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  1. #1
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    Installing cranks with a rubber mallet. opinions?

    Hi all, this is my first post and Iím just looking for some opinions.
    I'm about to install a new Shimano UN 73 square taper bottom bracket with a stronglight crankset. in the shop i used to work in the standard practise was to flip the bike on its side place the left crank arm on a big chunk of soft wood we had and giving the right crank arm a few whacks with a rubber mallet at the point where it sits on the spindle then installing and tightening the nuts /bolts.
    so I was surprised when browsing the park tools website their method just has the crankarms installed by tightening the bolt that goes into the spindle.

    so is my method overkill? I know it works as this is how all the cranks on my bicycles were installed and they've never had problems but most of those have older style cup and bearing bottom brackets. is there anything I should consider with a sealed cartridge bearing bottom bracket like the UN 73?

    thanks,
    redd

  2. #2
    Senior Member metabike's Avatar
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    I still use the mallet/2x4 method for all BB types (square tapers, ISIS, etc).

  3. #3
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    I was taught to use the hammer method. After I while, I realised that I'd hammer on the crank, put in the bolt - then push the crank on further when I tightened up the bolt.

    So the hammering wasn't achieving anything, other than stressing the frame.

    I don't bother with the hammer, my cranks don't come loose.

  4. #4
    Your mom
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    I just use the bolt.

  5. #5
    cab horn
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    There is zero reason to hit cranks with a mallet to put them on. That's what the bolt is for.

    Sounds like your shop had a bunch of mechanics who didn't know what they were doing.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  6. #6
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Yeah, save the hammer for getting them off

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    There is zero reason to hit cranks with a mallet to put them on. That's what the bolt is for.

    Sounds like your shop had a bunch of mechanics who didn't know what they were doing.
    thanks for all the replies,

    in retrospect I think this method was used to fit the crank arm snugly on the spindle before the bolt was tightened especially when working on cheaper equipment. I have seen a new guy in the shop strip the threads on the bolt installing a crank without seating it correctly first.

    I'll see how i get on when my new parts arrive.

    redd.

  8. #8
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
    Yeah, save the hammer for getting them off
    Save the hammer for the bone-head mechanics (nose-pickers?) who think this is a good way to install a crank.

    I honestly thought this was a joke until metabike and hairytoes (really?) weighed in.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  9. #9
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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    LOL - I read the first couple of replies and I was thinking - damn, I've been doing this wrong for 20 years?!?! I've never hit a bike with a hammer except out of anger.

  10. #10
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GV27 View Post
    LOL - I read the first couple of replies and I was thinking - damn, I've been doing this wrong for 20 years?!?! I've never hit a bike with a hammer except out of anger.
    Bad bike!!!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  11. #11
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    Carbon cranks+hammer=bad idea
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    racer x flies across cobblestones with a grimace of determination, three feet of seatpost, bars level with ankles, carbon fiber frame with Kryptonite lugs and a millimeter clearance between the fork and the 700x21c tires. This gives everyone a *****

  12. #12
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    You can use the mallet, but really, what's the point?? All you save is a few turns on the bolt and you surely waste that time reaching for the mallet and block!

    Besides, with my air impact *** the difference is maybe 1/2 second...
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  13. #13
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    I always torque the crankbolts to spec and never had problems with either square or ISIS cranks. The mechanical advantage of the screw is tremendous.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudPie View Post
    I always torque the crankbolts to spec and never had problems with either square or ISIS cranks. The mechanical advantage of the screw is tremendous.
    Absolutely correct. If you torque the bolts to the correct tightness, nothing else is needed.

    I'd worry about damaging the bb bearings from the hammer impact if the spindle wasn't supported well enough.

  15. #15
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Whack the Mole.......uh.............crankarm

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GV27 View Post
    LOL - I read the first couple of replies and I was thinking - damn, I've been doing this wrong for 20 years?!?! I've never hit a bike with a hammer except out of anger.
    Obviously not a mechanic....one of my favorite tools has always been a dead blow hammer.

  17. #17
    Title-Les
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    Save the hammer for the bone-head mechanics (nose-pickers?) who think this is a good way to install a crank.

    I honestly thought this was a joke until metabike and hairytoes (really?) weighed in.
    I would never take a hammer or mallet to one of my bikes but geeze guys, a good nose-picking sure feels good sometimes.
    alf

  18. #18
    118AHC "Thunderbirds" 2372ighost's Avatar
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    +1 on the nose picking

  19. #19
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2372ighost View Post
    +1 on the nose picking
    old alfie is new to the Forums and doesn't remember sydney; 2372ighost might know better.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  20. #20
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    There's a problem with nose picking?
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  21. #21
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Yeesh...
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  22. #22
    Title-Les
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    old alfie is new to the Forums and doesn't remember sydney; 2372ighost might know better.
    Hmm, I just "searched" sydney and read the tragedy of his death. There're way too many posts tho for me to read. I'd appreciate your putting sydney in context with nose picking.
    alf

  23. #23
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    Obviously not a mechanic....one of my favorite tools has always been a dead blow hammer.
    Closely followed by an adjustable wrench.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_alfie View Post
    Hmm, I just "searched" sydney and read the tragedy of his death. There're way too many posts tho for me to read. I'd appreciate your putting sydney in context with nose picking.
    alf
    Sydney was a well regarded regular here and had a somewhat caustic view of a lot of things done by bike mechanics. He frequently used "nose picker" as a dismissive term for some of the more inept ones.

  25. #25
    Senior Member metabike's Avatar
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    To paraphrase President Nixon, "I am not a nosepicker." And to paraphrase Arnold from one of his best roles (Kindergarten Cop), "Eets not a hammer!", it's a rubber mallet that I was taught to use. And the seating of the arm is done with a tap, not a full windup, windmill, stake driving, blow. And of course, I wouldn't take a mallet to CF; honestly, that didn't come to mind because my work is mostly done in the less rarefied air of good old fashioned, alloy cranksets. Finally, lest anyone think hammers and bikes don't go together, I submit exhibit one: the 3-piece cottered crankset. In all seriousity, I have worked on bicycles for a long time and am proud of my work. This has taught me that the next time I am tempted to post a quick reply, I will pause to make sure that I cover all my bases so that I don't suffer the slings and arrows of this far flung interweb world.

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