Remove Cranks Without A Crank Puller

Remove Cranks Without A Crank Puller

I show how to pull the crankset off a bicycle without a puller tool. I have seen a lot of suggestions for removing bike crank arms without a crank puller, but most of them are bad ideas. I walk through each of these ideas and show some that will actually work without damaging the crankset or bottom bracket. I demonstrate successfully removing cranks without a crank puller in a couple different methods.
The bolts I showed were 7/16″ for the square taper cranks, and 3/8″ for the Octalink/ISIS (International Splined Interface Standard) cranks.
My recommendation is if you really care about your bicycle, buy the crank puller tool. They are usually relatively cheap. But some people live in places where simple tool like a crank puller would be extraordinarily expensive or hard to get. Like in deep rural areas of some countries. This video is for them.

Park Tool Compact Crank Puller

How To Remove Crank Arm With Stripped Threads

How to NOT Strip Crank Arm Threads When Removing Cranks


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  1. the ghostspider KGS on July 21, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    In my situation i have removed the bolts but the arms are stuck gonna try wd40 hope i can remove them without using
    force/hammer its just to much for the bike sometimes ut damages barings the frame for example from the inside

  2. Too Loo on July 21, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    Hi RJ, I’m struggling to remove the crank nut off a vintage Japan custom crank. It’s seized, Ive sprayed lots of wd40, have tried both crank puller socket end and an actual socket wrench, but it’s getting to the point where I’m starting to round the nut off. Any tips would be gratefully received!

  3. JudahTheMaster on July 21, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    what kind of bolt or nut is used on the outer part of the gear?

  4. JD Goes Ham on July 21, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    If you’re just trying to get the arm off for say a pedal assist for certain sensors take off the outer bolt, make sure there’s no plastic orings or retaining caps in the spindle and use a butane torch to the bottom of the arm and spindle and use pressure on the arm like pushing with a screwdriver or tapping at the base of the arm and for me it popped right off. I’ve had to do it twice on different bikes. And no hitting hard enough to do damage. It mostly just popped off with pushing lightly at the base when it got warm enough.

  5. mochamad bayu on July 21, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    Three jaw puller 4inc or 6inc sir?

  6. James Yahoo on July 21, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    10 minutes of what not to do, and 2 minutes of what you can do. Interesting way to make a video.

  7. Vintage Steel on July 21, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    So I was trying to remove my pre-1980’s Stronglite cranks (I don’t have the special Stronglite crank puller as they are one, difficult to come by – Velo Orange was sold out and ebay was sketchy as it was all Polish vendors who said shipping would take over a month to reach the states – and two, they are over-priced at $40-$60+) and I tried using the 3 jaw gear puller method which, to me, seemed the most legit without using the actual crank puller tool. Well, who knows when the last time those cranks were pulled off and I ended up bending the crank bolt trying to extract the cranks which didn’t even budge… Luckily the bolt still screws in about 3/4 of the way and I used several more spacers to accommodate for the space so that it tightens down at least. Now I’m left wondering how the hell I’m going to get the cranks off without cutting them off so that I can service the BB… Might just cut them off and install a modern BB, cranks and sprocket.

  8. joey0077d on July 21, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    I bought the tool. But if your a type that doesn’t have the money to spend on tools . Your method in removing the cranks works. Thanks for sharing your video.

  9. Feline Bline on July 21, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    I’m a big one for the CRANK PULLER.

  10. Kevin's Biking Adventures on July 21, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    I have the removal tool but I think I managed to screw it up, and now all of the threads in my crank arm are stripped. I like the puller method, but my e-bike crank arms doesn’t have anything to hook into. So I’ll try out some of the other methods, but I might end up just bringing it in the shop because I’m kind of afraid of causing more damage to my e-bike.

  11. King Cardbeard on July 21, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    ’10 F’ed up ways to do it wrong instead of buying a cheap tool or giving a bike shop a couple bucks’

  12. Sarang parmar on July 21, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Nhh didn’t work in my 3 gear chainring and not even on non drive side arm only works if your have steal crank arm otherwise plastic it will slept

  13. Thomas Ariss on July 21, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    I was wondering if this guy was still making videos

  14. stevepedigo on July 21, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    RJ-this is Steve Pedigo THE Bikeguy in Alpine, Texas!. It has been great seeing someone showing useful techniques for doing bike work. Though I have been doing this for many years, it’s always refreshing to see someone else thatcares about the work they do-at least, on video. I’ve seen so many bike techs that are jaded, and don’t care about their customer’s bikes. Thank you for taking the time…

  15. Dr Bob Johnson on July 21, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    RJ I have benefited from many of your videos for quite some time, Just wanted to add one point about using a gear puller. In my area Southern CA – San Diego my local auto parts stores Orielly AKA Kragan and Auto Zone have gear pullers in their free tool rental program. Basically you put up a deposit equal to the price of the tool, use it, return it and get a full refund. In general what I do when I have a challenge with one of my bikes, #1 get the right tool for the job, if the tool wont work or it is one I would not use often I watch RJ the bike guy to learn how to make my own version of the tool and go from there

  16. Orianthi Gao on July 21, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you so much. Tried to work out for 30 minutes until saw this video.

  17. An Unjust Peace / A Just War on July 21, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    i had a case where the driveside crank couldn’t be removed without destroying it.

    I found while using the 3 jaw gear puller and removing the arm.and race of the nondrive side. Hit the pin of the gear puller with a hammer with increasing fotce until the spindle falls put throigh the nondrive side.

  18. Omar hassabou on July 21, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    A hammer and chisel are a must for bicycle repairs

  19. l. S. on July 21, 2022 at 11:34 pm

    why not just buy Crank Pullers on Ebay and share the trouble? )))

  20. fishycomics on July 21, 2022 at 11:34 pm

    I may haveto buy one only if I can find a 32 or 22 crank kit to swap out my Huffy parkside sprocket

  21. Jonathan Morales on July 21, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    Te hacé falta barrió,…

  22. David H on July 21, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    heat gun the aluminum crank and tap it off.

  23. GOTSM on July 21, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    what if i just want to remove the crank arm adjasent to the sproket but I still want to the rest of the crank because I want to rig a powerdrill to that bolt but that crank arm is in my way.

  24. Lindisease ! on July 21, 2022 at 11:37 pm

    I bought the damn crank puller for my stationary bike and the bolt is to big. I can thread it inside the arm but the bolt thingy isn’t going in far enough I reckon. 🥴

  25. Pluto on July 21, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    Definitely worth being able to do it easily than struggling for hours

  26. majuharaan on July 21, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    the operation was a success, but you killed the patient XD

  27. john hill on July 21, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    THANK YOU very helpful

  28. Klaus Dunayev on July 21, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    What’s the size of the bearing puller you used? I see there are 3" 4" and 6" pullers

  29. vincent vincent on July 21, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    for rad runner + i used the puller on the drive side. cracked loose the tool but it woudnt come off except a little so i went on other side loosened the ring with the wire plug connected to it loosned it the other side came off now you twist off the the exposed threads with your fingers until both sides fall off completely. i did it this way because i bought the wrong type of crank puller set mine was tapered i bought oct.

  30. MJ LoftTV on July 21, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    Thank you

  31. gspears on July 21, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    crank puller stripped the threads off the crank long before the crank got loose. So here I am, lol

  32. BEN yedlin on July 21, 2022 at 11:52 pm

    A retro 14mm crank bolt head (unrimmed) is also the perfect octalink adapter if you have a puller but no adapter, drop the bolt in threads to the inside.

  33. P Wood on July 21, 2022 at 11:52 pm

    I once tried the ball joint separator, the bike and the separator both went still attached to each other to the skip lol and i went to the bike shop for a new bike

  34. sam_ _falloon on July 21, 2022 at 11:53 pm

    how do u do it a new

  35. yammyrob on July 21, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    My advice.. Simply add copper grease to crank arms before fitting. Its that easy.

  36. MVIX on July 21, 2022 at 11:58 pm

    Destructive method is the best one XD

  37. Dannylee Shakespeare on July 21, 2022 at 11:58 pm

    So I tried crank puller- threaded the crank, tried the 3 jaw claw and bent the crank, so guess its dremel next

  38. John Pena on July 21, 2022 at 11:58 pm

    What if the arm threads are stripped and the tool won’t work, will applying heat to the arm where it attaches to the crank then prying the arm off work ?

  39. Ottomatic on July 21, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    Lots of good tips to not hurt your bike. Best quote: ‘ the operation was a success, but the patients dead’ 😂

  40. scouseraph on July 22, 2022 at 12:00 am

    Waste of time watching this. You spend most of your time telling us what not to do and not to buy a crank puller which is the best method and instead you expect us to have and use multiple other tools not designed for the job.

  41. pervezcu on July 22, 2022 at 12:02 am

    So helpful. Thank you again for your tremendous videos.

  42. Ken Elder on July 22, 2022 at 12:03 am

    just buy the proper tool, they are not that expensive on ebay, this is like using an adjustable wrench or pliers all the time, better to use sockets or correct size real wrenches

  43. Dmitry M on July 22, 2022 at 12:03 am

    just read the vid annotation. i would think pplz who r in ‘deep rural areas of some countries’ most likely don’t need a bike. it just won’t b practical. if only i lived in such an area… i would have a few good horses instead. 🙂 come think of it… bikes in rural areas like u said would need waaaaaaaay more TLC. and how would u service your bike w/o tools / materials / spare parts?

  44. Global Arts on July 22, 2022 at 12:05 am

    Easy to found a puller.

  45. HendrikdePendrik on July 22, 2022 at 12:06 am

    None of these methods work for me. A Dremel is too weak and with a mid-drive motor in the way using a screw driver isn’t ideal either and for some reason I couldn’t finish the job with a pulley puller. So I made the cuts in your dremel method by drilling a few holes next to each other with a hammer drill (hammer modus off off course) full power with a 8mm drill. Most of the time straight into the center from the outside, then I drilled into the direction of the bike and to finish it off I drilled from the threaded inside outwards. If done properly, it can be done in like 15 minutes.

  46. Geo Angelo Gener on July 22, 2022 at 12:07 am

    Thank you dor the best toturial

  47. BFX on July 22, 2022 at 12:07 am

    The best tip is the first tip which is riding the bike till the crank arm falls but warning, don’t stand while pedaling just sit down and yeah done.

  48. Jason C. on July 22, 2022 at 12:09 am

    The whole ball joint separator pickle fork thingie is a very bad idea.

  49. BEN yedlin on July 22, 2022 at 12:09 am

    Additionally if you have a thin box wrench place the haft in between the bottom bracket and the crank arm. this takes up a bunch of space. now you have an easy leverage point for a long crowbar or prybar. comes off real easy (square taper only)
    This is the same principle as puttin a block of wood under a claw hammer head before pulling out a nail (maximum leverage advantage)

  50. PermaKulHurTur on July 22, 2022 at 12:10 am

    Finally someone preaching sense instead of ruining good parts due to the laziness of getting the right tool.

    What I like about RJ is that he doesn’t just tell you what is right and wrong, he explains rationally why something is right or wrong, so you are left with little doubt.

    If you have gotten stuck with a used bike whose crank-arms keep coming loose, and even thread glue doesn’t keep them on, now you know how they got this way. Continuing to ride the bike home after they have gotten wobbly will finish the job of trashing them.