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The Alloy Dust Cover on My S-Works Crank is Loose: How To Fix It In Five Minutes

November 2021

First, anyone who owns an S-Works crankset knows it’s possibly the greatest, affordable, carbon crank ever invented. That Specialized figured out how to do away with the wavy washer is a miracle in and of itself. That they kept the price and weight under that of a Dura-Ace crank is simply astonishing.

Sadly, the S-Works crankset has gone the way of the do-do. They don’t make them anymore.

I had my Specialized Venge in for open-crank surgery last week and noticed, after getting it back, the dust cover was loose. When I tightened the dust cover bolt down, the cover turned. I freaked out a little bit. Especially after I Googled what to do and there was nothing on the interwebz. Nothing. That never happens.

Then I thought about it a minute. I know what the dust cover is there for; the cap is there because they had to get the locking bolt into the spindle, so while it’s supposed to be tight in the crank, it’s also designed to come off in the event you need to mess with the spindle bolt (as was the case with mine). The cap is, essentially, glue on. The fancy word is “epoxy”, but whatever. It gets glued in there… preferably with something that’s semi-permanent. If you go all space-aged epoxy on it and you have to do something with the main bolt, like replace it for some crazy reason, you’ll have to be able to unglue the cap.

Now, before you run for the superglue, think this through a minute – let’s slow this pony down for a heartbeat.

The dust cover has to go into its hole perfectly straight. If it’s turned, even a little bit, from dead center, you’ll have a gap on one side or the other that will look unsightly when the crank turns. With that in mind, we can begin. Take the dust cap bolt out and set it aside until we’re done.

There’s a trick to getting the dust cover in there square and true, and I’ll share it with you.

First, remove as much of the old epoxy as you can. Chip it off being careful not to damage the dust cover. Remember, it’s only aluminum. It’s soft. Next, make sure the hole in the carbon crank arm is clean. Now dry fit the dust cover so it looks like it’s in there square. Turn the crank all the way around, 360 degrees and check for gaps. Now, once you’re satisfied it’s in there straight, take a pencil and mark a line on the top of the cover onto the crank arm both on the top and bottom of the cover. Don’t press too hard and scratch the finish, just a little line to help you set the cap on straight. Once you have a line on top and on the bottom of the cover so you can match the lines up on the install, pull the cover… glue it, set it, and let it cure before putting the dust cover bolt in.

That’s it. Bob’s your uncle.

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