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  1. #1
    Senior Member socalcyclist's Avatar
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    FSA SLK carbon cranks problem!

    The crank arm fixing bolt that holds my cranks on the bike loosened on me today. I noticed it after my crank arm moved out from the BB about 1/2 inch! I tightened it as much as I could. After another 8 miles, it was loose again! AAAARRRRRGHHHHH! Another cyclist told me that FSA cranks were known for that. Bummer if its true.

    Anyone know how to fix it?????????

  2. #2
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    That happened to a friend of mine's two week old Specialized Roubaix Comp except that his left crank arm fell off completely destroying the left bearing cup in the process. Read the roadbikereview.com reviews on that crankset. It is a common problem and some say it's not fixable, even with loctite. If you bought the bike from an LBS, take it back and complain. You might also try calling FSA but they'll probably just refer you to the LBS. You can always try loctite but only use the medium strength "blue" stuff and not the permanent strength "red". Note that all loctite comes in red bottles. The color refers to the color of the liquid.

  3. #3
    Senior Member socalcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximo
    That happened to a friend of mine's two week old Specialized Roubaix Comp except that his left crank arm fell off completely destroying the left bearing cup in the process. Read the roadbikereview.com reviews on that crankset. It is a common problem and some say it's not fixable, even with loctite. If you bought the bike from an LBS, take it back and complain. You might also try calling FSA but they'll probably just refer you to the LBS. You can always try loctite but only use the medium strength "blue" stuff and not the permanent strength "red". Note that all loctite comes in red bottles. The color refers to the color of the liquid.
    thanks...I read many reviews. I guess I'll replace it and spreasd the work!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalcyclist
    thanks...I read many reviews. I guess I'll replace it and spreasd the work!
    Why don't you try Loctite first?
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

    Good/Bad Trader Listing

  5. #5
    Senior Member bm010's Avatar
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    I went through 2 replacement FSA SL-K cranksets before just getting sick of the problem(s). Do yourself a favor and see if your LBS can get a credit from FSA or your bike manufacturer and buy Shimano or Campy cranks. I went with the Shimano R700 and would not EVER bother with FSA cranksets again. How much is your peace of mind and time worth to you?

    2 threads I started regarding the crankset in question.

    Is this an issue with the BB? (crank spin)

    Poll: Which compact crankset?

  6. #6
    Senior Member socalcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Why don't you try Loctite first?
    going with the loctite-even though I heard that it doesn't make a diff. I have nothing to lose. The lbs out of state is shipping me a new crankset...they said they'd call me and give me my options. I'm interested to get feedback on the replacement crank offer....

  7. #7
    cs1
    cs1 is offline
    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bm010
    I went through 2 replacement FSA SL-K cranksets before just getting sick of the problem(s). Do yourself a favor and see if your LBS can get a credit from FSA or your bike manufacturer and buy Shimano or Campy cranks. I went with the Shimano R700 and would not EVER bother with FSA cranksets again. How much is your peace of mind and time worth to you?

    2 threads I started regarding the crankset in question.

    Is this an issue with the BB? (crank spin)

    Poll: Which compact crankset?
    Has FSA acknowledged the problem? More importantly, are they working on a fix? This could really damage their reputation.

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  8. #8
    mobilis in mobili N
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    The issue relates to the alloy crank bolt on the non drive crank, it flexs under load and backs itself off. The FSA fix is to replace this with a stronger steel one which supposedly resolves the problem. The newer models have steel crank bolts.
    Last edited by captainnemo; 02-11-07 at 06:03 AM.

  9. #9
    Made in Norway Lectron's Avatar
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    Two brands I never touch again, not even with a poker

    FSA and American Classic.

    Whether they acknowledge their problems or not is not an issue.
    There's just too many recalls and failures.
    I don't like being a crash test dummie.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    Weight weenieness is a disease very often caused by the lack of good results. Just a few steps below doping in terms of desperation

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainnemo
    The issue relates to the alloy crank bolt on the non drive crank, it flexs under load and backs itself off. The FSA fix is to replace this with a stronger steel one which supposedly resolves the problem. The newer models have steel crank bolts.
    FSA uses rubber coated crush washers to take up play in the system and account for differences in frame bottom bracket shell width. The crank bolt smashes down these crush washers when you tighten it. After time, the pinched rubber squeezes out and tension in the crank bolt decreases, which causes it to loosen - bolts stay tight because they stretch which keeps tension on the threads. A steel bolt with thread-lock should help but close monitoring of the bolt is still recommended in my opinion.

    My understanding is that FSA has updated this design for their new top of the line cranks: the BB spindle is now tapered and the bolt has Loctite. Too bad they didn't update the entire line of cranks. FSA clearly doesn't do the testing and research that some other component company’s do. Buy their stuff at your own risk.
    Last edited by Nessism; 02-11-07 at 02:02 PM.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  11. #11
    Senior Member socalcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainnemo
    The issue relates to the alloy crank bolt on the non drive crank, it flexs under load and backs itself off. The FSA fix is to replace this with a stronger steel one which supposedly resolves the problem. The newer models have steel crank bolts.

    posted by Nessism-FSA uses rubber coated crush washers to take up play in the system and account for differences in frame bottom bracket shell width. The crank bolt smashes down these crush washers when you tighten it. After time, the pinched rubber squeezes out and tension in the crank bolt decreases, which causes it to loosen - bolts stay tight because they stretch which keeps tension on the threads. A steel bolt with thread-lock should help but close monitoring of the bolt is still recommended in my opinion.

    My understanding is that FSA has updated this design for their new top of the line cranks: the BB spindle is now tapered and the bolt has Loctite. Too bad they didn't update the entire line of cranks. FSA clearly doesn't do the testing and research that some other component company’s do. Buy their stuff at your own risk.-

    AHHHHH...thats what I need to know. The tech. info will help me get this working or replace it.

    thanks good stuff!

  12. #12
    Senior Member bm010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    Has FSA acknowledged the problem? More importantly, are they working on a fix? This could really damage their reputation.

    Tim
    Both times I had my LBS take care of the phone work/etc...since I had just bought the bike not even 3-5 weeks earlier. To my understanding, it was FSA both times. I honestly didn't care to inquire about a possible fix or solution either or even what FSA said...I just wanted out after the 3rd. The design is just inherently inferior to what Shimano uses. It's ridiculous how the pinch washers and crankarms are attached and used. In the long run there's more guess work, tighter instruction procedures (torque specs), maintanence, and time spent on their cranks vs Shimano...so given a choice, why bother? I'm fine with other FSA products though (stems, bars, seatposts, misc)...but their cranks are beyond positive recognition in my eyes now.

  13. #13
    Senior Member socalcyclist's Avatar
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    update: A LBS put some blue loctite on the cranks ( for free-nice of them). It's still lose! the LBS that I purchased the bike from is sending me a steel bolt, so I will see what happens..

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