How to Remove a Bike Crank without Puller- A Complete Guide

Every biker knows the importance of removing the crankset. Most often you need this special puller tool to remove it. But by misfortune, you might forget it at home while riding a mountain or countryside. And without a puller or mechanic nearby, you will definitely have to search How to Remove a Bike Crank without Puller on the internet.

Don’t fret about it. We have come in to rescue you. We will save you from this pickle by telling you an instant top-notch method. So, bikers ride on this journey with us. Note- This solution is full proof but it does have some drawbacks. However, the steps are easy to do and can work as a spectacular instant solution.

Why Remove the Cranks of a Bike in the first place?

Every cyclist wants a smooth riding experience. That is why you need to do regular maintenance. Pulling the cranks is part of that regular maintenance.

Bike crank removing
Why Remove the Cranks of a Bike in the first place?
  • Well, first and foremost you need to pull the cranks to see if the paddles are working properly.
  • Secondly, you need to pull the crank to replace the old rusty one. Suppose you have been using the same bike for a couple of years or bought a second hand one. Then your best bet would be to pull out the old crank and replace it with a new one.
  • Thirdly, you need to remove it so that you can replace the chainring in case it breaks down.
  • Fourthly, when you are properly cleaning the whole bike, you have to remove it. Because removing it will enable you to clean the chainring and gear accurately.
  • Fifthly, if you face any problem with the bearing then you have to remove the cranks to repair it.

So, what is a Crank Puller?

Bike crank puller
So, what is a Crank Puller?

Before going further ahead, we need to get a clear idea about the crank puller. This is an instrument that helps you to pull apart the crankset of a bike. In most cases, they are just a pair of nuts and bolts.

However, they also come as a tool kit. Like the Crank removal tool Halfords essential kit set. They are lightweight due to their aluminum body. The tools are specially designed to remove the crank from the cycle.

Does a Crank Puller have Different Sizes?

Puller sizes
Does a Crank Puller have Different Sizes?

If you visit Amazon, eBay, or any other online or local store, you will see different crank sizes. You need to use the correct one according to your bolt size. The crank puller size that is vastly used nowadays is M22x1. This is considered a standard size. For both normal and mountain bikes you can use this size. However, if you are a vintage cycle user you have to go for a bigger option.

Using a puller tool- The safe bet

Safety Puller tool
Using a puller tool- The safe bet

You have to first understand why we are saying this. Pulling the cranks without a tool can be dangerous; especially for newbies or for people who don’t know the basics of mechanics.

It can cause some prominent damage to the bike. So using a square taper crank puller is a safe bet.

Why Should I Not Use The Puller?

Now you may ask then why should I not use a tool? Well, I can give you several reasons why you should remove the crank without the puller.

First, the main reason is that even while using a tool you can damage your bike. If you don’t properly use the tool then you can cause some permanent damages. So you can’t say there is much of a difference here.

Not using the puller
Why Should I Not Use The Puller?

Second, buying a puller or a puller kit can be difficult for some people. Well, they do cost quite a lot of  And if you can remove the crank without spending any money then you should opt for that option.

Third, you might not carry the tool everywhere or simply forget it at home. But you have to do some quick maintenance. So you need to know about removing the crank without using the puller.

Fourthly, knowing How to Remove a Bike Crank without Puller gives you a certain advantage. It saves you a frequent trip to the bike mechanic. It not just saves time but also your hard-earned money.


While doing any technical work you have to maintain some safety measures. So naturally while removing the crank from the cycle you need to maintain some safety measures.

Cautious about bike

The first and foremost step is to protect your hands. Obviously, because you have to mostly use your hands to do this work. While working with a crank there is a chance you might cut your hand. So we advise you to wear proper hand gloves.

The hand glove is the best preventive tool in this case. But what if somehow you don’t have it on you? You can use just about anything else to shift the chain.

How to Remove a Bike Crank without Puller? – A complete guide.

Remove Crank without Puller
How to Remove a Bike Crank without Puller? – A complete guide.

Now let’s get to the real part. Here we will discuss the entire thing. A word of caution, you have to follow all these steps properly. And do all the steps carefully. Let’s get to our mechanical work then.

Step One:

At first, you have to carefully remove the bolt attached to the paddle. This will allow the crankset to be free. All you have to do is rotate the bolt counterclockwise. This will loosen the crankset. After that, paddle the cycle for a while, and the crankset will come off.

Make sure you stop paddling before the crankset comes off. Because you can injure yourself. And while you are turning the nuts you should be very careful. One misstep can cause a serious injury. There is a chance that the chin may fall. So carefully handle it.

If somehow you can’t find the bolt, there is a high chance it is hidden behind the dust cap. Remove the dust with a washcloth or a card. Otherwise, you can damage your tools.

Step Two:

For this step, you will need a spanner tool. Well, the spanner tool more or less looks like a wrench. This tool is really easy to come by.  You will use this tool to remove the washer from the crank.

What is a washer? Well, it is a circular metal disc like a tool that has a huge hole in the middle. You can find it under the bolt. The washer firmly attaches the crank bolt to the bicycle. It also enables the tires to move in one straight direction.

Step Three:

Now the most important step. You have to carefully inspect the nut size. Now you may think about why inspecting the bolt size is so important?

Because you have to use the right tool for this to work. Suppose you have an M14 or M12 sized crank bolt. So you need to use a tool with a bigger head like CCP-22. Similarly, for Smaller nuts, you have to use a smaller tool.

Step Four:

Now that you have found the right tool to work with, you can easily complete this step. Now all you have to do is turn the threaded coupler a couple of times. The trick here is to make sure that it doesn’t cross the thread.

That can cause some serious damage to the top part. Our aim is to properly connect 22mm threads to the crank arm.

Step Five:

This part doesn’t necessarily require any tool. You only have to use your hands to complete this step. But be sure not to injure your hands while doing it.

All you have to do is insert the spindle driver inside the appropriate slot.  Now very carefully rotate it anticlockwise. Keep doing it until it is attached to the slot really tightly. If it remains loose then it might hamper your riding experience. Even causing more harm to the bike than good.

Step Six:

After you have done this process, you have to go in the opposite direction. This means you have to rotate the driver clockwise this time. Do this process very slowly.

Your crankset will start to steadily come undone at this point. Once it is completely loose, remove the crankset carefully. After removing the crankset, slowly remove the spindle driver from the slot.

Step Seven:

Now that you know how to remove a bike crank without the puller, you can do the same process on the opposite side.

Do it on the opposite side and remove the crankset. But just because you can do it now, doesn’t mean you should forget the safety protocol. Maintain proper safety measures while doing it.  And with that, you are done removing the crankset.

Final Thought

Now that you know the right way to go by, you won’t have to go to the mechanic every time. Or you don’t have to think to yourself, oh bummer, I don’t have a special puller. So how to remove a bike crank without a puller?  

But in case you have no idea what you are doing then go to a proper mechanic. Otherwise, follow these steps and you will get your desired result. Many pro bikes swear by this top-notch option.

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Cayley is a rehearsed columnist, editorial manager, and item analyzer. With 7 years of experience surveying bikes and bike accessories, She appreciates dragging the most recent items through some serious hardship, assisting riders with tracking down the correct bikes and bike accessories for them, and sharing the best counsel, clues, and tips to assist them with benefiting from riding.

This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn affiliate commission, from qualifying purchases.

1 thought on “How to Remove a Bike Crank without Puller- A Complete Guide”

  1. I am very grateful to you because last few days I am seeking how to remove cranks without a crank puller. When I found your article it decreases my pressure. Now I kicked this out and can do it very easily. Your words are very easy to understand.
    Anyway, I am a newbie bike rider. Hope one day I could be a good rider.
    Thank you so much for shear this helpful info.


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