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The Lifeline Performance 2 in 1 crank remover is a workshop staple for pulling square taper and splined cranks off their axles. Or it would be, if our sample hadn't broken.
It bears more than a passing resemblance to similar tools from household names. It's an integrated design, complete with floating tip for precise alignment with ISIS types, which run to slighter closer tolerances.
The standard of machining is pleasing and more than good enough for occasional use, though it benefitted from a quick drop of wet lube to achieve the flushest possible fit.
Unlike more expensive crank removers, there's no 14mm socket or 8mm Allen key here to remove the crank bolt, so you'll need a standalone tool for that.
To remove a square taper crank you then unscrew the tool head and its tip before engaging with the crank arm. Turn carefully until you're satisfied everything's correctly aligned, and back up and start again if in any doubt.
I was able to get the extractor to work with some cranks that had partially striped threads, indicating that the fit is very good. There are spanner flats on the head so you can snug the tool into the threads.
Two complete revolutions of the 190mm handle were enough to free even the most weathered examples, although a quick shot of maintenance spray certainly helped. For ISIS systems, only the floating pin must be engaged.
I was beginning to bond with our sample quite nicely when, on the fifth run, its floating pin sheared without warning under surprisingly little force.
Chances are this was a fluke and easily addressed under warrantee. Nonetheless, I'd be inclined to spend a little extra and invest in a premium model.
Too fragile, if our test sample is indicative, but worked well till it failed.
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Make and model: Lifeline Performance 2 in 1 Crank Remover
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
'A high quality bespoke tool for removing square taper crank arms, Shimano Octalink and ISIS splined crank systems. An essential addition for professional workshops and garage toolkits alike.' Not something I'd consider for professional contexts.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Compatible with Shimano square taper, octalink and Isis Splined cranks
Comfortable, Grippy moulded handle
Durable corrosion resistant black finish
Very disappointing hopefully ours was the exception, not the rule.
Reasonable while it worked.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Despite some nice touches, I was disappointed by its sudden, premature demise so would happily plump in favour of a better quality and more refined example.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Nicely machined, fairly comfortable handle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Our sample's disappointing build quality.
Did you enjoy using the product? Initially, until it broke.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not on the strength of our sample.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)