Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: DC / Maryland suburbs
Bikes: Homebuilt tourer/commuter, modified-beyond-recognition 1990 Trek 1100, reasonably stock 2002-ish Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
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Hmm... it's just a dust cap. You can grab it with a pair of pliers and yank it out. It'll break but it won't damage the cranks because it's just a piece of plastic. The dust cap is mostly just cosmetic... and maybe it keeps a bit of water off the BB spindle. But there's no need to have it. You can order new ones for $2 or something from loosescrews.com, or you can probably grab a pair at your LBS.