Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Am I crazy?

Old 04-24-21, 08:09 PM
  #1  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Am I crazy?

Working on my kids bikes and realizing how easy 1 piece cranks are to mess with.

For a quick tune easily loosen them up, blast some spray grease, and retighten.

Extremely intuitive for a non bike mechanic. Especially one that is never going to compete with Lance Armstrong or set a downhill record.

And if a bike has one piece cranks, I donít have to stress out about special tools when they loosen up.

I wish 2 of the other family bikes had that BB, maybe use the adapter if I wanted to play with crank arm lengths.
SkinGriz is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 08:15 PM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 14,920

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2925 Post(s)
Liked 1,197 Times in 842 Posts
No, Ashtabula type cranks and BBs are very easy to work on. But they don't offer the features of more "modern" ones so have lost the war of the market place outside of cheap bikes. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is online now  
Old 04-24-21, 08:19 PM
  #3  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
No, Ashtabula type cranks and BBs are very easy to work on. But they don't offer the features of more "modern" ones so have lost the war of the market place outside of cheap bikes. Andy
Other than changing crank arms and sealed bearings, what is better about more modern cranks?

Sincere question.
SkinGriz is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 08:33 PM
  #4  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,705
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 547 Times in 355 Posts
I think the Ashtabula crank is a great work of American ingenuity. They were reliable as all get out, manufacturable, and easy to service with just a crescent wrench and screwdriver. I've got two bikes with them.

When I was a kid, there were basically one-piece and cottered cranks. The cottered cranks were a nightmare to service -- getting those pins just right so they were actually tight and didn't start to wiggle after a few miles took some skill that none of us possessed. But the crank on a Raleigh was not a functional improvement over the crank on a Schwinn. I doubt it was materially lighter. When you got a bike with one of those cranks, the upgrade was a "cotterless" crankset, which we now call square taper.

For the one-piece crank, most of us had no reason to upgrade one, but there was no upgrade path if we did want to. Making the whole thing out of aluminum was probably not a practical option. So, experiments with lighter components ended up leaving the one-piece in the dust. Still, when we talk about ways to make the universal low cost practical bike, ditching modern crank sets would be a good place to start.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 09:04 PM
  #5  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 12,658

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1337 Post(s)
Liked 557 Times in 421 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Other than changing crank arms and sealed bearings, what is better about more modern cranks?

Sincere question.
Add a couple more chain rings and they don't work out so well.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 09:25 PM
  #6  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,542
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 207 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Add a couple more chain rings and they don't work out so well.
I used a BMX-type triple adapter to put three chainrings on a one-piece crank.

As to an "upgrade path", I recently built an old Schwinn Super Sport with an adapter kit and a collection of vintage and modern three-piece crank parts. It works pretty well:

Burgundy Super Sport | Flickr
Truvativ adapter rings
Shimano bottom bracket
Nervar crank arms
TA crank bolts
Velo Orange chainring
MKS pedals
SRAM chain
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 09:35 PM
  #7  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Add a couple more chain rings and they don't work out so well.
Are the ok 2x? I really donít know.

The new(renewed?) thing is 1x drivetrain.

But pulling the whole deal through to change the front chain wheel is probably not time optimal.
SkinGriz is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 09:40 PM
  #8  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I used a BMX-type triple adapter to put three chainrings on a one-piece crank.

As to an "upgrade path", I recently built an old Schwinn Super Sport with an adapter kit and a collection of vintage and modern three-piece crank parts. It works pretty well:

Burgundy Super Sport | Flickr
Truvativ adapter rings
Shimano bottom bracket
Nervar crank arms
TA crank bolts
Velo Orange chainring
MKS pedals
SRAM chain
That looks good to me.
When you ride it are you left wanting? Do you think a more modern crankset would add to your enjoyment of that bike?
SkinGriz is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 10:06 PM
  #9  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I used a BMX-type triple adapter to put three chainrings on a one-piece crank.

As to an "upgrade path", I recently built an old Schwinn Super Sport with an adapter kit and a collection of vintage and modern three-piece crank parts. It works pretty well:

Burgundy Super Sport | Flickr
Truvativ adapter rings
Shimano bottom bracket
Nervar crank arms
TA crank bolts
Velo Orange chainring
MKS pedals
SRAM chain
https://www.amazon.com/Alta-Conversi...51199724&psc=1


What did that do that this wonít do?
SkinGriz is offline  
Likes For SkinGriz:
Old 04-24-21, 10:23 PM
  #10  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 12,658

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1337 Post(s)
Liked 557 Times in 421 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I used a BMX-type triple adapter to put three chainrings on a one-piece crank.

As to an "upgrade path", I recently built an old Schwinn Super Sport with an adapter kit and a collection of vintage and modern three-piece crank parts. It works pretty well:.........
I rest my case.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 04-24-21, 10:27 PM
  #11  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 14,920

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2925 Post(s)
Liked 1,197 Times in 842 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Other than changing crank arms and sealed bearings, what is better about more modern cranks?

Sincere question.
Adjustable chain line, significantly better bearings, weight, less bend prone crank arms, more securely installed cups, more crank arm length options. I suspect I've missed a few others... Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is online now  
Likes For Andrew R Stewart:
Old 04-25-21, 07:03 AM
  #12  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 2,084

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 167 Times in 131 Posts
I recently replaced the press fit bottom bracket on my "new" bike. It was a pain gathering the tools needed, even in a decent shop. I lamented the days of being able to do the job with an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver, and occasionally a hammer.

But not all of the "good old days" are necessarily that good, except in memory. I ride my brother's old 70s Schwinn when I visit, and it's not as fun.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 07:25 AM
  #13  
vane171
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 43 Posts
I am sick of the cotter pin crank attachment to the axle on my bike from 1970s. I just love the way modern bikes solved the problem and if you need special tool, so be it.
vane171 is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 09:06 AM
  #14  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 1,642

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 718 Post(s)
Liked 875 Times in 499 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Adjustable chain line, significantly better bearings, weight, less bend prone crank arms, more securely installed cups, more crank arm length options. I suspect I've missed a few others... Andy

^Definitely all of this^
cxwrench is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 10:40 AM
  #15  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 30,133

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1536 Post(s)
Liked 523 Times in 305 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Other than changing crank arms and sealed bearings, what is better about more modern cranks?

Sincere question.
They weigh half as much and, if you are prone to doing crazy stuff, they bend less.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 12:13 PM
  #16  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 7,096

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2769 Post(s)
Liked 1,391 Times in 1,016 Posts
My bikes with one piece cranks were only drilled for 1/2" threaded pedals. Couldn't use modern clipless pedals with them unless you got an adapter which widened your Q. or drilled and rethreaded them, which mine wouldn't have enough metal on the end of the crank for me to feel confident it wouldn't later break.

They were super easy to adjust. But I don't know how well they would have held up to the higher mileage per year I now put on bikes. They did not have sealed bearings and you could even see the ball bearings through the gap. So I know grit and stuff had to be getting in there to cause wear. They were also heavy.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 04-25-21, 01:31 PM
  #17  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,705
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 547 Times in 355 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Are the ok 2x? I really donít know.

The new(renewed?) thing is 1x drivetrain.

But pulling the whole deal through to change the front chain wheel is probably not time optimal.
Schwinn Varsity had a double. (Ironically I removed the outer ring to turn mine into a 1x). The outer ring was bolted to the inner one, with no standard bolt circle that I'm aware of. As a result, mixing and matching rings was probably not going to happen on bikes that had those cranks. Replacing the inner (or single) ring was easy -- they virtually all followed the same standard, and it was not unheard of to gear down an old Schwinn cruiser with a smaller ring from a kids bike.

And if you needed to replace a worn out ring, it was probably also time to lube the bearings anyway. On the other hand, I never saw a worn-out steel ring. And servicing an Ashtabula crank was really, really quick, as in, a few minutes with no special tools. It wasn't like getting at a modern BB.

The point is well taken about the lack of seals. On a modern BB, the bearing cups are stationary, so it's easy to put a seal between the cups and the spindle.

I'm certainly not disputing that a modern system is better, but I'm not sure the cotterless systems on the cheapest bikes are an improvement over the old Ashtabula.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 04-26-21, 09:31 PM
  #18  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,542
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 207 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
That looks good to me.
When you ride it are you left wanting? Do you think a more modern crankset would add to your enjoyment of that bike?
I have 6 bikes. If I want something different, I pick something different. This one is great for errands and local jaunts.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 04-26-21, 09:34 PM
  #19  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,542
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 207 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
https://www.amazon.com/Alta-Conversi...51199724&psc=1


What did that do that this wonít do?
With my setup, you can use any English-threaded bottom bracket. That means you can choose the appropriate length spindle- mine is perfect for the single chainring and three-speed hub.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 04-26-21, 09:49 PM
  #20  
oldbobcat
Senior Member
 
oldbobcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: '79 Gios, '80 Masi, '06 Felt, early '60s Frejus

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Liked 104 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Other than changing crank arms and sealed bearings, what is better about more modern cranks?

Sincere question.
They have less friction so they turn easier. They are made with better materials and more precise process, so they last longer.

Seriously, I have overhauled dozens of these where the cups were misaligned, the ball bearings stopped rolling and started dragging, which caused the ball retainers to disintegrate, which caused the balls to gouge new out-of-alignment tracks in the bearing cups. Granted it was a cheap replacement, but there was so much slow, draggy, squeaky, miserable riding just to get there.

Last edited by oldbobcat; 04-26-21 at 09:55 PM.
oldbobcat is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 11:17 AM
  #21  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
With my setup, you can use any English-threaded bottom bracket. That means you can choose the appropriate length spindle- mine is perfect for the single chainring and three-speed hub.
Good. It gives you more options faster. And probably also more ability to get your chain line better lined up?
SkinGriz is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 11:24 AM
  #22  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
They have less friction so they turn easier. They are made with better materials and more precise process, so they last longer.

Seriously, I have overhauled dozens of these where the cups were misaligned, the ball bearings stopped rolling and started dragging, which caused the ball retainers to disintegrate, which caused the balls to gouge new out-of-alignment tracks in the bearing cups. Granted it was a cheap replacement, but there was so much slow, draggy, squeaky, miserable riding just to get there.
In a more modern design especially one that threads in, the likelihood of the cups being out of alignment to the spindle or BB or bearings is much less.

OK. That makes sense.
SkinGriz is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 01:11 PM
  #23  
icemilkcoffee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 634
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 366 Post(s)
Liked 266 Times in 167 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Other than changing crank arms and sealed bearings, what is better about more modern cranks?
Nothing. Look is bringing back the one-piece-crank in fact:

Look ZED 2 crankset.
The only caveat here is that it requires a significantly larger diameter bottom bracket shell than is typical.
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 01:38 PM
  #24  
SkinGriz
Do cats eat bats?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 298

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Nothing. Look is bringing back the one-piece-crank in fact:

Look ZED 2 crankset.
The only caveat here is that it requires a significantly larger diameter bottom bracket shell than is typical.
Welp. That could certainly solve the issue of FRPs eventually needing go grip something made of metal- and whatever stress riser at that junction.

Way beyond my riding ability or aggressiveness.

It does bring another though though. Looking at how big the old school BB sheíll is, I wonder if that makes the joints stronger where it attaches to the down tube/chainstay/seat tube.
SkinGriz is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 01:42 PM
  #25  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 7,096

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2769 Post(s)
Liked 1,391 Times in 1,016 Posts
Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
..........It does bring another thought though. Looking at how big the old school BB she’ll is, I wonder if that makes the joints stronger where it attaches to the down tube/chainstay/seat tube.
If that were an issue, then we'd have been hearing about BB shells breaking and there'd be all sorts of mystical magical thoughts on the subject.

Since there aren't, lets not start any. <grin>

Maybe we need to re-visit the title of your thread.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.