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Weird Astablula crank problem

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Weird Astablula crank problem

Old 10-23-20, 08:02 AM
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Weird Astablula crank problem

I have a cruiser that when the cranks are cranked backwards they feel tight; however, they spin fine in the forward direction. Is this normal for Ashtabula cranks? What should I be looking at so that the crank spins freely in either direction?

Thanks
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Old 10-23-20, 08:14 AM
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I'd begin by determining whether the problem is in the bottom bracket or elsewhere.

Drop the chain off the chainring. If the problem goes away, investigate the rear hub next.

If the problem persists, disassemble the bottom bracket (look for YouTube videos for guidance) and look for problems there (scored bearing races, damaged or missing bearings or bearing retainers).
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Old 10-23-20, 08:14 AM
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Do you plan to spend a lot of time turning your cranks backwards for some reason? Never Fix A Running Piece.
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Old 10-23-20, 08:48 AM
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Yeah, drop the chain. It's been so long since I've seen a one-piece crank I can't remember how the adjustments work on them. Watch the stuff on the left side of the crank as you turn it in one direction then the other. Make certain the left cone under the lock nut is always moving the same as everything else. If it is in the crank and it's not because it is rusted up, falling apart inside and jamming itself, then a loose lock nut allowing the cone race to turn is probably about all it can be.


Just to be snarky.... it's not a coaster brake bike is it?
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Old 10-23-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Just to be snarky.... it's not a coaster brake bike is it?
That was my first thought, Ashtabula & Cruiser. Though the OP has been around since 2007 so I figured he would know...
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Old 10-23-20, 03:26 PM
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It's my '80s Schwinn cruiser.
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Old 10-23-20, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
It's my '80s Schwinn cruiser.
Aren't those coaster brake bikes?

Were you trying to yank our chains or is there really something going on?
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Old 10-23-20, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I have a cruiser that when the cranks are cranked backwards they feel tight; however, they spin fine in the forward direction. Is this normal for Ashtabula cranks? What should I be looking at so that the crank spins freely in either direction?

Thanks
Coaster brake?
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Old 10-24-20, 06:07 AM
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What markings are on the rear hub?
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Old 10-24-20, 10:18 AM
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I find it rather unhelpful when a poster states the bike brand/model with either no link to specs of no listing of specs, especially in this OP's case when he has been asked directly about a spec. Andy (who feels it's the asker's job to provide data on their bike, not the reader's job to search the data out)
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Old 10-24-20, 10:28 AM
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I began to suspect coaster brake at the mention of single piece crank.
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Old 10-24-20, 11:28 AM
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Pic assist...

Check the alignment on your derailleur.
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Old 10-24-20, 11:38 AM
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I'm going to regret making a guess without seeing a pic, but here goes. Maybe one of the bearing cones is loose and it's threading in and out upon being rotated. In any event an Ashtabula crank is so easy to service that it shouldn't be feared. Park Tool website has a good tutorial.
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Old 10-26-20, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I'm going to regret making a guess without seeing a pic, but here goes. Maybe one of the bearing cones is loose and it's threading in and out upon being rotated. In any event an Ashtabula crank is so easy to service that it shouldn't be feared. Park Tool website has a good tutorial.
Agreed. The cone and locknut on the left side of an Ashtabula crank are left-hand threaded. If the locknut is loose and the bearings have a bunch of drag they could tighten up when spun backwards.

If it were my bike I'd take the crank apart and clean and regrease the bearings at very least.

Pointer to the Park Tool article: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...vice-one-piece Kudos to Park Tool for using a Schwinn Super Sport as their example over a common-as-cockroaches Varsity.
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Old 10-27-20, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Agreed. The cone and locknut on the left side of an Ashtabula crank are left-hand threaded. If the locknut is loose and the bearings have a bunch of drag they could tighten up when spun backwards.

If it were my bike I'd take the crank apart and clean and regrease the bearings at very least.

Pointer to the Park Tool article: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...vice-one-piece Kudos to Park Tool for using a Schwinn Super Sport as their example over a common-as-cockroaches Varsity.
That's a great tutorial. I like the fact that they tell you not to expect a perfect bearing. My only minor quibble is that you don't need that big pin spanner, as the cup will usually yield to being pushed with a screwdriver. We always rebuilt our cranks with just a crescent wrench.

My winter beater is a '72 Varsity, but I appreciate the sentiment. I got the frame from a flipper who had too many frames, and it was quite worn and weathered, but the bearings are still in great shape.
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Old 10-27-20, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
That's a great tutorial. I like the fact that they tell you not to expect a perfect bearing. My only minor quibble is that you don't need that big pin spanner, as the cup will usually yield to being pushed with a screwdriver. We always rebuilt our cranks with just a crescent wrench.

My winter beater is a '72 Varsity, but I appreciate the sentiment. I got the frame from a flipper who had too many frames, and it was quite worn and weathered, but the bearings are still in great shape.
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Old 10-29-20, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Aren't those coaster brake bikes?

Were you trying to yank our chains or is there really something going on?
No this was originally a 5 speed and I wouldn't yank anyone's chain. I did sort of figure part of it out. The drive side bearings had shed themselves into the bottom bracket shell. When the cranks backpedaled it allowed the adjusters to tighten up.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
No this was originally a 5 speed and I wouldn't yank anyone's chain. I did sort of figure part of it out. The drive side bearings had shed themselves into the bottom bracket shell. When the cranks backpedaled it allowed the adjusters to tighten up.
I didn't really expect that you were yanking our chains. It just seemed you were distracted from the conversation you started and not addressing questions or suggestions. I thought that might act as a slap to make you pay attention. I failed.

Glad you got it figured out.
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