Troubleshooting Bosch ISIS crank retention issues


The ISIS crank interface was once commonly used on mountain bike cranksets but eventually phased out as external BB cranks using different interfaces started appearing on the market. Recently new life was given to the interface standard when Bosch™️ began using it on their ebike motors.  The ISIS interface can be very robust but is highly reliant on the tolerances laid out in the standard. Spindle manufacturing in particular can be a complicated process. e*thirteen's Bosch e*spec cranks are QC'ed at a 100% rate to ensure that our spline shapes are within the specifications of the standard. 


Below are a few troubleshooting tips if you're having repeated loosening issues with your e*spect Bosch cranks. Keep in mind that once a crank has been ridden loose, it often damages the interface enough that it needs to be replaced.


First verify the spindle is not undersized:

  • A good test to determine a potentially undersized spindle is to attempt to press a new crank on by hand. When this is done, there should be a 3mm+ minimum gap between the face of the crank and the stop on the ISIS spindle. Anything close to 3mm or less and an undersized spindle could be the culprit for the loosening issues. If your crank has a self-extracting bolt hardware, you will either need to remove the self extractor and bolt or thread the bolt in slowly as you are using your hand to press the crank onto the spindle. 


Next, verify/perform the following: 

  • When the crank arm is fully installed to torque spec, the face of the crank needs to be bottoming out on the stop on the ISIS spindle. If it is not, the crank should be removed and reinstalled until it does. If  the crank is not butted up against the spindle stop, it could have a tendency to want to walk off the splines.
  • Consider installing the crank bolt with some Loctite 222 or 242.
  • Verify crank bolt torque spec after the first and 3rd rides.

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Troubleshooting: Drivetrain creaks, clicks and noises.


This article will assist in identifying potential sources for abnormal drivetrain creaks, clicks and noises. 


Drivetrain creaks can be frustrating to deal with and tricky to diagnose due to the sheer number of places they might originate from. In some cases, the culprit can be identified quickly from a usual suspects list while in other cases require a process of elimination approach to isolate where the noise is originating from and zone in on the potential source.  


Here is a list of usual suspects e*thirteen recommends inspecting and verifying first: 

  • Pedals are tightened to torque spec. 31-34NM is our recommendation. Pedal bearings feel good. 
  • Direct mount chainring interface is greased and lockring is tightened to torque spec - 30Nm. 
  • Crank spindle and polygon interface is lightly greased and torqued to spec. Reference your crank manual for this info. 
  • Bottom bracket bearings are confirmed good and BB is torqued to specification (if threaded) or integrity of press fit interface confirmed and lubed (if press-fit). 


If the above points don't address the issue, it's time to dive in a bit deeper:

  • Verify that frame pivots and bearings are torqued to spec and have no play.
  • Rule out noise coming from your rear wheel:
    • Verify cassette is installed correctly and greased.
    • Verify rear hub bearings and freehub assembly are greased and in good condition. 
  • Verify that your rear wheel thru axle is greased and torqued to spec along with any pieces which attach to the frame in the axle assembly (there is often a nut on the drive side of many bikes which the axle threads into). 
  • Verify derailleur hanger is tight and interface with frame is greased. 


If all of the above points have been exhausted, it's unfortunatly time to start strategically swapping out parts to see if the culprit can be identified that way. Reach out to us on our support page and we can provide guidance based on your specific case. 

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Are e*thirteen crank spindles removable or interchangeable?


Are e*thirteen crank spindles removable or interchangeable? 


Answer: No. Our spindles are fixed in place from the factory. They are not removable or interchangeable and attempting to do so will likely damage the crank and void the warranty. 

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What is the torque spec for crank self-extractor caps?


Answer: The torque spec for ALL e*thirteen self-extractor caps is 20nm



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What pedals are compatible with e*thirteen cranks?

All e*thirteen cranks use 9/16 x 20 tpi pedal thread sizing. Pedals using 9/16 sizing are compatible with e*thirteen cranks with a few specific exceptions found below. 


Exceptions to note: 

Pedal vs crank boot hole considerations: The hole in e*thirteen crank boots where the pedal threads through is 19mm OD. Some pedals, such as OneUp™️ platform, Spank Oozy and Spike  pedals have flanges which are over 19mm OD.

    • Issue: If the crank boot becomes sandwiched between the pedal flange and the pedal washer, it could lead to a false torque reading and eventual stripping of the threads in the crank due to play developing in the interface as the plastic pedal boot gets compressed. 
    • Solution:
      • 1st Preference: Trim hole in crank boot to accomodate the pedal with the oversized flange.
      • 2nd Preference: Remove crank boot and do not use.  
      • 3rd Preference: Reach out to us to get a discount on e*thirteen pedals. 

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Can I use a power meter on my e*thirteen crank?


I have an e*thirteen crank and would like to use a power meter. What are my options? 


Answer: It depends which crank you have and what type of power meter you are using. See below. 


While e*thirteen does not offer a power meter crank currently, you can use pedal based power meters with our cranks such as those made by Garmin or Favaro. 


Crank spider based power meter compatibility should be confirmed with the power meter manufacture. Our cranks use a proprietary spider interface and therefore the manufacture would need to offer spider mount specifically for the e*thirteen interface. It should be noted that the spider interface on Helix cranks is 4mm thick whereas our previous generations of cranks were 5mm thick. This means it is possible that a power meter which works on an XCX, TRS or LG1 crank will not be compatible with a Helix crank.




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How do I fix a stuck together APS adjuster?



If the 2 sections of your APS adjuster get stuck together in the fully open position it will prevent you from being able to preload the system and play may exist.


Remove the crankset from the bike following the directions for your crank model found in our How-to section and then try this:.

With the crank off the bike, install the APS adjuster onto the keyway of the crank where it would normally sit. Use a strap wrench (or protect the outer ring of the APS with an old tube/rag and use an adjustable pliers) to turn the outer ring of the APS in the direction of the tighten arrow shown on the outside of the APS so that the inner ring moves away from the outer ring and the assembly will loosen enough to be turned by hand. 


If that does not work, reach out to us on our support contact page and we can assist further.

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Does the XCX crankset come with crank boots and/or chainline spacers?


Answer: No*


Chainline spacers:

XCX cranks do not come with Chainline spacers. Boost/non-boost configuration is achieved by selecting the correct offset chainring:

  • XCX Mountain Cranks
    • e*thirteen Guidering UL direct mount rings are -5mm offset which achieves boost 148mm chainline spacing.
    • e*thirteen Guidering SL direct mount rings are -8mm offset which achieves non-boost  135/142mm chainline spacing.
  • XCX Gravel Cranks
    • e*thirteen Guidering UL direct mount rings are used to achieve 135/142mm chainline spacing as spindle length is reduced. 

Crank boots:

While our other carbon crank are supplied with crank boots, our XCX cranks are not. The goal with our XCX crank project was to achieve the lightest possible XC Crankset and therefore crank boots were omitted. The TRS/LG1 and Helix boots will not correctly fit the XCX cranks. 



*Some crank packaging and manuals included with cranks indicated chainline spacers and boots are included. This is not correct and packaging and manuals are now updated. 





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What lockring tool do I need to change my e*thirteen chainring on my Shimano™️ Steps™️ motor?

The tool needed for the Shimano™️ lockring on the Steps™️ motor is Shimano™️ TL-FC39 or Park Tool™️ LRT-2.

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The o-ring found between the chainring and lockring on Bosch G4 systems is missing with my e*spec ring. Is that correct?

We recommend removing/not using the o-ring which sits between chainring and the lockring when assembled with our direct mount ring.


BOSCH G4 motor assemblies come with BOSCH Supplied lockrings and o-rings for assembly with their spider. When using e*thirteen e*spec direct mount rings, the lockring should be used and installed per BOSCH Specification; however e*thirteen does not recommend the use of the O-ring. We have found it can bunch and interfere with proper torque of the lockring, and flatness of the chainring. This assembly variance has BOSCH Internal approval.



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What crank/ring configuration do I need for super-boost?

If your bike uses "super-boost" spacing, the crank ring configuration required to achieve the correct chainline is any of our adjustable chainline cranks with a -5mm offset ring installed in the boost position (ring closest to the crank). e*thirteen cranks w/o the adjustable chainline configuration are not super-boost compatible. 

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Crank offset, Q factor and frame fit
Note: This list shows Q-Factors for most of our current crank models; we have produced multiple generations of crank arms and Q-factor/Offset can vary slightly. If you dont see your exact model represented or have any additional questions regarding crank fitment please reach out to our support team. We will do our best to assist ASAP.
The Diagram at the bottom of this page shows how our Q-factors/Offsets are measured.

Q-Factor Final Final Analog.png

E*Spec Final Final.png


Adjustable chainline cranks - Offset indicates max offset. Offset may also be reduced by up to 3mm by rearranging spacers.



Or click pdf below to download 

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Bottom Bracket Standards Explained

For a completely thorough explanation of bottom brackets and what they look like, please see this great link at the Park Tool website: BOTTOM BRACKET IDENTIFICATION

They do a great job breaking it all down.

30mm Spindle Cranks

For our purposes, what you need to know is that most e*thirteen cranks use 30mm aluminum spindles, and we support the following standards with our own bottom brackets:

  • BSA - 68mm / 73mm / 83mm / 100mm
  • PF30 - AKA Press-fit 30
  • BB30 
  • BB92
  • T47 - essentially a threaded PF30 shell

e*thirteen cranks are likely compatible with other bottom brackets using 30mm bearings, but it may require special spacing to make it work!

24mm Spindle Cranks

A few e*thirteen cranks now also use 24mm steel spindles, found as stock equipment on many fine bicycle brands. e*thirteen makes replacement bottom brackets for all applications of these cranks.





Or click below to download the PDF

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What BB do I need for my PF30 Fatbike Frame?

Many fatbikes with wider BB shells can utilized similar BB cups within the same standard as their narrower shelled MTB versions. One exception to this is the e*thirteen PF30 Fatbike BB (part number BB20.P-PF30PRS.K). 


Our MTB shell width PF30 bottom bracket (part number BB20.P-PF30.K) actually has sleeves which thread together inside the BB shell. However, the fatbike version of this BB utilizes 2 press in style cups which do not thread together. 


The FATBIKE PF30 cups are shown here: Screen_Shot_2021-11-29_at_10.10.57_AM.png

The MTB shell width PF30 bottom bracket (part number BB20.P-PF30.K) is not compatible with fatbike applications due to a reduced press fit and shorter skirt length. 


The Fatbike PF30 BB is no longer in production as e*thirteen has stopped producing fatbike cranks in 2017/2018. There are some non e*thirteen options still on the market which may be compatible with e*thirteen cranks, these include offerings from Race Face (vendor part #: BB4610030B13 / UPC: 821973272900). Alternatively, a PF30 --> BSA adaptor cup could be used in the frame and then then an e*thirteen BSA threaded BB installed.  

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Can I use your threaded BB to run BB30 cranks on my threaded frame?

Nope. BB30 is a standard that covers more than just spindle diameter. So while we do use the same bearing ID as BB30 cranks, BB30 cranks use a much short spindle than our cranks do and, as a result, will only work on BB30 specific frames. Our cranks use a wider spindle so they fit a variety of BB standards.

You can find more info on what BB standards out cranks will fit with this handy tech doc

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Can I use a different brand's BB with your cranks?

Our cranks use a 30mm diameter aluminum spindle in order to reduce weight and improve stiffness in the system. Most other cranks on the market use a smaller 24mm steel spindle on their cranks. As a result our cranks should only be used with our BBs as others will not fit properly.

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Can I use your cranks on my PF30, BB30 or BB92 frame?

Yep, you just need to order the proper BB to fit your frame's BB standard, your local shop or frame manufacturer should be able to help you find what standard your frame uses.

You can find our tech doc about BB standards here

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Do I need to use my pedal washers?

Yes, pedal washers greatly strengthen the interface between crank and pedal and will minimize the possibility of tearing out your pedal threads in case of a hard impact.


All e*thirteen cranks come with pedal washers preinstalled at the pedal thread location using double-stick adhesive. It is not necessary to use a second washer as long as the preinstalled washer is still in place. IMG_5885.JPG


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How do I remove my cranks?

That would depend on the model, take a look at our how-to guide: http://service.bythehive.com/Guide/How+to+remove+e*thirteen+cranks/44

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Do I really need to use a torque wrench while installing my cranks?

Absolutely. It's always important to tighten all fasteners to  the torque specifications found in the owners manual. If you do not install your cranks properly, they may loosen up and damage the interface.


It's 40-48N*m by the way.

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How do I remove a Quick Connect Guidering from my e*thirteen crankset?

You'll need a vise and our tool, part number CSH.UNVA-SPID.N . If you bought a set of 2014 or newer cranks it will be included in the box with your cranks!

Instructions for making it happen can be found below.

How to install and remove TRS crank spiders and integrated rings

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What type of bottom bracket does my bike need?

Pretty rough out there isn't it? There are a ton of bottom bracket standards now. Your frame manufacturer or local shop should be able to help you determine what type of bottom bracket shell your bike has. Once you know, drop us a line and we would be happy to help you decide on the proper bottom bracket for your frame.


You can find our BB standards tech doc here. It will give you the information you need to measure your own BB shell.

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My bearings wore out, why?

Bearings wear for a variety of reasons; by far the biggest culprit is contamination. You can prolong bearing life by not power-washing or hosing your bike off. Water sitting in your BB shell will eventually contaminate your bearings so be sure to drain and dry your frame after wet rides.  All of our BB bearings are easily serviceable, so we recommend cleaning and re-greasing them a few times a year dependent on conditions. If things go to hell in a hand-basket quickly, we offer a 1 year no questions asked warranty on all our bearings, so we've got you covered.

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What is APS?

APS is the new preload system for our cranks. It does away with wave washers and spindle spacers making set-up much quicker. Just install your BB, torque your cranks to spec and adjust the APS dial until there is no more play. See it in action here

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What is the bolt circle diameter (BCD) for e*thirteen cranks?

All of our cranks and crank mounted bashguards, with the exception of our Quick Connect rings of course, use a 104mm 4 bolt BCD pattern.

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Your cranks use a 30mm spindle, does that mean they are BB30?

BB30 refers to an entire standard, based around more than just spindle diameter. Our cranks will not just drop into a BB30 frame, but we do make adapter cups to fit BB30 frames. This is because we use a longer spindle than traditional BB30 cranks in order to give the advantages of a 30mm spindle on frames with threaded BB shells.

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