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FSA Crank Problems

Old 03-20-11, 06:20 AM
  #1  
Ranger63
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FSA Crank Problems

I'm going to defer doing any rant about LBS attitudes toword doing quality repair on bikes customers buy 'on line'.
Question I have is for folks who have (or had) FSA Cranksets. Specificlly FSA Team Issue Cranksets with their unique BB assembly.
Origional setup on the BikesDirect CF Motobecane, never saw the fixing bolt get any blue locktite put on its threads..the bolt probably never was tightened to torque specs either.
It came loose on a late autumn ride.
Late winter I took the bike to the top LBS in the region.
Explained what had happened.
(The oem bolt was aluminum I discovered..FSA had switched to steel)
Had the bolt.washers and cap ordered (came as one package) and had the shop supposedly install the new stuff and torque it to the correct specs.
Rode it all 2010.
Having the bike gone thru for the 2011 riding season (chain was marginal, wanted to upgrade to the 12-27 6600 cassette from the 12-25) I learn:
The wave washer that was supposed to be between the left crank arm and the bearings was missing.
Fixing bolt tightened wayyyy too tight (well over specs)

Question I have (with fingers crossed the overtightening and riding it that way all season didn't damage the CF in the bikes bottom bracket):
There seems to be a bit of play (looseness) and I'm thinking the missing wave washer may be the issue.
What else should I be looking at.??
So asked because: IF the crankset was compromised (pulled threads, collapsed or mashed mating surfaces) There are several on line outlets currently offering (closeouts) the Team Issue Compact 170mm arm crankset/BB assembly for $239. free shipping and going for new over fixing compromised seems a better way to go.

Figure those of you who've owned this model/brand have probably experienced some of the issues I chronicled.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-20-11, 07:16 PM
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DSchlichting
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I have one of the earlier models of this product and IMO while cranks themselves are nice, the rest of the hardware is in the POS category. IMO, I would not look to replace with FSA of any kind, but move to Shimano.
That said, as I recall, my original instructions from FSA did not mention a wave washer. That came later and maybe LBS is using different documentation.
You do not mention the famous Loctite 641 "retaining compound" did the LBS use this?
You may be warned: I replaced the chainring bolts with Ti bolts sourced from Hong Kong (ebay) as the original aluminium bolts sheared well below the torque spec.
Despite my complaining, I have had good success with this crankset by following installation instructions to the letter. I also replaced the original FSA bearings with CK and that made a major improvement, including eliminating most of teh knocking noises.
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Old 03-20-11, 07:34 PM
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1) You should call FSA about the wavy washer. Their documents are TERRIBLE for actually documenting what goes where and for what purpsoe - e.g wavy washer, flat black rubber coated washer, blue coated o-ring. IIRC the wavy washer needed to be used on FSA K-Light and ... some others <- call FSA about this one they are quite helpful
2) Fixing bolt being overtightened wouldn't damage the BB shell, nor would overtighening the BB itself unless it was EXTREME, this is easily verified by removal of said BB and watching for metal bits.
3) Loctite 641 is for making a poor fit a good one, on carbon FSA cranks - again FSA documentation blows, call and ask if this is necessary on your specific crank. That being said, it makes no difference whatsoever to the bottom bracket itself if THAT is exhibiting looseness e.g wear.

FSA cranks blow.

There's really no reason to run any of them.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
FSA cranks blow.

There's really no reason to run any of them.
I KNEW when I saw the OP of this thread that you were going to comment. Actually, your attitude toward FSA cranks is shared by my favorite LBS. They hate the things.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I KNEW when I saw the OP of this thread that you were going to comment. Actually, your attitude toward FSA cranks is shared by my favorite LBS. They hate the things.
I haven't seen a single person claim that their drivetrain runs better, be it campy, sram or shimano with a FSA crankset. It's purely for

a) carbon look
b) being cheap

There's a reason why bike manufacturers always look to replace the stock crank with an FSA one when prices need to be lowered.
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Old 03-20-11, 09:06 PM
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I had an FSA mego expo on my Bottecchia and after 4000 miles put a Shimano 105 on the bike. Miles above the FSA in all respects, if fact the 105 shifts perfect I doubt an Ultegra would be any better. I do have an FSA SL-K Lite Carbon Fiber crank, 53/39T on my Immortal Spirit and so far after about 800 miles it works flawless but I can see it is a much better crank than the Mega Expo was admittedly.
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Old 03-21-11, 05:56 AM
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THIS (the responses) were 'why' I posted.
I'm a firm believer in being unable to correct peoples actions (ala the LBS in this situation)
Best to simply move forword.
In that respect, I wanted to know-from folks who've owned these cranks-if FSA has been having
ongoing issues with their mega exo cranks and these 'wrong threaded' fixing or tightening bolts.
This outboard bearing crank is my first entry into this new world. Prior to which I've (happily) owned taper shaft sealed bearing old school cranks.
Given my reads of the responses- on this and two other fourms-it's obvious FSA should come with a manual
"Things to look for-going wrong-in your FSA Crankset"
The most recent LBS (as well as myself) is calling FSA this morning.
IF the missing wave washer could be the culprit in this looseness, then I'll have the LBS proceed with ordering the wave washer and 'redoing' the assembly and tightening.
(AND..hopefully I'll be able to get the season out of the FSA while saving up to move on to something else.. either Shimano or a complete SRAM conversion)
BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE for the remarks regarding damage to the frames BB. Set the mind at ease a bit.

8o)
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Old 03-21-11, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
I haven't seen a single person claim that their drivetrain runs better, be it campy, sram or shimano with a FSA crankset. It's purely for

a) carbon look
b) being cheap

There's a reason why bike manufacturers always look to replace the stock crank with an FSA one when prices need to be lowered.
The first sentence may be true. Althought I have used the same SLK Light with original BB on 2 bikes (1 w/Shimano Ultegra 6600 & 1 w/Sram Force) and it is still working perfectly. Maybe it only takes a patient mechanical type person to install. The crank/BB have over 4000 miles.

As for the last statement -- the bike manufactures use the cheaper cranks and quite often cheaper brake calipers, chains, cassettes etc. because they need to make money and also need to give the buyer a bike that works. A good mechanic can make almost any component combo work well.
a) carbon look
b) cheap (at least cheaper)

The OP may have had his crank improperly installed. Older FSA cranks used a replaceable blue coated flat washer. A wavy washer is used along with a special locktite on most current FSA cranks. Someone may have used the locktite and left out the washer. If this is the case blame the mechanic (we are all human).
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Old 03-22-11, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TLCFORBIKES View Post
A good mechanic can make almost any component combo work well.
Be careful about generalizing that far. I once tried to work on a department store bike my neighbor bought and I defy you or anyone else to have made it work at all, nevermind well. It didn't need a mechanic, it needed a magician.
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Old 03-22-11, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Be careful about generalizing that far. I once tried to work on a department store bike my neighbor bought and I defy you or anyone else to have made it work at all, nevermind well. It didn't need a mechanic, it needed a magician.
I was careful. The word "almost" was included in that sentence.
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