Tag Archives: CrankPull

After weeks of waiting, I finally fix up bluebell #cycling

For this I needed a new crank puller (a.k.a. extractor, Park Tool CCP-22):20130511-105542.jpg
And a new crankset (unbranded):20130511-105612.jpg
The crankset was recommended as the current replacement by SJS. Replacing the chainrings with the single chainring I already had on the old crankset.
The crank puller seems OK, though I don’t rate it above my last one, maybe equal to it. Anyway it worked twice which is all I needed. Important is to always remember to grease both threads and the tip of it, since the tip will be grinding against metal.
Here’s one side done, baby started crying that was all I managed that evening:20130511-151649.jpg
It’s also worth noting that I grease the bottom bracket axle before putting the new crank on, grease the crank bolt and give it a good tighten if you want it to remain in place. Greasing the axle is meant to decrease the corrosion that can happen between the steel axle and the alloy crank. Similarly greasing pedal threads is a must, which i forgot last time, hence the beginning of the problems I had. There are those that disagree which bits to grease, I sometimes change my mind, but I’ve had more problems by not greasing than by greasing.
After removing the RHS crank I need to swap the chainrings from new to old:20130511-153459.jpg
He’s the finished result:20130511-153521.jpg
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The hawk eyed reader will note that my chainring is not reversible and is getting on in age (miles), when the teeth are like razor blades I’ll swap it, a derailleur setup would need this replacing already, my chain is 1% worn according to my chain wear indicator, I’ll replace that at nearer 2% probably, again derailleur owners would need to replace now.
The finished RHS:20130511-154408.jpg
While I was shopping for the above I also bought a saddle, Maddison Prime:20130511-154815.jpg
Here’s it fitted, note the road profile of it and the fancy ruler for elite setup:20130511-154824.jpg
I just stick it in the middle, angle the nose up a tiny fraction and that’s fine. Maybe I’ll fiddle with it in future, but I tend not to notice much difference. It’s definitely harder than my last saddle, but doesn’t seem to bother me yet as my cycling distances are tiny now I work closer to home and have a baby that takes up my cycling time.
That was that for that night, the next evening I did an oil change and tightened my mudguard bolts (Surrey roads rattle them loose). Next morning I’m all set for commuting again:
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What a lovely steel machine she is.

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How not to remove the crankset from your bike #cycling

Mistakes are easy and knowing issues and trying to use them to your advantage isn’t a good idea either.

The mistake

I forgot to grease my pedal threads when I last put pedals on bluebell. This plus steel, aluminium and salt water (two winters worth) meant the pedals are welded on. The Internet says heating the cranks will break the seal, but it might damage the threads. Seems like I’m unlikely to fix them, but I thought I’d take them off and try.

The misuse of known issues

For the same reason as above, it’s advisable to grease the bottom bracket spindle else getting cranks off can be tricky. I initially had a problem with the left crank coming loose, so, I thought I’d clean off the grease in a hope it would bind on better. The real solution would have been to put more force on tightening the crank bolts. Anyway, as a result, the blasted crank wouldn’t come off.

Where it all went wrong

Having the tools for a job is all good and well, but sometimes one can overdo it, put too much force on something and watch your dreams shatter in front of you. What did I break?
The crank puller / removal tool, not only that, I also destroyed (stripped) the thread on the crank, thus destroying chances of removing it.

The plan to fix it

I figured the crankset was done for, so remove the crank somehow, replace crankset with a recently acquired crankset (that was being thrown away) put on other used spare pedals I had lying around (boxes of junk), didn’t even steal then from one of my other bikes!

Step 1

Hacksaw, not much room for it, a bit nervous about the frame, but got a chunk off….
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Still unresponsive to my hammer, wiggling etc.

Step 2

Drill plus HSS drill bits, started small (nervous) then once through up sized the drill bit to cut through. Great care was taken not to drill the steel spindle. Of course steel is harder than aluminium, but being careful was key (since I hadn’t been earlier). This worked a treat, wedging a claw hammer in the gap broke the seal and freed the crank. He’s the crank and the sheared off crank removal tool:
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A closeup on the crank:
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Phew, glad it’s over with.

The lessons

  • Grease it up
  • Forcing it will only break it
  • Keep boxes of junk lying around just in case

Of course I would recommend that most people don’t do this, take it to a bike shop and get their help.

Bluebell is up and running and a crank removal tool is on the shopping list.