Would I need a three-notched tool to remove this?

My Bottom Bracket

2 Answers 2


Three-hooked spanner is not necessary, but it would improve the engagement and decrease chance of stripping a notch on the BB lockring. Parktool makes the HCW-5 spanner, which combines both a three-hook and a single hook. Here's a relevant quote:

One side is a single hook, the other is a hook spanner with 3 notches for better engagement in the lockrings.


There's two parts to this - the circular lockring around the outside and the cup.

I'm a bad and lazy mechanic and I use a pair of sliding lockjaw adjustable pliers to remove the lockring (assuming its not just hand-tight in the first place).
This tends to marr the outer edge of the lockring, but on an old beater bike that's not important.
You can use a rag to protect the finish from the jaws. The hooked tools never work very well in my personal experience, but YMMV

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I've also used a hammer and drift on particularly stubborn ones, as well as gentle heat from a propane torch. Once I used an automatic center punch to shock-loose a lockring cos it was the only tool available at the time.

To remove the cup you can use a 12" adjustable spanner, but the flats are really small and the tool slips easily. The proper tool is something like a https://www.parktool.com/product/adjustable-cup-wrench-hcw-11

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Sometimes you can undo the cup and the lockring just comes with it. Also note the left cup is generally normal-threadded (ie RTLL)

  • 2
    I highly recommend that Park Tool cup wrench. Got one of them for our shop, where previously a large adjustable wrench was used, and things got a lot easier (and the language got significantly cleaner). (For the lock ring it's whatever works -- usually a poorly fitting hooked spanner, but hammer and screwdriver in a pinch.) Mar 2, 2019 at 2:49
  • @DanielRHicks I ended up making a rough bushing that uses some huge washers to hold the tool on the flats using the bottom bracket axle. This let me use more hands for gently persuading it with a hammer. I've also thought about using a large dowel to round the hand grip, but its too short and will interfere with the other end. Long term I should get a second, and cut the ends off, then make a longer one like the lezyne pedal spanners with wooden handles. Leverage for the win !
    – Criggie
    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:32

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