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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 08-20-06, 04:10 PM   #1
freefloe
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BB question

I've got a 1970's Phillips steel road frame...

Wondering what size BB these frames take, where I could get one (and have it installed (Boston Area)) , and how much $
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Old 08-20-06, 04:53 PM   #2
moxfyre
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The easiest thing to do is to measure the width of the BB shell (the part of the frame in which the BB sits). Use a steel ruler or calipers. If it's 68 mm, you have an English/ISO BB, 70 mm you have an Italian BB.

The only other possibility is a French BB, but Phillips doesn't sound like a French brand name and nobody else used French BBs because, well, they suck

If you don't want to do the work yourself, pretty much ANY LBS should stock square-taper ISO and Italian BBs in a variety of widths. It also matters what kind of cranks you have: are they Campagnolo or Ofmega (different form of square taper) or some Asian maker like Sugino, Suntour, Shimano (standard JIS taper). Lastly, since your BB is likely a cup-and-cone type, it's quite likely that the BB doesn't need to be replaced but merely overhauled and packed with new bearings. No guarantee, but you should ask the mechanic to check the bearings races before throwing it out.
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