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I haven't been using washers under my crank bolts -- should I?

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I haven't been using washers under my crank bolts -- should I?

Old 10-04-15, 04:31 PM
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ThermionicScott 
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I haven't been using washers under my crank bolts -- should I?

Square-taper, that is.

All of the bottom brackets I've purchased in recent years (Shimano, IRD, Velo-Orange, and Tange-Seiki) included bolts like this, with no separate washers:



So I haven't been using any on my bikes. I haven't had any cranks come loose, ever, whether they had been installed for two months or two years. And there is always a reassuring amount of effort needed to crack the bolts loose when I do want to take the cranks off for any reason. It's for that reason that I hadn't given it much thought in 7 or so years of riding and fiddling with bikes.

On the occasion of reassembling my long-distance bike, it occurred to me to think about it, though. Is there a good reason to start using separate washers when installing my cranks, or should I keep doing what I'm doing?

Thanks.


P.S. Just did a little more Googling, and learned that crank bolts like mine are called "flange bolts" -- does the large flat area on the back of the head obviate the need for washers, then?
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Old 10-04-15, 04:55 PM
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Let's see - the flanged bolts seem to offer the same effect as separate washers, came as OEM and you haven't had a problem in 7 years on various bikes and setups. My diagnosis is that you have too much time on your hands, need to ride more and obsess less.
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Old 10-04-15, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Let's see - the flanged bolts seem to offer the same effect as separate washers, came as OEM and you haven't had a problem in 7 years on various bikes and setups. My diagnosis is that you have too much time on your hands, need to ride more and obsess less.
That's me!

The thing I was wondering about most is whether there is a benefit to having an extra bearing surface to allow the crank bolt to turn without rubbing on the crank surface itself. Whether that direct friction might affect the torque generation or reading... like I said, I haven't experienced any problems, but I do like to follow good practices just in case there's something I wasn't aware of. (There are lots of references to making sure people have removed "that" washer before extracting cranks, after all.) Thanks!
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Old 10-04-15, 05:26 PM
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Don't overthink this. Grease the threads, torque the bolts and ride.
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Old 10-04-15, 05:29 PM
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I think Campagnolo (Strada) uses the washers. Shimano doesn't. Not sure why.

And, don't forget to remove the washers before trying to use the crank puller on your campy cranks.
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Old 10-04-15, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
That's me!

The thing I was wondering about most is whether there is a benefit to having an extra bearing surface to allow the crank bolt to turn without rubbing on the crank surface itself. Whether that direct friction might affect the torque generation or reading... like I said, I haven't experienced any problems, but I do like to follow good practices just in case there's something I wasn't aware of. (There are lots of references to making sure people have removed "that" washer before extracting cranks, after all.) Thanks!
I would grease the underside of the "washer" as well as the threads. Torque specs usually assume this.
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Old 10-04-15, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I think Campagnolo (Strada) uses the washers. Shimano doesn't. Not sure why.

And, don't forget to remove the washers before trying to use the crank puller on your campy cranks.
i suspect Shimano uses bolts with integrated washers just to avoid that problem. not that I have ever done such a thing
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Old 10-05-15, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by superstring View Post
I would grease the underside of the "washer" as well as the threads. Torque specs usually assume this.
Read this:https://compasscycle.com/wp-content/...ctions_web.pdf
Compass says NOT to grease the washer. Must be dry to lock onto crank and keep from loosening.
And yes, they integrated the washer for people that forget to remove the washer and then use crank puller.

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Old 10-05-15, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
P.S. Just did a little more Googling, and learned that crank bolts like mine are called "flange bolts" -- does the large flat area on the back of the head obviate the need for washers, then?
Yes.

Without the flat flange (normal bolt), you would need a washer.
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Old 10-05-15, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Yes.

Without the flat flange (normal bolt), you would need a washer.
Sweet, my mind is at ease. Thanks everyone!
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
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Old 10-05-15, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i suspect Shimano uses bolts with integrated washers just to avoid that problem. not that I have ever done such a thing
If Shimano wanted you to use washers, they'd be in the EV.
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Old 10-05-15, 12:36 PM
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what should you be doing at work when writing here, instead?
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Old 10-05-15, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
what should you be doing at work when writing here, instead?
LOL
No work today. It stopped raining... beautiful day....75degrees.. puffy white clouds....I am rolling out soon!
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