There come times when you need to know how to remove bottom bracket without tool on your bike. It could be because other parts connected to the bottom bracket are not functioning well or need a replacement.
Either way, here’s how to do it in a few easy steps.
Bottom Bracket On Bikes
A bottom bracket is a connector between the crankset and the frame of a bicycle. Its function allows the crankset to spin independently from the frame while transferring forces and momentum to the wheels.
What Does It Do?
The bottom bracket on a bicycle can be seen as one of the main components of the modern bike. It is the bridge between the crankset and the chainset, attached by pairing a spindle and bearings that rotate along the chainset. This is also where bike mechanics will attach the pedals and chainrings necessary for creating the bike’s motions.
The word “bracket” points at the structure of the part – consisting of tube fittings in lugged steel frames. Some bike models have a bottom and not the bracket, but the name has stuck with that specific construct.
Why Would You Remove It?
You would need to take the bracket off your ride for many reasons. When your pedals feel wobbly, it’s usually because of a worn or well-used set of bearings. By then, you should take the bottom brake off to swap in new bearings and return your ride to its former smoothness.
The spindle above is also a component that might need a fixer-upper from you, as the part can be fragile and easily damaged. Those may be two main reasons for bottom bracket removal without tool.
How To Remove Bottom Bracket Without Tool
There are many ways to remove the bottom bracket without tool, but the procedures can differ based on the bracket you have. We start with the most common type:
Removing A Threaded Bracket:
- An 0.3-0.4-inch Allen key
- A flathead screwdriver
- A set of needle nose pliers
- A 1-inch spanner
- A cloth
Step 1: Use the Allen key to turn the bracket bolt counter-clockwise. Start with its left side first.
Open the bracket and take notes of the spacers inside before removing them. You must put the spacers back into their original position upon reassembling.
Remove the left crank and the right crank right after.
Step 2: Cover the bike frame to avoid any injuries or paint-scraping.
Step 3: Break the seal using the needle nose pliers, and unthread the bracket.
Press the tip of the flathead driver into the indents already present on the bracket. That should help the thread loosen for easy removal, as the thread should get loose enough to remove with your hands.
After that, the bracket will come off gently for you to catch.
Removing A One-Piece Crank Bottom Bracket
Like its name, the one-piece crank bottom bracket is one simple piece of metal, making it extremely easy to work with. The bracket holds itself together like other more complicated models but is very beginner-friendly.
- A set of pliers
- Some spanners
- A flat-head screwdriver
Step 1: Take off the left pedal. You can choose whether to use a pedal wrench – that much is up to you. If you’re really good, you do not need to do this step since removing the pedal allows you more room to work with and doesn’t interfere with bottom bracket removal.
Step 2: Find the threaded lock nut and loosen it with the spanner by turning it clockwise. You need to keep track of any loose parts that come off afterwards like the underlying key and the washer, since you will have to put them back into place when you’re done.
Step 3: Use your flat-head screwdrivers to press gently into the cone that holds the bracket. Move at an angle to slowly turn the bracket clockwise.
Step 4: Use your metal pliers to remove the metal cage that prevents the bracket from moving off-frame.
Step 5: Rotate the bracket and take it off your bike frame.
Removing A Press Fit Bracket
The press fit bracket gets its name from the method by which it holds its part together by using internal pressure. Installers place the bracket very snuggly to the side of the cupping to maintain said internal pressure. For this to even stand the chance of coming off, you must strike firmly at the cup to remove it.
Because of this removal method, we suggest using the bracket tool or taking your bike straight to the mechanics if you have a press-fit bracket. By applying repeated external pressure on the cuppings, you risk damaging the internal mechanics of the bracket, rendering it faulty and hard to use.
Press-fit brackets are also notorious for being sensitive to sizes. Employing a big bracket tool to a small fitted bracket won’t be worth the effort or time
Does A Good Bottom Bracket Make A Difference?
A fitting and decent bottom bracket gives your bike more strength, smoothness, and climbing power. Especially for new riders, knowing how to choose a suitable bottom bracket should help you determine your biking strength and allow your force to be efficiently distributed to the wheel.
A good bottom bracket will also strengthen your bike’s build in general and allow your bike to stay in good quality for a much longer.
Should I Upgrade the Bottom Bracket?
The answer depends on who you ask. If your bottom bracket does not resist pedaling forces or momentum, there’s not much you need to pay attention to. However, if your bottom bracket has lasted you for more than three years, it’s best to say that an upgrade can be suitable or even necessary.
Remember, it’s the connector between where you sit and how you move. You would want that part to be reliable.
How Long Should a BB Last?
Your typical modern, mass-produced bottom bracket should wear out after 1-2 years. That is because businesses tend to advise you to buy and replace your bottom bracket completely rather than having to fix it up time after time. More durable models might last 3-4 years, but that’s already stretching it.
Thanks for reading our guide on how to remove bottom bracket without tool! Knowing the steps will save you a lot of time and money from bringing your bike to a mechanic, and it also teaches you about the anatomy of your vehicle, so practice it now!