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  1. #1
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    octalink crank problems

    I am currently running a set of xt octalink cranks. The non drive side crank arm keeps coming loose and now has some play in it. I pulled it of off and the part of the crank arm that engages with the spindle is gettting thrashed.(found loose pieces of metal) So I atleast need a new crank arm and maybe a whole new crank/bb. So I'm left with a few questions.

    1. anyone else have a problem with octalink
    2. if BB is ok should i go octalink again

  2. #2
    one chain loop
    Reputation: fishcreek's Avatar
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    octalink is the worst interface ever happened. ever considered outboard bb cranks, square taper?
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  3. #3
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    I have a xxix which has and ebb. Can I use outboard cranks.

  4. #4
    Occasionally engagedů
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    The ONLY Shimano parts on my two mtb bikes (singlespeed and IGH-equipped) are XTR octalink bottom brackets. And of course the cross/road bike uses octalink. I have had far more issues with the Phil Wood bottom brackets (bearing contamination) I formerly ran on the MTBs. The octalink bottom bracket bearings are better and the whole operation spins more smoothly than the outboard bb on the wife's/son's/daughter's bikes and although I haven't personal data, the octalink bbs outlast outboard bbs (with respect to bearings). And octalinks have a smaller Q-factor. The negatives? Octalinks are hard to find and you have to pay attention when you put on the crankarms to have the splines lined up before cranking the arm down. So, if I were in your position and the BB was okay, I'd Ebay a new crank -- those are easier to get your hands on than the BBs. If the BB was bad, I'd still go Octalink and pay the premium -- but that's just me...
    Last edited by Ptor; 08-07-2011 at 10:27 AM.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  5. #5
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    Octalink had several flavors, as well as BBs specific to gruppos. There was V1 and V2, and XT, XTR and 105 all used different BBs.

    If the cranks are not installed correctly before tightening, the splines will get chewed up. If the wrong BB is used, all hell breaks loose.

    I have a pair that was minimally damaged from the wrong bb. If you looked inside, you can see where the BB splines rode up and next too the cranks splines, and started to "cut" a new spline. 1/2 an hour later with a good file, and I knocked down all the burrs and the original splines in the cranks looked nice. Tightened them down, and haven't had a problem since.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by old'skool View Post
    Octalink had several flavors, as well as BBs specific to gruppos. There was V1 and V2, and XT, XTR and 105 all used different BBs.

    If the cranks are not installed correctly before tightening, the splines will get chewed up. If the wrong BB is used, all hell breaks loose.
    Good point. As always, the late great Sheldon Brown has a good explanation/database:

    Sheldon Brown's Bottom Bracket Size Database

    Match cranks with the right bottom bracket and as long as you make sure to seat your crank appropriately on the splines before tightening things down, all will be good. Also, after the first or second ride after installing the cranks, just snug the bolts back up and you'll be good for many miles.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  7. #7
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I'd get another octalink. Square taper is my favorite, external is my least. I have octalink on three bikes and one has a crank arm get loose every couple hundred miles. One has a little bit of play (only noticeable in certain circumstances) and the last one is perfect. The general point is that they have some issues, but most are not life changing.

    If I could, I would do square taper on everything. I've only had issues with square taper when I was using a shitty crank.

  8. #8
    nachos rule!
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    big issue with octalink is that sans torque wrench people never get 'em tightened to spec. 400 in/lb is a good target.
    plus a change, plus c'est la m'me chose - alphonse karr

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