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Shimano Dura Ace AX crank question

Old 08-18-18, 05:53 PM
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Shimano Dura Ace AX crank question

Is this a desirable crank and pedal system? Are the pedals easy or difficult to service?
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Old 08-18-18, 06:03 PM
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The pedals are fairly easy to service, about a zillion loose, tiny, balls in there, both sides. Not so desirable except for restorations. Alexi Grewal won the 1984 Gold Medal using Dyna Drive pedals.
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Old 08-18-18, 06:18 PM
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This, is my favourite pre-clipless pedal and crankset system. The crankarms are very stiff. The pedals are extremely stable and have very good cornering clearance. The pedals are also far easier to overhaul than a standard pedal. Arguably the most under rated C&V pedal and crankset system.
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Old 08-18-18, 08:21 PM
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Is that a Trek 170?
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Old 08-18-18, 10:53 PM
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@ JohnDTompson Is that a Trek 170? Yes it is a Trek 170 1985
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Old 08-18-18, 11:05 PM
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The advantage of this crank/pedal combination was that it lowered your foot placement 1.5cm compared to a conventional pedal. That is the same as lowering your bottom bracket height a centimeter and a half. That is a big deal. This was my favorite pre-clipless pedal for that reason. As a matter of fact it delayed my going clipless for several years. Because they were an oddball combination and therefore did not get enough market share and also because of the advent of clipless pedals, they did not survive on the marketplace. But that wasn't because they were a bad concept. If I was still using cleats this is the crank/pedal combination I would choose.
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Old 08-19-18, 12:36 AM
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AX inserts

Originally Posted by jiangshi
The pedals are fairly easy to service, about a zillion loose, tiny, balls in there, both sides. Not so desirable except for restorations. Alexi Grewal won the 1984 Gold Medal using Dyna Drive pedals.
You can buy insert reducers that enable the mounting of standard 9/16" pedals . Somewhat defeats the whole purpose of the design but allows you to use any pedal you wish to use whether on a temp basis or whatever.
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Old 08-19-18, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic
The advantage of this crank/pedal combination was that it lowered your foot placement 1.5cm compared to a conventional pedal. That is the same as lowering your bottom bracket height a centimeter and a half. That is a big deal. This was my favorite pre-clipless pedal for that reason....

The primary purpose of the design was to place the foot/pedal interface at the same level of the pedal axle. This provided a more stable pedal with less rocking. Theoretically, the energy saved from foot stabilization allowed higher power input to the crankset and consequently higher speeds. Additional benefits, such as a slightly smaller, stiffer and lighter frame, and a lower centre of gravity were not the prime design goal of the design.
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Old 09-21-18, 12:34 PM
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Are these functionally the same as Dura Ace EX?

I'm glad I found this thread - I was trying to figure out how to put modern pedals on my 1980 Koga-Miyata Gentsluxe-S, which is outfitted with Dura Ace EX cranks and pedals. Actually, the cranks and pedals just say "Dura Ace," but they look identical to the photo at the top of the thread except for that. So now I know that I should leave these be.

My second and more important question is, how does one service these pedals? The drive-side pedal is somewhat stiff and if it's not too difficult I'd like to find a way to grease the bearings.
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Old 09-21-18, 12:38 PM
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BIG difference between EX and AX!

AX was a funky and esoteric design Shimano did that is often only compatible with itself, and given that it flopped harder than a soccer player, it has its limitations.

EX was a "normal" Shimano gruppo for the time, meaning a less expensive Campy clone.

EX takes "regular" pedals. AX takes dynadrive, referenced above. I don't have an opinion as to its function, and there are converters for "normal" pedals that existed at one point...but it's not a crank set I'd be crazy about due to the compatibility issues, and I like clipless. It also is funky in terms of placement...which effects frame sizing. Most of the AX bits were integrated with bikes specifically built with AX in mind.

So my answer to the thread question is I'd avoid unless I was doing a faithful AX restoration.

EDIT - my memory is horribly off here. I have an EX bike behind my chair in the office, and it takes dyna drive as well.

Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 09-21-18 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 09-21-18, 12:53 PM
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This is an example of what I'd consider the most fully realized and integrated AX concept/frame...the Lotus Super Pro Aero. It has unique tubing treatment...especially the head tube...and was designed specifically for the AX gruppo. The concept includes the crazy Nitto aero bars and stem (though I think some model years, at least in brochure, came with AX bars).







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Old 09-21-18, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
This is an example of what I'd consider the most fully realized and integrated AX concept/frame...the Lotus Super Pro Aero. It has unique tubing treatment...especially the head tube...and was designed specifically for the AX gruppo. The concept includes the crazy Nitto aero bars and stem (though I think some model years, at least in brochure, came with AX bars).







What an amazing bike. Is this yours?
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Old 09-21-18, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Writenride
What an amazing bike. Is this yours?
Thanks much! It is! It's not one I've ever picked for a ride, but it is cool, and I have a fondness for Lotus. Not many were made, and I'm not sure how many of those were sold, let alone kept. You very rarely see them around or for sale. That said, they're unique...and I think they are the clear and away best representation of this craze and of AX, which, to me, makes them pretty cool. The positioning is definitely a bit extreme for my preferences, and the brakes are, well, interesting and full of "personality".

The Panasonic, 3Rensho, Zunow, Centurion and Miyata versions are, IMO, far less interesting.

It may not have been a bike, or gruppo, that people bought, or liked...it may not have caught on...but it was influential!

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Old 09-21-18, 02:10 PM
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People used to seek out the AX brakes for time trial bikes where the cable and mounting were centered rather than being out in the air. These brakes were famously used as a retrofit by one famous pro rider who did not win 7 Tours de France.
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Old 09-21-18, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale
how does one service these pedals? The drive-side pedal is somewhat stiff and if it's not too difficult I'd like to find a way to grease the bearings.
Here's a thread that may help:

Shimano Dyna Drive pedal rebuild process
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Old 09-21-18, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
BIG difference between EX and AX!

AX was a funky and esoteric design Shimano did that is often only compatible with itself, and given that it flopped harder than a soccer player, it has its limitations.

EX was a "normal" Shimano gruppo for the time, meaning a less expensive Campy clone.

EX takes "regular" pedals. AX takes dynadrive, referenced above. I don't have an opinion as to its function, and there are converters for "normal" pedals that existed at one point...but it's not a crank set I'd be crazy about due to the compatibility issues, and I like clipless. It also is funky in terms of placement...which effects frame sizing. Most of the AX bits were integrated with bikes specifically built with AX in mind.

So my answer to the thread question is I'd avoid unless I was doing a faithful AX restoration.

EDIT - my memory is horribly off here. I have an EX bike behind my chair in the office, and it takes dyna drive as well.
The Dyna-Drive crankarms and pedals were actually introduced on Dura-Ace EX for the 1980 model year, a full year prior to Dura-Ace AX. Shimano's aerodynamic handlebar stem with the internal handlebar binder bolt also originated with 1980 Dura-Ace EX.
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Old 09-21-18, 04:15 PM
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Here's a pretty cool example, with a great story.

https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/reade...useum-stunner/
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Old 09-21-18, 04:28 PM
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And an example from Merz, he was all over this.
Merz Bicycles I don't have this bike! I do not remember the details too well, but it was made for the New York Bike show. Shimano gave me the parts and tubing just days before I had to fly back. Made the frame and painted it in one long day. It was the first bike with AX groupo shown in the USA.



https://www.facebook.com/merzbicycles/photos/a.1006912662658296/1006912799324949/?type=3&theater " data-width="500" data-show-text="true" data-lazy="true">
https://www.facebook.com/merzbicycles/photos/a.1006912662658296/1006912799324949/?type=3&theater " class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore">Facebook Post

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Old 09-21-18, 04:37 PM
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And another Merz.




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Old 09-21-18, 04:53 PM
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JM027 has one of these cranks that Jim drilled for a triple when the owner before me had him put it together. It has MKS Sylvan with the adapters.
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Old 09-22-18, 03:36 PM
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Service pedals in situ?

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Here's a thread that may help:

Shimano Dyna Drive pedal rebuild process
Thank you, that answers one big question (are the lock nut and cone that require 5- and 6-mm hex wrenches, respectively, standard threading on both sides? The answer is as I suspected, yes). Now I have an additional question. Is it possible to remove the lock nut and the threaded cone WITHOUT removing the housing from the crank? I don't have the "DD wrench" or any wrench that is large enough, and while it might be awkward to leave the pedal housing in the crank, it looks from the diagram like it doesn't necessarily need to be removed to get to the bearings.

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Old 09-22-18, 07:08 PM
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Old 09-23-18, 09:26 AM
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Yes, you can rebuild the pedals with removing them from the crankarm, though it is more difficult.

These are the easiest ball and cone bearings to rebuild, as the pre-load adjustment and locking screw have excellent accessibility. There's very little trial and error to set the pre-load and lock it in.

Last edited by T-Mar; 09-23-18 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 09-23-18, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
Yes, you can rebuild the pedals with removing them from the crankarm, though it is more difficult.

These are the easiest ball and cone bearings to rebuild, as the pre-load adjustment and locking screw have excellent accessibility. There's very little trial and error to set the pre-load and lock it in.
Thanks! I just tried with my Allen keys, and couldn't get enough torque. I squirted the problem pedal with WD-40 and it quickly started turning smoothly, so it feels like everything is in good shape, just some old dried grease. I'll let the WD-40 penetrate for a day or 3 and try again, because I'd like to get some fresh grease into both pedals.

As for the DynaDrive wrench, I'm trying to keep my tools and "stuff" investing to a minimum, since I now have a tiny apartment and very limited access to finding what I need. I also don't feel like buying a can of PB Blaster or the Dutch equivalent just for this, so hopefully the WD-40 will work well enough. What's actually next on my agenda is getting a set of BB wrenches, since I didn't bring any of my larger tools, and I want to service that as soon as I can.
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