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  1. #1
    Junior Member beerbajay's Avatar
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    Broken Ritchey self-extracting crank bolt cap!

    So. I have a set of Ritchey WCS cranks. The non-chainwheel side was recalled, and replaced (swiftly) by Ritchey. Photo here. (yes, it's rusty) So then I had the task of removing and replacing the crank, which appeared to have rather normal looking self-extracting bolt business. I turned the bolt counter-clockwise, it loosened for a bit, then became more difficult to turn again (as the bolt engaged the cap/dust-cover). I kept turning and heard a noise as the cap/cover cracked. I turned a bit more, and the whole cover cracked into bits. Photo here. I removed the bolt and was able to unscrew the threaded part of the cap, which was still in the crank.

    So now:
    (1) Did I do something really stupid or obviously wrong?
    (2) Has anybody else had this problem?
    (3) I have a old-style crank puller, which is too small for the octalink BB. Can I jam a coin or something in front of the puller head, or will I destroy the BB?

    Yay.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerbajay View Post
    So now:
    (1) Did I do something really stupid or obviously wrong?
    No

    Quote Originally Posted by beerbajay View Post
    (2) Has anybody else had this problem?
    No idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by beerbajay View Post
    (3) I have a old-style crank puller, which is too small for the octalink BB. Can I jam a coin or something in front of the puller head, or will I destroy the BB?
    Given that your crank was/is on hard enough to break the self-extractor I'd be wary of using anything but the real tool to get it off. A coin is very likely to be too soft. (unless there was something wrong with your self extractor to begin with)
    You could try something along the lines of cutting the head of any old hex bolt you have laying around, and then use that or something similarly solid instead of a coin. Just make sure your extractor screws on far enough so that you don't strip the threads in the crank.

  3. #3
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    i'm gunna have to agree with dabac... and i have those crank... no problems from mine
    ride fast or die trying.... myspace.com/bmxer4130
    1985 cannondale 600 touring (commuter)
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  4. #4
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    do a search on 'crank-o-matics' and you will find the problems with this self-extracting crank bolts.
    you are not the only one who had this issue. i have two sets of these and i never used it. you should be able to pull that are off using a regular crank bolt. for your peace of mind, spray it with lube first to loosen it a bit.
    Rommel and Lucille

  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Was it an aluminium cap? Those really need to be steel for self-extracting crankarm-bolts.

    The arm may have a little anodic corrosion with the spindle. Spray some PB-blaster on the back side to try and loosen it up a little before using the extractor tool. Don't use a coin to block the pusher from going into the BB-spindle, it'll get stuck. Look around for some hardened steel washers at the hardware-store. Mill-washers are thicker and won't bend.

  6. #6
    Junior Member beerbajay's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's totally aluminum, but not a crank-o-matic so far as I can tell (no labeling, but different design from the ones I've seen). I actually tried a coin, and it got bent (but not stuck!). Any recommendations on which bolt/cap combo I should buy as a replacement?

  7. #7
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    There's a shimano metal slug thing that lets you extract octalink cranks with a normal puller, it's an under-a-buck part. It's part no. TL-FC15. Coins will definitely fail. There was a BF thread with pictures of someone who tried it and wasted a perfectly good nickle. It might be difficult to find a hardened piece of metal with the right dimensions (washers have holes in them, making them inappropriate), you might as well go to the bike shop.

  8. #8
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    I have two 9-speed Ultegra Octalink cranks with self extracting bolts and the "collars" are aluminum. I've never had any problem using them to remove the cranks and none have ever broken.

    However, I rather heavily grease the top flanges of the bolts and undersides of the collars when I reassemble the cranks. That keeps out water and dirt and lubricates the interface for the next removal.

  9. #9
    Junior Member beerbajay's Avatar
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    Update: I found washers that were the correct size, used two, and extracted the crank w/o problems. Unfortunately, the new crank arm doesn't want to go on smoothly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerbajay View Post
    .. Unfortunately, the new crank arm doesn't want to go on smoothly.
    Isn't the octalink available in two versions? are you sure you've got the right one?

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