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  1. #1
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    Touring Cranksets

    Sorry if this has already been asked, but I couldn't get the search to work.

    I recently bought a Fugi Del Ray that I'm going to use for touring (it may not be the best bike, but it's better than my Specialized Sirius Sport). Anyway, it has a mishmash of components, some of which I was looking to replace.

    It has a biopace chainring, and right now I'm looking to replace it. However, one of the bolts is missing on the crankset, and the hole it goes in is pretty much ruined. So my thought is to just bite the bullet and completely replace the whole thing.

    I want to know how doable this is. It has a thin chain, so would I have to replace the chain as well? Also, does this mean that I would be looking at replacing pieces in the rear derailer as well?

    My other question is what is the difference in cranksets? I see them going anywhere from $10 to $200 dollars, and I just don't get what the difference is or what I should be looking for. It's a triple crankset if that helps at all.

    Thanks so much!

    EDIT: Just wanted to quickly say it's a Del Ray CX. That might help clarify things
    Last edited by Riluske; 06-08-11 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    110 outer bolt circle 74 mm inner bolt circle 24t+16t(40)+10t(50]
    back when freewheels and cassettes were no smaller than 13t

    now , using the current 11-34 cassettes, the compact mountain bike
    end of the ratios
    are great , 22 32 44.. Trekking chainring picks are currently 28 38 48
    subbing a 24 for the bottom probably a good Idea.
    _______ ..

    You could just replace the Biopace chainrings with round ones.. ,

    that would be simplest.Just buy 3 chainrings.


    You should replace the chain, probably more often than you are inclined to,
    so this is a good time.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-08-11 at 01:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riluske View Post
    Sorry if this has already been asked, but I couldn't get the search to work.

    I recently bought a Fugi Del Ray that I'm going to use for touring (it may not be the best bike, but it's better than my Specialized Sirius Sport). Anyway, it has a mishmash of components, some of which I was looking to replace.

    It has a biopace chainring, and right now I'm looking to replace it. However, one of the bolts is missing on the crankset, and the hole it goes in is pretty much ruined. So my thought is to just bite the bullet and completely replace the whole thing.

    I want to know how doable this is. It has a thin chain, so would I have to replace the chain as well? Also, does this mean that I would be looking at replacing pieces in the rear derailer as well?

    My other question is what is the difference in cranksets? I see them going anywhere from $10 to $200 dollars, and I just don't get what the difference is or what I should be looking for. It's a triple crankset if that helps at all.

    Thanks so much!
    Cost = 1/weight

    The less something weighs, the more it costs...generally.

    I would question that the Sirius isn't a better touring bike than the Fuji Del Rey. The Del Rey is more sport bike than touring bike. The Sirius would work quite well as a touring bike. It has more provisions for racks - front and rear - than the Del Rey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Cost = 1/weight

    The less something weighs, the more it costs...generally.

    I would question that the Sirius isn't a better touring bike than the Fuji Del Rey. The Del Rey is more sport bike than touring bike. The Sirius would work quite well as a touring bike. It has more provisions for racks - front and rear - than the Del Rey.
    I actually agree completely about the racks, however I wanted drop bars and friction shifters, which the Sirius didn't have. Also, the Del Ray does has rear eyelets on the frame for a rack, just not the front ones. The Del Ray I bought is also steel frame (chromoly) as opposed to the Aluminum Sirius.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A fork tip eyelet would do, you can fake a mid blade mount a number of ways..

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    You could just replace the Biopace chainrings with round ones.. ,

    that would be simplest.Just buy 3 chainrings.


    You should replace the chain, probably more often than you are inclined to,
    so this is a good time.
    Two things. The reason that I was considering changing out the crankset is because one of the screw holes holding the chainring in is completely ruined. Is it ok to just have 4/5 screws or is this going to be an issue later down the road?

    The second this is regarding the chain switch. Since I have a thin chain now, does that mean I'll have to replace some things in the back derailer if I switch to a thicker chain? Or should I just look for chainrings made for thinner chains?

    Thanks again

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    how is it ruined? broken off?

    thick/ thin is all relative: track 1/8" is not a derailleur chain.
    there are several levels of thin , and the # of cogs in a cassette says a lot

    5,6,7,8 is 3/32" thin, 9 is thinner !0 is thinner yet, then there's 11.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-08-11 at 08:56 PM.

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    You should visit your Local Bike Shop for advice and assistance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    how is it ruined? broken off?

    thick/ thin is all relative: track 1/8" is not a derailleur chain.
    there are several levels of thin , and the # of cogs in a cassette says a lot

    5,6,7,8 is 1 thin, 9 is thinner !0 is thinner yet, then there's 11.
    7 cogs in the back. I just remember seeing somewhere on the front chainring "for thin chains only"

    And it's not the bolt that is ruined, it's the actual hole in the crankset. It's threaded (hopefully that's the correct term) so that you can't screw the bolt in it.
    Last edited by Riluske; 06-08-11 at 08:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    I don't mean to sound unappreciative, but I don't really see how a bike shop is going to help me here. Yes, the slot is threaded, and yes it looks like that is a tool that will help that not happen, but that's not going to fix the slot. I also don't think that a bike shop can "unthread" the hole.

    Right now, the bike is fully rideable, but I am definitely replacing the crankset. It's a crappy one anyway. My original question was what is the difference between an expensive crankset like Velo Orange's Grand Cru and a cheaper $30 Shimano? (I think I understand the whole chain thing now, so leaving that one alone) I've heard weight, but then Rivendell sells their Sugino XD2 for $130 because it's "the smartest and most versatile triple crank on the market, and is almost too smart and all-around good to even exist in these weirdo times." Personally, I have no idea what that means, if it means anything at all.

    Hopefully I don't sound like to much of a jerk here, I just feel like the thread is swaying from "why are some of these more expensive, and what should I get." and going to "OMGZ Your cranksets be ruined! Get to the bike shop NOWZ!1!!"

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Which hole? which one , granny gear? or the big ones , or the hole in the middle that you bolt the thing on the BB spindle thru.

    I don't mean to sound unappreciative, but I don't really see how a bike shop is going to help me here.
    They can see what you are talking about , text ain't pictures,
    you don't describe your situation adequately,
    and we cannot see what your specific situation is.

    do you have All the tools to remove the old crank and re install it's replacement?
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-09-11 at 09:01 AM.

  13. #13
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    Provide Better Information, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Which hole?
    You have been getting good feedback from my perspective [so far]. What you seem to be decribing is a threaded hole in the drive-side crank spider, which no longer can accept/fit the originally intended mounting bolt for the chainring(s). If you would provide close-up photos of the hole in question, and photos of the chainring/bolt, we can advise. Virtually everything is fixable.

    Your most economical crankset is the one that you have. Let's focus on the repair of th existing one. It may be very straightforward. You say that it is designed for a triple now, so I'm assuming that we're referring to the inner chainring, which is on its own set of mounting holes (inside of the bcd of the mid/outer chainring). These threaded holes were cast into the spider, and one of them is stripped. But we can't verify this without photos. If you can save the crankset, you can save the bottom bracket, too. And there's an additional cost savings.

    Your next most economical crankset (and now bottom bracket spindle at at minimum, or cartridge) will be one found on eBay. Look for the proper chainring combination for your use, also with a reasonable bolt circle diameter (BCD) to permit the most flexibility in changing chainrings. a 24-36-48 might be a good starting point, or 22-34-44 if you plan to tour heavily loaded. Sugino cranksets are excellent, and there are 1980s vintage triples that would be excellent for your application. Modern ones are nice, but are more expensive. The spindle length for your bottom bracket must be matched to the crankset and desired chainline. Old spindle is unlikely to support the new crankset, unless by chance.

    Stick to those compatible with square taper bb spindles, as they have the widest range if compatible parts and necessary tools.

  14. #14
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    FWIW I converted a sirrus to drop bars for rando and light touring duty... my sirrus sport had all the braze-ons one could want for touring except spoke holders (that's what a seatpost is for if ya ask me), I think it cost less than 150$ for everything... new levers, bars, shifters, tape and etc.

    Anyway, if the threads in the blind hole for the granny ring are indeed stripped you might want to buy a new one... it's hard to say without seeing a picture. The outer rings have through holes in the crank and aren't threaded so the only part that could have stripped threads is a chainring nut that is still stuck in the hole... if it's dirty it wouldn't really stand out as being a nut in the hole but part of the crank... easy to miss if you haven't played with chainring bolts before.

    I would still save the crank and you can use it as a double at least if it is just the inner ring's holes that are stripped. Phil's advice above is spot-on and mountain cranks give you a large range of chainrings to choose from and are pretty cheap these days.

    The other option if you are, or someone you know is, good at tapping threads you could just drill out all the holes and use larger bolts to secure the inner ring. YMMV with this, of course, as I am just a random internet person spouting random thoughts...
    Last edited by clasher; 06-09-11 at 07:46 AM. Reason: commas

  15. #15
    Senior Member chiroptile's Avatar
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    I have been using those on my touring and mountain bikes..

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...t.aspx?sc=FRGL

    The price is right for me.. I am a fan of the external bottom bracket design, and understand that could be more of a preference thing. I did notice immediate improvements in weight and stiffness of the crank arms and spindle. No problems shifting.

    My .02

  16. #16
    djb
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    I recently nearly bought a Shimano Alivio crankset that was $45 new at a LBS, 42/32/22, on the box it states that they make a 48/36/28. At that price it would be a good option, get a new bb while you are at it for perhaps $30 and you are set. This was however for 8 speed chains, not sure if 7 speed is ok.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riluske View Post
    I actually agree completely about the racks, however I wanted drop bars and friction shifters, which the Sirius didn't have. Also, the Del Ray does has rear eyelets on the frame for a rack, just not the front ones. The Del Ray I bought is also steel frame (chromoly) as opposed to the Aluminum Sirius.
    Don't get hung up on the retrogrouch thing. Drop bars are good but you can work with flat bars. Long barends or a trekking bar can be as effective as drop bars. I have road bars on my touring bike but I seldom use any of the bar below the hoods anyway. I even brake mostly from the hoods...even on fast downhills.

    Friction is unnecessary. Modern index shifting is so reliable that you really don't need a friction mode or friction shifting at all. If you ride index on a regular basis, you are putting more miles and more wear on index than you'll every do on tour. The key, of course, is to have good working equipment before you set out. Don't go putting new cables on a bike the night before a tour - in fact don't go doing anything major to a bike the week (or more) before a tour - and you'll not have any problems. Also learn how to make the small adjustments to the cables that may be needed and you'll save yourself lots of time, energy, frustration and trips to the bike shop.

    Steel isn't magical. The tires you use have more influence on the ride than the material the frame is made of. The next most important parameter is the diameter of the tubes that make up the frame. Aluminum is 'stiff' because the diameter of the tubes is larger. If a steel bike were made with the same diameter of tubes as an aluminum bike, it would be so stiff and transmit so much road shock to the rider that you couldn't ride it.

    The stiffness of those larger tubes has an advantage too. I tour on an aluminum touring bike. I've toured on steel. I'll take the aluminum bike any day. The loaded steel bikes I've toured on were all very noodly. I could never stand up to pedal while carrying a load unless I pedaled absolutely straight up and down. The bikes would wander all of the road otherwise. The aluminum bike lets me throw the bike from side to side like I can on an unloaded bike. That makes climbing while standing easier and more enjoyable.

    Finally, the longer wheelbase of the Sirius will allow more room for rear bags without clipping them all the time. They aren't ideal but I suspect they are a tad longer than the Del Rey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riluske View Post
    7 cogs in the back. I just remember seeing somewhere on the front chainring "for thin chains only"

    And it's not the bolt that is ruined, it's the actual hole in the crankset. It's threaded (hopefully that's the correct term) so that you can't screw the bolt in it.
    With a 7 speed in the back, you can use any chainring you like. You might have a problem with using a 7 speed chainwheel and a 10 speed chain but even that isn't certain.

    I don't think the crank's spider is threaded. Most cranks use a bolt on the front and recessed nut on the back to keep the chainwheels on. You may have lost to bolt and the recessed nut may be buggered but you can replace both quite easily. And it's a lot cheaper than a new crank. This image... taken from Vello Orange...shows what the bolt look like



    Quote Originally Posted by Riluske View Post
    I don't mean to sound unappreciative, but I don't really see how a bike shop is going to help me here. Yes, the slot is threaded, and yes it looks like that is a tool that will help that not happen, but that's not going to fix the slot. I also don't think that a bike shop can "unthread" the hole.
    A shop might help. Chainring bolts are very common items...I seem to have several dozen at home that I just can't bring myself to throw out Losing one is a common event and they are easily replaced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riluske View Post
    Right now, the bike is fully rideable, but I am definitely replacing the crankset. It's a crappy one anyway. My original question was what is the difference between an expensive crankset like Velo Orange's Grand Cru and a cheaper $30 Shimano? (I think I understand the whole chain thing now, so leaving that one alone) I've heard weight, but then Rivendell sells their Sugino XD2 for $130 because it's "the smartest and most versatile triple crank on the market, and is almost too smart and all-around good to even exist in these weirdo times." Personally, I have no idea what that means, if it means anything at all.
    Fair enough. You want to replace the crank. The Grand Cru and the Sugino XD2 are a bit too expensive for what you get. The Cru may be pretty and all but $195 for 1985 technology is just too much.

    The XD2 for $130 is too much too. You can find something similar here and here for significantly less.

    The $30 Shimano is going to be very heavy. It has steel rings, which will last a lifetime, but it also will hold the QEII in place for the same period of time The crank wouldn't be much of an upgrade from the current crank...more a lateral move. For the same amount of money as the above cranks, you could go with an external bottom bracket crank that has the bottom bracket (you'll probably need a new one for the other cranks) and is easier to install.

    If you want the cheapest option, check the ring bolt first.
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  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=cyccommute;12762341]Friction is unnecessary. Modern index shifting is so reliable that you really don't need a friction mode or friction shifting at all.[QUOTE]

    I agree. I think it's time for the hard-core touring choir to stop dismissing modern index shifting - including brifters. Brifter compatibility is an issue for sure, but not durability.

    [QUOTE=cyccommute;12762341]The stiffness of those larger tubes has an advantage too. I tour on an aluminum touring bike. I've toured on steel. I'll take the aluminum bike any day. The loaded steel bikes I've toured on were all very noodly. I could never stand up to pedal while carrying a load unless I pedaled absolutely straight up and down. The bikes would wander all of the road otherwise. The aluminum bike lets me throw the bike from side to side like I can on an unloaded bike. That makes climbing while standing easier and more enjoyable.[QUOTE]

    Of course I don't know which steel frames you experienced "noodling" on, but I would surmise that those bikes were likely not designed for loaded touring. I think it would be misleading for those of us who carefully read your posts and appreciate your considered input to go away thinking that steel frames, without more, are not good for touring. I think it is undisputed that aluminum tubing suitable for loaded touring bike frames provides harsher rides than steel tubing suitable for loaded touring bike frames. Both are suitable. Personal preference.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    As the engineers keep making the sufficient , obsolete, to sell millions of new 'improved' bikes ..
    cassettes, cramming in 10 cogs in the space of 8, thinner spacings need fussier alignments,
    and fine tuning.

    I thought the K cassette , 7 speed 13-34 was a fine set of cogs
    & range of ratios with a triple crank [ex:50,40,24] , (48,38,22)

    adding more made little improvement in the useful ratios..
    a 'speed' is not a ratio, A:B .. there are redundant ratios in 21,speeds
    and more overlaps and redundancies with 27 and 30 'speed' drivetrains

    Friction shifted drivetrains worked better before the early shifting hyper-glide tooth profile
    became the norm, a slight overshift got over the taller teeth,
    you re centered the Shifters after the shift , but it stayed there, till the lever was moved.

    the shorter teeth and side ramps introduced ghost shifting..

    the willingness of the chain to jump unexpectedly, to the next cog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clasher View Post
    FWIW I converted a sirrus to drop bars for rando and light touring duty... my sirrus sport had all the braze-ons one could want for touring except spoke holders (that's what a seatpost is for if ya ask me), I think it cost less than 150$ for everything... new levers, bars, shifters, tape and etc.

    Anyway, if the threads in the blind hole for the granny ring are indeed stripped you might want to buy a new one... it's hard to say without seeing a picture. The outer rings have through holes in the crank and aren't threaded so the only part that could have stripped threads is a chainring nut that is still stuck in the hole... if it's dirty it wouldn't really stand out as being a nut in the hole but part of the crank... easy to miss if you haven't played with chainring bolts before.

    I would still save the crank and you can use it as a double at least if it is just the inner ring's holes that are stripped. Phil's advice above is spot-on and mountain cranks give you a large range of chainrings to choose from and are pretty cheap these days.

    The other option if you are, or someone you know is, good at tapping threads you could just drill out all the holes and use larger bolts to secure the inner ring. YMMV with this, of course, as I am just a random internet person spouting random thoughts...
    Sorta replying to everyone, but yours seems to be best for context. Your exactly right on. It's one of the bolts on the inner (granny) chain ring (I tried to take a picture, but my camera can't really get close enough to do that without blurring.) The outer are held bolt-and-screw, and all those work fine. The inner screws right into the crankset, and that's the one that is threaded/stripped. Your advise about redrilling the hole is good, I just don't have a drill that can go through metal. If I were to go that route though, my thought is that I would have to also widen the chainring hole. That would work, but there is a bit of just delaying the issue. The chainrings are getting old anyway (I already had to replace the middle one just to get the bike to ridable, this is how I found the hole in the first place) and if I were to drill this one, I would have to drill everyone after that as well.

    Also, cyccommute. It's good to hear that those are primarily overpriced. Sometimes I worry about the stuff on vela orange and rivendell being so expensive only because they are a smaller company, and I don't want to buy something for $200 when I could get the same quality for $80.

    Thanks very much, this was exactly what I was looking for. I think that I will keep the crankset for a double. We have about 10 bikes lying around, several of which are project bikes (including this one).
    Last edited by Riluske; 06-09-11 at 11:43 AM. Reason: fixing people's names

  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    Of course I don't know which steel frames you experienced "noodling" on, but I would surmise that those bikes were likely not designed for loaded touring. I think it would be misleading for those of us who carefully read your posts and appreciate your considered input to go away thinking that steel frames, without more, are not good for touring. I think it is undisputed that aluminum tubing suitable for loaded touring bike frames provides harsher rides than steel tubing suitable for loaded touring bike frames. Both are suitable. Personal preference.
    All of the bikes were sold as a touring bike and one of them, the Miyata 610, is still considered to be among the best touring bikes. I didn't even realize how noodly the Miyata was until I rode my Cannondale T800 with a load. I knew that I pedal the Miyata standing up but I just didn't realize how bad it was until the T800 came along.

    The T800's ride is only harsh without a load. When loaded the bike is incredibly and very surprisingly plush and comfortable. However, considering that Cannondale doesn't make them anymore and that the Cannondale was about the only touring bike around, the question is moot.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 06-11-11 at 09:09 AM.
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    djb
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    as for index shifting, my early 90s touring bike with downtube shifters, indexed on rear gears, has shifted perfectly with perhaps a turn or two of the knob at the RD once or twice in all the years I have owned and ridden it. I am always very impressed with how the LX RD and index shifters have basically been completely reliable and really needing no maintenance. I havent owned a bar end shifter bike, but would have absolutely no hesitation with one given the indexing experience I have had. I suspect brifters are pretty good for longevity, sure you should squirt non sticky lubricant in them once ina while, and exposure to lots and lots of dust etc will cause problems over a long time, but other than an unfortunate crash, they do work and have been around now for quite a while.
    Downside too of course is cost to replace if you do smash em in a crash. Not to be taken to Mongolia too.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    as for index shifting, my early 90s touring bike with downtube shifters, indexed on rear gears, has shifted perfectly with perhaps a turn or two of the knob at the RD once or twice in all the years I have owned and ridden it. I am always very impressed with how the LX RD and index shifters have basically been completely reliable and really needing no maintenance. I havent owned a bar end shifter bike, but would have absolutely no hesitation with one given the indexing experience I have had. I suspect brifters are pretty good for longevity, sure you should squirt non sticky lubricant in them once ina while, and exposure to lots and lots of dust etc will cause problems over a long time, but other than an unfortunate crash, they do work and have been around now for quite a while.
    Downside too of course is cost to replace if you do smash em in a crash. Not to be taken to Mongolia too.
    I'm just going to say it personal preference. I've used index shifters before, but I like how smooth the friction shifting feels to me. Not to mention I can fine tune the shifters myself without worring about making the bike unridable. Index shifters are great, and I use them on my Sirius for commuting, but there is just something I find very enjoyable about friction.

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    I really quickly wanted to post this if anyone was wondering about Cranksets. I e-mailed Velo Orange about the difference in cranksets, and this was their response:

    "The difference in price between our cranks is more related to the construction process and uniqueness of the product (the more original our designs are, the more expensive they are to make). Our 50.4bcd crank is one of only a few cranks of its kind to ever be produced, and as far as I know ours is the only one made by a CNC process rather than casting/forging. The 110bcd crank is a very high quality crank, comparable to a Sugino Alpina double (one of their flagship models). The standard VO crank is a fairly common design, but of course ours are a high polish silver rather than black anodized that most companies use. A low end shimano won't have the high quality finishing as ours do, which means that the rings and arms are much more subject to being flawed. "

    Hope this helps people like me in the future!

  25. #25
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riluske View Post
    Sorta replying to everyone, but yours seems to be best for context. Your exactly right on. It's one of the bolts on the inner (granny) chain ring (I tried to take a picture, but my camera can't really get close enough to do that without blurring.) The outer are held bolt-and-screw, and all those work fine. The inner screws right into the crankset, and that's the one that is threaded/stripped. Your advise about redrilling the hole is good, I just don't have a drill that can go through metal. If I were to go that route though, my thought is that I would have to also widen the chainring hole. That would work, but there is a bit of just delaying the issue. The chainrings are getting old anyway (I already had to replace the middle one just to get the bike to ridable, this is how I found the hole in the first place) and if I were to drill this one, I would have to drill everyone after that as well.
    I actually found a crank that I had with a seized bolt in the granny hole so I decided to try my method and see how it worked out. I first used a small dremel cut-off disc to cut the spacers off and thus take off the granny ring and I managed to put the shaft of one of the seized bolts into a bench vice and it twisted free... the second bolt sheared when subjected to the same treatment. I managed to drill it out with titanium coated drill bits and liberal use of oil during the process. A small electric drill was enough power and you don't need to go crazy with it, just go slow and clean out the hole a few times. I started with a small hole and worked up gradually until there was just a thin remnant of steel in the threads and I could peel large chunks away with a dental pick... it happens that these bolt-holes on this crank were threaded M6 standard (the crank is an 80s sakae SE or something like that, decent all aluminum) and I was careful enough that the holes cleaned up beautifully with careful use of a tap (a bottoming tap would have been ideal). All told it was about an hour of dicking around or more perhaps, as it was busy at the co-op and I was distracted. It was lots of fun and I saved a crank but probably not worth spending money on tools if you don't have them or use them regularly for work.

    this is more for general information than any specific recommendations.
    Last edited by clasher; 06-10-11 at 09:26 PM. Reason: spelling

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