If you’re on a long distance cycling trip and you break a spoke (a common occurrence) on the right hand side of your rear wheel then you’re in trouble.
To replace these spokes you need to remove the cassette to get access to the hub. Normally this requires a specialized tool, a very large spanner (about 12″) and a large chain whip – all of which are heavy and unwieldy to carry. However, the Next Best Thing 2 is a small and light tool that enables you to remove the cassette using just the leverage of the bike’s chain.
Assuming you have the correct spokes with you (as any serious long distance cyclist would) then you should be good to go again without having to limp in to the next town/bike shop – something I’ve had to do several times over the years.
This is probably in the category of “tool you very rarely use but are extremely grateful when you do.”
[Note: Instructions on how to use the tool can be found here. --OH]
Instructions for using Next Best Thing Tool (here’s a link with pictures)
• Open the rearbrake.
• Engage first gear, eg engage the largest cog and smallest chainring. put the cranks horizontal.
• Release the QR skewer, and remove the endnut and conical spring.
• Fit the NBT2 in the lockring and put the axle back in the dropouts.
• Replace the skewernut (no need for the spring) and do up the QR tight.
• Ensure that the axle is fully home.
• Grab the cranks with both hands, and unscrew the lockring one turn. If the bike is standing on it’s wheels, it will want to ride forward.
• The face of the lockring is serrated, a load ratcheting sound is normal.
• Remove the wheel from the bike and remove the lockring by hand.
• Take care when replacing the cogset that all cogs are fitted with the wide spline engaging the corresponding groove in the freehubbody. It is very easy to disturb the position of the endcog when tightening the lockring, and this could seriously damage the freehub. With the lockring handtight, the cogs shouldn’t wobble when spinning the freehub.
• To properly tighten the lockring, put the wheel back into the frame. Gently (the wheel is a large lever) rotate the wheel backwards to tighten the lockring. If you start with the lockring handtight, 10′ (45º-60º) is sufficient.
• Remove the NBT2, and replace the QR (the smallest diameter of the conical spring goes against the axle).
• Check the rear brake.