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  1. #1
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
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    Phil Wood BB creaking

    I recently sent an email to Phil Wood regarding my problem. I wanted to share it here, hoping to see if someone might have a simple solution I'm overlooking. Please help ....

    -------------------

    To whomever it may concern:

    I purchased one of your bottom brackets (BRT10) three years ago, and I've been
    quite satisfied with its performance as far as the bearings go. However, I've
    had this nagging problem ever since I purchased it: the cups loosen within 300
    miles after every service (once I've gotten as long as 700 miles, but they loosen
    anyway).

    My method initially was to install using your thread sealant, but that
    installation started creaking within 100 miles. I then started using waterproof
    grease, as per the LBS. I always use a torque wrench to 26 ft-lbs. This
    extended the creaking to 200-300 miles, but I'd still end up with a very annoying
    sound coming from the BB area.

    At first, I dealt with it, and since I wasn't too lazy about cleaning my bike, it
    wasn't too big of a deal. Now, however, with other things in my life wanting my
    attention, I wish that the bike (particularly the BB) didn't need so much
    attention. This has become a ride-stopping problem these days.

    I have the aluminum cups, installed on an aluminum shell, in a Look KG286. The
    threads are cleaned out with solvent every time, and regreased thoroughly.

    Please let me know what my options are, if there's a fix, or if I need to get new
    threaded cups.

    David
    06/05

  2. #2
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
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    I used the retaining compound that came with the new cups and I couldn't get it to stop creaking, so that's why I switched to waterproof grease, which worked longer.

    that red Locktite looks permanent ....

  4. #4
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    There's blue loctite, too, that's NOT permanent.

    edit: http://www.loctiteproducts.com/produ...id=48&plid=153

  5. #5
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
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    I have never used blue Locktite on these types of threads before. I'll try this method next time. I'm at a point where I'm willing to try anything short of a hammer.

    I hope I am able to remove it after the fact.

  6. #6
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Blue loctite often comes on such things as crank bolts (Campy).

    Hand tools will remove 'em just fine. Vibration, OTOH, won't.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Recreational Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    Blue loctite often comes on such things as crank bolts (Campy).

    Hand tools will remove 'em just fine. Vibration, OTOH, won't.

    Good luck!
    The basic Blue Loctite is the stuff that racing teams use on parts that have to hold throughout a race (LOTS of vibration), but may have to come off in a few seconds in the pits. Browse the appropriate section of any decent auto parts store, and read the application data. I also work on classic cars and have 4 different loctite products handy, and they're used in different places and times.

    I think the only one I've never used on a bike was the bearing mount compound that takes 700 dgrees farenheit to release.
    Riding the Ohio MS Central Ohio Challenge tour, July 12th.

  8. #8
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    For a year or two, Loctite actually made a tube of the Blue threadlocking compound just for bicycles. Same stuff, just different packaging.

    I'm not sure if I'd use the red compound on a bike, but that's IMHO of course.

  9. #9
    Senior Member erader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetnsourbkr
    I recently sent an email to Phil Wood regarding my problem. I wanted to share it here, hoping to see if someone might have a simple solution I'm overlooking. Please help ....

    -------------------

    To whomever it may concern:

    I purchased one of your bottom brackets (BRT10) three years ago, and I've been
    quite satisfied with its performance as far as the bearings go. However, I've
    had this nagging problem ever since I purchased it: the cups loosen within 300
    miles after every service (once I've gotten as long as 700 miles, but they loosen
    anyway).

    My method initially was to install using your thread sealant, but that
    installation started creaking within 100 miles. I then started using waterproof
    grease, as per the LBS. I always use a torque wrench to 26 ft-lbs. This
    extended the creaking to 200-300 miles, but I'd still end up with a very annoying
    sound coming from the BB area.

    At first, I dealt with it, and since I wasn't too lazy about cleaning my bike, it
    wasn't too big of a deal. Now, however, with other things in my life wanting my
    attention, I wish that the bike (particularly the BB) didn't need so much
    attention. This has become a ride-stopping problem these days.

    I have the aluminum cups, installed on an aluminum shell, in a Look KG286. The
    threads are cleaned out with solvent every time, and regreased thoroughly.

    Please let me know what my options are, if there's a fix, or if I need to get new
    threaded cups.

    David
    06/05
    my solution was to buy a shimano UN-71. they're a better bottom bracket, imo, and much, much cheaper.

    i used a phil BB many moons ago. i had to replace the bearings the first time in 11k miles and the second time in 7k miles.

    screw that....i coulds bought 5 shimano BBs for what that phill BB cost me to buy and maintain.

    i've never had any problem with shimano BBs.

    ed rader
    Last edited by erader; 06-05-07 at 08:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erader
    my solution was to buy a shimano UN-71. they're a better bottom bracket, imo, and much, much cheaper.
    That should have been my first choice. However, I doubt that the Shimano STs actually fit Campy cranksets, unless I'm mistaken. It's a Centaur build.

  11. #11
    Senior Member erader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetnsourbkr
    That should have been my first choice. However, I doubt that the Shimano STs actually fit Campy cranksets, unless I'm mistaken. It's a Centaur build.

    is it a tapered spindle? if so i'd get a campy BB. they make good ones too for a fraction of the cost of a phil .

    ed rader

  12. #12
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    One thing that should be considered is that, despite standards, your BB tube may just be a loose fit. In any machining operation, taps and dies do not last indefinitely. When cutting tools approach the end of their useful life the cuts are just not as sharp.

    The result of this is that some threaded fits are tighter than others, based on the condition of the cutting tools. If you get a BB tube that was tapped with an aging tap it may be a bit loose. If it is loose at all then it's going to creak. The easy way to detect this is to completely clean your threads on the BB and the BB tube and see just how easy or difficult it is to screw in the BB. You should be getting some resistance most of the way and it should be a bit difficult to thread in by hand. If it's relatively easy to thread in by hand - and I've seen this often - then it's a loose fit and there is a good chance it will creak if you don't do something.

    While it's subject to debate, the way I fix this problem is to wrap the BB with some teflon tape. I have used one, two, or occasionally three layers to build up the BB threads. Try one layer, then two, then three. It will be pretty obvious when you have gone one layer too much. At that point I like to clean it all off and put on the proper thickness of tape that I now know is correct. Done properly, this will make the BB more and more difficult to install - just as it should be. You still grease the BB tube threads and put some on over the tape. This will eliminate BB installation related creaks. It will last a long time and will not be frozen solid when you get around to removing the BB in the future. You're just giving the threads a little tighter interference fit by using the tape.

    I don't ever use any type of locking compound on BBs. It's just not necessary if you use teflon tape. It's important to remember that you wrap the tape around the BB in the opposite direction of the way it threads into the BB.
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
    - Oscar Wilde

  13. #13
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Good info and explanation, cascade.

    Mark Hickey, of Habanero Cycles, is partial to the teflon & grease method. No downside in trying ... maybe even before a trial of Loctite ... which I'd still recommend if the teflon/grease thing doesn't work.

  14. #14
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
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    Thanks for the explanations. I will try the teflon method first (I couldn't find my bottle of blue loctite last night). It makes sense. However, I must question the use of grease on teflon tape: isn't the whole point of teflon primarily lubrication and sealing? In school, they told us not to use any time of lubricant on teflon-coated cables. Does this logic apply to threads?

    Edit: Yes, it is a loose fit, because it has little or no resistance as I thread it in by hand.

  15. #15
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erader
    is it a tapered spindle? if so i'd get a campy BB. they make good ones too for a fraction of the cost of a phil .
    At the time, I was going for the bling factor as well as some weight savings.

    That was me being young and stupid.

  16. #16
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    Good info and explanation, cascade.

    Mark Hickey, of Habanero Cycles, is partial to the teflon & grease method. No downside in trying ... maybe even before a trial of Loctite ... which I'd still recommend if the teflon/grease thing doesn't work.
    As it turns out, I own a Habby ;-) Great frames, BTW. Mark is an excellent source of sage information and told me exactly the same thing when I got my frame from him.
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
    - Oscar Wilde

  17. #17
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetnsourbkr
    Thanks for the explanations. I will try the teflon method first (I couldn't find my bottle of blue loctite last night). It makes sense. However, I must question the use of grease on teflon tape: isn't the whole point of teflon primarily lubrication and sealing? In school, they told us not to use any time of lubricant on teflon-coated cables. Does this logic apply to threads?

    Edit: Yes, it is a loose fit, because it has little or no resistance as I thread it in by hand.
    I have been doing this for quite a while now and have removed a lot of the BB's that I installed this way, for normal maintenance. The teflon tape holds up fine, but should be considered a one use item. Any time you remove a BB installed this way you should completely clean the threads, re-tape, and re-grease. But, that should be standard proceedure for any BB removal and re-installation, no matter what your exact method is.

    If you have a loose fit the tape&grease method should work fine for you. Best luck!
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
    - Oscar Wilde

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