Summary of special tools required for installation and maintenance of the Shimano Hollowtech 2

Posted at: Feb. 13, 2022

Hollowtech 2" is the standard adopted by the latest Shimano front cranks. We have compiled a list of special tools required for installation and maintenance of "Hollowtech 2", which is unavoidable when upgrading to higher grade front cranks.

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What parts use Hollowtech 2?

Shimano’s Hollowtech 2 is a standard for BBs and front cranks.

If one of them is Hollowtech 2, the other one must be Hollowtech 2 as well.

Since Hollowtech 2 is a special standard, only the crank bolts can be worked with ordinary tools, and the other parts can only be worked with special tools.

Special tools for Hollowtech 2

There are two types of special tools for the Hollowtech 2.

  1. special tool for crank cap
  2. special tool for BB

Each tool is used in different places.

When removing or installing only the front crank

If you are removing only the crank, you only need the “special tool for crank cap” described in (1). If you can remove the crank cap, you can remove the crank with an allen key and a rubber hammer.

Shimano Hollowtech 2 crankshaft has a special cap as a fastener & dust cover

Since there are unexpected opportunities to remove the crank, such as replacing the chainring or cleaning the crank, it would not hurt to have one of Shimano’s special tools sold by mail order for about $3.

Also, if you want to change from Hollowtech 2 crank to Hollowtech 2 crank, you can change the front crank only with the special tool for crank cap because the BB is the same standard and there is a high possibility that you can use it as it is.

By the way, if your bike does not come with a crank cap, you can remove and install it with just a regular allen key, but be sure to purchase a compatible crank cap as it may cause problems with the durability of the product.

To remove or install the BB

To remove or install the BB, the following steps must be taken. 1.

  1. remove the crank
  2. remove the BB

If you are going to replace the BB, or if you need to replace the BB at the same time due to compatibility issues when replacing the crank, you will need both tools.

Although more expensive, a 2 in 1 tool that can be used for both is also useful.

Points to consider when choosing Shimano Hollowtech 2 tools

The same Shimano Hollowtech 2 BB may have a different diameter

The same Shimano Hollowtech 2 BB may not have the same diameter depending on the product, in which case you will have to use an adapter.

If you use the genuine Shimano Hollowtech 2 tool, there is no problem, but if you use a third party compatible product, the adapter may not fit the tool, so be careful.

Case of replacement from non-Hollowtech 2 crank/BB

If the BB of your current road bike or cross bike is not Hollowtech 2, you need to “first remove the crank/BB currently installed”. In other words, you will need both a tool to remove the current crank/BB and a special tool for Hollowtech 2.

In this case, you will need an 8mm allen key, a cotterless puller, and a BB remover. 8mm allen key is not included in most general purpose tool sets, so you will need to purchase it additionally.

In some cases, it might be cheaper to ask a specialized store for help

As we saw earlier, when replacing a non-Hollowtech 2 crank/BB with a Hollowtech 2, both tools are required, and the cost of the tools alone is more than $40 if you try to get them with genuine Shimano tools.

If you are planning to clean and maintain the crank and BB on a regular basis, there is no problem buying them, but if you are only going to use them a few times, it may be cheaper to pay for the labor at a specialty store since the crank and BB are parts that are replaced less frequently than other parts.

To decide which one to use, you should compare the price of the tool with the labor charge at your local specialty store.

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