Unior One-Piece Cassette Wrench - Review

Jun 15, 2018
by Paul Aston  
Unior Cassette Tool




Chain whips; those annoying, flappy, dirt-attracting greasy things that you dig out from the bottom of your toolbox every few months for a rare cassette removal. When used correctly they do their job, but can also result in faff and knuckle banging to amateurs.

This one-piece Cassette Wrench from Unior does away with all that, offering a solid solution that even I couldn't mess up. The 35cm long tool is for workshop or toolbox use, fits any 11t or 12 tooth cog on cassette regardless of number of speeds, and costs $43.99.



Cassette Wrench Details
• Fits all 11t and 12t cassette sprockets
• Black/Blue, Red/Black in North America
• Lifetime Warranty
• 340 grams
• Made in Europe
• $43.99
www.unior-bike.com / uniorusa.com



Unior Cassette Tool
Three pins on either side of the cassette wrench lock fast on to a small 11/12t sprocket.

Unior Cassette Tool
Unior Cassette Tool
At 340 grams and 35cm long, the wrench is for workshop or 'big toolbox' applications.

Unior Cassette Tool


Performance

Well, this could possibly be the shortest 'Performance' conclusion to grace the pages of Pinkbike. The wrench is almost too simple - you put it on an 11t or 12t sprocket using the correct side of the wrench, and well, that's it. It connects easily and there is zero chance of slip like there is with a traditional chain whip. If you don't get it, check out Unior's how-to video here. The 35cm long tool has a comfortable, rubberized handle and provides all the leverage and grip you could ever need. At 340 grams, it is definitely a workshop tool (and has a hole for hanging on a tool board), but when was the last time you changed a cassette on the trail?

This wrench connects to 11t or 12t sprockets, but there is also a larger version that fits 13t/14t.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesUnior's Cassette Wrench does away with any chain whip-related faff, and outdoes the modern 'plier-type' tools from other brands. Paul Aston



122 Comments

  • + 54
 Holy f*ck. Brilliant! Thanks Unior! Crombie tools/Park's version is nice, but this is a whole other level.
  • + 2
 Doh-ignore me, this totally doesn't do away with the need for some sort of lockring tool. This plus a Crombie would be amazing tho
  • + 31
 @mnorris122 this is just a copy of an almost 20yo tool from Pedro's.

Don't waste your time and money on that junk from Unior or the expensive crap from Crombie or Park. There is one tool to rule them all: Pedro's Wise Whip. Plus SuperB makes a cheap copy of it Smile .

The Pedro's Wise Whip is worth every penny. And I've been using mine 5 days a week over the last 5 years.
  • + 1
 What about these cassette pliers? Are they ok?
  • - 2
 @Happymtbfr: not anymore, I personally preferred whip over pliers because even though it was trickier to engage, with a long handle it had more leverage. This one from unior is a game changer.
  • + 8
 @WAKIdesigns: Used one of these IRL? They are trash frequently slip off the teeth and result in busted knuckles and lots of curse words. Also useless if you have a e13 cassette.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Lack of leverage with the Wise Whip? Any workshop has a steel tube or two when it's all about leverage. When the XD lockring is almost done, the Wise Whip is your only hope.

@Happymtbfr They are not okay, they are the best tools for the job. Like I said SuperB makes a cheap copy of the Wise Whip from Pedro's. I can't remember how many chain whips I've broken over the years, but the Wise Whip is one of my favorite tool.
  • + 3
 @Happymtbfr imagine vise grips, but designed to engage sprockets. I personally find them annoying to use, you have to get the size right for each sprocket you put it on. I do build bikes for 8 hours a do tho, so I'm more well-practiced with chain whips than most, and I have absolutely no problem with them.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: The CP-1 Cassette Pliers from Park are the best, I use them every day and never slip a cog. Also lots of leverage with a matching Park FRW-1 Handle and FR5 Guide Pin tool. Easy as pie. I don't like the other brands with short handles...
  • - 3
 @MrDiamondDave: looks good but for home use the X-tools chain whip works fine for me. But for a workshop I can imagine how this comes handy.
  • + 1
 @Euskafreez: found it, thanks!
TB-FW50
  • + 0
 Hey I like my pliers thank you very much...
  • + 0
 This is one of those times where I wonder how it took so damn long to come up with something so simple.
  • + 4
 @Euskafreez: I only have a couple Unior tools, but JUNK is NOT a proper adjective for their tools.
  • + 2
 I thought you were supposed to use a screw driver, lockring toll, a shotgun and a whole lot of beer to get a cassette off.
  • + 2
 @ajax-ripper: If you are talking about this tool from Unior I can say that it doesn't slip a bit and I got busted knuckles only with a whip. This tool should go on the e13 casette as it goes on the 13t or 14t ring (says on their page). But I haven't tried any sorts of pliers.
  • + 4
 I just zip tie the cassette to the spokes for removal. works great and only costs like .08 cents.
  • + 2
 @Euskafreez: *Vise Whip...not wise
  • + 1
 @ajax-ripper: Thanks! Was curious about compatibility with e13s
  • + 4
 These actually suck in a shop environment, I've seen them break teeth off of cassettes, and you need two different wrenches to work with all cassette sizes- 11/12 and 13/14 so sometimes you waste time trying to figure out which one to grab.
  • + 1
 @smoochie-wallace: Your right people smell really bad.
  • + 3
 @Euskafreez: 5 days a week? Why?
  • + 2
 @bartb: Shop mechanic!
  • + 1
 @catfish9797: I'd use German porn any day over this piece crap wrench.
  • + 1
 Using Park's SR-2 for last fifteen or even more years, I don't even remember when I started and you know what I tried all of the above from other brands and anyways Park' SR-2 is the best, simple robust and trustworthy. Yes you can bust some chains but there is always waste chains you can get, when working on bikes and if you understand what you're doing it is a tool with infinite lifespan.
  • + 3
 @camcoz69: damnnnnnnn dude adding that one to my ghetto mechanic list. No need to pack chain whip for travel. Hats off to you sir.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't use a whip just a cloth belt .. cinch it around the cassette pull it tight and tie the other end around the rim.

Works Everytime like charm.
  • + 1
 @catfish9797:

Gotcha, forgot that some people do this for a living here
  • + 7
 I was surprised to learn that Park Tool patented the colour blue for tools. I got some plastic tire levers from Schwalbe once. Which were blue, because that's the colour of Schwalbe too. But apparently because a tire lever is essentially a tool, it had to say somewhere that the colour blue is patented by Park Tool. Not sure if Schwalbe actually had to pay Park Tool for supplying those levers. And this may be the very reason Unior has to produce these in red-black for the North American market. Kind silly if you ask me. I'd say you just can't patent a colour unless you put it down to one very unique CMYK number and stick with that. So of course don't go and patent a whole range of CMYK numbers, no matter how much money you've got.

As for the cassette tool. Seems nice though I don't have a clue how it works (because I've no experience with 11/12sp drivetrains). So for someone without a chain whip but with one of these wide range cassettes (or the compatible DH version) it seems like a good choice. But someone who already has a chain whip may need to think real hard. Do need to spend $44 on a new tool or could you save the money and instead for once develop some skill?
  • - 2
 Getting skilled instead of buying stuff, huh... that’s a lot to ask.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: meanwhile I'm out here wrapping an old chain around the cassette and clamping it to a post. Am I doing it right?
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: What does skill have to do with anything? So the shittier the tool you use the more skill you have? Is that why John Hall's toolbox is full of garbage? I know I've said this before, but for a guy that can be so on point about some stuff you sure come up with some mouth diarrhea. People that buy nice tools are showing a commitment to whatever it is they're working on, whether it's a home mechanic or a professional tradesperson. Getting all judgemental about it tells me you can't bring yourself to buy nice shit (even though you'd like too,) so you feel the need to lash out at those who will.
  • + 3
 @Rucker10: A chain whip isn't a shitty tool. Apparently some people are too clumsy to operate it. If anything, it would actually be the tool that causes less wear on your sprocket as it spreads the load better than the tiny pins on the Unior and BTWIN tool do. Of course this wear is negligible too so it doesn't matter too much. But you've come here to explain how a chain whip is a shitty tool. So there, go ahead and tell me.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 15, 2018 at 8:53) (Below Threshold)
 @Rucker10 I’m troll fishing
  • + 2
 @vinay: I think perhaps you missed my point. I actually don’t know the tool in question is better than a chain whip, but the idea that if it were and you’d somehow be making a mistake or showing a lack of skill in purchasing said tool seems absurd to me.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: and catching!
  • + 1
 @taquitos: Run the other end of the chain through the claw in a hammer. Works a charm.
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: I usually do that but with a crowbar. The post is for when things really get wild haha
  • + 1
 With vertical dropouts, there used to be the so called "next best thing". Not sure what the "best thing" would have been, but even this tool seemed like it could cause some serious damage to your dropouts. Basically, it implied that you use the chain of your bike on the cassette and the tool in question was the lockring remover which applied all the torque somewhere in a small area of the dropout.
  • + 1
 I can't believe that the USA allows patents like that. Your patent system is fucked
  • + 1
 @applepie: Probably because it isn't true. It would not be a patent.
  • + 1
 @applepie: Probably what is called a "design patent", which covers ornamental design, not a "utility patent", which is what we normally think of when patents are mentioned. Other countries/regions have similar, but under a different name like "registered design".
  • + 7
 That's the first time I've heard the word "faff" being used outside the UK. Very nice.
  • + 2
 Aston is from ????????
  • + 1
 All those question marks replaced the Union Jack emoji I put up. Aston is from the UK
  • + 1
 @catfish9797: mobile emojis not work PB
  • + 4
 This may be the worst PB review ever. They totally misinterpreted the tool.
It isn't only for "11x/12x" drivetrains. It works on any cassette 11 tooth or 12 tooth cog.
They have a separate tool for 13t/14t and as far as I know, nobody has announced 13x or 14x drivetrains...yet.
  • + 3
 Article fixed now, thanks.
  • + 1
 Shimano makes a 14t cassette for road racing at the junior level. Gear limitations prevent the young'ns from using standard 11/12t cassettes without going to really small chainrings that often are hard to find and don't shift as well as the standard 53t rings.
  • + 7
 Pumped for the cheap knock off that will show up later this year... ICE TOOLZ hurry up! Or Super B will get to it first!!
  • + 4
 pedros.com/products/tools/cassette-and-chain/cog-wrench
This has been around for years. Look familiar?
  • + 3
 This is not a new idea. Pedros has been making literally this exact same tool for 15+ years.
I have owned it since the early 2000s and I expect it to last until they come up with a new-fangled cassette "standard".
pedros.com/products/tools/cassette-and-chain/cog-wrench
  • + 4
 There's a small difference between the Pedro's version and the Unior, and that small difference makes the Unior so much better to use. The Unior has retention tabs on each of the pins to keep the tool from slipping. I haven't looked at the Pedro's in a number of years, but as best as I can remember they didn't have that little feature and as a result the tool would constantly slip off the cassette. It's small and seemingly trivial but it does make a world of difference.
  • + 2
 @sir-crashes-a-lot: True there are not rentention tabs on the pedros tool, but thankfully we all have two hands with opposable thumbs so I have not had a problem removing a cassette with the pedros tool to date.

My only point was that a tool like this is not a "new" idea.
  • + 3
 Might be important to note that just like the Pedro's one, this will not work on Eagle or the upcoming XTR because they have a 10t cog... hmm, a new tool that doesn't work on the two most current drivetrains, no thanks
  • + 1
 Sorry for the late reply, but our tool does work with 10t drivetrains. The pins on the 12t side of the tool are lengthened to reach beyond the 10 and onto the 12, which is the second cog on an Eagle or the new XTR cassettes.
  • + 2
 People have difficulty with a chain whip? More impressively, people have trouble with that vice-grip style cassette-holding tool? If you're having trouble with one of those, you should seriously reconsider working on your own bike. f*cking up one of those is like thinking that if your microwavable burrito goes stale you can put it in the dishwasher and it'll be ok.
  • + 2
 Interesting concept, but I wouldn't wanna use something that only engages 3 teeth on the smallest cogs to remove or torque for fear of bending those teeth on a really stuck cassette. Most of the time that probably won't happen, but with a properly deployed chainwhip there's absolutely no chance of that happening because you pull on so many more teeth. Cool concept, but it needs about twice as many engagement points before I'll use it.
  • + 1
 I use the tool daily and have yet to find a faster way to remove a cassete.
  • + 1
 During NEMBAFest about a week ago we had a bunch of tools there to demo, including one of these cassette wrenches. My friends from SRAM brought a wheel over with an XD cassette they couldn't remove with their tools. It took two of us, this cassette wrench, a 1/2" drive ratchet with our cassette lockring tool, and a 2ft breaker bar to get the cassette off, with zero damage to the cassette.
  • + 3
 Hi Paul, You are incorrect in saying that it only does 11X or 12X, read the blurb on the weblink you put in. It will do all cassettes apart from e13. Cheers
  • + 5
 You'll still need another chain whip to take off the E.13 cassette...
  • + 1
 I've literally owned the same chainwhip since 1995. I paid $6 for it at the Nasbar brick and mortar store that used to exist in Youngstown Ohio. Once chains got to narrow for the old 8sp chain it came with, I filed it down and installed a 10sp chain. It's never once been an issue.

My shop has the vice grips style, Park plier style and some old chainwhips. Nearly every mechanic reaches for the chainwhip, myself included. Unless I'm at the crappy bench and then I use the vice grips. Seems like a solution looking for a problem.
  • + 1
 i'll stick with my pedros vise whip thanks! its twice the price but when my cheap cassette digs into my alloy freehub body the unior tool ain't gonna be much good! also, i personally find this type of chain whip way too fiddly!
  • + 3
 Related question: Has anybody understood why are actually chain whips greased? Is there a specific reason? ...I probably going to degrease mine...
  • + 3
 Most likely because they assembled using regular chains. And regular chains are already greased before assembly too. So if they want to offer a chain whip without grease, they'd need to pick all those parts from a regular chain assembly line (before those parts were greased) and then assemble them themselves. Which would end up being much more expensive than using the very efficient mass production line at the chain plant. I suppose they recon if people don't want a greasy chain whip, they can degrease it themselves.

At least, that's what first came to mind. The other idea is that they're using relatively cheap chains which need grease to make sure they don't rust before they're being sold to the customer.
  • + 3
 it is packaging grease, you will find this on any extreme budget bikes . it is for long term storage without corrosion. and so when the clueless people who buy a bike with that on dont lube their chain for 3 years the chain hasent rusted through. im assuming that the chain whip uses these extreme budget chains
  • + 1
 @BrianRichards: all chains come packed with grease it’s not a quality thing it’s long term storage.
  • + 1
 If you cant figure out how to use a chain whip properly, you are going to have problems with this too... and you will still need a chain whip for all the cassettes that are not 11/12 spd....I will Pass.
  • + 1
 The tool isn't 11/12-speed specific. Each side of the tool is designed for a particular sized cog. 11-tooth or 12-tooth. 10-tooth cassettes work with the 12-tooth side as the pins are lengthened to reach beyond the 10.
  • + 1
 For years I just used an old length of chain wrapped around the cassette and held in the nail puller on a claw hammer, then un-did my lockring with a lockring tool and large crescent wrench. This is better.
  • + 3
 Looks nice. Never once had an issue with a chain whip, so I'm in no hurry to replace mine.
  • + 1
 That's a nice idea, but I think I paid about $15 for my chain whip, and probably overspent considering that you can make one out of literally almost any piece of metal and a used chain.
  • + 0
 doesnt work on super worn cassettes, doesnt help with cheap cassettes get warn into alloy freehubs, doesnt come in large enough sizes for track cogs. this tool is probably fine for home mechanics, but is awful for shop use.
  • + 1
 Wouldn't want it for home use either. At home you do this maybe 4 times a year if you're frisky. You don't need to save 3 seconds or whatever. A regular chain tool is cheaper and will work on every cassette past or future.
  • + 2
 Honest question here: my chain whip is old and probably has a 8 speed chain on it. Can it damage my 11 speed cassette? Should I put a 11 speed chain on it?
  • + 4
 It'll be fine
  • + 0
 As long as it is not a metric chain it will be fine
  • + 2
 Decathlon need to update their one to handle 12 speed...

www.decathlon.co.uk/chain-whip-cassette-remover-id_8309913.html
  • + 2
 Thanks! Now I finally understand what this product is supposed to do. And indeed if they add another hole for 10t and 9t, they allow you to work on those too. Or doesn't 9t work with a lockring?
  • - 1
 Just focus on large breasts and no cassette size will matter.
  • + 2
 Odd it only says above that it's for SRAM 11/12 speed cassettes, their website says "all existing Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo road and mountain bike drivetrains"
  • + 2
 Yes, I made an error here which I have updated. It will actually fit any 11t or 12t sprocket on any cassette.
  • + 0
 @paulaston: does it work with 10t cassettes?
  • + 2
 @levizbrown: assuming your 10t cassette has a 12t cog, i think so.. I was curious of the same thing (eagle cassette)
  • + 3
 @wmelton14: it does.

The tool works on 11T and 12T. The 12 side of the tool has longer pins, as you can see on the image above, therefore you grab the second sprocket on the SRAM 1X cassette, which is 12 actually:

www.facebook.com/pg/uniorbike/photos/?tab=album&album_id=804814249556147
  • + 3
 There's always a wrench for every nut
  • + 1
 Ive been using this. Not sure is if 12 gear cassette rated but it works well for 11s

pedros.com/products/tools/cassette-and-chain/vise-whip
  • + 1
 Anytime someone says "chain whip" , This always comes to mind........"chips, dips, chains, whips...your basic high school orgy type of thing".
  • + 3
 340grams! Not carbon enough for me.
  • + 2
 Cool tool, but how does it deal with different cog size (i.e. 9T, 10T and 11T)?
  • + 5
 I think it doesn't go on the smallest cog but on 13T or 14T.
  • + 0
 these don't work for anything other than 10T/11T ... so that 10-42T XD cassette on that bike won't be removed with this tool
  • + 2
 @shorelocal: Unior's page says that it goes on either 10t or 11t.
  • + 3
 @vid1998: Not sure how that's possible ... the spacing of the pins on the wrench would need to be different

I have the Pedros verison and it doesn't work on 10T
  • + 3
 The tool works on 11T and 12T. The 12 side of the tool has longer pins, as you can see on the image above, therefore you grab the second sprocket on the SRAM 1X cassette, which is 12 actually:

www.facebook.com/pg/uniorbike/photos/?tab=album&album_id=804814249556147
  • + 2
 @uniortools: Cool. Definitely an upgrade from the Pedros version then
  • + 1
 Did any one mention the Decathlon one?
www.decathlon.co.uk/chain-whip-cassette-remover-id_8309913.html
I've jad one for about 2 years and it's only £11.99.
  • + 3
 @paulaston What else do you hide in that garniture in the backgroun?
  • + 1
 I must have missed something. What exactly is difficult about using a chain whip?
  • + 0
 If there was a 10/11 version I might go for that. I cant imagine owning a cassette with a 12 tooth on the bottom at this point in time.
  • + 1
 I had to double check the decimal there... a sub-$50 review on PB! Nice! Big Grin
  • + 0
 I bent the handle of my chain whip once and to get a replacement; I think I might invest in this.
  • + 1
 I have the Pedro's model... from nearly 6 YEARS ago Smile
  • + 1
 I'll stick to holding the cassette with a rag, it works just fine.
  • + 1
 I just use an oil filter wrench that is rubberized. $9!
  • + 1
 Jim Stein did this years ago.
  • + 1
 Decathlon do a simlar tool for £11.99
  • + 2
 Slovenian quality
  • + 2
 sooooo hyper handle?
  • + 1
 Checked it out on youtube to get a better idea, defiantly a fan!
  • + 0
 Wtf....
One year later.. youtu.be/YdaNG5oTwGI
  • - 1
 So no lockring tool needed? Or does this do the job of the whip and the tool?
  • + 5
 You still need the lockring it's instead of the whip. I tried it and it's really brilliant.
  • - 1
 Really good, original idea. I'll probably stick to my old chain clamped in a bench vise.
  • + 1
 complete agreement. I have used an old chain and a pair of vise grips for years.

All of the newer cassette lock rings should be torqued to about 30 Ft. Lbs. ( 40 Nm for Frog Units).

If you can't remove the lock ring with an old chain or a chain whip, maybe you over tightened it???
  • - 2
 Are all people bored here? Go out and bike or read a good book or f... your partner...not discuss a freaking tool!
  • + 4
 There's time in the day for all 3. Until you have children.
  • + 0
 About darn time!

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