How to Remove Bike Crank without Puller

The real fun of cycling comes when you have a smooth buttery ride. However, a worn-out bike crank can take away all the pleasure in riding a bike. Trust me, with a defective crank, all you'll have is an unpleasant riding experience. So before that happens, as it inevitably will, learning how to remove bicycle cranks is essential.

In this article, we'll show you how to remove a bike crank without a puller so that you can either clean, repair or even replace it on the fly.

These steps will help anyone who needs a quick crank repair but does not have a crank puller lying around in their garage. They will work regardless of the type of bike you need to remove the cranks on. Plus, you won't have to spend extra cash by going to your local bike mechanic.

How to remove a bike crank without puller?

Remove a bicycle crank without a puller

Removing bicycle cranks without a puller is a reasonably straightforward process. It requires little or no mechanical skills and won't take very long to do. However, it should only be done as a last resort in an emergency where you don't know a professional that could help, as you may end up damaging the bike. So if you are in such a situation where there's no other option, then by following these 9 simple steps, you can quickly remove a bike crank without a puller in no time.

Wear Hand Protection

The most basic rule before you start working on any mechanical parts is to protect your hands. And the best way to do that is by putting on some gloves.

This step is not necessarily taken just to protect your hands from the crank but also to protect you from injury caused by moving parts like the chain. When you leave your hands exposed, they are susceptible to injuries. So taking this preventive measure should be the first and foremost step before you move on to the others.

One easy way to protect your hand if you don't have gloves nearby is to use an object to move the chain to the outer gear. Alternatively, you could use the gear shifter to switch to that gear.

Taking out the Crank Bolt

This step allows you to release the crankset from your bicycle. All you have to do is turn the nut or bolt of the crank in a counter-clockwise direction. Doing so will loosen the bolt, and you'll be able to remove the crankset. Once you get the crankset out, you can take it apart to get to the crank by following a few more steps.

However, you must perform this action with proper care. There is a high chance that the chain of your bike might slip off and hit your hand. It is best not to rush this step and instead do it as slow and carefully as you can. If your bike has dust caps over the crank bolt, you will need to remove them first. You can use your fingers or a card to pry it out; otherwise, you risk damaging them with some tools.

Separate the washer from the crank

For this step to remove crank arm without a crank puller, you will be separating the washer from the cranks. The washers are located under the nuts of the cranks, and you can easily remove it with the help of a spanner tool.

If you don't know what a washer is, it is a small disc usually made of metal and has a hole in the center. This washer's main function is to spread the load of the threads of a nut and stops it from loosening. It also helps in directing the movement of the wheel in one direction.

Now check the crank bolt.

Crank bolt and nuts can come in different sizes. It is crucial to inspect the crank bolt so that you can choose the right tool to remove it.

If your bike's crank has an M8 crank bolt, you will want to use something that has a small tip. A CPW-7 or a CCP-22 would be perfect for the job.

But for a larger crank bolt like an M12 or M14, you will need a CCP-44 or something similar which has a bigger tip.

Turn the threaded coupler.

Once you've picked up the right tool, the next thing you have to do is gently turn the threaded coupler. Keep turning it until the hex tool and the bolt recesses. However, don't let it cross the thread as it may damage the surface.

If you want to do this effectively, you can use a screwdriver or a spanner.

Threading the puller's spindle driver

After completely turning the threaded coupler, thread the puller's spindle driver right into the arms. You need to be extra careful while doing this as you'll be utilizing more of your arm's strength.

All you have to do is slide in the spindle driver into the provided slot. Then, turn it in an anti-clockwise motion. You can check the tension or tautness of the crank. And tighten it if it's still loose.

Turning the spindle in a clockwise motion

Start turning the spindle driver in a clockwise motion once you have completely tightened it. This way, you can disengage the crank arms completely. However, be slow and steady with this process.

Unthreading the crank arm puller tool

Now, simply unthread the crank puller tool away from the crank once the crank set is removed. If you're not careful with this step, you might end up injuring yourself. So, make sure to take proper care.

Repeat the same process to remove bike crank without A Puller on the opposite crank

After you've finally figured out how to remove the crank from one side of the bike, you can easily perform the same on the other side. Just be sure to follow the steps with the same precaution and focus. You do not want to injure yourself nor damage the bike.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the use of a crank puller?

A crank puller is a type of tool that is specifically designed to take out the crank from a bike. You can use this tool to remove any type of crank, including the splined type and the square type.

What is the best length for a bike's crank?

The best length of a bike's crank depends on the nature of the bike and what discipline you want to use it for. If you want to use the bicycle for going downhill, you would want to get a shorter crank. But if you want to use it for going long distances, a long crank would be best since they are more efficient.

What is the main difference between a 172.5 and a 175 crank?

The main difference between a 175 and a 172.56 crank is their length. The 175 has a better efficiency compared to 172.5.


By following these few easy steps, you can now remove the bike crank without the help of any fancy tools such as a crank puller. These steps are simple and can be followed by anyone with the help of some basic tools. If you have any trouble with removing the crank, you can always get the help of an expert.

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