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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 07-29-07, 05:46 AM   #1
DeeDeeRamone
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Tightening bottom bracket cups

I have a clicking sound that I've pinpointed to the bottom bracket cups being loose (thanks to Sheldon Browns' site). Im unsure however about how to tighten it.
It needs to be tightened on the right side, which is a pretty tight fit being next to the chain rings.
Do I need to take the cranks and chain wheel off or can I tighten it without doing so?
Also, any tips for what tool to use?
Thanks.
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Old 07-29-07, 05:57 AM   #2
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What kind of bottom bracket is it?
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Old 07-29-07, 06:29 AM   #3
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If it's a cartridge unit, you will have to remove the crank to get to it.

Also, assuming the frame is English threaded (1.37"x24 TPI) as most modern frames are, the drive side is left-hand threaded so it tightens counterclockwise, the reverse of "normal".
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Old 07-30-07, 05:07 AM   #4
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I have a Diamondback with a cartridge BB.
Thanks for the info HillRider, I knew that the pedal was a reverse thread, but I had no idea that the crank arm was too.
I really dont want to take it to a shop, so Im hoping I can fix it myself. Do you have any advice for someone who has never attempted a job like this on bike? I want to do it right the first time.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-30-07, 07:17 AM   #5
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The RH cup is reverse thread, not the crank arm.
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Old 07-30-07, 07:20 AM   #6
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You will need the specific bottom bracket tool. The most commonly available one is the Park BBT-2 that fits all Shimano cartridge square taper and Octalink bb's and almost all ISIS bb's.

Remove the drive side crank arm and tighten the drive side of the cartridge using the BBT-2 counterclockwise. The recommended torque is 300 - 400 inch-pounds which is way more than you'd think.

Actually the crank arm itself isn't left-hand threaded and both the fixing bolts and crank puller threads are "normal". The bottom bracket drive side is left-hand threaded as is the non-drive side pedal. Confusing huh?
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Old 07-30-07, 07:59 AM   #7
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Remove the drive side crank arm and tighten the drive side of the cartridge using the BBT-2 counterclockwise. The recommended torque is 300 - 400 inch-pounds which is way more than you'd think.
To prevent BBT-2 from falling out from the ridges in the cup, use a bolt with a nut and a fender washer. Screw the bolt into the spindle through BBT-2, with the nut and washer staying outside of BBT-2. Tighten the nut until BBT-2 presses firmly against the cup.
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Old 07-30-07, 08:05 AM   #8
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To prevent BBT-2 from falling out from the ridges in the cup, use a bolt with a nut and a fender washer. Screw the bolt into the spindle through BBT-2, with the nut and washer staying outside of BBT-2. Tighten the nut until BBT-2 presses firmly against the cup.
The bolt has to be M8x1.0mm (a finer than usual thread) for a square taper bb. For an Octalink or ISIS hollow axle bb, use a rear qr skewer to hold the BBT-2 in place.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:25 AM   #9
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I use my crank bolts with a fender to hold the BB tool in place. Just remember to loosen the bolt as you unscrew the NDS cup - I cracked one that way.
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Old 07-30-07, 01:03 PM   #10
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Speaking of BB's.... I have a Campy Chorus, used for just 2 seasons so far. How often do these need work, I mean how often should one take it apart, re-lube, grease, whatever? (Barring any accident or riding through flood waters.)
Thanks.
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Old 07-30-07, 05:17 PM   #11
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Speaking of BB's.... I have a Campy Chorus, used for just 2 seasons so far. How often do these need work, I mean how often should one take it apart, re-lube, grease, whatever? (Barring any accident or riding through flood waters.)
Thanks.
If it's a current Chorus cartridge bb, there is no need for or possibility of maintenance. They are sealed units and nothing is serviceable. You might remove it every couple of years to be sure no water is in the bb shell and to keep the threads clean and lubed but the bb itself need no attention.

Use it until it feels loose or starts to make a lot of noise then buy a new one. That should be a long time from now.
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Old 07-30-07, 07:06 PM   #12
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I do not know about the Chorus BB specifically, but in many taper BBs, once there is a problem, it suffices to replace stock cartridge bearings.
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Old 07-31-07, 06:41 AM   #13
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Shimano (other than Dura Ace Octalink) and Campy sealed units, AFAIK, aren't servicable at all. Phil Wood and a few others can have their bearings replaced.
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Old 07-31-07, 07:02 AM   #14
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^ Thanks to all!!!
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