How to install an outboard bearing Euro bottom bracket and two piece crank set.
Meet our new test rig for 2013, a Phoenix Talon Pro XXL. With interchangeable dropouts, it will allow us to test a variety of hubs, not to mention and unmistakable look and ride to set our Test Force apart at the track. Since every great frame needs power, we decided to hook it up with with a set of DK race cranks and walk you through the install.
While some companies are moving towards larger bottom brackets, like the BB-30, its tough to go wrong with the reliability and ease of installation provided by a threaded Euro bottom bracket shell.
The DK Flash Cranks feature length options of 170mm, 175mm, or 180mm (installed) and thanks to CNC machined aluminum arms and a two piece design that centers around a massive 24mm hollow chromoly spindle, they will be plenty stiff for our needs.
Most Euro bottom brackets will be marked with right and left sides to avoid cross threading as the right (drive side) is reverse threaded. As a precaution, DK labels both the cups of their FSA BB and the center dust seal.
Be sure to apply a this coat of grease or anti-seize before threading in your cups. This will help prevent cross threading, eventual binding and creaking.
Using the proper tool, install the non-drive side cup, or side attached to the dust seal first and snug it up to the bottom bracket shell.
The right or drive side bottom bracket cup that comes with the Flash cranks is marked with an R, as well as an arrow to show the tightening direction of the cup. This eliminates confusion as the cup is again reverse threaded. Tighten up this cup fully and tighten the non-drive side the rest of the way as well.
On two piece cranks, the spindle/arm assembly can now be installed in the bottom bracket. On the Flash cranks, additional spacers are not required.
Check your crank arm and sprocket for clearance against the frame. The Flash cranks offered plenty of clearance but some frames or crank sets may require additional spacing so be prepared to do this before you install the other arm.
DK leaves alignment slots on their spindle to ensure proper arm alignment on the finely splined spindle. Take note and put your arms on straight, or your first few cranks will feel a little funny.
Grease or anti-seize your crank arm bolt and use it to pull your two-piece crank assembly tight and to preload your bearings. Check your crank arm spacing on the non-drive side and be sure to check for smooth crank spin, if your cranks spin slow, you may have the preload bolt too tight.
Tighten up your pinch bolts to lock in your bearing adjustment and secure the arms.
Using a straight edge, or even a trained eye, check your chain line. Any adjustments will have to be made by spacing your cog in or out on the hub, not by respacing the arms. Proper chain line will reduce drag and wear.
That done, you are ready to ride with your pedals and cranks. Remember, many aluminum arms come with washers to protect the arms from the pedals as they are tightened, Be sure to use them, your cranks will thank you.