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Full Version: 2012 SE Chrome OM Flyer crank issue...
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motleypixel
Hey gang,

Second post here on the board and I figure this is a great community to start hanging out on more. I'm 39, never raced BMX as a kid, but wish I could have. We have 3 boys and about a month ago I picked up an all chrome 95' 20" Powerlite that is in great condition ($25 at a garage sale). I've been rebuilding it (polishing, new stock decals, etc.) to get it ready to ride for my 12 year-old. When I saw the chrome OM Flyer I had to have it. I do believe I snagged the very last one in the Austin area.

So here's the deal, I noticed my crank star and chainring assembly shifting under load a few mm. Basically the chain would become really tight and then loose every 90 degree of crank travel (not the normal slightly out-of-round you see with every single speed setup). So when the chain was really tight I could squeeze the chain together and the star would shift. Like this:



So I took it back to the shop I bought it from and the owner removed the crank arm/chainring/spider and found the issue. The hat washer (it's black) was too small allowing a good deal of slop around the spindle. Has anyone noticed this with their 2012 OM Flyer or other 2012 retro SE model? I also REALLY dislike the fact that the star is made of AL...that's a shame, that's were all the power/torque is transferred...oh well.

The bike shop has contacted SE and they should fix me up.

Side note, it's too bad the frames are made overseas, I CAN tell a difference. The chrome plating job isn't that great really...I don't think this thick enough and in some areas I can see the copper pre-plate showing through. The inside of the forks and top-side of the BB are really bad. Also the rear drop-outs aren't welded as good as I would expect (on mine one is about 2mm higher on one side than the other.

-Roy
Capt. Nemo
SE had issues with the chroming on the OM, that is why the black model was introduced.

Mine is far from perfect also, but the thing rides so great, and for the price, I can't complain too much.

As far as the crank issue goes, I have multiple SE's with the same set up, and haven't noticed any of the "shifting" you describe. Maybe I'm not strong enough to apply the torque needed. laugh.gif

Most, if not all, spiders are aluminum, so I doubt that is a real problem.
motleypixel
QUOTE (Capt. Nemo @ Jun 6 2012, 07:41 AM) *
SE had issues with the chroming on the OM, that is why the black model was introduced.

Mine is far from perfect also, but the thing rides so great, and for the price, I can't complain too much.

As far as the crank issue goes, I have multiple SE's with the same set up, and haven't noticed any of the "shifting" you describe. Maybe I'm not strong enough to apply the torque needed. laugh.gif

Most, if not all, spiders are aluminum, so I doubt that is a real problem.


Thanks for the reply. The most strength needed is just a firm hand grip at the vertical arrows on the chain shown in the picture in my OP...just squeeze and bam, the star shifts about 2mm and the chain becomes loose. Rotate the crank another 90 degrees where the chain becomes tight again and repeat process.

The shop pulled that side of the crank off...issue is either A. the hat washer is too small or B. the spindle hole punched in the AL spider is too big. I think they make many sizes of hat washers to repair.

Yes, chrome job isn't that great...China QA shouldn't have passed it.

-Roy
Capt. Nemo
Weird.

You would think the drive bolt on the crank would keep anything from "shifting". THAT is what keeps the spider in place, not the spindle or adapter.

I just went and tested all 8 of my SE bikes with a similiar set-up using the method you described, and I did not notice any of the issues you encountered.

You must either have a killer handshake, or some bad luck. laugh.gif
motleypixel
If you look at the right crank arm/chainring assembly off of the spindle then you will note that the star is not affixed to the spindle, it's floats and is secured only to the crank arm. The main hex bolt that screws into the spindle and the two crank arm pinch bolts is what holds the assembly onto the spindle. So if the hole for the star has zero play (taken up by the black hat washer) around the spindle then all is good. If the star is loose around the spindle, then the chainring is loose, so then the chain tension will pull back the chainring/star when pressure is applied. I'm not a mechanic, so I doubt my grip is that strong smile.gif

Now all this being said, I'm wondering if there's an upgrade I could explore with my stock BB setup? I would like to keep the AL chainring since it's stamped with the SE logo, so any ideas here for an upgrade?

-Roy
motleypixel
Okay it's fixed. It was the hat washer that was too big which allowed the spider to wobble around too much.

I'm still a little off the chrome job of this bike...looking at my son's 94' chrome powerlite and this om flyer and there's no comparison, the powerlite is thicker and doesn't show undercoat markings like the om flyer. Oh well, I guess I'll live with it.

Thanks,
Roy
Todd Lyons
Roy- Hey, glad you like the bike & got one of the last ones in the Austin area. I am the brand manager of SE. I travel to our factories in Asia frequently. Did you know that we only brought in 150 chrome ones to the USA? The chrome version is one of our most limited retro bikes ever.

In regards to the chrome, I know without a doubt that it is one of the best chrome jobs on a frame that $$$ can buy right now in Asia. We paid extra for a top chrome job. Check out any other Asia made chrome frame on the market & you will see that the OM Flyer is heads above in quality. -The whole chroming process is bad for the environment & is essentially "watered down" nowadays in order to meet all of the regulations that are now in effect. Most factories will not even do chrome. or they do a lousy job. So that's why you do not see many chrome bikes on the market.

Anyways, that's a little insight/background on the chrome in today's market. You really cannot compare a 18 year old mad in America chrome frame with a new Asian made chrome frame. Regulations have changed. So it's comparing apples to oranges.

Anyways, that's what I know. I hope I cleared some stuff up for ya and I'm glad you like the bike. Less than 150 in the USA have the same one. cool.gif

Ride on.

-Todd
motleypixel
Thanks Todd, no doubt, $700 for one of 150 models in the US that's chromed doesn't leave much room for complain. I do know that "real" chrome finishes cost a substantial amount more than powder or enamel. The only beef, what what I know about the process, that I have is that it seems that either the nickel and/or chromium plating phases were possibly too thin because all around the top portion of the bottom bracket has a copper hue. If these frames and forks were chromed using the regular prep, copper plate, nickel plate and final chromium plate, then it seems the latter two phases may be a little weak/thin to standards. Like I said, a 94' Powerlite shows only surface scratches whereas this new OM shows what appears to be base stock prep scratches, meaning the plating is too thin.

I'll post a picture this weekend.

Thanks,
Roy
motleypixel
Not to imply that SE chrome jobs aren't "real", just clarifying that. After reading my last post I can see where that statement could be judged that way and or as a "jab". It's a real chrome job for sure, just not the best IMHO. Sorry for the double post, but I either A. didn't edit w/in the 10 minutes allowed or B. Don't have the privilege to edit my own posts.
motleypixel
Here's what I mean...notice the warm color near the bottom bracket? Also around the welds on the fork, see the color and how you can see the metal finish through the chrome?



pwh4130
Nothing a proper layer of dirt won't cover.
pwh4130
The step washer was exactly what I thought of first. That or the spider flexing. Can't go wrong with a good Profile set up as a replacement. I know the chrome today isn't the same. The toxic waste caused by proper chroming makes it too expensive or prohibits it entirely. The shame is you couldn't see the bike before you bought it.
motleypixel
Not sure why my flickr images are not showing...in my OP here's the image showing what the incorrect hat washer does when installed:



WTH? okay here's the direct link to flickr then: http://www.flickr.com/photos/motleypixel/7...157630711993332
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