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In line with what someone else posted. The retro older bikes used to have....

Small washers between the pedals and the crank arms...

I think Shimano used to have washers between the chain rings and the spider arms on the cranks....

Whats their purpose? Do either of these serve any noise or creak proofing purposes?
 

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I don't know for sure but washers have two purposes:

1) Prevents the turning bolt from having direct contact and scoring the item it is being screwed into, there by not compromising mechanical integrity.

2) To prevent the bolt from coming loose. In such cases a lock washer is used, e.g. lock or split washers.
 

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raymonda said:
...1) Prevents the turning bolt from having direct contact and scoring the item it is being screwed into, there by not compromising mechanical integrity.
Some modern carbon cranks come with pedal washers for this reason. They're so thin, it would be a stretch for me to think they alter q-factor in any appreciable way, but I suppose it's possible.
 

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The washer on my old Campy Athena crank gave me something to forget. Then, when I went to remove my left crankarm, all I removed were the threads!!! I'll NEVER do that again. At least I could make a bottle opener out of the worthless crankarm.
 
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