How to Remove Shimano Hollowtech Cranks

Updated November 21, 2016

Hollowtech is a type of bicycle crank manufactured by Shimano. By integrating the crank and spindle, which allows the two ends of the crank to turn, the design reduces weight and increases rigidity. A Hollowtech crank can be removed for cleaning or other servicing. The crank can also be replaced, so long as its replacement is compatible with the existing bottom bracket. The bottom bracket is a hollow cylinder at the base of the bicycle frame that includes the bearings that allow the crank to rotate smoothly.

Secure the bicycle on the bicycle tuning stand. A tuning stand allows for easy access to all areas of the bicycle and eliminates the possibility of the bicycle falling or tipping over during service.

Locate the pinch bolt securing the left Hollowtech crank arm to the spindle. There are two ends to the crank arm. One end contains the pedal. The other end is attached to the spindle.

Use a 5mm Allen wrench and turn the pinch bolt clockwise until it is loose.

Insert the Shimano TL-FC16 or equivalent into the left Hollowtech crank arm cap, where the arm attaches to the spindle. The TL-FC16 tool is a special tool that is compatible with the cap that secures the arm to the spindle.

Turn the Shimano TL-FC16 tool counterclockwise to loosen the cap. Remove the cap.

Grab the left Shimano Hollowtech crank arm and pull it free of the spindle.

Relocate to the other side of the bicycle, and the right side Hollowtech crank arm. Grab the right crank arm and pull it free of the bicycle frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Bicycle tuning stand
  • 5mm Allen wrench
  • Shimano TL-FC16 crank installation tool or equivalent
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