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Old 05-30-06, 04:39 PM   #1
genec
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Keep bending breaking BB spindles...

OK I am 195 lbs, I ride the bike on tours, meaning I carry up to about 70lbs on it from time to time. I am a strong rider.

I have broken two Phil Wood spindles, and have bent the most recent Shimano I chose as a replacement.

What the heck is going on? Are there any "super spindles" out there?

This is a custom made bike, so there is no brand associated with it.

I am using a Campy crank and chainrings... been using the same for nearly 20 years.
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Old 05-30-06, 10:03 PM   #2
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Wow, I have never heard of ANYONE breaking a Phil Wood bb spindle, particularly not TWO of them and a lot of riders are much heavier than you. Are you, by any chance, using their Ti spindles?
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Old 05-31-06, 06:25 AM   #3
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You might talk to the Phil Wood people. They might be curious about seeing the broken pieces. The only thing I can think of is the Spindel length is too long. It is like a lever the longer it is the more force is generates. How long is the spindel?
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Old 05-31-06, 08:20 AM   #4
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Spindles are made from tool steel (Rc hardness 58 - 62)
I find it difficult to believe that they can be broken under normal use.
The Al alloy crank arms would fail well before a spindle.

Enjoy
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Old 05-31-06, 10:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powers2b
Spindles are made from tool steel (Rc hardness 58 - 62)
I find it difficult to believe that they can be broken under normal use.
The Al alloy crank arms would fail well before a spindle.

Enjoy
I know, hard to believe. I returned the first one to Phil, it was a hollow steel spindle, it had been in use 15 years. They sent me a new solid steel spindle as a replacement for free.

I still have that one, but it is slighly bent.

I replaced it with a Shimano about 5 or 6 years ago... now that Shimano is bent.
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Old 05-31-06, 11:43 AM   #6
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Hollow or solid it makes little difference. I used to break and twist 19mm bmx spindles all the time too, I'd suggest you either change your riding style(not practical) or get one of them new fangled o/s shimano set ups.
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Old 05-31-06, 11:48 AM   #7
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I need to see this for myself....
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Old 05-31-06, 03:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
I need to see this for myself....
How, what can I show you? Tonight I will measure the BB and the spindle... need photos of what? Hard to show the bending as it only is visible when the bike is loaded and turning the cranks. (although a runout gauge would show it)

The broken spindle was sent back to Phil.
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Old 05-31-06, 03:28 PM   #9
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Spin more.

Wow, that is something. Maybe you should use lower gearing-especially when accelerating.
Tall gearing puts a lot more stress on the spindle.Luck,Charlie
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Old 05-31-06, 03:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
How, what can I show you? Tonight I will measure the BB and the spindle... need photos of what? Hard to show the bending as it only is visible when the bike is loaded and turning the cranks. (although a runout gauge would show it)

The broken spindle was sent back to Phil.
It's just that I would imagine the crank itself would either develope a crack or deform at the spindle interface before any harm is done to the BB spindle...
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Old 05-31-06, 05:02 PM   #11
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time to ditch the square interface. Go with an external BB and a newer hollowtech/gigapipe integrated spindle system and you'll probably find the next weakest link in your drivetrain.
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Old 05-31-06, 05:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
time to ditch the square interface. Go with an external BB and a newer hollowtech/gigapipe integrated spindle system and you'll probably find the next weakest link in your drivetrain.

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Old 05-31-06, 05:55 PM   #13
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Is it really that much hassle to replace a bb or a spindle every couple of years?

You'd think that after all that time the bb would be in need of a replace/repack.
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Old 05-31-06, 06:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
How, what can I show you? Tonight I will measure the BB and the spindle... need photos of what? Hard to show the bending as it only is visible when the bike is loaded and turning the cranks. (although a runout gauge would show it)

The broken spindle was sent back to Phil.
If it's only visible under load then it's not the spindle that's bent. More likely frame flexing.
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Old 06-01-06, 07:17 AM   #15
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Quick calcs indicate that the crank or pedal axle would bend/fail well before the spindle.
While I can accept that a 15yo spindle might beak (age, fatigue, manuf. flaw), <see earlier post>

Enjoy
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Old 06-01-06, 08:03 AM   #16
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As you have already found, a solid spindle is more likely to bend than a hollow one.

If I had a bottom bracket that lasted for 15 years, I would get the exact same one again.
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Old 06-01-06, 10:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Is it really that much hassle to replace a bb or a spindle every couple of years?

You'd think that after all that time the bb would be in need of a replace/repack.
Sealed Phil Wood... not exactly something to repack. BTW the Phil Hubs still feel quite good and allow the wheels to roll and roll and roll on the stand.

I would think that the 22 year old bearings would have long ago needed replacing.

Probably should, just for cause.
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Old 06-01-06, 10:53 AM   #18
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Well, I tore into the spindle/chainring affair last night... Sigh. The hex bolts on either side were looser than I would have liked... didn't take much effort to "break" them loose.

The crank opposite of the chainring felt quite good and tight. But the chainring side seemed to have some wear. Upon closer inspection, there is obvious wear on the mating surface of the tapered square. The chainring mating surface has some obvious wear also. Loose fitting these pieces back together and I can get some rocking motion at the chainring/crank to spindle connection.

I tried tightening the bolts again last night and I could still see a bit of deflection just rotating it by hand (no loading).

Looks like it should all be replaced.

The BB bearings still feel quite good and smooth, with no apparent rocking or movement. I suspect the BB is still in good shape. This Shimano part is, after all, only about 6 years old.

The real question is: Should a Campy crank work with a Shimano spindle... or are there some incompatibilites there?

Taking a good look at other places on this long, hard ridden, bike (22 years) it is evident that it needs a good sandblasting and painting...

How long does steel last anyway?
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Old 06-01-06, 11:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalanche325
As you have already found, a solid spindle is more likely to bend than a hollow one.
That's a slightly misleading statement doncha think?
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Old 06-01-06, 12:07 PM   #20
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The real question is: Should a Campy crank work with a Shimano spindle... or are there some incompatibilites there?
They are incompatiblle. They seem to fit but will not position themselves correctly onto the spindles.

The good news is that you can get a Campy ACS (Aluminum Cup Solid spindle) BB for around 20 bucks. I picked up several, along with Veloce and Centaur 10 speed cranksets and a ACH (hollow) BB for my Centaur set..
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Old 06-01-06, 03:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by silversmith
They are incompatiblle. They seem to fit but will not position themselves correctly onto the spindles.

The good news is that you can get a Campy ACS (Aluminum Cup Solid spindle) BB for around 20 bucks. I picked up several, along with Veloce and Centaur 10 speed cranksets and a ACH (hollow) BB for my Centaur set..
That seems to be the case here... even though it has seemed to work for about 5-6 years... the resulting wear has exacerbated the issue to the point that it no longer works.

Thanks
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