Bolt Trouble

On September 4, 2012

I went to add a “granny gear” to my Surly Crosscheck last weekend. In order to conquer the Andes, I’ll need all the help I can get and this little chainring will certainly help. Doing the work myself (and with the help of my friends), I’m planning on making this a cheap upgrade. Surly even has instructions for parts to buy online. The best part was the derailleur will still work!

I bought a Shimano BB-UN54 (68 x 118 mm) bottom bracket, five inner chainring bolts, and a 26 tooth Dimension chainring which matched the stock chainrings quite nicely.


The first step was to take off the cranks. This was easier said than done. The drive side crank was super tight. It took a few minutes of various positions to increase leverage before it finally budged. The non-drive side crank was considerably easier to remove.


Old bottom bracket

After removing the cranks we put the new, smaller chainring on the inside of the others. After consulting various internet forums, we decided to grease the bolts rather than using thread locker (good decision!). After threading all five, we started tightening them down. The first stopped turning a few millimeters too soon. At this point we knew that chainring bolts were too long. They were 16 mm and the depth of the threads in the outer chainring was about the same (the threads don’t go all the way to the bottom). At this point we cut our losses, ordered new chainring bolts, and left SS Che with no cranks waiting for the next shipment of parts.

In the meantime, this gave me an excuse to resurrect my fixie from storage. The blue steel frame with white chain and black accents sure is a beauty. Let’s not talk about losing the saddle clamp in transportation. I didn’t have the best bike luck this weekend.


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