How to Remove a Shimano HollowTech

Written by harry havemeyer
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How to Remove a Shimano HollowTech
Removing a Shimano Hollowtech crankset assembly can be as easy as child's play. (boy repairs a bicycle image by Stepanov from

The Shimano HollowTech crankset is the assembly that connects your pedals to the rest of the bicycle and is distinguishable from other cranksets due to its integration of the bottom bracket and crankarms for more efficient pedalling and maintenance. You need to be able to remove the cranks from your bicycle to change your bottom bracket, lubricate bracket bearings or replace a chainring. Proper maintenance is the key to longevity when dealing with mechanical assemblies, and there is no need to be overwhelmed by this relatively easy task.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 5mm Allen wrench
  • Shimano TL-FC16 crank arm tool
  • Park BBT-9 outboard bearing cup tool
  • Rubber mallet

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  1. 1

    Shift your front derailleur onto the smallest chainring, and carefully place the chain on the bottom bracket shell by hand. The bottom bracket shell is the lowest point of the bicycle frame itself and the point at which the crankset attaches.

  2. 2

    Loosen the bolts on the end of the crankarm opposite from where the pedals are attached, using a 5mm Allen wrench. Loosen them in an alternating pattern to minimise stress on the crankarm and the bottom bracket. Hold onto the crankarm as you do this, so it does not spin freely.

  3. 3

    Attach the Shimano TL-FC16 crank arm tool onto the crank arm cap that is labelled with the word "Shimano," and twist in a counterclockwise motion to loosen and remove the crank arm cap.

  4. 4

    Pull off the left crank by hand.

  5. 5

    Remove the right-side crank assembly by simply pulling it out. If the crank does not come out by simply pulling on it, tap the left side gently with a rubber mallet.

  6. 6

    Attach the BBT-9 bearing cup tool to the outside of the bearing cup (where the crankarms used to be attached), and make sure the fit is firm before removing. It is important to remember that you will have to use a counterclockwise motion to remove the left-side bearing cup.

  7. 7

    Remove the right-side cup, using a clockwise motion to turn the Park BBT-9 bearing cup tool.

Tips and warnings

  • Remember that the nondrive-side bearing cups are loosened with a counterclockwise motion and that the drive-side bearing cups are loosened with a clockwise motion.
  • When removing the bearing cups, remember the spacing in the bottom bracket shell to minimise issues when reassembling the bottom bracket.

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