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  1. #1
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Self-Extracting Crank Bolts?

    I just discovered the existence and function of these things while surfing around for bike related stuff.
    (at this site BTW: http://www.sandsmachine.com/ac_bolt.htm)

    Seems like a GREAT idea to me - especially for folks who plan on touring self-contained. One or two less tools to carry.

    Are there any downsides or are these a really good idea that actually works?

  2. #2
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Actually, these work quite well. My 1993 Record cranks came with Campy self-extracting bolts. The only difference with the Campy is that the cap threads are reverse threaded, preventing any chance of the cap from unthreading as the bold is being unscrewed and crank arm being pulled from the BB spindle.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of self-extracting cranks. Most of the time I've had good luck with them but that's like saying that 99% of the New Orleans flood walls held.

    I know that after they first came out Santana recalled the self extracting rings on all of the tandems they had sold and replaced them with plain flat discs. I'm personally aware of at least 3 cases in which, for reasons that I don't understand, the self extracting rings partially damaged the crankarm threads. I prefer to use a separate crank extractor tool.

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    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    I'm personally aware of at least 3 cases in which, for reasons that I don't understand, the self extracting rings partially damaged the crankarm threads.
    Perhaps that's why Campy crank cap threads are reverse threaded....(at least my 1993 Record cranks are)

  5. #5
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    S&S offers these because some large frame bikes have to have the crank removed to fit in the travel case when you disassemble them. The auto extractors allow you to do this with only an allan wrench.

    Shimano fits standard self extracting bolts on their Ultegra and Dura Ace Octalink cranks and, in my experience, they work well. However, Octalinks require careful alignment when installing the crank arms so I always remove the outer ring (with a pin spanner) so I can see the inside of the crank/spindle interface during reassembly.

  6. #6
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Thanks Fixer, Retro Grouch and HillRider for your input.

    I'm using standard tapered spindles as opposed to splined but I've heard the caution to get Octalink aligned perfectly or risk damaging the splines.

    I gather the self-extractor is able to work because of the flange around the head of the bolt that pushes against the "cap" when you unscrew it. The washer goes between the bolt and cap to lower friction and stop the bolt from unscrewing the cap (which is where the reverse-threaded cap configuration would be helpful)

    Assuming the standard threading, is the washer usually sufficient to keep the cap from rotating or does anyone grease the bolt & cap?

  7. #7
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    You described the operation correctly. Usually, the washer is enough to keep the cap from unscrewing but a dab of grease on the bolt head is a good idea.

    As I mentioned, I've never had any problems with the Shimano Octalink version or the Suguino model for square taper bb spindles. Both work well.

  8. #8
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    My 1970's (i think!) shimano 600 group is equipped with self-extracting crank bolts.

  9. #9
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonFixed
    My 1970's (i think!) shimano 600 group is equipped with self-extracting crank bolts.
    I think that was the first appearance of these bolts; I remember using 600EX on an old racing frame in about 1980 and the cranks had them. I've liked them ever since.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've had a set of the 600AX bolts for about 20-years now. I just carry it over from one crankset to the next... I use a little blue Loctite on the cap just to make sure it's snug and won't go anywhere. And some graphite-grease on the washer between the bolt and cap; even if the grease dries out, the graphite still provides a lubrication layer.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-29-05 at 11:14 PM.

  11. #11
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    Here's a shot of the crank/bolts:

  12. #12
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    BostonFixed: Gorgeous cranks. I dream of finding a pair like that at a yard sale or Goodwill store.

    I just installed a pair of FSA self-extractors today. WOW! Works entirely as advertised - bit of lithium grease on both sides of each washer, no sign of the insert unscrewing itself.

    Happy as a clam with that purchase!


  13. #13
    RetroGrouchWrench Rural Roadie's Avatar
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    My Schwinn World Voyager came with the Dura Ace version of those cranks, but with plain bolts, 130 BCD and yes they are one of my favorites too. I think I have a spare still in wrap rh 600 crank.
    BTW, that group is known as 600, the name Ultegra wasn't used till later I belive for the 6400 series.

  14. #14
    Senior Member askrom's Avatar
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    I have a self-extractor built into the non-drive-side of my Truvativ Rouleur crank. It's not an aftermarket add-on, but rather it's built in by design. The drive side has the bb spindle built in, so the self-extractor is only nexessary on one side. Anyway, it works like a charm.

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