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  1. #1
    If it were me ltsnotme's Avatar
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    Need a new bottom bracket for an old road bike

    I need to replace a cup-and-cone bottom bracket, but i can't figure out what kind i need. The shell threading seems to be english (right side is reverse-threaded), but the width is 70mm. All english cartridge bb's are either 68mm or 73mm, and all 70mm bb's seem to be italian. Is it not possible to replace a cup-and-cone bb with a cartridge bb? Can i take an italian 70mm bb and switch the cups? or should i just use 73mm english with spacers?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    You should verify what BB threads your frame has. What's the make/model/year of the bike?
    An Italian BB cup has a diameter of 36mm. An English one will be 34.8mm.

  3. #3
    If it were me ltsnotme's Avatar
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    I don't really know the make/model or the year of the bike. I got it from a friend about 8-9 years ago. It used to have a sticker that said Tourney, and also one on the head tube that said Free Spirit. That could be it, but i couldn't find any information on that. And the inner diameter of the shell is 34.6mm.

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltsnotme View Post
    I don't really know the make/model or the year of the bike. I got it from a friend about 8-9 years ago. It used to have a sticker that said Tourney, and also one on the head tube that said Free Spirit. That could be it, but i couldn't find any information on that. And the inner diameter of the shell is 34.6mm.
    Free Spirit? If that is what you have, you are looking at a Sears ten speed. Send us a pick of the rear drop-out. That will tell the tale. Is the crank the typical single-piece "Ashtabula" design?

    Don't spend a lot of money on the hardware unless the bike has sentimental value or it fits like a glove and you can't part with it.

    I would start by junk picking almost any '70's/80's vintage Huffy, Sears (Free Spirit) or Schwinn and harvesting the parts from it.

    If you have troubles, private message me. I will see what I have.
    Mike

  5. #5
    If it were me ltsnotme's Avatar
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    That's probably what it is. I figured it was a cheap frame, but i want to rebuild it. The crank was a 3-piece cottered one though. Yeah, if you had any suitable hardware in black, that would be great (i'm building it in all-black). So far, I got a headset, a stem, and a handlebar . What's with the bottom bracket though? Is there a chance i can replace it with a cartridge?

  6. #6
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltsnotme View Post
    That's probably what it is. I figured it was a cheap frame, but i want to rebuild it. The crank was a 3-piece cottered one though. Yeah, if you had any suitable hardware in black, that would be great (i'm building it in all-black). So far, I got a headset, a stem, and a handlebar . What's with the bottom bracket though? Is there a chance i can replace it with a cartridge?
    Three piece crank on a Free Spirit? Ya, it could happen. Sears actually offered better bicycles than they got credit for offering. Hmm. Any hint of where the bike was made? Otherwise, you will just have to mic out the parts to see what size they are. I always have a tough time getting the drive side bearing cup out of those old frames, so good luck with that. You might want to see how far you get in dis-assembly before you start buying parts.

    Good question about replacing the BB with a cartridge. It can sometimes be done. It depends on the BB on the bike. This might be the time to bring the frame to a good LBS and see what he has to say. You can order cartridges from Nashbar for under $10.00, but if you get the wrong hardware, it costs you.
    Mike

  7. #7
    stay free. frankstoneline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    Three piece crank on a Free Spirit? Ya, it could happen. Sears actually offered better bicycles than they got credit for offering. Hmm. Any hint of where the bike was made? Otherwise, you will just have to mic out the parts to see what size they are. I always have a tough time getting the drive side bearing cup out of those old frames, so good luck with that. You might want to see how far you get in dis-assembly before you start buying parts.

    Good question about replacing the BB with a cartridge. It can sometimes be done. It depends on the BB on the bike. This might be the time to bring the frame to a good LBS and see what he has to say. You can order cartridges from Nashbar for under $10.00, but if you get the wrong hardware, it costs you.
    I had an older FS12 from sears with a similar 3 piece cottered crankset. I still have the cranks lying around as well as the bottom bracket, though the frame is long gone. I was able to put a standard cartridge bottom bracket in mine just fine, though you may have a different variety from the one i had.

    As for getting the cup out, I pulled the non drive side cup off and pulled it apart that way, then stuffed the hole in the cup with a sock and used some WD40 to loosen the seized threads and with some leverage and a big wrench off she came.
    xoxo David
    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim View Post
    katana's out frank! always be ready.
    <edited>

  8. #8
    If it were me ltsnotme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    Three piece crank on a Free Spirit? Ya, it could happen. Sears actually offered better bicycles than they got credit for offering. Hmm. Any hint of where the bike was made? Otherwise, you will just have to mic out the parts to see what size they are. I always have a tough time getting the drive side bearing cup out of those old frames, so good luck with that. You might want to see how far you get in dis-assembly before you start buying parts.

    Good question about replacing the BB with a cartridge. It can sometimes be done. It depends on the BB on the bike. This might be the time to bring the frame to a good LBS and see what he has to say. You can order cartridges from Nashbar for under $10.00, but if you get the wrong hardware, it costs you.
    Nope, nothing on where it was made. The bottom of the bb shell is stamped with "45 456390" and "G 00206882", but that's about it. I didn't really have a problem stripping the bike. Everything came off fine. I'm taking the frame to a blaster on tuesday, and then i'll start painting.

    Quote Originally Posted by frankstoneline View Post
    I had an older FS12 from sears with a similar 3 piece cottered crankset. I still have the cranks lying around as well as the bottom bracket, though the frame is long gone. I was able to put a standard cartridge bottom bracket in mine just fine, though you may have a different variety from the one i had.
    Do you, by any chance, remember what size the bottom bracket was, width- and threading-wise?

  9. #9
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    If the drive-side cup is "reverse threaded" it is almost certainly English. The 70 mm shell width can be handled in one of three ways:

    1. As you mentioned, buy a 73 mm bb and add spacers.

    2. Have the bb shell faced by your LBS to remove the extra 2 mm and use a standard 68 mm bb.

    3. Find one of the Shimano UN-series bottom brackets that has a metal nds cup. These don't have a lip on them and can be threaded into the bb shell past flush until they bottom on the cartridge itself.

  10. #10
    If it were me ltsnotme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    If the drive-side cup is "reverse threaded" it is almost certainly English. The 70 mm shell width can be handled in one of three ways:
    ...
    3. Find one of the Shimano UN-series bottom brackets that has a metal nds cup. These don't have a lip on them and can be threaded into the bb shell past flush until they bottom on the cartridge itself.
    Yeah, i thought of doing it that way. So this won't interfere with the chainline as long as the spindle is the correct length? or do i have to compensate by choosing a slightly longer spindle?
    Also, would i have a problem using a truvative crankset (including the bb) with shimano everything else?

  11. #11
    stay free. frankstoneline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltsnotme View Post
    Nope, nothing on where it was made. The bottom of the bb shell is stamped with "45 456390" and "G 00206882", but that's about it. I didn't really have a problem stripping the bike. Everything came off fine. I'm taking the frame to a blaster on tuesday, and then i'll start painting.



    Do you, by any chance, remember what size the bottom bracket was, width- and threading-wise?
    I was converting the bike to fixed, and used a sugino cartridge bottom bracket. It was one of the ones that you thread in on one side and then tighten in a cup on the other until it sits firm. I think that would be the best fix (I'm pretty sure someone metioned it before).

    http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...roducts_id=656
    thats the one I used, though if you want to maintain the bike with a road double you'll need a matching bottom bracket.
    xoxo David
    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim View Post
    katana's out frank! always be ready.
    <edited>

  12. #12
    If it were me ltsnotme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankstoneline View Post
    I was converting the bike to fixed, and used a sugino cartridge bottom bracket. It was one of the ones that you thread in on one side and then tighten in a cup on the other until it sits firm. I think that would be the best fix (I'm pretty sure someone metioned it before).

    http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...roducts_id=656
    thats the one I used, though if you want to maintain the bike with a road double you'll need a matching bottom bracket.
    Alright, that's what i'll do then.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltsnotme View Post
    I don't really know the make/model or the year of the bike. I got it from a friend about 8-9 years ago. It used to have a sticker that said Tourney, and also one on the head tube that said Free Spirit. That could be it, but i couldn't find any information on that. And the inner diameter of the shell is 34.6mm.
    Sears used to import bikes made by Styer-Daimler-Puch from Austria. Since it has a cottered crank, it is likely from that era. They were decent bikes, and ranged from inexpensive, all steel similar to Shwinn's Varsity, up to 531 tubing and alloy components on the top of the line bikes.

  14. #14
    If it were me ltsnotme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
    Sears used to import bikes made by Styer-Daimler-Puch from Austria. Since it has a cottered crank, it is likely from that era. They were decent bikes, and ranged from inexpensive, all steel similar to Shwinn's Varsity, up to 531 tubing and alloy components on the top of the line bikes.
    Judging by the 2-piece rear drop-outs, I think this bike is one of the more inexpensive ones.
    Although the hardware was all shimano.

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