How to Remove Bike Crank Without Puller? – Easy to Follow Guide

The crank puller is available at affordable prices. So, there should not be a reason not to own one. However, if you don’t have a puller, do not worry; you can still remove the bicycle cranks.

Removing the bike crank without a puller is not an easy task. Do not worry! Just follow our guide, and you will be surprised by the results you get.

Here’s a quick overview of the ideas, but we go into more detail just below the list:

  • Step 1: Wear protective gloves
  • Step 2: Prepare your bike
  • Step 3: Remove the crank nuts/bolts
  • Step 4: Remove all of the washers
  • Step 5: Identify your crank bolt & pick the right tool
  • Step 6: Twist the threaded coupler
  • Step 7: Unscrew the crank arm
  • Step 8: Remove your crank arm from the cranks
  • Step 9: Repeating the above steps for the other crank
  • Step 10: Last check

We will discuss these steps in more detail. So let’s find out how to remove bike crank without puller.

Tools List

You will need to prepare different materials and tools to complete this project without a crank puller. Here are needed tools that you will need:

1. Protective Gloves

It is wise to protect your hands from grease but, more importantly, injuries. That’s why you need to prepare quality protective gloves, preferably heavy-duty rubber gloves.

2. Old Rags

In case you do not have old rags, it is alright to utilize a damp or dry cloth. Wipes also work well.

3. Allen keys

There is no denying that you will need these tools to easily open many types of machines. However, if they are not included in the toolbox, you can easily find them on Amazon.

4. Suitable Crank Bolts & Nuts

It would be best if you prepared different sizes of nuts:

  • The smaller sizes: M8. They can be loosened by Park Tool CCP-22.
  • The larger sizes– M12 and M14. You can utilize CCP 44 to loosen them.

5. Spindle Driver

This driver is specially designed to remove spindles.

6. Miscellaneous Tools & Equipment (Optional)

  • Any Bike Chain Lubricant: You will have noise-free and smoother rides by applying grease lubricant to your chain.
  • Bike Stand: You will have a perfect angle to work, thanks to putting your bike on a bike stand.

The Ultimate Guide On How To Remove Bike Crank Without Puller


By now, make sure you have received the tools you need to remove the bike crank without a crank puller. Then, let’s start the process.

Step 1: Wear Protective Gloves

Using bare hands for this project could leave your hands vulnerable, not only by the crank but other parts as well.

Hence, protecting your hands should be a top priority when doing any work involving mechanical parts. It is best to wear rubber gloves because they give your hands the best protection.

Step 2: Prepare Your Bike

Thanks to placing the bike on a bike stand, you will have the space you need to work and prevent the bike from shifting. If you do not have a bike stand, it is possible to turn your bicycle upside down so that it rests on the saddle and handlebars.

Wipe the area around the crank with your old rags. This allows you to remove parts more easily.

Step 3: Remove The Crank Nuts/Bolts

For this process, you will need alley keys. Then, all you need to do is loosen the bolts/nuts by turning them counterclockwise. Once you have loosened these bolts, it’s time to release your crankset.

Step 4: Remove All Of The Washers

Next, you need to remove all of the washers carefully.

Don’t know what washers are?

They typically come in various designs. But, in general, they are straight metal discs and keep the bolt and the nut tight.

Carefully remove all of the washers using a spanner tool and put them somewhere safe.

Step 5: Identify Your Crank Bolt & Pick the Right Tool

As we mentioned above, the bolt and nut come in many different sizes. So, it is essential to identify their size. After that, you can pick the proper tool with ease.

To repeat, you can use a CPW 7/ CCP 22 for M8 crank bolts or other smaller cranks, while a CCP 44 works well with larger ones like M12 or M14.

Step 6: Twist Your Threaded Coupler

Once you have picked the right tool, it’s time to turn your threaded coupler gently. You should not stop until it is loosened. Make sure you don’t completely remove your coupler as it can damage the surface.

A screwdriver or spanner can work well.

Step 7: Unscrew The Crank Arm

Thread the spindle of the puller into the lever arms. It is alright to do this step with bare hands. However, remember that you may need to use more arm strength at this step.

Slide the driver into the available slot assigned to it. Next, you need to turn it counterclockwise. Do it gradually until entirely taut.

It is essential to check out the tension or tautness because the loose drive may cause an accident when you are cycling. Hence, if it remains loose, you have to tighten it.

Once you tighten your spindle driver totally, it’s time to rotate it in a clockwise motion until you notice that your crank is fully released.

Again, do this carefully and slowly. As we often say, “Haste makes waste.”

Step 8: Remove Your Crank Arm From The Cranks

By now, you have removed the crankset. You are now ready to unthread your crank arm puller tool. You should be careful while you remove tools to avoid scratching the skin of the knuckles.

Step 9: Repeating Above Steps To Remove the Other Crank

Voila, you have completed bike crank removal for one side. Then, repeat the above steps to remove the other bike crank.

Step 10: Last Check

Congratulations on removing bicycle cranks without a puller.

Double-checking is an excellent habit. So, last but not least, you should examine and test the bicycle. Make sure your bike’s crank and any other components are properly removed.

You will spot any possible problems and know their root cause. After that, you can handle the problems promptly.

If you want a visual of what could happen, check out the following video:

What Is the Crankset?

If you are familiar with cycling, you probably already know what crank or crankset is.

A crankset comprises the levers connected to the pedals with one vertical joint going through the bottom bracket. It includes chainrings, cranks, and the bottom bracket and does not include the pedals and the front derailleur.

To put it simply, it is the primary power transmitter that you use to rotate the bike cassette on the rear with the support of the bike chain. Hence, the crankset, cùng với the chain, cassette, shifters, derailleurs form a drivetrain.

Why do you need to remove the bike cranks? Do not these parts last forever?

Bicycle parts are mostly made of metal. So, they will wear out over time and wear faster if you regularly cycle in the rain. The cranks are no exception. Sooner or later, you will have to repair, replace, or maintain them.

What Is a Crank Puller Tool

You will need a crank puller to make repairing and replacing bike cranks easier. It’s a special tool designed to assemble and dismantle the bike crankset. What’s more, it is possible to use it for quite a few general maintenance and repairs.

This tool typically comprises nuts and bolts. It pulls the crank off the axle when engaged. In most instances, the puller is made of aluminum which is more stable and lighter.

In general, you will need some special skills to handle this tool. The reason is that it is potentially injurious and may cause some permanent damage to the bike.

It is possible to remove your bike crank without the puller. Just follow the steps above, and you will be fine!

Safety Tips

  • Always exercise caution during bike crankshaft removal.
  • Safety should be your priority. Be careful in every step.
  • Never be in a hurry when working on this project. Always remember that “Haste makes waste.”
  • Removing a crank is not easy for beginners. So, if you don’t have experience repairing bicycles, call a professional. But, on the contrary, if you know some basic bicycle repair, you can try it.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Should I Get Help From An Expert

If it is your first time removing bike cranks without a puller, you should get help from a professional or expert. They will know the safest and best way of doing it.

2. What Is The Key Difference Between 172.5 And 175 Cranks?

The key difference between these cranks is their length.

Final Remarks

By now, you should know how to remove bike crank without puller. Just prepare the right tools and follow our step-by-step instructions, and you can remove bicycle cranks easily as a breeze.

If you don’t have the skills to do it correctly or the time to spend working on it, take your bike to a bike mechanic professional.

We’d love to hear what’s on your mind. Please share this article with your friends and loved ones who are passionate about bicycles.