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Old 2004-04-28, 06:21 PM   #1
JJuggle
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Cranks (yet more)

There are so many threads on cranks. Would someone point me to step by step instructions for removing and installing them?

Many thanks,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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Old 2004-04-28, 08:03 PM   #2
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what kind?
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Old 2004-04-28, 09:54 PM   #3
JJuggle
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Fair enough. I want to put these on my 29" uni.

Thanks again,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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Old 2004-04-28, 10:03 PM   #4
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this is proabably not the best way, but i have instlled and removed this brand crank now quite alot (for me). i use a rubber mallet to hammer each one on, and a socket wrench to tighten the crank nut. upon removal i plce the uni on a work bench place a chisel or punch through the spokes and on to the back of the crank close to the axle and hammer it off, usually one BIG hit is all it takes, they are robust cranks and cheap so i dont care if i damamge them.
my mate brought his crank puller round once and that worked muc better, and probably was healthier.
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Old 2004-04-28, 10:42 PM   #5
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I use this to remove the cranks:
http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=420

It works great, but the problem is that I have to remove the pedals for it to work.

If I were to do it over again, I'd get this instead:
http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=421
For this one, you don't need to remove the pedals, but you do need a pedal wrench to turn it since it doesn't have a handle.

Another option I was thinking of was to cut down the handle on the first one so it's short enough to not need to take the pedals off.

To put the cranks back on, I use a 14mm socket. I normally don't need a mallet. Be sure to have some grease on the spindle and the threads.

Hope that helps,
Daniel
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Old 2004-04-29, 12:37 AM   #6
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I just put em on dry, tighten em down with a 14. make sure they're tight as I go on the first ride or two (more if necisary). sometimes, I use a mallet after tightening the cranks down, and then retighten. but not all the time.
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Old 2004-04-29, 03:30 AM   #7
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Thank you all.

In fact, John Drummond talked me into buying one of these. I'm glad he did, because once I looked at it and the crank after getting the nut off, it became clear how it works. And it does work.

After getting the crank off, and being fairly pleased with myself about it, I took a half hour to play some ball with my daughter. I have run into enough complications trying to do what seem to be the most routine maintenance on my unis that I figured I'd enjoy the moment before tackling the task of getting the new cranks on.

I couldn't find my rubber mallet, last used to pound into the ground a ghost on a wooden stake for Halloween, so I used the blocks of wood and regular hammer method. The first one went on easily and solidly, but it took a few tries to get the second one on so that I couldn't shake it loose with my hand.

I trust it is on pretty well, but to be honest, I'm going to have a bike shop check out my work before the LBI Unithon. I've already had a crank come off once half way through and I don't really want a repeat. This, of course, assumes they wont come off on their own before then.

I did not use any grease, but did apply some Loctite Blue. (Why does that stuff come in very red packaging?)

In any event, as I know many here experience on a regular basis, there is no small amount of satisfaction in being able to do your own work. I'm glad I made the effort.

Now I just have to get used to riding the 125mm cranks on my 29er. Quite an adjustment. The speed is great; in fact, it is a Coker like feeling. The freemounting, idling, and hills are another matter. I've had enough initial success that I know it'll be comfortable in time, but I was somewhat surprised by the big difference in the feel.

So, thanks again.

Cheers,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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Last edited by JJuggle; 2004-04-29 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 2004-04-29, 06:36 AM   #8
Mikefule
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There should be no mystery to this. Buy a crank puller. I went to my local bike shop and bought one for under £10. It's easy to use. If it isn't obvious then the person at the local bike shop will explain it to you.

Never mind rubber mallets, grease and Loctite. Just do the job carefully.

It's a simple 5 minute job.
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Old 2004-04-29, 06:58 AM   #9
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My procedure for installing cranks has changed now that I have a torque wrench. I now consider the use of a torque wrench to be critical for ensuring that the cranks are installed correctly. The torque wrench eliminates a lot of guess work and uncertainty.

My procedure for crank installation:

1. Buy a torque wrench. See my thread I'm torqued for a recommended $20 torque wrench.

2. Rub some grease on the hub tapers. Be careful not to get any grease on the hub threads because the threads are going to get Loctited. Grease and Loctite don't mix. The grease will prevent the Loctite from sticking correctly and doing its job.

3. Put the crank on the hub. There are three ways you can go about doing this. In most cases option "a" will be enough.
a) Press them on by hand with no mechanical aid. This should be adequate for most cranks. However, some cranks may not slide willingly all the way on to the taper. In these cases a little mechanical persuasion might be needed.
b) Pound the cranks on using a block of wood and a rubber mallet. Do not pound directly on the crank with a mallet or hammer. You may damage the crank. Place the block of wood on the crank and then use the rubber mallet or hammer to tap on the block of wood.
c) Use a large C-clamp or bar clamp to press the crank on the taper.

4. Put some red or blue Loctite on the crank nut. Either the red stuff or blue stuff will do the job. The red stuff is the high strength or permanent strength Loctite. The blue stuff is the medium strength Loctite.

5. Thread the crank nut on with your fingers.

6. Tighten the crank nut using a torque wrench. Tighten the nut to 35 to 40 foot-pounds. It is important that the nut be lubricated with Loctite to get a consistent and reliable torque reading. If the threads are dry you may get an unreliable torque reading.

7. Install the dust caps.

With this procedure the cranks should be tight and not loosen up on you during a ride.

Park Tool has a nice FAQ item on removing and installing square taper cranks. Park Tool crank FAQ It includes some pictures and shows a torque wrench being used to tighten the crank nut.

You can have your local bike shop make sure that your cranks are tight. Just have them use Loctite on the crank nut and then use a torque wrench to get it tightened to 40 foot-pounds and you'll be all good for the unithon. The bike shop may look at you a little weird for making such a request. Just let them know that it makes a difference with unicycle cranks.

It is weird that blue Loctite comes in a red container. The blue refers to the color of the product and not the color of the container. What's even more weird is that the red Permatex threadlocker comes in a blue container. Permatex is the same stuff as Loctite, just a different brand.
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Old 2004-04-30, 04:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by john_childs
b) Pound the cranks on using a block of wood and a rubber mallet. Do not pound directly on the crank with a mallet or hammer. You may damage the crank. Place the block of wood on the crank and then use the rubber mallet or hammer to tap on the block of wood.
John, do you use anything on the other side for reaction force? I lay the uni on its side with the other crank on some wood (weight taken by the HUB end of the crank), then put a block of wood on the top crank as you describe and deal a few hammer blows. After that I turn it around for the other crank, even if it received some force already while being at the bottom.

Tired of having to remove the pedals (for lack of a high enough block of wood), I made this little something to put under the wheel hub. Now it's high enough so that the pedal can stay on. The strangely shaped metal parts (which I bent from regular 90 degree hooks) are mounted under tension so that if the wood gets compressed after some use (or shrinks somewhat from drying out), there is still firm contact between all three parts. Otherwise it wouldn't be effective for counter force.

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Old 2004-04-30, 04:41 AM   #11
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Another shot. Ready to receive the hammer.

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Old 2004-04-30, 06:33 AM   #12
john_childs
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaas Bil

John, do you use anything on the other side for reaction force? I lay the uni on its side with the other crank on some wood (weight taken by the HUB end of the crank), then put a block of wood on the top crank as you describe and deal a few hammer blows. After that I turn it around for the other crank, even if it received some force already while being at the bottom.
I don't usually use the mallet and block of wood technique. When I do I don't have anything on the other side other than my legs. I'll stand the unicycle up and use my legs as support on the back side of the wheel. You only tap on the crank. You don't pound on it so the forces are not that great.

I usually us the bar clamp method. I use a bar clamp made by Bessey and press the cranks on.
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Old 2004-05-01, 06:33 AM   #13
Klaas Bil
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Re: Cranks (yet more)

On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 01:33:45 -0500, "john_childs" wrote:

>You don't pound on it so the forces
>are not that great.


That must be 'you' as in 'I, John Childs', because I, Klaas Bil, /do/
pound on it. I figured that if using a heavy press (rather than a
C-clamp) is a good method to press on cranks, they need quite some
force. I've found that if I just tap the cranks on, then tighten the
nuts more or less properly, then pound the cranks as I described, I
can tighten the nut more without using more torque than in the first
round. That makes me conclude that the pounding is required for
properly mounted cranks but maybe I am wrong? Maybe I deform
something???

I don't have a torque wrench. At the few places I checked they were
horribly expensive. Specific buying recommendations made by USAans
(like you, recently) don't help for this European. I guesstimate the
exerted torque by multiplying the effective wrench length with a
guessed force - for the latter I try to think a %-age of my weight, a
bucket of water etc. Very imprecise but it's at least something.

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Old 2004-05-01, 08:04 AM   #14
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With grease on the tapers the cranks should slide on fully without too much pounding or too much pressing force. But some cranks have weird tapers and don't seat well, so extra force is needed for them.

If you're using aluminum cranks then the crank taper may be deforming as it is pressed on and the nut is tightened. That could be why you're able to get more tightening after pounding on them a second time.

Take pictures of your torque wrench setup when you get it rigged up. I'm sure it will be interesting.
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Old 2004-05-01, 02:22 PM   #15
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Raphael --

Give me a week or two notice, then come to Unatics, and I will give you a personal workshop on uni maintenance. We'll cover the tools and all the little steps to make sure your unis stay tight and happy, and we'll perform each step on whichever unis you bring. It's even better to do it right away while I'm injured and can't ride.

Persistence....

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