I'm getting some creaking in my crank/bottom bracket and a good first step towards fixing this is to remove and clean the cranks and chainrings. If I still have the creaking, the BB is almost certainly the problem. However, I've hit a roadblock; I've got the big and middle rings off, but I can't remove the crank arms to get the small ring off the bike.

Looking up Shimano Hollowtech cranks isn't giving me any help, I don't have the Hollowtech II crank and all those direct me to loosen bolts that aren't on my crank arms. Can anyone identify exactly what crankset I have? How can I safely remove and clean all this?

Drive-side crank arm Non-drive-side crank arm Bottom bracket shell from below Chainring back


  • Novara Randonee touring bike, circa 2008
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano Octalink (as per this, so maybe?)
  • google.com/… Apr 7, 2019 at 18:10
  • A photo of the left arm mounting would help illustrate the point about not having the expected bolts
    – Swifty
    Apr 7, 2019 at 18:33
  • 1
    Cleaning won't stop the creaks - but is a very good idea regardless. You can clean the whole drive side crank area without removing the rings or crank. Long, thin bottle brushes enable you to get into all the nooks and crannies. Apr 7, 2019 at 18:47
  • Chainring bolts can sometimes creak. You can clean, grease and re-install (with threadlocker) without taking the crank out, although you have to work underneath the BB shell to get access to both sides. Apr 7, 2019 at 18:49
  • 1
    @Swifty Done, thanks. Apr 7, 2019 at 19:35

3 Answers 3


Every Shimano crank has its model number stamped on the inside of the arms.

If you have an Octalink BB, all you need is either an Octalink crank puller or an adapter.

Below is an adapter type tool. It fits in to to the end of the spindle so that any normal square taper type crank puller can be used. They work as well as anything and only cost a few dollars, or at least did when they were a more commonly seen item, so if you have a crank puller already they're a good choice. There are some different ones out there that are all basically the same thing, and I believe they can all do both Octalink and ISIS. (I have a non-Shimano one that can and I think the Shimano one pictured can too, but not 100% certain.)

Shimano Octalink adapter

Some crank pullers can do both Octalink/ISIS and normal square taper, like Park's one with interchangeable bits:

Park CWP-7

There are also Octalink/ISIS-only crank pullers. They're kind of the least desirable option if you're buying tools these days because these cranks are relatively uncommon, despite the years from about 2000-2004 where there was the perception they were going to be the new normal.

Park CCP-44


I believe you have original Hollowtech cranks not the ubiquitous Hollowtech II modern cranks.

Found a thread on it here

Key extract so far:

Holowtech needs a traditional cotterless crank tool and an additional tool that goes into the axle and acts as a stopper for the tool to push against. Hollowtech II needs an allen key and Hollowtech 2 BB Tool which undoes the plastic crank cap and tightensd it up to set the bearings when refitting.

  • Considering this bike is 11 years old, that's quite possible. Apr 7, 2019 at 19:36
  • What is this additional tool? Apr 9, 2019 at 16:07
  • @Neil alas I haven’t seen one before. Sorry I was following up on my hunch that you had the short-lived first branding of Hollowtech but I’ve never worked on one. Wanted to give you a quick steer in the right direction. I don’t even mind if you want to include what there is of my answer in the question and ask about the mystery special tool? I could delete this answer cos it’s half baked, make space for a better one. Cast the net wide again
    – Swifty
    Apr 9, 2019 at 17:11
  • No, please leave it. I think your hunch is right and yours the only answer so far, and perhaps it can be expanded on in the future. Apr 9, 2019 at 17:16
  • I believe the specific "extra tool" is Shimano's TL-FC15: amazon.com/SHIMANO-TL-FC15-Extension-for-TL-FC10/dp/B000R398XK some crank extractors have an interchangeable tip that works in place of this. The Park CWP-7 is like that. parktool.com/product/… Apr 9, 2019 at 21:03

Just went through this myself. what you need I discovered is a traditional crank extractor (as one would use on square taper cranks) BUT with a little pop on/off circular head that catches the edges of the hollowtech BB "tube" Never having had to deal with a Hollowtech 1 BB / crank assembly, I have always wondered what the little button head was on my crank extractor tool. now I know

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