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Thread: Octalink?

  1. #1
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    Octalink?

    is octalink proprietary to shimano, or does anyone else make octalink bbs? i just picked up some older LX cranks that are octalink and i'm trying to figure out my bb options.
    thanks.

  2. #2
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    I could be wrong, but I don't recall Shimano ever licensing Octalink to any other manufacturers.
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  3. #3
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    You'll need a Shimano Octalink BB.

  4. #4
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    There are two versions of Octalink, V1 and V2. They are not interchangeable.

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    Your gonna need a v2, they last ages and I think they are only like 20 or 30 bucks

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    v2 *****es. Pretty ok system.

  7. #7
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    Shimano allow other to make an Octalink crank. Only Shimano is allowed to make the Octalink BB.

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    I'm liking this Octalink system on my 26er. Nice and stiff, even for a POS Deore set. I think I'm going to hunt for some XTR (m952?) cranks.

  9. #9
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    Octalink works and has lasted very well for me. I've been using some older LX octalink cranks for a few years now. I'm pretty sure the previous owner used them for a while as well. Still spin as well(or better) as any of my newer cranks/bb.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable View Post
    Shimano allow other to make an Octalink crank. Only Shimano is allowed to make the Octalink BB.
    Are you sure about that? I'm pretty certain on Shimano ever made Octalink cranks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Are you sure about that? I'm pretty certain on Shimano ever made Octalink cranks.
    I've seen AC components cranksets with interchangable spiders that were Octalink compatible. Also, I've got a set of CODA Octalink cranks in my eBay watch list too. I think Shimano licensed the crank interface but not the bb's (I'd love to be wrong on this). It's too bad that Shimano didn't license the bb out to aftermarket as we'd have more choices. I have 4 sets of XTR 950/2 cranks on bikes and am running out of bb's. The cranks have many options with different spiders and spiderless rings too. And yes, there are 2 versions of Octalink as noted in this thread.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Are you sure about that? I'm pretty certain on Shimano ever made Octalink cranks.
    I have a set of Black Spire Octalink cranks.

    Because Shimano never licensed the BB, most manufacturers did not make cranks with the Octalink interface. However, keep in mind the Octalink BB shaft is the same diameter as the ISIS, and most ISIS BB, and had poor longevity, where as Shimano's Octalink BB's performed well. They did not want the same issue that plagued ISIS BB's by letting other manufacturers make poor copies.

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    Yes. Only Shimano makes octalink BBs. Isis was a competing technology to octalink and Isis is a more "open" system. There are many Isis BB manufacturers.

    I got a cheap set of octalink deore cranks off eBay for less than $30. It has been one of the best investments I've made on my SS. Great crankset. They are virtually nuke proof.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Are you sure about that? I'm pretty certain on Shimano ever made Octalink cranks.
    Ritchey made some Octalink cranks as well.
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    The Ultegra 6503 Octalink cranks that came on my 2007 Trek 520 touring bike have a sh*tpile of miles on them and their matching 5500 bottom bracket. No creaking/clicking, and the bottom bracket spins suuuuuuuuper smooth still without any play. The cranks/bottom bracket were on when I rode the bike loaded down with a touring load from Boston to Key West and the cranks wound up on my commuter after that and have been in regular service for commuting and cyclocross since. Octalink (and square taper for that matter) cartridge bottom brackets might not be the lightest or stiffest systems out there, but holy crap they're reliable.

    This thread makes me want to go out and find some more Octalink cranks.

    If the cranks are in good shape, get them, and get yourself 2 or 3 bottom brackets (they're pretty cheap) in case they stop making the bottom brackets and you should be set for the lifetime of the bike/cranks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjphillips View Post
    Yes. Only Shimano makes octalink BBs. Isis was a competing technology to octalink and Isis is a more "open" system. There are many Isis BB manufacturers.

    I got a cheap set of octalink deore cranks off eBay for less than $30. It has been one of the best investments I've made on my SS. Great crankset. They are virtually nuke proof.
    ok thanks guys.

    hey wjphillips, after inspecting my cranks, they are deore m540 hollowtech. i suspect you might be running the same cranks. is the spider removable on these cranks? it looks like a separate piece but no lock ring. may have to scrap my spiderless HBC idea for a Rotor Q ring.

  17. #17
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    I have the M572s which is the older LX version of the M540s.
    You need a 121 mm spindle to maintain the standard chainline of 47.5 with those cranks.
    I believe if you use a 113 mm spindle, the cranks will hit the shell.
    I have not tried a 118 mm.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kabayan View Post
    I have the M572s which is the older LX version of the M540s.
    You need a 121 mm spindle to maintain the standard chainline of 47.5 with those cranks.
    I believe if you use a 113 mm spindle, the cranks will hit the shell.
    I have not tried a 118 mm.
    are you using the spider or spiderless? do you have a pic?

  19. #19
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    Ianick's pic is the M572. The M540s should look the same but I believe they only came in one (darker) color.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westcoaster View Post
    are you using the spider or spiderless? do you have a pic?
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  20. #20
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    that is what my 540's look like. so i'll need a 121mm? i would have gone shorter just by guessing. thanks.

  21. #21
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    I don't think the spider is removable on mine. I have M521s.

    I run 113mm BB and it works fine. It doesn't rub on the bottom bracket shell. If I were to over tighten the non-drive side arm, I can see how it might rub.

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