Crankset maintenance attempt

FSA K-Force modular crankset with self-extracting crank bolt

I noticed when cleaning up Kuroko from the Lejog attempt that a piece was missing from the crankset. I contacted the maker about getting a replacement. Then, on the next ride, I noticed that the crankset was making some noise again. The last time this happened I just needed to tighten up the bottom bracket a bit and it was fine for several months (and more than 1,000km).

Crankset missing self-extracting bolt
The self-extracting bolt: there it isn’t

Tightening the bottom bracket bearings requires removing the crankset, and that’s exactly the function of that little missing part. So I had to wait for it to arrive. And then I had to go to the shop today to get a pin spanner to install it properly.

Old and new crank bolts compared
One of these things is not like the other

I took the bolt off the crankset and compared it with the replacement. It was a different length and diameter. There’d been some disagreement between the maker’s site and the documentation that arrived with the crankset originally, and I jumped in the wrong direction. But with luck, the missing bit would be the same size.

Using a pin spanner to screw in a self-extracting bolt on a crankset
Here’s where the pin spanner comes in

It took me a couple of tries using the pin spanner to get the self-extracting bolt in correctly. And with that, it was a few turns of the wrench to get the crank off. Then I should have been able to just tap on the spindle with the mallet a few times to push out the opposite crank. I tapped, but nothing happened. I tapped again. And again. I gave the spindle and number of really good whacks. It didn’t budge.

Bike bottom bracket with right-side crank removed
One stuck spindle

Finally, afraid to damage the frame with more hammering, I put the crank back on and torqued it down. When I turn it I can still feel some resistance, but it might be a bit better than before.

FSA K-Force modular crankset with self-extracting crank bolt
Back on the bike – for now

I’ve done some research and everyone is suggesting the spindle is rusted to the inner bearing faces. They’re saying not to be shy with the hammer, but I’ll most likely have to replace the bearings. So I’m going to order a new bottom bracket before doing anything else. I’ll try some short rides (like the daily commute) to see if Kuroko is at least rideable as is.

I have a deadline on this: the Tour de Tohoku is just a month away.

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