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  1. #1
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    Touring in Africa with a hollow bottom bracket stuff?

    Not sure if I am asking a question or telling a story.

    Would you ride through Africa or around the world on new model hollow bottom bracket and hollow crank arms? I am sure they are strong but you won't find a replacement and it is hard to work on them.

    I helped a "Germany - to - South Africa" tour rider fix his crank/pedal this week. He had a hollow bottom bracket and hollow crank arms. Before Nairobi, Kenya his right pedal came lose and he must of buggered the threads (english was a problem). After failing to find the drive side crank arm in Nairobi they rebored the hole and screwed an insert in and brazed it. In the end he had a permanently fixed pedal that was not 90 degrees to the arm. He rode on south and two days later met me 3 kms from my house pedaling happily through Arusha.

    When I stopped him on side of road and offered any help he pointed to crank. I figured he needed to grease or something. In his almost non existent English we decided he stay with me and use my tools. I have a fair amount of tools and spares, and started offering the crank off my wife's mtn bike . Then i realizied he had splined hollow crank an all my stuff i 10-20 years old. Almost buggered his bottom bracket spindle with my slightly broken crank puller. When we took off the pedal the insert came out too.

    I forgot to take a picture. It it took us two half days standing around machine shops to get it right. We rebored the crank arm pedal hole. Made an insert with thread on the inside and outside and a flange on the inside. If I didnt stay around they would decide on other alternatives that never worked.

    so...

    Me I think I stay with solid crank spindles and solid crank arms. But then I find hard to find parts for 10+ year old bikes on line. We finally have modern bike shop, but he only had road cranks.

    Erik

  2. #2
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    yeah '07 campy chorus prolly ain't da way to go!
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  3. #3
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    This topic has been on my mind too. I'm looking for a crankset for my new mt. bike "conversion" and was wondering about this, does anyone has strong opinions for or against an intergrated BB/hollow in terms of extended touring in non-western countries. Seems like all of the new Shimano Mt. Bike cranks are going the way of intergrated.
    Surly Cross Check, Thorn Sherpa

  4. #4
    Senior Member Flic's Avatar
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    I may well be touring in Africa with a hollow bottom bracket and all that other stuff... how do you tell? I hope my bike doesn't fall appart on the way to Khartoum. I'm somewhat concerned...

    looking forward to comin' and stayin with ya tho mate!! Maybe you can tell me then if its hollow bottomed or not.... if I still got the bike that is i guess.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flic
    I may well be touring in Africa with a hollow bottom bracket and all that other stuff... how do you tell? I hope my bike doesn't fall appart on the way to Khartoum. I'm somewhat concerned...

    looking forward to comin' and stayin with ya tho mate!! Maybe you can tell me then if its hollow bottomed or not.... if I still got the bike that is i guess.
    Hey Flic. Lots of people seem to be rooting for you. I think your are going to make it. See you in a bit.

    erik

  6. #6
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    The sensible approach when cycling in most of Africa IMHO is to assume that you won't find any replacement parts so opt for the most durable. Things like cranks shouldn't need replaced - that guys problem seems almost certainly to have been self inflicted through either carelessness or maybe ignorance. Had that been me I'd probably have ordered some new cranks from an online shop when in Nairobi. Wouldn't be cheap, but peace of mind would be more important to me than saving a few quid.

    I've still got old-fashioned square taper bottom bracket and really can't think of any reason to change, but still I wouldn't expect to find a replacement of any quality in most of Africa.

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