Hollowgram axle wear leading to creaking under power?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by dwaharvey

I'm running a Cannondale Hollowgram SISL2 crank on a 73mm BSA frame using a lipless 132mm spindle from r2-bike (made by Cannondale, designed for this application) and a Zipp BSA30 BB. I've been very careful with the spacers to make sure the wave-washer is almost fully compressed without binding the bearings at all (crank has always spun amazingly freely). It's had a good season of use, but not been abused at all, regularly cleaned/washed, etc. It's been an awesome setup, but lately under heavy power I've been getting a sharp "tick" noise as the drive-side crank moves through 3 o'clock (power zone). I strongly suspect its the crank/bb that is generating the noise.

Here's a photo of the axle after pulling it from the bike today. You can see some scuffing marks at the NDS bearing location, but much more pronounced circular groove-like wear marks at the DS bearing location. Do you think this axle wear could lead to enough movement to cause my ticking under load? Have any other Hollowgram users seen this sort of thing with their cranks? My setup has a much wider bearing placement than a typical BB30 setup, so I feel like if I'm seeing this sort of wear it ought to be a common issue...
If not... is the Zipp BB likely a culprit? The DS bearing is still smooth, but perhaps it's fit on the axle is too loose (I can push the axle in or out easily by hand)?

A few days ago I tried using green loctite at the DS bearing/axle interface, but that didn't seem to change things all that much (and I could still get the axle out just be pushing on it - no mallet required). I'll try a new DS bearing next and see if that helps, but just wanted to know if this axle-wear is something others have seen...


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by sungod

if the shaft-bearing interface is even slightly out of tolerance, you can get this type of wear

it can certainly cause creaking

you may find traces of aluminium smeared onto the bearing, be sure to clean the surfaces completely if you intend to use the same bearing

now that the shaft is damaged you need to stop it getting worse, try loctite 640 or 609 (a bit stronger), both will allow later removal

if you could still slide in-out with loctite then it sounds like surfaces weren't degreased and/or it hadn't cured - if the bearing is stainless steel and the shaft aluminium, then according to loctite these are 'inactive' surfaces, you should use loctite primer 7649 or 7088 to improve cure time

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by eric

Agree with Sungod, if the loctite was set properly the spindle should not be easy to push out by hand.

In addition to the primer make sure to degrease both parts. Alcohol or acetone are both good for the final degreasing as they don't leave a residue.

Your setup sounds interesting. What is the Q factor? Is it road or mtb?

You probably know this but there are a number of BBs now that can be used to replace the Zipp ones. The cheapest I have found are on Bdop's web site.

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by dwaharvey

MTB... you can see some photos in my signature link. I think the Q factor is around 167 because I'm using SiSL2 arms rather than SiSL.

Thanks for the advice about the loctite. I replaced the DS bearing with a new one and the fit is much tighter on the axle (needed a rubber mallet to get the axle in). OTOH, the bearing was only a good slipfit (not a press-fit) into the zipp cup for some reason. I'll see how it does later today hopefully.

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by sequerra

Had a similar problem with my wife's bike - looked thoroughly and found that there was a crack in one of the washers....solved it that way...

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by boots2000

It is a hollowgram- it is supposed to creak ;)
Kidding, but in my experience I have had nothing but problems with Hollowgram cranks-
Road and dirt. They are light, they are stiff, but something is always ticking or creaking.
My issues with Hollowgram/PF30 (I know that you are on a modified BSA) have been so bad that I
have gone back to threaded bb on all my bikes.
Hey, since you already have a threaded bb- you could do the same!

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