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Stripping down my frame

Don’t buy cheap Chinese crank puller!

Taking stuff off was pretty simple and easy – until it came to taking my crankset off. I did not want to invest in an expensive one as the newer groupset has a two piece crank-arm that works inside a Hollowtech II bottom bracket.

With great difficulty, I managed to get the non-drive side crank arm off. Once I was on the drive side crank, the crank puller’s shaft kept digging in. A crank puller fixes its outer sleeve (black screw on the pic) to the crank arm while the inner shaft (chrome plated screw) pushes against the bottom bracket’s shaft so that the crank and the bottom bracket are pulled apart.

Cheap Chinese crank puller

Here’s the crank puller fitted on the drive side crank.

After a few hours of struggle, I realised that the crank puller was damaged beyond use. I had no choice but to take my frame to Wheelsports [1] and let Shivraj use a Park Tool crank puller to get the job done. It took him less than five minutes. He also removed the bottom bracket for me. I should have taken it to him in the first place instead of wasting some 300 odd rupees on a cheap crank puller that I had no need or intention of using again.

This is a Park Tool version CWP-7 [2]. It costs five times the Chinese version – and for good reason. There is another one with a handle called CCP-22 [3].

Here’s my frame’s bottom bracket shell, finally free of the bottom bracket.

Some parts were beyond repair

I wanted to save as many parts for donation as possible. There were three things that were damaged well beyond repair.

The first was the bottom bracket itself.

The bottom bracket and the crank puller. Two things to note here. One, the bottom bracket is not by Shimano. Two, the tip of the crank puller is deformed.

The bottom bracket was broken. (Yes, broken!) I had no idea that it was the reason for the wobble that I felt during pedalling. It was also not by Shimano. I was quite surprised at that. So, Schwinn cycles are fitted with cheaper Chin Haur bottom brackets!

Second was the crankset.

Check the wear on the middle chainring.

Unlike it’s more expensive brethren, the cheaper cranksets do not have replaceable chainrings. All parts are riveted together and have to replaced as a whole. The middle chainring was the reason why my chains got damaged so easily. (See the next pic.)

The third was the chain.

Note the different colour of the last two links.

A few days ago, I was involved in a nasty chain snapping incident. While climbing a gentle slope between my office and Decathlon Whitefield [4], my chain snapped and threw me off balance. Luckily, I managed to save myself from a crash. The chain lay on the tarmac, with one of the links split wide open. I went to Decathlon for a solution. They did not have 8 speed chains. The mechanic agreed to help me. He couldn’t do it inside the store as they only service B’Twin bikes. So, he got me two spare links and fixed my chain outside.

Stripping down the frame.

My frame required a thorough cleaning. There were areas like the bottom bracket shell that required heavy degreasing to get all the gunk out. Also, there was a stubborn sticker on my rear stay that made me a pedalling billboard for ProCycles. After toiling for the entire day, I managed to get my frame sparkling clean.

The frame. Schwinn Sporterra Sport 2012.

Look! A brand new drivetrain [5]
A long-term review of Schwalbe Delta Cruiser [6]