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  1. #1
    Senior Member billallbritten's Avatar
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    Need help on unfreezing bottom bracket crank arm bolt

    I'd like to clean, grease, adjust and check the bearings for rust on the Stronglight 93 BB on my '74 Motobecane Grand Record. The bolt and spindle are steel. I've tried a liquid wrench type product on the bolt, still resisting what I consider reasonable force to remove. It's been about 5 years since I overhauled it, possibly more, used Phil Wood grease, very little riding, kept indoors in the interim, no crud down the seat tube into the bracket. The cranks rotate smoothly and freely, no noise, no wiggle. I have the funky Stronglight socket tool and rod for use on the bolt (that's as much force as I'm willing to use, no 12" wrench handles) as well as the Stronglight crank arm puller (did this quite a few times, then shelved the bike for a while).

    Maybe I should leave well enough alone - no long rides on the bike planned, just an occasional ride to remind me how much I enjoyed Greeley, Colorado, biking 30+ years ago. No problems with the 70's Normandy and Campy hubs (clincher/tubular - Mavic Gold rims, pretty) or Stronglight headset (I hate doing headsets - bearings everywhere) but I just can't get one of the BB bolts to budge. I got excited when I saw some Universal 61 brake lever gum hoods (only original equipment to deteriorate, barrel adj. covers are about to go, though) available and thought I'd tune it up and then order them ($35) if all went well.

    Just dumped a GT MTB and bought Trek 7500 FX's for my wife and myself, sweet bike for riding to work and for recreation, so I have to ask myself why I'm fooling with the Motobecane - mid-life (I wish) crisis, maybe.

    Sincerely,

    Bill

  2. #2
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Maybe I should leave well enough alone
    yup

  3. #3
    Senior Member billallbritten's Avatar
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    Heh, heh. I came to the same conclusion about an hour ago. This would be a good case study in a risk management/cost-benefit analysis.

    Do I take the risk of shearing the bolt (did this once in 1975 when that Stronglight socket slipped, parts were easy to come by then) to ensure that minimum wear occurs far into the future (not that much will occur anyway given my riding plans) and risk no riding at all without an expensive replacment - Phil Wood BB's will work, I believe (although that would defeat the purpose of my intent not to "modernize" the old frame)-or enjoy the bike as the curiosity it is with short rides. As smoothly and quietly as the thing turns, I have to think the lube is in pretty good shape.

    Thanks for the reinforcement.

    Bill

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