The march of technology is such that just as you get used to fettling something, it’s rendered obsolete by a new and improved thing. So it is with cranks and bottom brackets. The shift many years ago from cup-and-cone BBs to fit-and-forget cartridge units made things a whole lot easier to deal with, while the gradual move towards splined axle/crank interfaces makes that oft-troublesome area somewhat more foolproof. None of these developments have fundamentally altered the fitting procedure, though, which has in essence remained at “put bottom bracket in frame, put cranks on axle" for ages.

Shimano’s Hollowtech II system, first seen on XTR in 2003, found on XT and Saint in 2004 and LX and Hone for 2005, is an entirely different animal. The good news is that fitting has got simpler again – you can fit a set of these in about five minutes.

hollowtech II cranks
hollow 1
hollowtech II cranks
hollow 2
hollowtech II cranks
hollow 3
hollowtech II cranks
hollow 4
hollowtech II cranks
hollow 5
hollowtech II cranks
hollow 6

 

hollowtech II cranks
hollow 7

 

hollowtech II cranks
hollow 8
hollowtech II cranks
hollow 9
hollowtech II cranks
hollow 10