How to change mountain bike crankset

replace crankset mtb

If you hear squeaking or crackling while pedaling, the crankset may need to be replaced. Fortunately, replacing an MTB crankset is easy to do. On this page I tell you everything about replacing the MTB crankset, what you need for this and what you should pay attention to.

Why replace an MTB crankset?

There can be several reasons to replace an MTB crankset. For example, you may eventually notice that you can pedal less smoothly or you may hear squeaks or creaks. I’ll list some major reasons where replacement is necessary.

  • The mountain bike crankset squeaks and creaks
  • You can pedal less smoothly, because the crankset is worn
  • When you want to upgrade your mountain bike with a better crankset
  • If the screw thread on the MTB pedals is damaged (loose pedals)
  • When the MTB crankset is damaged in a crash
replace crankset mtb
Does the crankset squeak or creak while mountain biking? Then you have to replace it. ©

Tools: what do you need?

To replace a crankset you obviously need a new mountain bike crankset. In addition, you must have the following MTB tools at home:

  • Allen key (5mm)
  • Torque wrench
  • Nylon hammer
  • Flat screw driver
  • crank tools
  • Mounting Paste
  • Shoe, dry dives

It is also important to ensure a clean workspace with sufficient room to move. Preferably put the bike on an MTB stand or hang it in the air.

Step-by-step plan to replace crankset MTB

Have you packed all the tools? Then we can get started.

Follow the steps below to replace the MTB crankset.

  1. Remove the MTB pedals

    First, remove the mountain bike pedals from the cranks.replace mtb pedals

  2. Unscrew the bolts at the left crank

    Use the Allen key and loosen the bolts at the crank. Unscrew the outer bolt completely and click the locking pin up with a flat screwdriver.

  3. Remove the crank cover

    To do this, take the crank tool and unscrew the cover at the axle

  4. Remove the left crank

    You can now carefully pry the left crank off the axle. Is it very tight? Then you can very carefully tap it loose with a nylon hammer.

  5. Now also remove the right crank

    Once the left crank has been removed, you can also remove the right crank from the bottom bracket. Again, use the nylon mallet carefully if it is very tight.

  6. Apply assembly grease to the axle of the new crankset

    Take the new crankset and apply a good layer of mounting paste to the axle.

  7. Slide the MTB crankset through the bottom bracket

    Slide it all the way through the bottom bracket. If necessary, gently tap it with a nylon mallet if this is not easy.

  8. Mount the left crank on the new crankset

    Lightly tighten the bolts and make sure that the locking pin falls back into place.

  9. Fit the left crank with the cover cap

    Smear some mounting grease on the cover and mount it on the left crank. Use the crank tool again for this.

  10. Now tighten the bolts at the left crank

    Does the crankset run smoothly and have you checked whether the locking pin has fallen into place? Then you can tighten the bolts with a torque wrench.

  11. Reinstall the mountain bike pedals onto the cranks

    Apply mounting grease to the pedals and mount them on the cranks. Screw them in carefully so you don’t damage the screw thread. If necessary, view the manual for change mountain bike pedals here.

Frequently asked questions about replacing a mountain bike crankset

Can I replace my bicycle’s crankset myself?

Yes, you can certainly do this yourself and it requires little or no technical knowledge. Keep in mind that you must be able to hang your bike in the air and that you have the right tools at home.

What tools do I need to replace the crankset?

To replace an MTB crankset you need an Allen key, torque wrench, crank tool, nylon hammer, flat screwdriver and mounting paste.

My mountain bike creaks. Do I have to replace my crankset right away?

A creaking mountain bike can have various causes. For example, dirt near the mountain bike seatpost can also cause creaking while cycling. Hang the mountain bike in the air and check whether the creak really comes from the pedals. In this case, there may be wear and tear and replacement is necessary in many cases.

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