How To Remove Bike Cranks

Bicycles, or more commonly known as bikes, are human powered vehicles introduced in the middle of the 19th century. Invented by a German named Baron Karl von Drais, it was a status symbol among noblemen who wanted an alternative form of transportation (horses from their time were dying due to starvation). Nowadays, due to the bike boom that was promulgated by energy advocates in the 1970s, anyone can opt to have his or her own bike may it be due to economic reasons, athletic reasons, or even just for entertainment.

However, being a mechanical object by nature, the bike’s components can suffer from damage due to heavy use. After the bike chain, one of the more common components that are the first to go are the bike cranks. Starting from the pedaling of the foot, it is the bike cranks that directly transfer torque towards the chain. The chain is attached to the wheels, and the torque from the pedaling turns the wheels to instantly produce rotation, and thus, movement.

You may want to remove your bike cranks for different reasons such as repairing, replacing, maintaining, or even just to clean your bike. Whatever your reason may be for the removal of the bike cranks, it’s a daunting task if you don’t have the right tools and don’t know what steps to follow. Outlined below are some steps on how to remove bike cranks.

  • Obtain the right tools. This is very important, as without the correct tools, you will not be able to remove anything. Get a crank bolt wrench (14mm or 15mm depending on the size of your bolts) and a crank puller. Crank pullers are special bike tools that can be bought online or in specialty bike stores.
  • Using your hands, pull off the dust cap to expose the bolts in the bike crank.
  • Slowly remove the crank bolts by turning it to a counter-clockwise direction with the help of the crank bolt wrench. Set them aside. If you are replacing the bolts, dispose of them properly.
  • Remove the metal washers that are located between the bolt and the crank. Don’t worry if there are none, as different bikes have different components.
  • By this time, the bike cranks are not anymore held on the bike by the bolts. However, the cranks are tightly lodged in the bike. This is what the crank puller is for.
  • Insert the crank puller in the hole and with a clockwise motion slowly thread it inwards. If you will be replacing the bike crank after, do this slowly and carefully so as not to ruin the threading.
  • Once the puller is in, using the puller, slowly pull the bike crank away, and you’re done.

For whatever purpose you have of removing the bike crank, take utmost care and do things slowly. The last thing that you would want to happen is to carelessly break other components of the bike. A bike operates properly because of the functions of each and every component, and if even at least one of these components fail, riding the bike may prove dangerous.


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