Of late, the Devil–which I’ve been running single-speed in commuter/all-rounder trim since the thawing of the ground–has developed a mystery noise.
It’s not a rattle, a squeak, a creak, or what have you. It was more of a twangy buzz, intermittent whether I was pedaling or not.
Last night, I finally tracked it down. A loose crank bolt, combined with some grit and the particular combination of a single chainring and a BBG chainguard on a Sugino XD2 crankset. Not the usual loose-crank-bolt sound, but there you go.
But here’s the real problem…
See what I’m talking about? This is a 110BCD five-bolt crank. But where’s the fifth bolt, you ask?
Yep, it’s behind the crank arm, which requires that it be inserted backwards to get it to work at all. And that still leaves barely enough room to get any kind of tool in there to hold the back of the crank bolt pair so that it can be tightened or loosened.
Now, don’t get me wrong–I love these cranks. I own four sets of them, three of which are in current use. The fourth is slated for my wife’s new, about-to-be-built Soma Saga. They’re good looking, functional, and versatile.
But why the hell–besides some misguided aesthetic notion, that is–would you put a crank bolt in a place that makes it–while not impossible–very difficult to tighten or loosen?