How to Remove a Bicycle's Front Sprocket

By Dave Wilson
A damaged front sprocket requires immediate replacement before further use.
A damaged front sprocket requires immediate replacement before further use.

The front sprocket on a bicycle plays a major role in determining the speed at which a bicycle can travel. The front sprocket on a bicycle may need to be replaced if damaged or replaced with a smaller sprocket (to increase torque) or larger sprocket (to increase speed). Remove a front sprocket to replace a damaged sprocket or upgrade the sprocket in about 10 minutes.

Loosen the “pinch” bolt on the crank arm closest to the front sprocket using an Allen wrench. The “pinch” bolt is located at the end of the crank arm opposite of the pedal end.

Remove the sprocket bolt that is attached to the sprocket using an Allen wrench.

Remove the bolt that screws into the end of the crank arm axle on the sprocket side of the axle.

Grasp the crank arm and pull in the direction away from the bicycle frame to remove the crank arm. Set the crank arm aside.

Grasp the front sprocket and pull in the direction away from the bicycle frame to remove the sprocket. Grasp the bicycle chain in one hand and the front sprocket in the other hand and pull the sprocket away from the chain.

About the Author

Dave Wilson has been writing technical articles since 1993, including manuals, instructional "how-to" tips and online publications with various websites. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and has Microsoft, Cisco, and ISC2 (CISSP) technical certifications. He also has experience with a broad range of computer platforms, embedded systems, network appliances and Linux.