Maintaining your Splines!!!

Ive noticed lately that alot of riders(Mostly new riders) are getting new Splined setups and not knowing how to maintain them. Then when they start to creak or break down they come complaining. So ive decided to write a tutorial that outlines how to properly maintain and reassemble a splined crankset and keep it in good working condition.

Im going to cover:
Removing the Cranks and Bearings
Cleaning and Regreasing
How to detect Wiggles and creaks in your uni.

So lets get started.

Removing Cranks and Bearings

Ok we all know that to properly clean and check a hub that the cranks have to come off right? So you have to know how to take them off.

There are 2 kinds of splined cranks. Ones that have pinch bolts, and ones that just slide(Read: Must be pounded) on. Some examples of the pinch bolt ones are: Torker DX, Qu-Ax, and older KH models. Examples of the slide on typer are: Profiles and new KH.

To remove the slide on ones you may need a crank puller to get them off. You can get one at the LBS for about $10 or if you buy Profiles one will likely be provided. Ill go through the steps one by one.

  1. Remove the crank bolt by twisting it out of the axel.
  3. Wind the crank puller around and the crank will slowly come off.
  4. Do this to both and you’ll be ready for the next step.

Now the Pichbolt designs are characteristically easier to remove but a crank puller still may be needed.

  1. Loosen the pinch bolt from the top of the crank. You can take it right out if you like.
  2. Remove the crank bolt from the axel.
  3. The cranks should now slide off eas it does not use step 2 and 3 from the other crank list
    IMPORTANT Never use a piece of wood and shove it through your spokes to bash the crank off. it puts a wierd angle on the crank and axel and could cause premature failure.

Now the bearing removal is simple. They should just slide off…But if not then get a beaing puller from an auto parts shop and use it to get the bearings off.

Now your ready for cleaning and regreasing!

Cleaning and Regreasing

You need to keep your splines clean and frshly greased to maintain optimal performance and to help prevent creaks in the setup.

  1. Get a rag and clean the gobs of grease off of the splines in the crank and on the axel.
  2. Now, using a fresh rag, spray some degreaser on the axel and in the cranks and clean it really well. nuse WD-40. Invest in a decent degreaser, you’ll be glad you did. I use Pedros Orange Peelz.
  3. Get a hold of some good grease(not auto grease). Id recomend Polylube or Copper Anti Sieze.
  4. Apply it to the splines generously, both on the cranks and on the axel.

Now your ready for reassembly!


You cant ride a uni while its in pieces now can you?!

These first steps apply to both slide on and pinch bolt models.

  1. Slide your bearings and spacers onto the axel.
  2. Slide the cranks onto the axel being careful to keep the left on the left and the right on the right.(this may require a deadblow hammer)

Now it changes. For the slide on models:

  1. Put the crank bolt back into the axel(use loctite if you want to)
  2. Carefully wind the bolt in. You dont want to strip your axel now do you?
  3. Once its in give it a good yank to make sure its good and tight.

And for Pinchbolt models:

  1. Put in the crank bolt in just as above being careful not to strip anything.
  2. Give it a real good yank to make it tight.
    now at this point the crank may still have a bit of a wiggle…Thats what the pinch bolt is for. Wind it into the crank and reef on it real good. That should eliminate the wiggle and fasten your crank completely to the axel.

Now that its back together take it for a real good ride. When you get back make sure that eveything is really good and tight still.

Diagnosing Wiggles and Creaks

Everyone has a problem with wiggles and creaks sometimes. Now you’ll know how to diagnose and fix yours!


A wiggle can happen any time and is often something that should be taken care of right away. So your wondering, “How will i kno if my uni has a wiggle?”. the answer is simple. If you kno your uni you will recognize the wiggle as soon as you step on. Some thing just wont feel right.

Some common causes of wiggles are:

  1. Crank comming loose.
  2. Bearing cap comming loose
  3. Axel comming loose from hub.
    The first 2 are things that you can take care of easibu tightening the components causeing the problems. The third is something that should be forewarded to your local Uni expert. Dont take it to the LBS, they wont kno what theyre doing anymore than you do.


Creaks are often caused by the crank/axel interface. If your uni is creaking its telling you that its time for an over haul.

So thats all for now. Now you’ll have a much better idea of what your doing and will have alot more fun with your splined setup.

If anyone has any comments or additions just add them here.

Hope this helps you guys.


Funny, as you wrote this thread out and posted it, I was right in the middle of taking my uni apart and when I looked back at what I did, I was doing pretty much exactly what you described in here.

Great job on the tutorial, it will help everyone who reads it, and some will probably chip in another few hints or tips.

why put anti-seize on the cranks if they have a pinch bolt??
it seems that they come off very easily w/o it

The primary purpose of anti-sieze is just that: to prevent seizure. Metal that contacts other metal (such as crank and axle) may corrode, and it may corrode to a point where the two surfaces become welded together. Even just the application of excess pressure can causes two metal surfaces to cold-weld.

The secondary purpose of anti-sieze is lubrication. This will aid in the installation and removal of the crank.

Just because your crank comes off easily today does not guarantee it’ll come off easily 6 mos. from now.

^ What he said

Im going to make a video tutorial in about 2 weeks. Im also doing a few more video tutorials.
Wheel building, Saddle mods and Maybe CF base drilling.

banana hammock

Do you only need to rebuild stuff when you notice problems?
Or is it good to rebuild it every once in awhile like a few months even if there doesnt seem to be a problem?
-begineer + new hoppley

Nice avatar!

Anyways, its good to doing it with a schedule, with me, I ride hard and dirty everyday, going through lots of mud and dirt, water, gravel, dust, lots of junk getting into my splines, so I take my uni and clean and re-grease everything about once a month, sometimes more if I notice some things being to clogged up with dirt.

If your more of a clean rider, then you wont have to maintain your stuff, unless your doing lots of big drops, then that will take more maintenance.

sorry to ask a question on a really old thread… but does anyone know a good grease and deagreaser that I could find in the UK easily?

Your best bet is to check your LBS and see if they have any and ask what they use.

Why do you say not to use WD-40? What’s wrong with it?

WD 40 isn’t much of a lube. it’s a great cleaner though. it displaces water and loosens stuck parts pretty well, but fails as a lube. proper grease o rbetter yet anti-sieze is the proper thing to use.

you have the right idea, but it displaces water well, but not grease and anti-seize.
a good degreaser will do a better job
I fixed my DX cranks’ wobble!!!
i got a lock washer about the size to fit on my seat bolts and cut 2 small chunks off of it w/ pliers and stuck them in the split of my cranks at the very end, and now they are wobble free!!
apparently I overtightened them and it bent them, but now it seems to work MUCH better
i havn’t gotten it to wobble yet

Is this good?

Yeah I didn’t show me cleaning them… but I didn’t want to make the video twice as long.

Thats great dan…Thanks for making that…It would have taken me a while to get around to it.

QUOTE=borgshulze Ok, now we’re gonna take of the arm, and it should just slide right off…now you’ll have to give is some force to get back on…

Not the exact wording, but those parts made me smile:)

EDIT: darn, the quote didn’t work.

Not the exact wording, but those parts made me smile:)

EDIT: darn, the quote didn’t work.

Don’t know why it made you smile, but ok…

that was a nice tutorial, i actually learned alot out of it, even if its kinda pointless as i dont have a torker DX crankset or even a pinchbolt crankset.

Can anyone do the same for the Koxx ISIS crankset? I’m guessing the KH moment removal would be pretty similar though but it would be nice to see one

anyways good work, UDC shoudl link that page on their spline maintenance site.

is it pritty much the same thing for 06 KH cranks?? (not ISIS)

It’s pretty much the same the same thing for any splined cranks.