How to Install a Shimano Crankset

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How to Install a Shimano Crankset

A bike crankset is part of the drivetrain that converts reciprocating motion into rotational motion to drive the train and rear wheel. A chain ring on a Shimano crankset attach to the cranks, which attach to the pedals. There are different crank manufacturers and each has its own installation style. The Shimano crankset connects to the bicycle frame at the bottom bracket and rear sprocket. Shimano cranksets have an adjustable bearing preload that the installer sets with a pair of pinch bolts on the non-drive-side crankarm.


Preparing the Crankshaft

The installer needs three items: grease, a 5 mm Allen wrench, and a Shimano preload adjusting tool. The following table shows some of the most common types of Shimano preload adjusting tools. Some tools both remove and install crankshafts while others only have one purpose.




Shimano Arm Installation and Removal Tool

Shimano TL-FC35                 

To install and remove arm

Shimano Crankset Arm Extractor


To remove arm

Shimano Crankset Arm Installation Tool


To install arm

Shimano Crankset Adaptor for Impact Wrench


To install arm

Fits most Shimano Hollowtech 11/2-piece crankset external bracket cups

Shimano Plug for Crank Extractor


To remove arm

Extractor plug for Octalink Cranksets


Before beginning the installation process, the installer should ensure the bottom bracket is tightly inserted into the BB shell. Then the installer should grease the entire spindle, including the spines on the end of it. Then the installer must grease the bottom bracket, including the surface underneath the black bearing covers.


Installing the Crankarms

The assembly has two halves, the drive-side and left crankarm. The drive-side includes the chain rings and crankarm. Installing the drive-side requires force because the fit between the spindle and bearings tends to be tight. The left crankarm has a single wide spline that lines up with a matching wide spline on the spindle. Once this process is complete, the left crank clicks into place.


Setting the Bearing Preload

In order to adjust the bearing preload, the bearing preload cap requires threading, which can be tricky. To properly thread the cap down, it is important to set the bracket bearings firmly in place but not too tight. After the left crank stops, it requires no further threading. If the installer continues to thread it then it is going to be too tight.


Tightening the Bolts

The installer tightens the left crank pinch bolts with the 5 mm Allen wrench, alternating sides. Tightening one side too tightly first can cause the crankarm to loosen during a ride. The bolts have a torque specification of 12 to 14 newton metres. After tightening the bolts, the crank should spin easily.


Shimano Crankset Styles

Cranksets are available in a range of styles, depending on the type of bike. Many crankset models are available in a variety of sizes, to fit bikes of different sizes. However, the experts at recommend choosing a crank arm according to the rider's height for a road bike, mountain bike, or BMX bike.


How to Buy a Shimano Crankset on eBay

Sellers on eBay carry a wide selection of Shimano crankset installation tools and cranksets. To generate a list of all of the available options, type "Shimano crankset" into the search bar found at the top of any eBay page. To find a specific model, type the number into the search bar instead. For example, enter 'Shimano DXR crankset FC-MX71' for a refined list. Before making a purchasing decision, make sure the cranksets are compatible to your bike. Then you can find the best crankset for your needs.

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