Crank Press

I’m thinking of creating/buying a crank press. Does anybody have experience in desiging and/or using something already out there?

perhaps a big C-clamp would fit in between the spokes?

(no need to press them on, though)

I’m currently using the big C clamp but the last time I used it the thing was beginning to bend. I saw while visiting Unicycle.Com they used a massive, hydraulic press but theirs (off-the-shelve version) can not be used with a tire as it won’t fit into the press.

just curios…what are you looking to do? just press the cranks onto the hub? or something else?

As a shade tree mechanic, I would use a hydrolic bottle jack sideways in a doorway. Use a short piece of wood to take up extra space in the jam. Stand the wheel up, insert wood, the jack, and start pumping the handle.

Or, use the hydrolic jack and the rear bumper of your truck. Just some suggestions, though I’m with Sofa on just letting the nut pull the cranks onto the spinde.

I use to break the beads on car tires by placing them under the bumper of my truck and use a high lift jack to push the bead off the rim. I use to seat the bead with starting fluid and a propane torch.

Mojoe…Combat mechanic during Desert Storm

Re: Crank Press

A crank press is not necessary. A block of wood and a mallet will do just as good of a job of seating a crank on the hub.

I have a heavy duty bar clamp that works for pressing cranks on. It also does a good job for pressing bearings on. A standard C-clamp is not strong enough or rigid enough. A standard C-clamp will bend and distort when using it to press cranks and other things. A good bar clamp is much stronger than a C-clamp.

I have a 12" x 5 1/2" heavy duty bar clamp by Bessey. I got it at one of the big home warehouses (Home Depot, Home Base, or Eagle). It slides in between the spokes and is just the right size for pressing on cranks and bearings.

But a block of wood and a mallet will do you just as well.

D’oh! I thought this thread was about a new magazine for eccentrics. :roll_eyes:

Surely the harder you press the cranks on, the harder they’ll be to get off. Apply too much pressure and you might damage either the crank or the taper. If a rubber mallet and a 14 mm socket works, why go to all this trouble?

You’ll only regret it when you decide to take the cranks off and fit 89s. :wink:

I’d regret it more being out in the field with a loose crank damned by the gods to walk home. No, sir- a bit of oil on the taper, and a good press; I’ve yet to find a cotterless that wouldn’t come off with a puller. I’m not sure about the mallet buisness; concerned that the crank will go on with a sticato and damage something- I suppose a press could be contrived to use a mallet as the driving force… then again they have dirt cheep presses at Harbor Freight Tools dot whatever.


Ignoring the questionable theology of the above, why not carry a crank tool just in case? Presumably you carry a tool kit, pump, puncture repair kit, water supplies, energy bars, mobile phone, waterproofs, spare sweater, sun screen, mosquito repellent, magazine, cuddly toy…

Or become very proficient at riding one footed.
Or a spare uni.
Or …

There’s my two cents,

$60 bucks. Find more like it HERE.


PLEASE, Sir!- of course I don’t carry all that- that’s what the cuddly toy is for. :slight_smile:


The problem with the press that is pictured is how to get a wheel in the thing.

Just a thought, but what happens when you start compressing the cranks with a hydrolic press and its just slightly off, I’m thinking 20 tons of force or less might make a tooth pick out of that axle. I agree with everyone else and think a press is alot more than whats needed to get cranks on firmly… I havnt had a problem at all with my cranks comming off using the mallet technique. Although my lasco’s wouldnt stay for more than 5 min if I just tightened them by hand and used red loctight. But then again they were lasco cranks, thats not saying a whole lot.

my lasco’s have been holding up fine. i’m 175 with gear and have done tons of 3 footers.

I’m expecting them to break, judging from what every one has said

What’s a good square taper replacement for trials? If I break the hub, I’ll go with splined, but if I only bend the crrank arem, i’ll be replacing that

I’m replacing my Lascos with a pair of Odyssey “Black Widows” today. They came last night and look great - for what ever that is worth. Yesterday I went by Home Depot and got a press, as mentioned above. Only time will tell as to how these hold up but I really trust those who wrote reviews about these cranks in the Unicycle.Com’s e-catalog. Another crank that Scott Bridgeman uses is the Kooka. Scott, at last report, was having a great run with this set-up.

The red portion is an extention; it and several others listed have over 1’ of clearance.


I don’t get-it. The vertical parts of the press prevent the wheel (tire) from fitting in the press, no?

Maybe Rhysling unhooks all those little spokes and doesn’t insert the wheel.

I’d smack er with a mallet. But then, I just luuuv smacking stuff with mallets.

Over the years, I’ve learned how to keep my cranks on and haven’t had too much trouble with it. On my square taper MUnis, I got into the habit of tightening the crank nuts before every ride. They usually would move a little bit, but then always held up fine on the rides.

However I have been in situations where things went wrong. I remember once when Brett Bymaster’s crank nut managed to fall off without us noticing. We just ended up with a crank that wouldn’t stay on. Of course this always happens at the turnaround point, leaving us about 5 miles to one-foot or walk to get back to the car.

So now I always carry a little stash of crank nuts. These are getting harder to find at bike shops, because they’re not used on most new bikes these days. I tell people I sell them on the trail for $5. I really should, but I haven’t actually held to it yet. I don’t carry them for myself, I’m riding a splined axle!

Back to regular square taper cranks, I use the hammer method. Simply turning the nut to install them puts too much strain on the axle threads. But if you’re a tool monger and like to have the gadgets, there is nothing wrong with using a press. Just make sure it fits all your wheels, of course.

I used to also carry a Park 14mm crank wrench on rides. Since I got my DM, this was mostly used by others on the rides with me. The wrench had a tendency to go out of my butt pack and not get returned. In fact, I don’t remember seeing it recently. If I carry it in the future, I’d like to put it on a chain like a pen at the bank.

I had to carry the wrench again this spring and summer because I was riding the beautiful Steve Howard MUni with regular cranks. I sure miss that cycle. I hope Keith Williamson is putting lots of miles on it. I should have bid on it myself (it was auctioned at UNICON 11).

But not to worry, my new Wilder is finally on its way to me. A red one!