A bike owner must know some tricks and techniques regarding bike maintenance and repair. Because regular use causes many common issues to a bike and many things happen suddenly in the most unexpected way. But the majority of these issues are easy to handle only if you know how to do that. Because not every time you can go to a mechanic or bike shop and going to them costs a good amount of money as well. Also, not knowing some tricks and techniques will make things more challenging as you won’t be able to fix the problems without some fancy bike repairing tools. But some basic things can be quickly done without those tools; all you need to know the right way to do that. One situation like that is removing the bike crank while disassembling the bike. The usual way to do that is with a crank puller, but it’s not a standard tool that can be found in your home garage or basement. What to do then? Surprisingly, some regular tools are enough for removing a bike crank without a puller. But how to do so?
What's a Crank Puller?
The crank puller is a bike tool used to detach the cranks from the bike’s frame. It’s also useful for other bike related maintenance and repairment as well. A crank puller is a professional tool that is mostly used by mechanics. Because without any prior experience, it’s hard to utilize this tool for any person. That’s why it’s not convenient for all, and it’s better to find ways to do the maintenance without using a crank puller.
Step-1: Wear Gloves
Your hand will be the primary tool for removing a crank without a crank puller. That’s why protecting it is a must as a crankset is quite heavy and has sharp teeth built on it. So, wear gloves to keep your hands safe while removing them. You can wear a rubber glove, or your bike gloves, anything you prefer.
Step-2: Remove the Chain
The process of removing a crank will start with removing the chain of the bike. Make the chain lose by shifting the gear mechanism. Then you can easily lift and take off the chain from the frame.
Step-3: Unscrew Nuts & Bolts
The chain removal process will give you easy access to the nuts and bolts that are attached to the crankset. Use a wrench to unscrew them. Move them in an anti-clockwise rotation. Sometimes you’ll see that even after removing the bolts, the crank is still not detachable. It happens due to some hidden screws. For that, remove the protective plastic caps of the crank. A flathead screwdriver is suitable to remove those dust caps.
Step-4: Separate Washer
After unscrewing the bolts and nuts, now it’s time to remove washers. A washer is a metal disc that maintains the secure placement of bolts and nuts. They will be found under the bolts and nuts, and you can easily remove them with a wrench or spanner.
Step-5: Choose the Correct Tool for the Crank
In a crank, you’ll find different types and sizes of nuts and bolts. It also differs from bike to bike, so there’s isn’t any specific tool that’ll help you in this matter. That’s why you need to inspect the bolts and nuts first. Some common types of bolts are M8, M12, M14, etc. Based on the sizes, you have to decide on the tool.
Step-6: Turn the Threaded Coupler
Now it’s time for turning or unthreading the threaded coupler. Keep turning it until it comes off completely. However, while doing so, you need to be cautious not to cross-tread it. Because if you cross-thread the coupler, then it’ll be difficult for you to set it back in the position later. For completing this step, a spanner or, screwdriver is enough.
Step-7: Thread the Spindle Driver
After threading the coupler, you have to set the spindle to the arms securely. Attach the spindle to its slot and move the drive in an anti-clockwise rotation. It’s bit of a tricky process, so don’t rush and take some time to do it. Recheck the fitting. If it seems appropriate then it’s fine or else you’ll face difficulties in riding. After tightening the driver, again rotate it in the clockwise direction. Continue rotating until the crank detaches from the slot entirely.
Step-8: Remove the Tool
As the crank is now detached from its position, remove the tool as well from there. Make sure not to damage your hand or bike parts nearby while taking off the device.
Step-9: Repeat the Process
We’ve described the process of removing the crank from one side of a bike. But there’s another side as well. Repeat the same process and steps to do the removal process from the other side. And you’re all done with removing a bike crank without a puller!
The whole process mentioned above isn’t complicated at all. However, it would be best if you were patient while doing it, especially when it's your first time trying it. Removing a bike crank without a puller is one of those techniques that every biker should know to handle without someone else’s help. Always check the bike after doing any kind of maintenance. It helps to be fully sure that you’ve done the process perfectly. We hope that this technique described in this article will help you the next time if you face any issues where you would have to remove a crankset from the bike!