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  1. #1
    Senior Member bike4life's Avatar
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    Flaking Bontrager Crank

    The chrome (?) plating is flaking off of the Bontrager triple crank that came with my '05 Lemond Sarthe I bought this spring. My LBS, where I bought the bike, says it's an equipment warranty issue and that Lemond will offer me a credit instead of replacing the crank. Cool, I'd rather have a Campy Veloce triple to match the rest of the gruppo on the bike. Will I also need a new bottom bracket? Do I need to make sure I get '05 parts only, or are all Veloce part compatible? What's reasonable for me to expect regarding the swap - no labor charge, minimal labor charge, or this is a real big PIA and I'm going to pay through the nose?

  2. #2
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Chrome plating is used on steel. A Lemond Sarthe isn't going to use a steel crank, nor is anything that Bontrager puts his name on (yes, I know that Trek owns his name, but they won't slap it on department-store-quality cranks, which Lemond wouldn't use anyway). My guess is that anodizing is flaking off the aluminum crank, or some paint? In either case, I don't see how it causes a structural problem for the crank that it would fall under warranty. Can you more carefully explain what's going on and why it's anything more than a slight cosmetic problem?

    As for replacing the crank with Campy, that's up to you and is fine if you've got credit to use. Campy cranks will use a different bottom bracket, whether you get 2006 and prior Campy with ISO-tapered square-taper bottom bracket interface, or the 2007 ultra-torque integrated crank/bb model. Square-taper parts will be cheaper and will work plenty fine - it's not as if they've held back all of the people racing on Campy equipment for the past few years even when many other riders are using integraded crank/bb systems.

    You could do this yourself if you've got bottom bracket installation/removal tools.
    But assuming you don't, you could pay maybe $20 to have the old crank/bb removed and the new one installed. This is not counting the cost of the crank and bb itself.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bike4life's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback and you're right - it's the anodized finish that's flaking off, not chrome. Yes, the crank works fine, it's purely all about the looks. However, I figure the parts should look great until I ding them up or they're at least a couple of years old. After all, I've only put 2600 miles on it since April!

    The Bontrager website says the crank's suggested retail price is $199, what do you figure would be a fair credit? I'm taking the position either a decent credit or send me a new crank. Hopefully, the credit will be decent so I can switch it over to Campy. I'll probably go for a 2006 crank/bb, since I don't see a 2007 Veloce triple on the Campy website.

  4. #4
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Look, anodizing starts to scrape off of cranks, specifically if your heels rub against the crankarm as you're pedaling. And this happens after a couple thousand miles. Is the shop really giving you credit for this? Have they already said they will? Because I don't really think that they should, in principle, have to do so.
    Assuming the chainrings on the Bontrager aren't too worn (if you've kept chain in good condition) it's maybe worth $100 credit (crank+bb) after the amount of use you've put into it. That's the best that it could be re-sold for, I think. Probably less.

    You could also look for Veloce triple + bb on eBay.

  5. #5
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike4life
    The chrome (?) plating is flaking off of the Bontrager triple crank that came with my '05 Lemond Sarthe I bought this spring. My LBS, where I bought the bike, says it's an equipment warranty issue and that Lemond will offer me a credit instead of replacing the crank. Cool, I'd rather have a Campy Veloce triple to match the rest of the gruppo on the bike. Will I also need a new bottom bracket? Do I need to make sure I get '05 parts only, or are all Veloce part compatible? What's reasonable for me to expect regarding the swap - no labor charge, minimal labor charge, or this is a real big PIA and I'm going to pay through the nose?
    This is a known issue. Bontrager/Trek has replaced several of these for me under warranty. The new ones don't seem to be having problems. If they're offering you a Veloce crank, take it, but you will need a different BB.

    I don't know how your shop plans to handle it, but Bontrager/Trek sent us new cranks and we replaced the bad cranks for free. Literally takes less than 5 minutes to do it when the BB is the same. Upgrades would be handled on a simple retail to retail basis. I'd comp the labor, as well if you got the bike from me.

  6. #6
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    This is a known issue. Bontrager/Trek has replaced several of these for me under warranty. The new ones don't seem to be having problems. If they're offering you a Veloce crank, take it, but you will need a different BB.
    Okay, makes sense. I'd guess it's paint then, not anodizing (which wouldn't flake, I think).

  7. #7
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Okay, makes sense. I'd guess it's paint then, not anodizing (which wouldn't flake, I think).
    Exactly.

    Anodizing is an electrolytic coating; it will wear but it will not flake. This sounds like some sort of coating.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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