Shimano 105 crank axle failure.

DisjointedReality

Active Member
This happened to me recently, 30 miles from home. It's a three year old Shimano 105 Hollowtech II chainset on my winter bike. I first heard a loud crack when sprinting up a short climb - stopped, thinking it was a problem with a pedal, but couldn't find any issue. The next pedal revolution however caused a complete failure of the axle.
I've tried contacting Shimano with no response. They only seem to want contact through their dealer network and as the part is three tears old I haven't bothered to follow it up. Even at that age, something like this shouldn't have happened. The actual point of the break isn't in contact with anything else and it's not as though I'm able to put such power through the axle as to cause it to shear like that (or maybe I am 🤔).
I was unable to remove it without damaging the plastic bottom bracket parts, so that had to be replaced too. I've temporarily replaced the chainset with an older one, which has a more solid looking aluminium axle with thicker side walls.
Has anyone else had a similar issue?
 

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wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
This is extremely concerning; seems Shimano cranksets really aren't courting much confidence with this and the self-destructing Ultegra and DA cranks :sad:

I was reading about a similar incident recently (that I think was linked to on here although I can't find it now); however these are the only two instances of 105 axle failure I'm aware of. What series is it - 5800?

I'd pursue this issue doggedly tbh - bottom line it's a wholly unacceptable safety-critical issue that could have had very serious consequences. You could try emailing Madison (Shimano's UK distributor) and it might also be worth mentioning / contacting trading standards as IMO that component is unfit for purpose regardless of its age.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
It's definitely an issue. The axels snap, and the Ultegra and DA drive side cranks have a habit of debonding as they are two piece hollow cranks.

It's still a small number as there are literally millions of these in circulation.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Not good. You need to pursue this through your supplying retailer as your legal contract of sale is through them, they should then take up the matter with the U.K. distributor or Shimano themselves. I would think you’re in a good position to get a full refund but check your Sale of goods rights on line.
 

newts

Well-Known Member
Location
Exeter
As Wafter has suggested Madison are the one's to contact (my local lbs are still waiting for a replacement shifter from them:dry: for my bike). I'd hope a polite & assertive email pointing out the catasthrophic failure of the crank would prick there conscience to offer a solution.
 

Darius_Jedburgh

Über Member
my local lbs are still waiting for a replacement shifter from them:dry: for my bike
Same here. Been over a month now.
What was your problem?
 

newts

Well-Known Member
Location
Exeter
Same here. Been over a month now.
What was your problem?
Ultegra 8020 shifter had jammed on the upshift, allegedly there's been a few of these too.
LBS are saying could be another 10 weeks before Madison have stock, frustrating as they appear to be in stock with some online retailers:blush:
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
I have a warranty issue with a disc calliper. Madison are reportedly taking weeks to reply and from past experience (pre-Covid) I know it can take months. The day it happened I bought a new calliper on eBay and will sell the replacement one when it arrives. I might even keep it as the design is terrible and I expect to have to deal with similar in the future.
 

Darius_Jedburgh

Über Member
My LH Ultegra shifter keeps sticking in the big ring so I can't change down. The little release lever won't return. Bike hase been off the road for a month now.
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Are these aluminium axles? I think some are steel and some are aluminium.
I think it's steel - looks like it from the pic and IIRC all Hollowtech axles are ferrous. I know some use ally but IMO this is a terrible idea given its disliking of cyclic loading and the fact that even the hyper-critical Japanese market leaders evidently can't stop their steel items from failing :blink:
 
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DisjointedReality

Active Member
It is steel, and there was some surface discolouration on the inside, but it was smooth, with no pitting. Is certainly hadn’t failed due to corrosion. As I said in the original post, I replaced it with an older 105 chainset which has an aluminium axle.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
I wonder how those steel axles are made? Drawn tubing (which is a bit like forging in terms of beneficial strength increase), or rolled and welded gaspipe? The latter is more likely to contain flaws.
 
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