How long do your splined cranks/hub last?

I am just curious as to what others have found for the long term durability of splined cranks and hubs. I know they last WAY longer than square taper, because I have broken two square taper hubs within my first year of riding, and my splined hub has lasted me 3 years so far but…

My cranks are starting to wiggle quite a bit now(read several millimeters at pedal), they have been doing it for some time but they are starting to bug me just a little bit. Before you start lecturing me about maintenance and ant-sieze, I will say that I fully disassemble my cranks, washers, and bearings, clean them all, and re-lather the anti-sieze. I also checck my bolts for tightness every time I ride.However, after 3 years of bad tecnique and abusive riding, there is more play between the splines than I would like, but the splines show no apparent damage. My spacers(2 per side per bearing) are severly deformed, but I dont’ believe that they are the problem.

Is there something I’m missing? Or is it just that the overall wear and tear is catching up with me? This is my first pair of splined cranks, so I can’t say I have a huge base of personal expirience to lean back on. Your thoughts and advice would be appreciated.


I hope my splined crankset(s) will last indefinitely, but I’m sure it depends on how much abuse they get. What’s missing from your post was anything to indicate what kind of crankset you were talking about. Mine is Profile, and the right side always creaks. This leads me to believe that wear & tear is happening just from hard cranking up & down the hills. The many splines in a Profile crankset are very small compared to the few, larger splines in most other brands of crankset.

Whoops sorry, I though I had mentioned that they are profiles. 170 mm. I do mostly abusive riding on pavement due to the lack of dirt trails around here… I’ve dropped up to about 5 and a half feet to flat pavement with much less than perfect tecnique, and I do lots of stalls and climbs and attempted grinds and crap like that, so I know that I am very hard on them.

ive had my '03 KHs for a year now and they’ve been ridden relativey hard by me and others. As long as you keep care of them up then you should be fine…Do regular spline maintenance and your splines should last forever…look in my sig for a link to a guide.

I don’t think you read my firts post. I do regular maintenance on my hub and cranks. I was shown first hand by a very good rider how to maintain splines and I have done so. My cranks were doing great after a year of hard riding too… but not so great after 3 years.

Sounds like keyway slop.

The profile interface between spindle & crank will wear down over time and become sloppy as you describe…abuse tends to wear away the metal a bit faster. It’s a fact of life.

If you ever get a chance, try a new(er) set of cranks and see if the situation improves. I have no source to cite, but I seem to remember a discussion about the crank interface wearing out faster than the spindle. You might be able to get away with new cranks, but I’m not really sure if that is the case.

Yours have been used for three years? Sounds pretty likely that they are just wearing out. Although, like Scalisi said, it could also be keyway slop. Does the whole spindle jiggle, or just the crank arms?

As far as I can tell it’s just the crank arms. I might take a closer look at this keyway slop though too… I’ve never totally disected my hub, so I really don’t know how it all works in there, but maybe tonight is the night to find out…

The splines on the Profile cranks and spindle are going to wear. That is obvious when you notice how hard they are to remove when brand new compared to how easy they are to remove when used for a while. But I don’t think the slop just due to wear of the splines will get to be that noticeable.

You should replace the deformed spacer washers. They’re aluminum and deform after some period of use. The deforming may cause the crank bolt to bottom out which would contribute to additional slop. Make sure you’re using enough spacers so that the crank bolts don’t bottom out when fully tightened. Dan’s Comp sells replacement spindle spacer washers and so does Your LBS can also order them. See if that tightens things up and reduces the slop.

Also check that the spindle is centered in the hub. If one side is longer than the other you can correct it by using more spacers or by getting more aggressive an physically recentering the spindle but there are risks with that.

my DX cranks do the exact same thing. they have done it for a while and its getting worse and worse, mine is probably 5mm. it SUCKS. I’m almost ready to just smear some plastic epoxy alll over it and just say screw it to maintaining them.

I think the problem is actually that the splines stretch (jsut a tiny bit), because I know that I used to have a little trouble putting them on, but now, its REALLY easy
they also fit on a QU-AX hub (perfectly), but they aren’t supposed to.

I have had it for almost a year now
done up to 14 foot drops (into sand) I did it 2x.

Nice, we hit up a sand pit on the edge of town in the summer, though I don’t know if it’s quite 14 feet deep. Probably done at least 10 or 12.

Anyways, Yes, I am replacing the washers, my shipment of parts from Bedford came yesterday, but I was so busy with my carbon fiber seat base that I didn’t quite get to the cranks.

From what I’ve heard, it sounds like my best guess of simple wear and tear is probably correct. However I won’t be replacing the cranks for a while, so I guess I’ll just have to live with it. I’ll let you guys know what the washers do.

I just put my new spacers on and I am totally amazed. As far as I can tell just by wiggling them, they are almost as solid as they were new. I haven’t ridden it yet, but I will tonight.

The spacers are important in keeping the Profile style cranks tight. When they deform (squish) too much you’ll get slop.

When I first got the Profile cranks I would be careful to only use the minimum amount of spacers as I could. That was to minimize the Q-factor. Now that I realize how important the spacers are for preventing slop I add an additional 1/16" or 1/8" spacer on each side for good measure. The minimal Q-factor isn’t that important. It’s better to have cranks that stay tight with minimal slop.

I’ve seen some DX cranks that were tightened so much that the crank is actually deformed around the area of the pinch bolt. That’s not good. That is likely to cause slop. The pinch bolt should not be tightened so tight that the metal around the area of the pinch bolt deforms.

Anti-seize on the splines and the pinch bolt threads will make it easier to get the cranks snug and tight without going ape and overtightening them.

I don’t think epoxy would be a good way to try and salvage your cranks. I don’t think it would hold up to the pressure that is generated between the spline surfaces. It might end up turning to dust in the high pressure areas.

You might try some brass or aluminum shim material. If that doesn’t work it would be removable.

If you know a place that can do plating you can get the splined end of the crank plated with nickel or something similar. It can be expensive though to get a part plated.

What’s a hub? :slight_smile: