What is a Bike Crank?
For you to fully understand this article, allow me first to describe to you what a bike crank is. The bike crank is considered one of the vital parts of a bike. This is the part that is responsible for converting your leg power into a circular motion, which allows the bike to move forward.
The bike crank is also known as the crankset or chainset, and it is connected to the chain of the rear wheel of the bike. It is located at the center of the bike and does most of the bike motions.
To initiate the bike wheels to roll, you should start pedaling and keep the cranks turning. When the crankset starts to move in a clockwise direction, the bike begins to pick up its momentum and begins rolling.
Each type of bike comes in different crank lengths, just like saddles and handlebars. And this only means one thing – that choosing an appropriate crank length is like finding a gem in a dessert.
Parts of a Bike Crank
Bike Crank Arm
Bike crank arm is simply referred to as the cranks. They are installed on both sides with the axle serving as the connector, which is positioned within the bracket’s bottom.
Cranks come in various types of materials, which includes carbon fiber, steel, and aluminum. The most common type of cranks that is evident in standard and older types of bikes is made of steel.
As for the aluminum cranks, they are commonly used on low to middle-ranged mountain bike and road bike cranksets. And lastly, the carbon fiber cranks are generally installed on high-end cranksets of bikes that are meant for racing.
Chainrings are basically the big sprockets or ring that you can find at the bottom of the bike frame. They are responsible for facilitating the bike chain to mobilize the rear wheel, with the chain hugging, dragging, and spinning them.
The material usually used in chainrings is aluminum that’s lightweight. However, for middle-ranged cranksets, the middle and the small rings are made of cheaper steel.
Chainrings are also created with teeth, which come in various sizes. The number of teeth dictates the speed of a bike. The more the teeth of a ring are, the more speed it has.
All bikes have two rings. One is found side by side the rear wheel, while the other is just beneath the seat post. The front ring is bigger than that at the back.
When to Replace Your Bike Crank?
Every part of a bike is not spared from wear and tear and sooner or later, they will each have a time of reckoning. Since this article is particularly centered on cranks, let me help you find out when it’s already time to replace your bike crank.
The chainrings usually have a longer lifespan than the bike chain and the cassette. Based on experience, I have only replaced my chainrings after the second time that I replaced my cassette and bike chain, wherein these two parts have to be changed all together.
Generally, a bike crankset is replaced just after a bike has covered more than 5,000 miles. A bike chain checker is usually used to check the extent of wear and tear.
However, the decision to replace your crankset depends on the bike mechanic. Every mechanic typically has different criteria when it comes to bike crank replacement.
Removing Bike Cranks Without Puller: Is it Possible?
So, if you are due to replace your bike crank, you can always let a bike mechanic do the job for you, or, if you are confident enough to know what you’ll be doing, you have all the freedom to do it on your own.
One of the questions that I usually get is, “Is it possible to remove a bike crank without the help of a crank puller”? Well, it is possible, but expect to be confronted with a very difficult task.
Removing bike cranks without a special tool is not only exhausting, but it can also lead to damaged bicycle crank. You’ll find several hacks or ideas over the internet that you can try, but they don’t always guarantee a successful outcome – this is actually very risky.
Are crank pullers really needed in removing bike cranks?
Again, it is alright to remove your bike cranks without a crank puller tool. However, it is very challenging and there’s a big possibility that your bike will incur a number of damages.
And yes, a crank puller tool is required in removing bike cranks. If you’re aiming to remove your bike cranks effortlessly, then you should find it essential to buy a crank puller. Or, if you don’t want to shed a few dollars, then you can just borrow from a neighbor or a friend.
Are crank pullers universal?
When removing a bicycle crank, you have to make sure that the tip of the bike crank puller is compatible with the bottom bracket that is installed on your bicycle. Keep in mind that the newer square taper crank models are universal, which means that any standard crank puller is suitable for the job.
Most threads of bike cranks have a size of 22 x 1. Long-standing cranksets make use of numerous sizes, but they are mostly found on vintage bicycles.
Steps on How to Remove a Bike Crank
Things Needed for Removing Bike Crank:
- For an M8 crank bolt, get a CCP-22 or a CWP-7
- For an M14 and an M12 crank bolt, get a CCP-44 or a CWP-7
- Spindle driver
- Wipes or damp cloth
- Allen wrench
How to remove crank without a Crank Puller steps
- Remove the crank bolt. Twist the bolt of the end of the spindle following a counter-clockwise motion.
- Do a bit of pedaling. Once the bolt is finally removed, pedal for a minute or so, but make sure to hit the pedals gently.
WARNING: If you still decide on removing bike cranks without a crank puller, I can’t do anything about it anymore. Warnings have been shot left and right. Therefore, go ahead and take the risk.
How to remove Crank with a Crank Puller steps
- Remove the crank bolt. Twist the bolt following a counter-clockwise motion. Doing so allows the bolt and crankset to loosen.
- Remove the dust caps under the bolt. Using an allen wrench, force the threads out or gently thread the bolt. This depends on the type of crank arms that you have on your bicycle.
- By using a spanner tool or a bolt, start removing and loosening the washers.
- Remove the crank bolt and the crank arm. Make use of a CCP-22 or a CWP-7 if you have an M8 crank bolt. But if what you have is an M12 or M14 bolts, use either a CCP-44 or also a CWP-7. Use this in turning the threaded coupler of the crank puller. Continue doing so until the bolt can already be buried out of it .
- Insert the spindle driver into the slit and twist it following a counter-clockwise motion until the cranks become tight.
- Once tightened, begin twisting the spindle driver in a clockwise motion, making sure that the bike crank arms are fully disengaged.
- Now, unscrew the crank arms from the bike crank until it gets entirely removed.
Best Bike Crank Pullers
1. Park Tool Bike Crank Puller CCP-22
If you do not want to pose any damage to your bike while removing your bike cranks, you should get hold of a Park Tool bike crank puller. This can help you remove your cranks in a matter of minutes.
Park tool is intended for bike crank arms that have M8 crank bolts and nuts. No need to worry about cranks that have been overly tightened because this crank tool brand can handle it efficiently.
It has long and comfortable handles, it has sturdy tips, and it is meant to last long, which is why it’s considered as one of the most sought-after bike crank puller tools.
This crank puller is compatible with the BNI and SRAM PowerSpline cranksets.
- Fits all cranks using 22mm x 1 threads and square, tapered bottom bracket spindles
- Also fits “Power Spline” cranks from SRAM using the 8mm thread bolt
- Strong rotating tip system ensures smooth operation and long life
- NOTE: For cranks using the ISIS Drive or Octalink system, use the CCP-44 or the CWP-7
2. 3-in-1 Multi-Bike Cassette Removal Tool
Just by using this 3-in-1 Multi-Bike Cassette removal tool, you will already be able to remove your crank as well as your crankset. Since this is a multi-purpose tool, you will save money because there’s no need for you to buy separate tools.
The tools in the multi-bike cassette removal tool comprise the cassette removal tool, the chain whip, and the auxiliary wrench. Using only this, you’ll get to accomplish three tasks simultaneously. This will not only help you save money, but also time and effort.
Chain Whip Bike Tool, Cassette Removal Tool With Chain Whip And Auxiliary Wrench Bicycle Sprocket Removal Tools Sprocket Remover, Chain Whip Tool For All Replacement Hubs Or Adjustments All In One Set：3 In 1 Combination Tool, Multiple Ways, One Tool Can Replace Three Independent Tools, Save Your Toolbox Space, Carry More Convenient, Save Money.
Bicycle Cassette Removal Chain Whip Chain Tool, Cassette / Rotor Lockring Tool With Pin, Freewheels Remover Fits For Any Brand 12 Teeth Splined Type Freewheels Cassette Lockrings.
Designed To Be Used In Conjunction With The Cassette Lock Ring Tool To Remove Cassettes From Hubs. Sprocket Remover Can Also Be Used To Tighten On Screw-on Freewheels. Caters For 7, 8, 9 And 10 Speed Cassettes.
Bike Crank Extractor and Bottom Bracket Remover with 16mm Spanner Wrench, Not Fit Octalink Crankset, Do Not Use It Forcibly, Otherwise It Will Damage The Bicycle And Repair Tools, The Crank Extractor Is Used To Remove Square Type Crank Arms, High compact extractor puller and smooth revolving bolt ensures smooth operation and long life.
MatyKit BRAND HIGH-END AFTER-SALES SERVICE, This Product Is Produced For The Customers Experience The Most Convenient Bicycle Indoor And Outdoor Tire Repair, If You Have A Better Experience And Suggestions Or Problems, Please Tell Us, We 100% Agree With All Your Views And Fulfill Commitments.
3. Riditop Bike Crank Extractor Puller
Planning on replacing your crankset? If you are, then you might want to get yourself a Riditop bike crank extractor puller.
This 6-in-1 puller tool is designed for bikes that are equipped with a 3-piece crank system, which usually are long-lasting. It has a tough rotating tip that offers smooth and satisfactory procedure.
This multi-functional tool includes a bike crank puller, a bottom bracket remover, a crank extractor, a 16-mm spanner, and an auxiliary wrench.
It is compatible with Bosch BNI electric bikes, ISIS drive, Shimano Octalink, and with the SRAM PowerSpline.
6 IN 1 Crank Removal Tool: bike crank removal tool kit including bottom bracket remover, crank puller / extractor, 16mm spanner and auxiliary Wrench.
Bike crank extractor/puller fit for any 20 teeth splined type bottom bracket and standard square tapered crank sets, Made from hard steel metal, To ensure your bicycle BB teeth safe without damaged.
The Bottom Bracket Remover can be used with either a 24mm socket, wrench or an adjustable spanner.
Small Portable, Easy to carry, resist corrosion, Convenient to use. Fit for any brand type bottom bracket, durable and long lasting.
Customer satisfaction is our number-one priority. If you are not satisfied our face cover with any reason, please contact us.
You should already know by now whether it is possible to remove a bike crank without a puller or not. Well, the answer is yes, but there’s a downside to it.
Even if removing bike cranks is feasible without the use of a crank puller, just imagine what damage it may bring to your bike. Isn’t it cheaper to spend several dollars for a crank puller than to risk the condition of your bike? Well, think about it.
Just a friendly advice, get yourself a sturdy bike crank puller, and I bet you’ll eventually realize how this tool will be so beneficial for you and for your bike.