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Bike Repair/Upgrade: Race Face Atlas All Moutain Crank Set

December 13, 2009 Mountain Biking, Sport, Tips and Tricks No Comments

I replaced my mountain bike crank; it was my most ambitious DIY repair/upgrade yet!

Long story short of why, what, how – a couple of rides ago, while out on the trail, my chain kept on disengaging from the chain ring and locking up my pedals. Upon close inspection, I found that my middle chain ring teeth were all bent and worn. I’m sure it was due to all of the times I crashed and ate sh##. Anyhow, I chose to replace and upgrade my crankset with a non-black colored, heavy-duty, yet fairly-priced crankset from a well-respected name in the industry. And taking advantage of a 50% off after Thanksgiving sale from one of my favorite online retailers, I found the Race Face Atlas to fit all of my criteria. Awesomeness.

Anyways, being my first time performing this kind of operation, it took me all afternoon, a few instructional internet clips, and a couple of round trips to the local bicycle shop to complete. Nevertheless, I managed to do it and gained additional knowledge that I’ll employ the next time I need to upgrade. =)

For those interested, here are the tools that I used..

For removing the old, crappy crank set:

  • 8mm Hex
  • 10mm Hex
  • Park Tool Crank Puller for Square Taper Cranks (model CCP-2)
  • Spin Doctor Cartridge Bottom Bracket Tool w/ a socket wrench I found in the garage

For installing the new, shiny crank set:

  • 8mm Hex 
  • 10mm Hex
  • Park Tool Bottom Bracket Tool (model BBT-9)
  • Park Tool Polylube 1000 (waterproof grease)

This particular Youtube clip introduced me to the Crank Arm puller and prompted my first visit to the bicycle shop.

This video had me going to the bicycle shop a second time to pick up a cartridge bottom bracket tool. LOL. =P

Fortunately, the hard part in this exercise was removing the old stuff. The instructions for the new crankset were pretty straightforward. However, it did introduce me to a couple of new words that created moments of pause:

  • Bottom Bracket (BB) Shell Width. Mine was 68mm.
  • Nominal Chainline, which is basically the distance from the middle of the seat tube to the middle chainring. I guestimated mine to be 48mm. In other words, I didn’t use any of the spacers that came in the box. Oh well.

And that’s that! Now, hopefully, I’ll get another ride in before the year ends. Cheers!

Race Face

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