The beast shown above is my bike polo bike.

Bike polo is a great game, played on a tennis court. Two teams of three, each person wielding a mallet, trying to put a ball through the goals. You can learn more about it at the Australian Bike Polo page.
Last sunday, my daughter wanted to ride her bike up to the local park to play on the playground. I decided to take the bike polo bike and practice track stands and falling off and riding backwards and falling off and ...

I slung my leg over the bike, put some weight on one pedal and the pedal just pulled right out of the crank. This was beyond a mere stripped thread, the entire thread had pulled out leaving a smooth hole - the cranks in question are those ghastly purple things shown above.

The only cranks I have available are the Ofmegas I took off the Europa, and I was saving them for when I rebuild her as an 80's classic, aiming to have her as near as possible to her original condition. You might understand why I was reluctant to use them.

A search of the internet failed to turn up any real savings though I can get new cranks for quite a modest price - the problem being the 'price' bit ... and time - I wanted to use her this sunday.

So today, I took the cheap option and fitted the Ofmega cranks with a view to removing them as soon as possible to preserve them.

Good idea ... at the time.

The first crank came off without a whimper, but I've found that first cranks always do. The other crank was the one the pedal pulled out of and, sure enough, the crank puller pulled the thread right out of the crank. After phaffing around for well over an hour and achieving little more than teaching the budgies some new words, I got brutal and ... well, I won't tell you how I got things off but it involved destroying both the cranks and another, universal puller. Not happy.

At least the bottom bracket came out easily, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I installed the Ofmega bottom bracket and cranks and found I'd put that bottom bracket axle in back to front.

Ofmega apparently, although square tapered, use a different taper to the standard and so I had to use the Ofmega bottom bracket. And now I had to pull it out and turn it around, only I'd already installed the crank arms (which was how I knew the bottom bracket axle was in back to front, the chainline was miles out).
Well, the left hand crank arm popped off easily but, you guessed it, the drive side didn't want to budge AND, the thead in the crank that the puller screws into, stripped. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH. I've now mucked up my good cranks (though I think the thread was dodgy in the first place from my last ham-fisted efforts to remove them).

Now, how to get that crank off?

Well, I took off the other side of the bottom bracket, pushed the whole assembly through until the crank came up against the bike frame, placed a bolt against the crank end of the axle and gave it a whack with a hammer. A few blows and it popped out.
The rest of the installation went more or less as planned and a test ride seemed to suggest that the bike might survive part of the first bout at bike polo on sunday - enough to embarress me anyway.

I still want to get some cranks dedicated to bike polo because I want to keep my Ofmega's for the Europa restoration, which means that I'll have to get that crank off again ... which is why they invented bike shops.

Now I've got to make a mallet for this sunday - I've got the tubing and I've got a golf club for the handle. Of course, I'm also running out of time this evening so we'll just have to see what happens.

Views: 194

Comment by Richard on September 24, 2010 at 18:20
Only a 5 pounder, you're a relative gentleman.

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