How to Take a Crank Off a Bike – Just do It in 4 Steps

The Crankset on a bike is one of the most vital components on a bike that makes the bike running. It can convert the rider’s leg motion into rotational motion, and it let the rotation of the rear wheel with the help of a belt or chainset.

It is always good to know how to take a crank off a bike if you are a bike rider. Although, doing it will not be straightforward without some proper tools in your hands. A crankset in a bike can be made of different materials.

Suppose we look at a list of materials used for crankset, including titanium, carbon fiber, aluminum alloy, Chromoly steel, or cheap steel. You can’t take off a crankset easily. Instead, there are pars you have to remove before doing that.

The first thing to remove is the pedals from both sides of the bike, and then you can remove the center bolt of the crankset. Almost every bike has the same crankset nature, but some have extra covers as a style option.

Although, everything under that cover will be the same as any other cranks. Here are steps you can try to remove the crankset from your bike yourself.

Removing Pedals from the Bike

The first thing you have to do before removing the crankset is to detach the pedals. It might be the easiest part of the whole process of removing the crank. Use a 15mm wrench between the crank arm and the pedal. This will loosen up by two or three turns with the wrench.

When the pedals start freely rotating on the crank arm, the only remaining is to do some rotations. On the right side of the bike, keep your hands on the pedal firmly and rotate the crank in a clockwise motion.

Make sure that the pedal is getting loosen from the crank arm. You can feel the movements in your arm itself. Besides, you can completely remove the pedals easily with 20 or 30 rotations.

When it detaches, you can move to the left side of the bike. Here, use the same wrench to loosen up the pedal, and now the pace changes. Unfortunately, the left side of the crank arm is reverse threaded, so you have to rotate the crank arm in an anti-clockwise direction by holding the pedal.

Keep the pedals safely if there is no problem with them to use them with the new crankset. Now, we can move to the process of removing the crank from the bike.

Removing the Crank from the Bike

All you have to do as the next step is to remove the crank from the bike’s frame. There will be a cover around the crank arm and the joints for style and protection matters in some bikes. If it is just a small cap over the crank bolt, you can easily remove it by popping it out with a screwdriver or anything with a pointed head.

However, there will be no covers in many models so that you can see the crank bolt from the beginning. Instead, it will have a hexagonal-looking bolt. In some cases, you will have pinch holes on the sides of the bolt in which you can use an Allen key to loosen up the crank arm from the bolt.

This process will allow you to separate the crank arm from the whole crankset if you only need to change the arms. With some Shimano cranksets, you might have two of those small screws to be removed. Remember that not all crankset has these specs.

Now, insert an Allen key or any loosening tool onto the bolt and rotate it firmly in an anti-clockwise direction to loosen up the bolt. Do the same thing on the other side if there are bolts on both ends of the crankset.

Commonly available crank bolts come in a 4mm to 8mm size, which you can find yourself or from the bike’s user manual. After removing the bolt, you need to remove the crank arm from the set, and it opens the way to slide remove the crankset.

However, there will be tightness in the region where the crankset has to slide out. You can use a crank remover tool to remove the crank arm from the set. Anyone can buy a special tool for this from any bike store or from online.

The crank remover has a threaded coupler that goes into the threads of the arm. When it’s fully engaged into the arm’s hole, you need to keep rotating the remover. Now, it will start slowly, taking away the arms from the crankset along with each rotation.

Remember to look after any washers inside the bolt of the crank arm before inserting a crank remover tool. Then, when one side is completed, move to the next side and repeat the same process.

How to Remove Bike Cranks Without a Puller?

If there is no crank puller in your hand and you need an immediate solution to remove the crankset from the bike. Then you have other options that are to go with whatever tool that you have. Although, other things instead of a crank puller will be a little messy or hard work.

You can proceed with the tool you have alongside a little patience not to damage the system. A flat screwdriver can be used if you have one with you. All you have to do is slide in the pointed end to the small opening between the crankset and the frame and hit gently.

If it is jammed and not happening anything by this process, don’t do it after a few tries. Doing it harder might damage the frame region or the crankset because of the hits. It is the same thing when you use a normally seen scissor-looking tool to hit in the opening.

In this case, you can use a long and big screw that will fit inside the bolt region of the crank arm. Let the bike lay on the screw fitted inside the bolt region. Now, gently hit the center portion of the crankset.

Never hit on the same place harder, again and again. That will ruin the proportion of the whole crankset. So, hit it in a circular motion in different regions of the crank. Slowly, it will start sliding off of the crank and will be free to remove with hands.

Installing a New Crank

Installation of the crankset should begin with surface preparation. For that, apply some lubricant that is usually some grease onto the bolt. This will improve the tightness of the bolt inside the crankset. Besides, some grease on the spindle surface also helps, keeping the crank from corrosion and rust.

Slide the crank arm on one side slowly after making sure about the correct seating position for it. Now, insert the bolt and tighten it with the correct tension. Most manufacturers recommended tension for tightening the crank bolts are from 30 Nm to 45 Nm.

All you have to do is left is to install the opposite arm at 180 degrees of the first installed arm. Now you can install the pedals on the new crankset and start riding.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned points and information will help you take a crank off a bike easily with and without a crank pull tool. Although, you need patience and gentle working arms to pull off the procedures successfully.

Moreover, it is important to finish the work without damaging the bike frame and the spindle portion of the crank and frame.

Now you can install a new crank by yourself without spending much money and time in a shop.

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