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Clockwise or Counter clockwise

Old 01-15-21, 06:34 AM
  #1  
CanadianBiker32
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Clockwise or Counter clockwise

I will be replacing the ring in the picture here. Seems I need to take the crank part off.

Which way will I be turning the bolt to take crank off?

Clockwise or counter?
picture attached

clockwise or counter?
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Old 01-15-21, 06:45 AM
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Counter clockwise.
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Old 01-15-21, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for using specific rotating directions (clockwise VS counterCW) and not the confusing "righty or lefty". Andy
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Old 01-15-21, 10:33 AM
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You're going to need a crank puller
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Old 01-16-21, 08:21 AM
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Shouldn't that be anticlockwise?
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Old 01-16-21, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Thanks for using specific rotating directions (clockwise VS counterCW) and not the confusing "righty or lefty". Andy
Right and left are specific rotating directions. In an era of decreasing mechanical clock use, clockwise and counterclockwise has much less meaning than it once did.
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Old 01-16-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Right and left are specific rotating directions. In an era of decreasing mechanical clock use, clockwise and counterclockwise has much less meaning than it once did.
Stuart- My reference, righty/lefty, is about which way to turn a wrench handle. It wasn't a thread direction one. When I explain this stuff to customers and they ask which way to turn the wrench they don't mean the thread, IMO that's too big a jump for a non mechanical mind to make without some guidance first. When I do try to explain thread direction (like during "how to remove your pedals") and hold the two pedal threaded ends up next to each other many don't even see the thread direction being different without some focus. I also use the light bulb reference frequently. Or the "right's right and left's wrong" to remind the customer that their left pedal is not like their right.

So you are right in one sense but I am in another. Hope you're safe and able to ride. Andy
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Old 01-16-21, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
I will be replacing the ring in the picture here. Seems I need to take the crank part off.

Which way will I be turning the bolt to take crank off?

Clockwise or counter?
picture attached

clockwise or counter?
There are only two place on a bicycle where a left hand thread is used. One is the “English” threaded bottom bracket where the driveside is a left hand thread that loosens by turning right or clockwise. The other is the left pedal which loosens the same way. All other bolts on a bike are “normal” right handed (loosen counterclockwise).

The way I teach my bicycle mechanic students to remember how to remove the pedals and the bottom bracket is by using the positioning of the wrench. For pedal removal, put the crank arm so that it is pointing forward at 90°. Put the wrench on (green arrow) and push down (red arrow). Do that on both sides.


For the bottom bracket, put the wrench at 90° and push down. Again, do that on both sides.

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Old 01-16-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Stuart- My reference, righty/lefty, is about which way to turn a wrench handle. It wasn't a thread direction one. When I explain this stuff to customers and they ask which way to turn the wrench they don't mean the thread, IMO that's too big a jump for a non mechanical mind to make without some guidance first. When I do try to explain thread direction (like during "how to remove your pedals") and hold the two pedal threaded ends up next to each other many don't even see the thread direction being different without some focus. I also use the light bulb reference frequently. Or the "right's right and left's wrong" to remind the customer that their left pedal is not like their right.

So you are right in one sense but I am in another. Hope you're safe and able to ride. Andy
“Righty, tighty. Lefty, loosy.” is a good mnemonic that works almost all the time. It’s easy to remember and, once stuck in someone’s head, is hard to unlearn. The problem is that we seldom run across any bolt that has a left hand thread except on bicycles. That’s what causes the confusion for people working on bikes. That’s why I teach my students how to remove pedals and bottom brackets the way I do. It avoids the whole “right/left” “clockwise/counterclockwise” confusion.
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Old 01-16-21, 01:42 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
“Righty, tighty. Lefty, loosy.” is a good mnemonic that works almost all the time.
I was gonna say, doesn't get much easier than that.

Learned that in US Navy Nuclear Power School.
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Old 01-16-21, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Right and left are specific rotating directions. In an era of decreasing mechanical clock use, clockwise and counterclockwise has much less meaning than it once did.
"Right and Left" can be ambiguous as they depend on which way the wrench handle is positioned. To loosen a right handed bolt with the wrench handle positioned at 6 o'clock (note the clock reference) you move it to the right.

When digital watches and clocks first appeared I was convinced the analog clock was doomed. Why bother with a device so subject to misreading and so difficult to teach children to understand when the digital clock was so easy to interpret. However, I failed to realize that wrist watches and wall and table clocks aren't just time keeping devices, they are jewelry, status symbols and decor. Analog clocks fill that role far better than digitals. Notice that Rolex doesn't sell any digital watches. Yes, the mechanical clock has nearly faded away but electronically driven analog clocks are alive and well. Clockwise and counterclockwise will remain well understood concepts for a long time to come.
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Old 01-16-21, 02:37 PM
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For pedals, I think Forward to Fasten, Rearward to Remove. (And then English-treaded bottom brackets are reverse of that.)
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Old 01-16-21, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I was gonna say, doesn't get much easier than that.

Learned that in US Navy Nuclear Power School.
Orlando?

It took me a while to figure out "right" meant clockwise because the reference was for 12 o'clock and not 6 o'clock.

Even with cw vs ccw you have to have a face reference.
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Old 01-17-21, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Orlando?

It took me a while to figure out "right" meant clockwise because the reference was for 12 o'clock and not 6 o'clock.

Even with cw vs ccw you have to have a face reference.
Guess that is why they made you a mechanic and me an RO.....

Just joking, you were probably an officer.

Learned that pearl at prototype in Ballston Spa. Think of turning a car.
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Old 01-17-21, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Guess that is why they made you a mechanic and me an RO.....

Just joking, you were probably an officer.

Learned that pearl at prototype in Ballston Spa. Think of turning a car.
When did you go through Nuke School? I was in Orlando for ET 'A' School and Nuke Power School in '94-'95, but I went to Goose Creek for prototype instead of Ballston Spa.
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Old 01-17-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Learned that pearl at prototype in Ballston Spa. Think of turning a car.
MARF?

I was MO, 79-85.
610/612
ERS
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Old 01-22-21, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
MARF?

I was MO, 79-85.
610/612
ERS
Pretty close. I graduated from MARF in November of 78.
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Old 01-24-21, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Thanks for using specific rotating directions (clockwise VS counterCW) and not the confusing "righty or lefty". Andy
Sometimes it's helpful to be even *more* specific... by stating the point-of-view (or frame of reference). In the case of this crank bolt, it's assumed that the correct direction of rotation is described while facing the fastener. However, an assistant on the other side of the bike would observe the wrench moving in a *clock-wise* direction.
Another example of the need for a frame of reference is unscrewing pedals. It's commonly said "turn the wrench toward the rear of the bike"... but unless something like "over the top of the pedal" is added, there's room for misunderstanding.
(/pedant mode)
(EDIT: morning fog correction. Also, I see above that there is some feeling that the terms "clock-wise" and "counter-clock-wise" are less widely understood because of digital clocks. I disagree. There are plenty of analog clocks and watches around. Now, a term that *might* be fading away is "watch-winding"... not many watches, even analog ones, require winding anymore.)

Last edited by sweeks; 01-24-21 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 01-24-21, 08:25 AM
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For the totally mechanically inept, I tell them to loosen it like your taking the cap off a bottle. EX: I once built a mantle clock for a now ex-girlfriend and it was running fast. She called me and asked how to adjust it. I told her she had to turn the nut at the bottom of the pendulum to lower the bob. When she asked which way to turn it, I told her to imagine a bottle upside down and unscrew the cap. It worked out well.

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Old 01-24-21, 09:00 AM
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After the morning coffee, I started thinking (always a risky enterprise!). It *is* possible to describe rotation of threaded fasteners without reference to clocks.
Threads are helical structures, and helices are either "right-handed" or "left-handed".
Anyone who's had high-school physics or organic chemistry knows the "Right-Hand Rule":
If you wrap the fingers of your right hand around a bolt and rotate it in the direction your fingers are pointing, and the bolt advances in the direction your thumb is pointing, then the bolt is said to have a "right-hand thread". If it goes in the other direction, it's a "left-hand thread". (There's also a "Left-Hand Rule", but one rule is all you need.)
Most threaded fasteners are right-handed, and most people have their right hand... handy, so no familiarity with watch faces is necessary!
(Right-Hand Rule)
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Old 01-24-21, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
...Anyone who's had high-school physics or organic chemistry knows the "Right-Hand Rule"...
I teach this at the bike shop too. I volunteered for a while at a coop near ASU in Tempe. The engineering and chem students got it right away. My physics prof would chuckle watching students during a test, writing with their right hand while working on the vector direction with the left. He knew they'd get the sign wrong.

On the bike, we sometimes have to reach through the frame to work on a thread facing away from us, usually a pedal or BB. The right or left hand rule is easier (for me) than imagining a clock face from behind.

I first learned this working plumbing back in the days of threaded galvanized pipe. When you're on your back in a nasty crawlspace, working over your head, removing a male thread from a fitting that's facing away from you, and it's a lot of work to position your wrenches, you want to get it right the first time. Right and left and clock faces don't work as well in those situations.
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Old 01-24-21, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
My physics prof would chuckle watching students during a test, writing with their right hand while working on the vector direction with the left. He knew they'd get the sign wrong.
That's a little sadistic, but funny!
I remember those vectors...

I teach dental students to perform root canal treatments, and some of the rotating instruments that go into the canals are direction-sensitive. If the handpiece ("drill") is going the wrong way, bad things can happen. Some of the instruments are RH helices, and others are LH, and it's important to understand the difference... but many don't.
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Old 01-30-21, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
When digital watches and clocks first appeared I was convinced the analog clock was doomed. Why bother with a device so subject to misreading and so difficult to teach children to understand when the digital clock was so easy to interpret. However, I failed to realize that wrist watches and wall and table clocks aren't just time keeping devices, they are jewelry, status symbols and decor. Analog clocks fill that role far better than digitals. Notice that Rolex doesn't sell any digital watches. Yes, the mechanical clock has nearly faded away but electronically driven analog clocks are alive and well. Clockwise and counterclockwise will remain well understood concepts for a long time to come.
Airplane cockpit research showed that digital was not as good as analogue, mainly because the value was not so much the number indicated but the behaviours - going up, down, or staying the same. A needle moving shows that instantly, but numbers need the pilot to do maths.
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Old 01-30-21, 08:25 AM
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I heard long ago that it's easier to remember analog time after a glance at a watch. How often do you glance at a digital watch, someone will ask you what time it is, and you have to look again? That doesn't happen as often with analog time. You don't know the exact time, but you'll remember "quarter after" or similar. This was way back at the advent of digital watches and I don't know if that idea has stood the test of time, so to speak.
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Old 01-30-21, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
Airplane cockpit research showed that digital was not as good as analogue, mainly because the value was not so much the number indicated but the behaviours - going up, down, or staying the same. A needle moving shows that instantly, but numbers need the pilot to do maths.
I agree that for some applications and analog readout is more useful than digital. One close-to-home example is the tachometer in a car (for those who pay attention to such things). Particularly with a manual transmission, most drivers don't watch the rpm number, they only glance at the needle position to determine their shift point.
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