Does anybody have any good advice to prevent me from damaging my beautiful splined cranks? I read everywhere to be sure that they are lined up properly when installing, as they are easy to damage; this feat is not an easy one, as the self extracting bolts block my view.
Santana Noventa (Stowaway)
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
A stowaway Noventa? That's a nice bike.
When the self extracting cranks first came out, Santana deleted the extracting rings because so many people were ruining the splines. My own Noventa (not a stowaway) is set up that way with a plain disc that completely covers the crank bolt and has to be removed with a pin wrench before I can remove the crank.
The right way to install the crank with the extractor ring is to take the extractor ring off so that you can visually align the splines. If you try to go by feel, it's easy to think they are aligned when they're not. Torque the crank bolts and finally replace the extracting rings.
Is Santana still painting all of the stowaways black? I sold one to a customer and he had to pay extra to get the shadeshifter paint that was standard on the non-stowaway Noventas. His preceeded the Shimano 9-speed days so it didn't have the self extracting crank. It has a Ritchie 9-speed with 8 speed cog spacing and an added gizmo on the shift cable to get the last gear.
I'll cross post this to the tandem board, since this is now becoming a tandem discussion. (Other advice is, of course, welcome).
Shadeshifter paint is standard on the Noventa Stowaways. Or rather, it was standard; the Noventa has been replaced with a new model, "Team Niobium", creating a rather large discount (for Santana, at least) on all remaining Noventas. Here's a picture, travel suitcase in the background, as is my very old Santana Elan.
I'll note that our fleet of bikes and tandems do not presently include any using a Shimano Octalink or ISIS bottom bracket (we're pretty much square taper city); however, having had a few pass through the livery and having worked on a few bikes that do, I would "think" you could solve the problem by putting an alignment mark on the exposed section of spindle pipe that is visible between the stoker's left-side crank and the bottom bracket shell and/or on both ends of the spindle pipe. You would want to put the mark such that it lines up with under or opposite of the center of the crank arm when installed on the spindle.
A small spot of auto touch-up paint or indelible ink on a freshly cleaned spindle usually does the trick and remains on the spindle for a long time before fading. Moreover, it could be freshed-up when removing the cranks while packing for a trip. You would just need to line up the stoker's timing (left hand) crank with alignment mark on the spindle and then thread-in your crank bolt while making sure the spindle (and spline pattern) remained in alignment until the splines seated.
Anyway, that would be my approach but, again, I'm basing this partially on theory and partially on being anal enough to keep even my square tapers "aligned" with cranks when they are reinstalled by using alignment marks on the spindles.
The Shimano instructions say to remove the self extracting bolt first and then look in the hole and put it on. You just need a wrench for the cap that holds the self extracting bolt in place. One was included with some bolts that I bought. It's a Shimano tool I believe. Make sure you have a little grease on the threads of the cap so you can remove it when you need to.