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Helpful Ways To Remove Your Bike Crank Without Actually Using a Puller

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

how to remove bike crankwithout puller

Does it seem impossible to remove your bike crank with no tools at hand, especially the puller? Not anymore. In this guide, we will tell you easy steps on how to remove bike crank without puller. You can do it even if you’re not a skilled mechanic.

Knowing how can help you a lot during road failures and even prevent future bike problems, so you do not have to be stuck on the highways.

You have to wear gloves before eliminating the bolt and getting your hands on removing the bike crank. For a more detailed process, read more about it below.

Essential Tools You Need


Even though you have no pullers, you can use different materials to remove bicycle cranks away from your bicycle. I listed below all the materials you need.

Old Rags

If you have no old rags, you can use a damp/dry soft towel or wipes.

ScrewdriverAllen Keys

You will need Allen keys to open different machines with ease. If this item isn’t in your toolbox, then you can get an Amazon Basics Allen Wrench Set.

Spindle DriverCrank bolts and nuts for your bicycle

You will need different types of nuts for this, which come in sizes of small and large. For smaller ones (M8), I advise using Park Tool’s CCP 22 in loosening this bolt size. On the other hand, you can use CCP 44 for larger sizes like M14 and M12.

Bike Stand (Optional)

Even though a bike stand is optional, I still suggest using one as it makes your bike straight during the process, giving you a good angle.

How to Remove Bike Crank without Puller


Carefully follow these steps in removing bicycle cranks without using a puller:

Step 1: Put on Gloves to Protect Yourself, Clean the Parts, and Pop the Safety Tab

Your top priority is your safety. That’s why I highly recommend wearing gloves in doing any hazardous mechanical work. If you have rubber mittens, even better. They give more protection than any other gloves.

Allowing your hands to go bare makes them prone to wounds and injuries. So, before you start with any work, ensure you have protected your hands.

The first step is more crucial than it seems because the main reasons for bike crank damages come from the bicycle’s chainring composition. It is a very sharp part of the bike. Clean the section using the old rag before you start popping the safety tab.

After cleaning, it is time to pop out the security or safety tab using a screwdriver. A safety tab is usually made of plastic. You have to be careful in popping it out so you would not damage that part forever.

Step 2: Remove the Bike Crank Nuts or Bolts.

You will need the assistance of your alley keys or a universal wrench in this step. Twist and turn all the bolts in a counterclockwise direction to loosen and detach them. Once the bolts are loose, it’s time to remove the crankset.

Step 3: Remove all Washers

After removing the crank bolts, it’s now time to detach the washers through a spanner.

So, what exactly is a washer?

Washers are straight discs that keep the bolts and nuts tight. They can usually be found under the nuts on the crankset.

They have center holes and may come in various designs, but trust me, they share the same function — to assist the movements of your bike wheels in one direction.

After you successfully removed the washers, put them in a safe location.

Step 4: Identify the Crank and Turn the Coupler

You will use specific crank screws and nuts when identifying and removing cranks. As I mentioned above, your bike’s bolts and nuts are available in various sizes. You need to know their size and choose the proper tools to avoid damaging your bike.

To repeat, smaller cranks like M8 bolts use a CCP 22 or CPW 7, while CCP 44 is ideal for larger cranks like M14 or M12 crank bolts.

If you already identified your ideal crank, it is time to get rid of the coupler with threading. I highly recommend you to use one hex tool for this step, accompanied by one screwdriver or a spanner.

After you got the right tools on your hand, gently turn and twist the coupler until you loosened it. Observe if you can swiftly shift the hex around. Be careful not to totally remove the coupler because it can damage or scratch the surface.

Step 5: Insert the Spindle Driver of the Puller into the Arms of the Bike’s Crank

Carefully string the spindle driver of the puller to the bike arms while utilizing your bear arms. Insert the spindle into the available slot assigned to it.

Then, twist the spindle in a counterclockwise motion. This step requires patience because you will be doing it slowly but surely until you notice that the outcome is flawlessly stiff and secure.

After doing this step, you must conduct a thorough stiffness analysis for optimum safety. A single wobbly driver can result in accidents when you ride your bike.

Step 6: Set a Clockwise Direction to the Driver Spindle

It’s now time to move the driver in a clockwise direction. For this to be possible, continue threading the spindle until you noticed that the crank was fully released.

This step also requires as much patience as the previous step. Do the process gently and precisely because rushing may not just hurt you, it also poses harm to your bike’s crankset.

I highly suggest putting the crank over an old newspaper and beside you for an easier, more hands-on, and detailed reference. You must also remember that this process will test your limb strength, so you might need some assistance if you find the bike part heavy.

Step 7. Remove the thread of the puller tool from the bike crank

Carefully remove the thread of the puller tool from your bike crank. You can only do this because the crankset was immediately eliminated.

You have to be cautious in doing this step if you want to avoid skinning your knuckles during the tool separation. This process has the potential to damage your skin and even your whole body.

Step 8: Do the Same Methods for the Other Side

Let me congratulate you for successfully removing the first bike crank. All that’s left for you to do is to repeat the steps to get rid of the other crank on the other part.

I must emphasize that you will need to do all steps with extreme caution, especially if you never want to end up in an unfortunate situation.

It’s also a good idea to ask for assistance when doing this process. An extra arm can help you in managing weights from the bike parts.

Being mindful of your safety during the entire process allows you to bypass all additional problems that may come your way.

Step 9: Do a Final Bike Examination

Doing a double check is a good habit to maintain. For the final step, I encourage you to test and examine your bike. Ensure that all parts, especially the bike’s crank, are successfully removed.

Whenever problems occur, doing a double check allows you to know the root cause of the problem and investigate the affected parts. This way, you can solve the issue at hand.

Pro Tips:

  • Never hurry when you remove bike crank without crank puller. Believe in the saying that “Haste makes waste.”
  • Be cautious in doing each step. Prioritize your safety.

If you like a more visual guide on how to do a bike crankshaft removal, check out this video.


And that’s it! Did you enjoy this simple tutorial? Now, you can easily remove your bike crank even when you don’t visit the shop for a puller. Knowing how to remove bike crank without puller is good knowledge to keep forever. You can even do it at your own pace.

Always prioritize your safety first, and get yourself a handy Amazon Basics Allen Wrench Set to make the process smooth.

We would love to hear from you in the comments. You can also share this article with your bike enthusiast friends and loved ones. It would mean a lot!

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