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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 10-20-07, 08:43 PM   #1
Vissthew
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70's? Peugeot BB needs rebuilding/tightening

My crank has gotten loose over the last year. I've been riding it anyway for a while since I don't really have a choice, but I'd really like to fix it. I'm just curious if this is something I can do in a couple hours or what. OSU has a decent bike shop, what kind of special tools will I need?

My poor bike is not doing so well in the rain anymore. My crank makes some clacking noises sometimes (possibly just the pedals offsetting themselves...) and the rear wheel makes abnormal clicking sounds, like it's clicking underwater. So my master plan is to rebuild the front and rear wheel bearings as well as the crank bearings.

I guess I'm just looking for how long this will take, what kind of skills are needed, potential problems? It already looks like my crank will be hard to take apart. There is a stud and nut holding each side on the crank, and i can get the nut off but the bold seems stuck in.

Anyway, whatever advice you can give would be appreciated.
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Old 10-20-07, 11:29 PM   #2
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Sounds like cottered cranks, if you back out of this answer to the opening
screen of the Bicycle Mechanics forum, at the top, third listing is a sticky
called Sheldon Brown's shortcuts. Look on the alphabetical list for COTTERS
for a discussion of these. Basically you remove the nut and drive the cotter
pin out with a soft face hammer. Cotters can get loose and sometimes
need to be replaced. The BB itself can be loose and is tightened from the
L side of the bike frame. May need a 'special wrench' or a big screwdriver and
hammer to tighten. www.parktool.com has a repair button at the top right
where wheel bearings R&R is discussed. Sheldon Brown's site covers this
as well. All of this is easy and straight forward.
Funny clickings in the rear can be the freewheel also. A light oil drenching
through the 'cracks' in the outside of the freewheel might help. Same are
accessible from rear but this requires removal from the wheel.
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Old 10-21-07, 06:30 PM   #3
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Yep, that's what I've got (cottered crank). I'm not sure if my BB needs to be just tightened, or completely rebuilt. If it only needs to be tightened, can I do that without removing the pedal arm? My thinking is that I should give it some love, because it's pretty old. It at least needs some more grease I think.
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Old 10-22-07, 09:55 AM   #4
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Probably tightenable from the L side. Most BB use some sort of castellated
outer lock nut and as noted a tap in the slot with a screwdriver and hammer
will tighten or loosen the nut. There will probably be an inner 'nut' that is the
bearing race that will have some method of tightening, maybe pin holes for a 'pin
wrench'. Only exam will tell, and access may by limited by the crank. It is
more likely than not (far more) that the bike has not had any maintenance
since it was purchased new, or none since you did it last. A complete tear
down of the headset, BB, wheel bearings is a good idea. Pedals too!
Amazing stuff sometimes found... Minimal tool set needed for this, depends on
what you have or could run up over $100 if you have no tools at all.
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Old 10-22-07, 06:41 PM   #5
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Ok, so today I finally did something. I tightened the RH pedal arm by tapping in the cotter (supporting the crank of course). It seems to work without slipping now, so I shouldn't have to pull it out and file it.

Then I unscrewed the outer piece (sorry, lack of terminology) of the LH side of the crank. Under that I found a large nut that just needed to be tightened. This tightened up my whole crank without the need for removing the pedal arm :-)

As soon as I get some more time (Student!!), I'll try and rebuild the BB. For now it seems smooth enough, with an occasional clicking noise. Although this could also be the pedal, I noticed one seems a bit rough.

But let me tell you, that hours worth of work sure makes a HUGE difference. My bike feels nice and solid now. I forgot how much a loose crank bearing and pedal annoys me since I've been dealing with it for a while.
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Old 10-24-07, 11:05 AM   #6
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I'm no Peugeot expert, but I assume it's a French threaded bottom bracket, which is obsolete. This doesn't mean you can't find them; just that it takes searching and they're generally pricey. The moral is to take care to service the one you have if it's still functional. The folks in the bike shop should be able to help you with the job.
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