re feelin’ how rough and the edges shifting plates get on those means that chain actually needs replacin’. Another way of checkin’ the chain is actually to get a chain checker. These are available at most
bike shops, also online. This is a tool that drops
into each chain play and measures the growth
and stretch on that chain. So if you do find your chain,
or your cassette is worn, you actually need to replace
both those items together. You can not fit a new chain on an old cassette as
they both work together. So if you are findin’ that you
do need to replace that chain you also might want to be lookin’
at that front sprocket too depending on the mileage and the wear on your front chainring, particularly if you’ve run in the boshes, and it’s quite a small chainring, obviously rotates a lot
more than a standard larger chainring like
on this Yamaha motor. So before we do anything,
first thing we do is remove that battery from our bike. When we’re workin’ the motor drivetrain we don’t want that motor switchin’ on or motor fork carrying,
winding our fingers in. Things can get pretty messy. Another thing it does is lighten that bike up when you’ve got
to lift it into the work stand. So cassettes, they come in
lots of different options, lots of different materials,
lots of different sizes. There’s even e-bike specific
ones out on the market too. They generally range from about 50 tooth on the bigger, the biggest cog which is obviously the outer one, to around to nine, to
10 on the smallest cog. Obviously the bigger you go, the easier it is going to be climbin’ the hills and the smaller you go on the smallest cog your higher top speed’s gonna be, so it’s worth notin’ that ratio as well. Generally try and match it to what you are replacin’ on
the e-bike at the time. If you are findin’ you are strugglin’ to get up the hills, maybe worth stickin’ a couple of extra teeth on. Or if your spinnin’ out on the fire aids maybe worth thinkin’ about tryin’ to drop that smallest cog down so you get a higher top speed. So when we’re replacin’ the cassette on your e-bike just be aware
that it’s a high-wear item. If you do scrimp and cut
corners on your cassette, it’s somethin’ you’re going
to be changing regularly. (energetic music) So to remove the cassette
you’re gonna need a few tools. One being your cassette removal tool. Two, a chain whip and three, something to drive your
cassette removal tool. Something with a bit of leverage makes that job a lot easier. Okay so first thing we’re gonna do is insert the cassette removal tool into the spline face,
there’s no master key, it just goes in anywhere. Next thing we’re going to
do is sit the chain whip onto some of those lower
cogs, just make sure it’s nicely locked on there
’cause there’s nothing worse than tryin’ to undo the
cassette and that slippin’ and you skinnin’ your
knuckles on the cassette. So make sure the tool’s in nice and tight. And just oppose the chain whip. You’ll feel it kicking
around on the lock grate. Tension hard, and then screw it. Once that’s loose, you can just spin out the lock ring out the middle. It’s really really small and then work on takin’ the cassette off. Okay, so we’ve removed the
lock ring from the cassette. Next step is to take those
cogs off the freehub body. You might find on the cheaper cassettes that you’re only able to remove the top two or three cogs from there and the whole cassette will then lift off the freehub body. On the more expensive cassettes, they come off one-by-one. So basically we’ve removed
these bottom two cogs. Get your thumb in the middle, shift it up, give it a good pull from the back of the cassette. And slide that cassette
off the freehub body. Just be aware when you’ve removed that cassette from the freehub body, just check there isn’t a little spacer on the back stuck in
the dirt and the grime. You can see it on my freehub body it’s actually still there. This is because this
is a ten-speed cassette on this freehub body which is
designed for 11-speed as well. If you do lose that, or
don’t forget to fit that you will have a wobbling cassette every time and it won’t tighten up it will be just constantly be loose and rattlin’ away when
you’re ridin’ your bike. Sometimes you might find
when you undo that lock ring and take the first two cogs off, the rest of that cassette can actually be stuck on the freehub body. What this means is that basically the cassette is a lot harder steel than this soft alloy freehub body carrier, and it eats into the
spline system on here. So the actual freehub body becomes locked. You need to find a way of either rotating that back on the freehub body or just tappin’ it off
lightly on the old cassette. And it will come off, you’ve just got to be patient
and you can see it movin’. Just be gentle with it ’cause you can damage that freehub body. So once that cassette is out of the way, it’s always worth just givin’ this back of the freehub body, a quick clean. It’s an area you don’t actually get to very often on your bike,
so once it’s out of the way it’s just worth givin’ that
quick wipe over and inspect it. And then just wipe the splines so you know when you’ve put that new
cassette there’s gonna be no dirt, grit, and things in the way. Okay so we’re gonna fit
our fresh, new cassette onto the freehub body. The freehub body actually
has a master spline. I like to keep this at
about 12 o’clock to me when I’m fittin’ a new cassette so I always know that that big fat part of the key is always at 12 o’clock. So I’m lookin’, making
sure that’s at 12 o’clock. Just fittin’ it straight on there. So when you are replacin’ that cassette, just make sure you’re puttin’ on the right cogs in the right order with that master spline at top. So each cog is actually
usually followed by a spacer. So just make sure you’ve got a cog spacer. And then as you get to the smaller cogs there’s actually spacers in those. So don’t be alarmed that
you haven’t fit in spacer. They should all be lining nicely up with the bottom of the freehub body. And then you’ve got your lock ring. Just slightly spin that in just to keep them locked in place. It’s worth just lookin’ at
the cassette from this side. Just makin’ note of each gap. If you can see there’s a
big gap between each one, or small gap, each cog is touchin’, it means that you’ve actually
fit that cassette wrong. But just check each one
is exactly the same. And then all we do is just get the freehub wound up nice and tight. You don’t need the chain
whip to replace it, ’cause it’s actually going the same way as what you drive on the bike. Just get that big torque bar on there. And we’re actually torquin’
it to 40 millimeters on this. (energetic music) So next we’re gonna be lookin’ at removing the chain from the e-bike. If you’ve got a Shimano
chain fitted to your bike, usually if you’re looking around you’ll see the brand of the
chain on the chain links. The Shimano chain you won’t normally have a quick link on it. But most other brands
do have a quick link. Quick link is this little one here. Basically it just snaps together, makes joining your chain a lot easier, especially when you’re out on the trail. These do come undone
with a bit of twistin’ and a bit of cursin’ and a lot of time, making your fingers really ache. However if you’ve got a set of these quick link chain splitter, it makes your life ten times easier. See the chain split, I’m just gonna take that quick link away from the bike. These are usually one-time use only. However, I do tend to keep a couple in my ridin’ pack or just
storin’ them on the bike. You can zip tie them or tape
them to your gear cable, ’cause you know you’re
gonna be in the middle of nowhere with a snapped chain, so those do come in super useful. But they do get lost easy, so stick ’em somewhere nice and safe. The next thing we’re gonna be doin’ is just takin’ that chain
off the front chainring. Obviously notin’ if it’s goin’ through a chain device or any fancy
sort of jockey wheels. Just pullin’ that chain off. And the same with the rear mach. It’s routed through the
jockey wheels as well. Another really good thing to do, is if you’re not too sure about how that chain was routed
through your derailleur or through your frame, just take a picture on your mobile phone before you remove it. If we just lightly pullin’
that out of the derailleur. Okay so we’re gonna stick the
new chain on the bike now. I’ve got it out of the box. What we are gonna do is lay that new chain alongside the old chain
and just making sure that we’re copyin’ the exact same length of the chain that come off
the bike with the new chain. Okay so if you do find that your new chain is actually longer than your old one, you’re gonna need to remove a few links. To do this, you’re gonna
need the chain tool. One of these come in lots
of different shapes, sizes. Basically, put your chain
into the chain tool. Nice and smooth, to make
sure it’s in there good. And wind the handle in,
just removin’ that link. When you are doing this, it
will push out nice and easy. So when you are breakin’ that chain, just ensure that you are
breakin’ it to a blunt end, not to an open end ’cause you’re not gonna be able to put that quick link in there. Okay, we’ve chopped that
chain down to length now. Next step is fittin’ it to the bike. Just be aware that some
chains are directional. Shimano always have the
writing outwards on there on the chain, so just make sure you’re fittin’ that the right way to the bike before you even start. Then just start threadin’ it in. So a good way is just clippin’ that on, windin’ that crank ’round,
pull the chain through nicely. What I’m gonna do is give me a bit of breathing space and slack
at the bottom of the bike, so I’m gonna leave that hanging down. Next thing we’re gonna do is put it through the rear derailleur. Thread it in and over the top of the little tab that’s in the rear mach. A lot of people go underneath that and they end up when
they start peddlin’ it makin’ a hell of a noise. We threaded that through
nicely through the derailleur. Then do is just clip one of
the quick links into there and the opposing one in
this side of the chain too. So they’re both nicely in place. And what I’m gonna do is just clip them nicely, give ’em a little pull. So the quick links fitted,
it’s at the top of the chain. We need just now to snap it back together. A real good way of doin’ that is just holdin’ onto that back brake, and giving your pedals sharp jab and you’ll see it and
feel it click into place. I can see that it’s nicely clicked in. Quick inspection, but make
sure both sides have located. And give it a crank ’round and
it should be nice and smooth. Look at that, lovely. So that’s it, I hope
you’ve enjoyed this video on how to replace your chain
and cassette on your e-bike. Don’t forget to check
out our other videos. Check out Steve’s How To
Change A Bosch Front Chainring. Also, don’t forget, give us a thumbs up and like this video, drop
us any comments below and also to subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already done so.

26 comments on “How To Replace A Chain And Cassette On An EMTB

  1. How often have you found that you need to replace the chain and cassette on your E-Bike? Let us know in the comments below ⚡️

  2. CUBE REACTION HYBRID 500 SLT …Changed the KMC X11 chain at 2000km … next will be after 3500 – had just shifting problems (high to low AND low to high gave problem simultaneously)
    Think cassette will be done this Winter at around 4000 … or before if necessary

    No idea for the bottom bracket nur deraileur pulleys … ANY ADVICE OUT HERE??? Thanks in advance

  3. Contact dermatitis will get you in the end due to the oil from the bike and the strong cleaner you use on your hands. wear disposable gloves Keep up the good work.

  4. Yes you can change a chain and not the cassette. I have been doing it for over 30 years. I change cassettes every second chain change without issue.

  5. You seem to be saying change an entire eMTB drivetrain when one chain wears to the point of slipping etc,rather than checking the chain regularly and changing just the chain when part worn (usually .5% or .75%) to extend the overall life of the drivetrain(which could be very expensive).

  6. Did you change your chainring ? What are you driving at the moment? I would like to change that as well;)

  7. Well I learnt 2 things from that video, I never realised Shimano chains are directional and quick links are one time only use! I often take the chain off to clean it and use the same quick links to refit

  8. I tried to fit the shimano hg 901 with those stupid joining pins which made the link too tight. The KMC x11el with the quick release was the oem on my merida 900e and much easier to install.

  9. I never thought you would have replace both, together.My Chain wear is at .05 . When it gets to .75 I have no plans to replace the Cassette, surely their tougher than that or wear as quickly as Chains?, My Bike is an eight-speed

  10. Come on guys. Are you telling newbies they must change the cassette at the same time as the chain! Never heard such rubbish…. chains are a lot cheaper than good cassettes so keep an eye on them and change as needed.

  11. My Story…
    I have the Shimano Steps 8000 motor 1×11 (XT 11-46). I assumed the chain would be Shimano, bought the HG901(wrong). The OEM chain is KMC x11el with quick link!
    Both are 116 links so I took a link off the 901 so I could use the quick link (wrong). Pins are different so too tight, link wouldnt move. I didnt read instructions (wrong) and thought i needed a shimano quick link sold seperate but it was late, shops closed. I tried fitting the 901 with the removed links using a removed pin, too short, couldnt get large rear cogs (wrong). Found the special long joining pins so refitted the 901 with all 116 links (correct). Special pin once snapped to size was too tight. Had to use breaker tool to push pin back, too loose. This went back and forth. I have Di2 electronic shifters and now they werent indexing properly and chain went into spokes. ARGH, looked so easy on the vid and I have the right tools! It must be the cassette has worn to old chain perhaps, nearly 1000kms. I took the 901 off, measured against KMC oem chain, same length. Put old KMC chain back on..wouldnt index properly..double Argh!!
    I wobbled back wheel, felt a bit loose although I hadnt taken it off to fit chain (s). Tightened back wheel, indexed properly with old KMC chain but old chain was sagging in small cog gears. Took it off, easy with quick link but didnt put it back on small cog so chain flew apart and quick links went flying in the air (wrong and covered in dirty oil) no gloves ( double wrong).
    Switched to small rear cog and fitted 901chain (again) by breaking the special pin and refitting. Its working, indexing and no tight links on bike stand. I have yet to test under load and will take the old chain with me just incase.
    I have now ordered kmc x11el for future as the shimano long connecting pins are a bit tricky and not easy to remove for cleaning.
    Fail to prepare…prepare to fail!

  12. Can u please highlight the differences between changing these items on a conventional bike and ebike? GMBN has conventional process already.

  13. Keep your chain, jockeys, cassettes, and chain wheels clean and they last a lot longer. The "grey matter" that appears is the gravel particles working like rubbing compound. Remove the grey material and the chain will not be polished to deformity… The cassette teeth will get tired and eventually need to be replaced on a mid-drive more often than a hub motor ebike for sure. I own both styles.

  14. Good work and thank you for sharing. I would like to know the proper size of the chain for a Haibike Sduro. Without having the original chain or as you did measuring in the existing one. Thanks

  15. I'm having a hell of a time converting my 2017 haibike sduro 6.0. I went from 32-44 front and 11-36 cassette. To a 34 front single and a 11-42 10 speed. And in 11 the chain is hitting the frame and derailer. Already installed a drop bracket. And have Shimano XT derailer. Adding the drop bracket helps from not hitting the derailer. And cycles through all the gears perfect until the 11T… Any thoughts not much info here.

  16. You can't change a chain without changing the cassette? What rubbish. You should be replacing the chain very regularly to save your cassette…

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