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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-10-10, 07:08 PM   #1
funrover 
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Misadventures of riding

Yesterday was a day I should have stayed home. The ride started off great. My friend and I were out doing a cruise, enjoying the weather and great trail. Along the way we kept looking out at how overfull the river was. Then we came to were the river had completely drowned the trail. I start to cross for the heck of it ..SPLOOOSH.. well that's one wet foot.. don't need two. Well go around and continue. Not much after this my crank started to come loose. I just put a new bottom bracket in and I have fun noises and loose parts.. no good. We continue on a little to an auto shop where I tighten the loose bolt.... Less than a mile later it's completely loose again. And then the crank almost completely falls off. We call for a pick up and while waiting for a ride I was stung twice.. once above the eye once on the arm.... Yup should have stayed home.


Now I need to figure out whats going on with my crank???

Before everything went downhill



Trail Closed I guess... You can see my tracks from my attempt. I just wasn't sure what was below the water


The reason the ride ended
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Old 06-10-10, 07:24 PM   #2
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Looks like the bolt just fell off... do you still have it? Looks like a square taper to me, when you put it back on, make sure you grease the thing good and get that bolt on nice and tight.

What an odd location for a rear brake too.... great location to get dirt and water sprayed up from the front wheel.
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Old 06-10-10, 07:26 PM   #3
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Ouch, that's quite a misadventure. What kind of crank do you have?

Hm, square taper was my guess too, but I can't see how that could possibly come off, unless the bolt was quite loose to begin with.

I didn't even notice the brake, interesting.

Last edited by serra; 06-10-10 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Some one beat me to it!
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Old 06-10-10, 07:43 PM   #4
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Looks like the bolt just fell off... do you still have it? Looks like a square taper to me, when you put it back on, make sure you grease the thing good and get that bolt on nice and tight.

What an odd location for a rear brake too.... great location to get dirt and water sprayed up from the front wheel.
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Ouch, that's quite a misadventure. What kind of crank do you have?

Hm, square taper was my guess too, but I can't see how that could possibly come off, unless the bolt was quite loose to begin with.

I didn't even notice the brake, interesting.

I have the bolt. I tightened the heck out of it. I ordered a new arm for that side after looking the old one is bad. Hope that fixes the issue. What would grease do to help hold it? Threadlocker would work right?

The rear brake works great, never really do mud with this bike so can't say much there. however my dad has an old Peugot with that same location
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Old 06-10-10, 08:36 PM   #5
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Those cranks won't go on tight enough if you don't grease them... it's a little counter intuitive but if the crank isn't seated all the way down on the crank it will work it's way loose. The grease helps you get it all the way down on the crank. And no, you don't need threadlocker. The bolt should be threaded the wrong way for the way you're pedaling, so it naturally tries to tighten itself.

By the way, there are apparently three different sizes of square taper crank.... Campy and two different JIS sizes, make sure you get the right one. I'm also "blessed" with a square taper crank on my bike... unfortunately, I have a beautiful carbon fiber crank and BB that I just can't use (sob). Oh well.
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Old 06-10-10, 09:07 PM   #6
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Sorry your ride sucked, and glad you didn't go into the water--never drive or ride through water like that! Or so I have been told.

The most interesting part of this, to me, though, is that in the first picture, you look like you have a tiny man on top of your head.
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Old 06-10-10, 09:13 PM   #7
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Sorry your ride sucked, and glad you didn't go into the water--never drive or ride through water like that! Or so I have been told.

The most interesting part of this, to me, though, is that in the first picture, you look like you have a tiny man on top of your head.


GI Joe size...
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Old 06-10-10, 10:14 PM   #8
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Those cranks won't go on tight enough if you don't grease them... it's a little counter intuitive but if the crank isn't seated all the way down on the crank it will work it's way loose. The grease helps you get it all the way down on the crank. And no, you don't need threadlocker. The bolt should be threaded the wrong way for the way you're pedaling, so it naturally tries to tighten itself.

By the way, there are apparently three different sizes of square taper crank.... Campy and two different JIS sizes, make sure you get the right one. I'm also "blessed" with a square taper crank on my bike... unfortunately, I have a beautiful carbon fiber crank and BB that I just can't use (sob). Oh well.
So do I grease the cranks arm or the bolt? Just the arm at the Taper correct?
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Old 06-10-10, 11:06 PM   #9
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NO! You never grease a square taper axle or the crank arm! You can, however, grease the bolt, or use anti-sieze, but the square taper spindle (where it meets the crank) and the crank should both be clean and grease free!

Also, crankarm bolts are supposed to torqued to be something like 350in-lbs. I usually take them to 200 in-lbs (max on my torque wrench) then tighten what I feel they need. I think you would REALLY have to crank down hard to hurt them, too loose is likely worse. But, don't over-do it, either...

And, SS for a trail like that is awesome I built an old RockHopper up just for the purpose, the Erie Canal path here in NY state... I got sick of shifting all the time! I will still grab my mountain bike for super long rides, but the SS is going to be my 0-30 mile bike for the canal path. Past that, I might just want gears...
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Old 06-11-10, 04:08 PM   #10
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Hopefully you're having a better day today?

By the way, do you have one of those Star Wars teleporter communication devices built into your helmet? It looks like you've channeled Obi Wan.
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Old 06-11-10, 06:18 PM   #11
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NO! You never grease a square taper axle or the crank arm!
Not 100% true, the surfaces need to be lubricated.... if both pieces are aluminum then they're self lubricating (thin coat of oxide) but it's not immediately apparent what his cranks are.
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Old 06-16-10, 04:43 PM   #12
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Not 100% true, the surfaces need to be lubricated.... if both pieces are aluminum then they're self lubricating (thin coat of oxide) but it's not immediately apparent what his cranks are.
Either aluminum or some sort of alloy.
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Old 06-16-10, 05:19 PM   #13
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NO! You never grease a square taper axle or the crank arm! You can, however, grease the bolt, or use anti-sieze, but the square taper spindle (where it meets the crank) and the crank should both be clean and grease free!
Bull. Utter clap trap. Widely repeated, but still negligent nonsense.

Tapers are a friction fit. Some engineer somewhere worked out that for the crank to pushed the proper distance up the spline, it needs X newtons of force. Then he works out that those X newtons will provided by torque of Y on the fixing nut. that's only true if the surfaces -- the taper and threads -- are properly lubricated. The aluminum oxide passivization layer is not a lubricant. Use oil, use grease, use goat's blood, but use a lubricant. Failure to lubricate spindles can lead to cranks that aren't on the tapers far enough, and which will quickly be destroyed.

The only problems with square taper spindles are they require some skill to install, they're a tad heavy (which doesn't matter, unless you're going to lose a time trial by a tenth of a second), and they last forever, if they have proper bearings, and not crappy cartridge ones. (AS used in BB shells, cartridge bearings too small, so give lousy life. Good if you sell replacement bottom brackets. Bad if you have to buy them. Cup and cone setups were vastly superior, but again, require some skill to set up.)
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Old 06-16-10, 07:23 PM   #14
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There is no way that crank axle is aluminum.
Buy a small tube of blue Loctite and use it on the crank bolt threads. Still torque it sufficiently.
Putting grease on a crank axle can lead to overtightening and cracking of the crank arm.
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Old 06-16-10, 08:03 PM   #15
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Not 100% true, the surfaces need to be lubricated.... if both pieces are aluminum then they're self lubricating (thin coat of oxide) but it's not immediately apparent what his cranks are.
Square taper crank arms are aluminum, bottom bracket square taper spindles are usually tempered steel, although there have been some high end ones that are Ti. The general rule on lubricating the arm, is to follow the manufacturers directions, if they say lubricate then lubricate, if they don't then don't. Square tapers have been around for 40 years, and so has the argument to lube or not lube. A week or two after installation, you need to tighten them up though, and then check the tightness when you clean the bike or lube the chain, by trying to wiggle the arms, if they are a little loose then tighten them up.
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Old 06-16-10, 11:12 PM   #16
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I have no advice and I didn't see any other interesting, out of the ordinary, or odd things in any of your pics. I did want to say if you were gonna use goat blood to lubricate whatever bit of the crank, the bolts or whatever, I think you'd find a squirrel easier to catch than a goat. Squirrels are also smaller to squeeze to get their blood. That's it. Oh! Except I still like those red pedals.
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