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I wanted to remove my relatively new SRAM RED eTap AXS crankset from my bike and I'm having problems trying to loosen (meaning: being unable to) the main 8mm hex bolt on the drive side, the step shown here and here (they are using/showing Force / Rival cranksets but it's the same for the AXS one).

Now the crankset has been on the bike / bottom bracket for maybe.. 2-3 months, at most. I tightened it down originally to 54Nm as specified on the outer lock ring with a torque wrench but now, no matter how hard I try rotating the bolt in the other, counter-clockwise direction... it doesn't move one bit.

I have tried using a 30cm lever and also a 60cm lever without success.

Is there any tip, particularly 'good' or efficient way to do this? I tried it in the bike stand trying to hold the crank arm/pedal at 3 o'clock position while the wrench being on the 9 o'-clock position and nothing, the other way around (hold the pedal) and nothing and maybe someone simply knows from experience what's the best way to do this without going too crazy.

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  • 1
    how long is your wrench?
    – Swifty
    Jul 15, 2019 at 16:26
  • This seems to have come up before, see this question if you dig in the comments the OP says he can't budge the bolt. Jul 15, 2019 at 16:46
  • @ArgentiApparatus I got that missing cover / bolt thing now.. but the 8mm still doesn't move.. hence the slightly separate / different question
    – anon
    Jul 15, 2019 at 20:10
  • @Swifty I got a regular one with about 25-30 cm.. and got a 60cm one as well. No change.
    – anon
    Jul 15, 2019 at 20:11
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    A longer wrench and potentially more torque is of no use if you can't stop the crank rotating. How are you holding the crank? Jul 15, 2019 at 20:49

3 Answers 3

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I just went through the same thing. In the end, after stripping the bolt with a standard p-handle hex wrench and a pipe for leverage (with another pipe over the opposing crank for counterforce), I was able to get the bolt off with a spiral bolt extractor and an Irwin Hanson adjustable tap socket. I used a 24' breaker bar on the socket side and a 36" pipe over the opposing crank (pedal removed) for counterforce. It shredded the bolt, but better an $18 bolt than a $400 crankset. Next time I'm going to try Finish Line Extreme Flouro rather than grease. I'll report how it goes. enter image description here enter image description here

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In order to apply enough torque to the bolt, you need to stop the crank rotating - i.e. you need to apply an equal but opposite torque to the crank as to the bolt.

If you are trying to stop the crank rotating by simply holding and pushing the opposite crank arm, a longer wrench on the bolt does not help because the crank arm is the shorter lever.

Try arranging the bike to that it and the opposite crank arm is immobilized. Perhaps:

  1. Bike out of stand with both wheels in, rear wheel against wall or immovable object.
  2. Place sturdy object underneath pedal to prevent it moving downwards.
  3. Engage wrench parallel to opposite crank, apply force downward.
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I struggled with this crank removal issue for about an hour with no success. After searching the internet for several hours for any clues to help, I finally came across this suggestion and decided to give it a try. Before heading to the store to buy a breaker bar, thought I’d give it a try using my 1/2” ratchet. The bolt came loose immediately with no problems. Thanks for this suggestion. It saved me hours of anguish and about $30 for a breaker bar.

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