How To Remove Bike Crank Without Crank Puller In 8 Easy Steps.?

Given that crank pullers come at a small budget, there shouldn’t be a reason not to get one. But if you don’t have it with you, you can still remove a bike crank without it.

Below are the steps on how to remove bike crank without crank puller:

  • Wear protective rubber gloves and position your bike correctly
  • Loosen and remove the crank nuts and bolts
  • Remove the washers and then unscrew the crank arm
  • Detach the crank to complete the process
  • Lastly, repeat the above steps on the other side

We’ll discuss all these steps more. We’ll also look at the tools you need since you won’t be using a crank puller.

The idea is to help you work with what you have in your toolbox to safely and successfully remove your bike crank. Hopefully, this guide will assist you to do it like a real pro.

Note: If you still need a bicycle crank puller after this, here is a variety with superb customer reviews on amazon.

how to remove bike crank without crank puller

How To Remove Bike Crank Without Crank Puller

Now, here are eight essential steps to follow when you want to remove a bike crank without a puller:

Step 1 – Assemble Essential Supplies

The must-have tools include:

  • Allen keys

You need Allen keys, also known as Allen wrenches or hex keys, to loosen the cranks. Remember, these keys come in varying sizes, and as a result, it’s essential you use the right one.

  • Spanner and screwdriver

Instead of using a crank puller, you can use a spanner and a screwdriver.

If you are looking to get Allen keys, spanners, and screwdrivers, consider the BIKEHAND Bike Repair Tool Kit.

The tool kit has so many essential tools that you can use for your DIY bike repairs and maintenance.

  • Wipes or old rag

You need wipes or an old rag to wipe off dust and grime when removing bike crank. That’s more important if you want to get the most out of your crank.

  • Bike repair stand

Consider positioning your bike correctly to allow you to work more comfortably. While it’s possible to remove the crank without mounting your bike, it’s more stable when you attach it to a bike stand.

A bike stand like the Park Tool PCS -9.2 is entirely adjustable to fit any bike and lets you do repairs and maintenance more hassle-free.

How Do I Remove A Crank From A Mountain Bike
  • Rubber gloves

It’s best if you protect your hands from grease but, more importantly, from injuries. That’s why you should get some quality gloves, preferably heavy-duty rubber.

  • Chain lube

It’s a good idea to lubricate your crank to ensure it works smoothly. So, get some high-quality all-weather lube like the WD-40 Specialist Bike Lube. You can use it to lubricate your entire bike.

Step 2 – Protect Your Hands

Before you can remove crank without puller, put on some quality gloves like the UXglove Chemical Resistant Latex Gloves. They come in heavy-duty rubber to protect your hands maximally.

Plus, they are slip-resistant and highly elastic.

Step 3 – Set Up Your Bike

If you have a bike stand, use it to mount your bike. If you don’t have one, turn the bike upside down or lean it against the wall.

Just ensure that you put it in a stable, flatter ground if you choose not to use a bike repair stand.

Step 4 – Remove Crank Nuts & Bolts

Take out a wrench and use it to turn the crank nuts or bolts clockwise. That’ll loosen them to allow you to pull out the crank more comfortably.

Remember, however, not to do it quickly as you could damage something.

What Is A Crank Puller Used For

Step 5 – Remove the Washers

By the way, washers are the metal discs that hold the bolts and nuts tightly. They are usually under the crank nuts.

So, you also need to remove them before you can detach the crank.

You’ll need to use a spanner here.

Step 6 – Unscrew the Crank Arm

Are you wondering how to remove crank arms without crank puller? It starts with first loosening them.

You’ll need a screwdriver that you’ll use to turn the bike crank anticlockwise and a spanner to reinforce the turns.

Continue loosening the crank arm until you cannot turn it anymore.

Step 7 – Pull Out the Crank Arm

Now that the crank arm is no longer tight, you can go ahead and take it off. However, it’s best if you pull it out gently to avoid breakages.

Once done, wipe off the crank and lubricate it.

Step 8 – Repeat the Above

Congratulations on removing one side of the bike crank. You only need to do the same on the other side to master how to remove bike crank without puller like a pro.


1. Do You Need A Crank Puller?

If you want to remove the crank, a bike crank puller will help you do it quickly and easily. It’ll also reduce the risk of damaging the crank or its component.

Note, however, that you can still remove a crank without a crank puller. So, if you have a spanner, screwdriver, and Allen keys, you don’t need a crank.

You’ll, however, take much longer than you would if using a crank puller.

2. What Is A Crank Puller Used For?

A crack puller detaches the crank arms. Overall, it doesn’t matter the crank type, as long as the crank puller fits.

3. Are Crank Pullers Universal?

Crank pullers are not universal. So, you have to ensure that its tip matches your bike’s bottom bracket.

Luckily, most crank pullers nowadays come with square tappers that allow them to fit on modern cranks almost hassle-free. A good number of them have a 22X1 thread to match most cranksets.

4. How Does A Crank Puller Work?

Crank pullers feature two-threaded pieces.

The large piece threads into the bike crank to allow you to pull out the crank easily.

On the other hand, the smaller piece threads onto the larger piece.  So, they work as a set.

5. How Do I Remove A Crank From A Mountain Bike?

Here are the steps for removing bicycle cranks from MTBs:

  • Unbolt the left crank
  • Remove the crankset’s preload cap
  • Lift the safety tap to pull out the left crank
  • Carefully tap out the crank axle or driving axle (which threads on the bottom bracket) to complete the process.

6. How Do I Remove A Crank From A Road Bike?

The only significant difference between a road bike crank and an MTB crank is that the former is more delicate. So, you have to be a little cautious during the bike crankshaft removal.

Here are the steps to removing a crank from a road bike:

  • Unscrew the crank bolt using a 10mm Allen wrench
  • Ensure you remove the bolts gently not to damage anything
  • Using a good crank puller, unthread the foot pedal to remove it from the bike
  • Hold the crank firmly with your hands to slowly remove it
  • Repeat the above on the other side

7. How Do I Remove Crank Arms?

Given that the crank arm holds to the chainring and pedal, it can be too heavy and potentially dangerous as you could break it. So, removing it may be a good idea.

Here are the steps to follow to do it:

  • Use a screwdriver for popping out the crank’s safety tab
  • Unscrew and remove the crank arm nuts and bolts
  • Follow that up with loosening the crank arm either with a crank puller or a screwdriver and spanner
  • Once the crank arm is loose, pull it out gently
  • Repeat the above on the other side

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Closing Thought:

Now you know how to remove bike crank without crank puller. So long as you have a spanner, screwdriver, and hex keys, you can go ahead and replace your crank.

Note, however, that if the process becomes too technical, take your bike to an expert.