Don't ignore stiff cranks!!!


Bearing Man

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You don't really notice a slightly stiff crank while pedalling forward, but if you turn your crank arms backwards and feel resistance you may want to dig a little deeper.

The main reason I am writing this post is because of several other posts I have seen on this issue where people with stiff cranks have been advised to "tip oil into the crank" or "just ride until it stops!". The truth is that a stiff crankshaft is usually caused by a dry crankshaft needle roller bearing. This bearing supports the
crankshaft within the sprocket carrier.

The bearing runs directly on the crankshaft and uses the motors crankshaft as the bearing surface, once this surface is damaged, it is GAME OVER!! You can't buy another one and our stocks are limited.

So what happens and why?
Brose have used a needle bearing with two rubber seals built into it. This is fairly common but this is a bearing designed to keep grease within itself, it's not really designed to keep water out, and this is what it's being used for! Once water breaches the seal, the bearing starts to fail, the worse the bearing gets the less effective the seals become, eventually letting water straight through into the motor.

If your bearing is bad then putting oil into it is like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. All you are doing is filling your motor up with another substance that is not supposed to be in there (makes my life harder when cleaning it all out too!).

Take a look at some of the pictures below if you wan't to see what this bearing is capable of. (none of these motors had been jet washed)

IMG_2371.JPG


IMG_2206.JPG


IMG_2548.JPG


IMG_2667.JPG


IMG_2664.JPG


IMG_5843s.JPG


IMG_5877s.JPG
 

Kiwi in Wales

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿Shorts cranks rule!
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Hi, great info albeit scary to see the reality :eek:
What is your maintenance advice on how we as owners could prevent this happening?
Could we possibly carry out a regular ‘on going maintenance task’ on the outside of the motor seals when ‘new’ to prevent the water getting in or do we just have to avoid riding in the rain which will be very challenging living in ‘sunny’ Wales :(
 

Beekeeper

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Aug 6, 2019
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You don't really notice a slightly stiff crank while pedalling forward, but if you turn your crank arms backwards and feel resistance you may want to dig a little deeper.

The main reason I am writing this post is because of several other posts I have seen on this issue where people with stiff cranks have been advised to "tip oil into the crank" or "just ride until it stops!". The truth is that a stiff crankshaft is usually caused by a dry crankshaft needle roller bearing. This bearing supports the
crankshaft within the sprocket carrier.

The bearing runs directly on the crankshaft and uses the motors crankshaft as the bearing surface, once this surface is damaged, it is GAME OVER!! You can't buy another one and our stocks are limited.

So what happens and why?
Brose have used a needle bearing with two rubber seals built into it. This is fairly common but this is a bearing designed to keep grease within itself, it's not really designed to keep water out, and this is what it's being used for! Once water breaches the seal, the bearing starts to fail, the worse the bearing gets the less effective the seals become, eventually letting water straight through into the motor.

If your bearing is bad then putting oil into it is like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. All you are doing is filling your motor up with another substance that is not supposed to be in there (makes my life harder when cleaning it all out too!).

Take a look at some of the pictures below if you wan't to see what this bearing is capable of. (none of these motors had been jet washed)

View attachment 24992

View attachment 24993

View attachment 24994

View attachment 24995

View attachment 24996

View attachment 24997

View attachment 24998
The last photo looks like it was dug up from a river bed.
 
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Bearing Man

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Hi, great info albeit scary to see the reality :eek:
What is your maintenance advice on how we as owners could prevent this happening?
Could we possibly carry out a regular ‘on going maintenance task’ on the outside of the motor seals when ‘new’ to prevent the water getting in or do we just have to avoid riding in the rain which will be very challenging living in ‘sunny’ Wales :(
Sadly Kiwi, there is not much you can do with a motor still in warranty. You can't take the motor apart and add a seal inside like we do. And outside there is not enough space between the crankshaft and the sprocket carrier to fit a seal from the outside.
If you fit an O-ring or felt ring in this space, the grit and dirt would soon start to cut into the crankshaft and sprocket carrier.
You can imagine fitting a new needle bearing that has to run on a damaged crankshaft, it would not last 5 minutes so, if you're out of warranty, just keep an eye on how free your crank arms rotate backwards and if this starts to change, do something about it before it costs you a new motor!
 

Bearing Man

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Can I assume this was from pressure washing?
No, as I said at the beginning, to the best of my knowledge none of these motors had been pressure washed.
It is normally quite easy to spot a motor that has been pressure washed because the crankshaft bearings suffer and most of the water inside is clean, so there tends to be more rust than dirt. However, when a bearing fails it wears and creates big gaps for everything to enter the motor!
 

Topov

Member
Sadly Kiwi, there is not much you can do with a motor still in warranty. You can't take the motor apart and add a seal inside like we do. And outside there is not enough space between the crankshaft and the sprocket carrier to fit a seal from the outside.
If you fit an O-ring or felt ring in this space, the grit and dirt would soon start to cut into the crankshaft and sprocket carrier.
You can imagine fitting a new needle bearing that has to run on a damaged crankshaft, it would not last 5 minutes so, if you're out of warranty, just keep an eye on how free your crank arms rotate backwards and if this starts to change, do something about it before it costs you a new motor!
You say in the last paragraph "just keep an eye on how free your crank arms rotate backwards and if this starts to change, do something about it before it costs you a new motor!"

What can we do???
 

Beekeeper

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Aug 6, 2019
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You say in the last paragraph "just keep an eye on how free your crank arms rotate backwards and if this starts to change, do something about it before it costs you a new motor!"

What can we do???
My plan of action would be...

1. Use service kit (Bosch) and have a go myself if I thought the main bearing only was dodgy.

2. Call upon the services of @Bearing Man

3. Buy a new bike
 

Bearing Man

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My plan of action would be...

1. Use service kit (Bosch) and have a go myself if I thought the main bearing only was dodgy.

2. Call upon the services of @Bearing Man

3. Buy a new bike
Don't worry Beekeeper, Bosch don't suffer the same issue. This is just for Specialized owners and Brose motors. Don't forget we work on most ebike motors, so we see the issues and fix's in each :geek:
 

Bearing Man

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@Bearing Man
Can You state the cost of a overhaul of a brose (Specilaized 1.3) motor.
Brose motors are currently a lot more expensive (and troublesome) to overhaul than any other motor we do.
They have a lot of bearings that can't be easily sourced and several we had to have manufactured. Brose are now starting to encapsulate bearings so they can't be changed without machining process's too. This all comes at a cost and a cost that is ever changing.
We are building a new website that will have more Brose material, including service and overhaul prices but in the meantime, please feel free to contact me [email protected] for latest prices.
 

Scoobaru

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Sep 6, 2018
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Sadly Kiwi, there is not much you can do with a motor still in warranty. You can't take the motor apart and add a seal inside like we do. And outside there is not enough space between the crankshaft and the sprocket carrier to fit a seal from the outside.
So, what is your advice for bikes that are inside warranty period ?
 

Levo-Lon

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I suspect in time Brose will simply do a replacement service, at around £350-400 for a new motor "quick online search" it's quite expensive but not too bad if you consider the cost of anything these days.

Wiper motor for a car or an alternator?
6k bike will have a price down the line to keep it running properly, batteries are more than the motor for example yet people buy a spare..

We live in a throwaway world sadly.
 

Beekeeper

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If replacement batteries are so freely available, why can’t motors be also?
I’d gladly pay for a new spare Bosch cx and keep it safely in a drawer at home😬
Maybe like suits, I could have a ‘Sunday best’ motor 🙂
 

Kiwi in Wales

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It's worth remembering that this is not a Specialized motor, it's manufactured by Brose and fitted to other makes of bike too.
It's worth remembering that this is not a Specialized motor, it's manufactured by Brose and fitted to other makes of bike too.
I presume you have not had the latest 2019 Brose Mag S motor apart yet just the 1.2 and 1.3s?
If by chance you have had the newer motor apart have they improved the seals on them?
 
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Bearing Man

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could that shaft be turned down and sleeved and bonded before being turned exactly to size.. a stainless sleeve perhaps?
It's easy to repair these crankshafts but no one wants to pay for it. When you take into consideration the cost of the bearings, belt etc. It does not take much more expense to put the motor beyond economical repair.

I presume you have not had the latest 2019 Brose Mag S motor apart yet just the 1.2 and 1.3s?
If by chance you have had the newer motor apart have they improved the seals on them?
Not from what I have seen Kiwi. I have not seen inside a 2020 motor yet though.
 

dobbyhasfriends

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It's easy to repair these crankshafts but no one wants to pay for it. When you take into consideration the cost of the bearings, belt etc. It does not take much more expense to put the motor beyond economical repair.


Not from what I have seen Kiwi. I have not seen inside a 2020 motor yet though.
yes perhaps right now but in the future when these motors are history there will be plenty of people still using them I imagine..
even easier, run a couple of mm off the shaft and change the ID of the bearing? that would be a really quick machining process
 

Bearing Man

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yes perhaps right now but in the future when these motors are history there will be plenty of people still using them I imagine..
even easier, run a couple of mm off the shaft and change the ID of the bearing? that would be a really quick machining process
Sounds easy doesn't it. You can only take the shaft down slightly and no one makes a bearing that would fit the best new dimensions. Trust me, I have wasted a lot of time on this :(
 
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Kiwi in Wales

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿Shorts cranks rule!
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I suspect in time Brose will simply do a replacement service, at around £350-400 for a new motor "quick online search" it's quite expensive but not too bad if you consider the cost of anything these days.

Wiper motor for a car or an alternator?
6k bike will have a price down the line to keep it running properly, batteries are more than the motor for example yet people buy a spare..

We live in a throwaway world sadly.
Specialized dealers used to do a slightly discounted replacement motor price for out of warranty motors. I believe they called it an ‘assisted purchase’.
It was £449 for a 1.2 engine in May 2018. Fitting was £50.

However..... I have just called the concept store in Nottingham and priced up a 1.3 engine replacement and got an eye watering price of £700 just for the engine :eek: which I think is outrageous. The concept store gave me the direct number for Specialized Rider Care who I will call to see if they will give me a better price but not looking good if you have an out of warranty motor all :(
 

KennyB

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So less than a battery which some buy as a spare (as someone posted somewhere recently)? What's the warranty on a bought and paid for replacement motor - reset?
 

Kiwi in Wales

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It's easy to repair these crankshafts but no one wants to pay for it. When you take into consideration the cost of the bearings, belt etc. It does not take much more expense to put the motor beyond economical repair.


Not from what I have seen Kiwi. I have not seen inside a 2020 motor yet though.
As far as I am aware the 2020 is no different to the 2019.

Just to confirm, this is the 2019 Levo motor I am talking about and not the older 1.2 and 1.3 versions which is pictured below this one.

2019, 2020 Levo motor
A327E797-92BD-4A32-B407-7A3F605E5593.jpeg



Not this one. 2017, 2018 Levo motor
7E34F392-9574-40D0-AFDB-ABDCD32FA07E.jpeg
 
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Bearing Man

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As far as I am aware the 2020 is no different to the 2019.

Just to confirm, this is the 2019 Levo motor I am talking about and not the older 1.2 and 1.3 versions which is pictured below this one.

2019, 2020 Levo motor
View attachment 25083


Not this one. 2017, 2018 Levo motor
View attachment 25082
Yup, don't worry, I was with you (y) It may look different on the outside...but that's it! Same on the inside.
 
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