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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 12-11-01, 07:21 PM   #1
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BB questions

I am going to hammer you home wrenches to death with questions about BB's in this thread. So buckle your seat belts..Unless of course you decide not to answer my questions...What is a cup and cone BB?
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Old 12-11-01, 07:44 PM   #2
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the cups and cones are the bearing races that are inside of the bottom bracket.....i think.
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Old 12-11-01, 07:46 PM   #3
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Cup and cone is the older type of BB. This type has cups that screw into the threaded ends of the bottom bracket shell. The cup is a circular race in which the bearings run. Picture something like a shallow bowl with the center cut out. The axle or spindle has cones on each end, spaced so that they trap the bearings in the cups. The cup on the (usually) drive side is called the fixed cup or fixed race. It has to be very tight. Some people suggest that one let a shop install this type of bb because it is difficult to get the fixed cup tight enough without special tools. At home one generally does not mess with the fixed cup. The cup on the non-drive side is called the adjustable cup. It is held in place by a lockring that usually has notches. One uses a special bb lockring wrench that looks like a hook with 2 or 3 "teeth" that engage the notches.

To service such a bb, one uses the lockring wrench to unscrew the lockring, unscrew the adjustable cup, and pull the spindle out (you have to remove the cranks first), catching the bearings on a towel cleverly placed under the bike BEFORE starting the process. The bearings may be loose or in a retainer.

The other type of bb is sealed cartridge. The bearings are sealed in units that screw into the bb shell and are effectively both "fixed" since they are basically screwed in as far as they will go.

For more you really need to get a book. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-11-01, 08:12 PM   #4
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Thanks ole RainmanP...That doesn't sound like my BB..Mine is older I guess. Is there some kind of book for old bike maintenance?? Also, if you any of you guys have good sites you'd like to tell me about...I know of Harriscyclery.com If there is no book about old bikes then I may try to make one myself.
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Old 12-11-01, 08:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by fubar5
Is there some kind of book for old bike maintenance?
You should try to get a hold of a copy of "Anybody's Bike Book". It has a lot of info on older bicycle mechanics. I have an ancient copy that I found at a used book store, but it is possibly still in print (doubt it, though). The book has proven to be very useful when working on my 3 spd.
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Old 12-11-01, 08:59 PM   #6
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One of the most important aspects of working on any BB is identifying your threading. Italian and old (approximately pre-1980, although this varies by manufacturer) French bikes have RH threads on both sides, whereas British-standard (American, Japanese, Taiwanese) and Swiss-standard (Austrian, German, and post-1979 French) bikes have superior self-tightening LH threads on the drive side. Most repair manuals advise against removing the fixed cup, except to replace it, and I recommend using LocTite on French and Italian fixed cup threads.
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Old 12-11-01, 09:06 PM   #7
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My BB is not threaded at all. Mine is held in by snap rings. I haven't seen anything about a BB like mine.
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Old 12-12-01, 05:45 AM   #8
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I'm assuming you are working on an old Gary fisher? Gary Fisher (and a very few other rare manufacturers) used to use some gawd-awful BB which was pressed and clipped in. You need a special shop too to replace it, you can't do it with ordinary handtools. These BB's were not very popular (or durable), and may be obsolete by now. At the very least, expect to wait for one to be ordered, and expect the bill to be in the vicinity of $100 installed.
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Old 12-12-01, 07:41 AM   #9
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Originally posted by D*Alex
I'm assuming you are working on an old Gary fisher? Gary Fisher (and a very few other rare manufacturers) used to use some gawd-awful BB which was pressed and clipped in. You need a special shop too to replace it, you can't do it with ordinary handtools. These BB's were not very popular (or durable), and may be obsolete by now. At the very least, expect to wait for one to be ordered, and expect the bill to be in the vicinity of $100 installed.
Thanks D*Alex!! 100 bucks...... This bike is sucking my money!! And my will to live! J/K I got mine out with my hands...Not very hard. I haven't tried to put it back in yet, I need to clean the bearings up. Were they clipped in by snap rings??
What I am thinking of doing is buying a bag of stainless steel bearings from biketoolsetc and then replacing the bearing I have..It should work good as new then. I was looking at my current BB bearing and they have dings in them and corrosion all over. I dunno, I am still searching the net for info. Thanks again D*Alex!
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Old 12-12-01, 02:39 PM   #10
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hey fubar, how about you just get a new bike? lol
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Old 12-12-01, 07:23 PM   #11
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Originally posted by KleinMp99
hey fubar, how about you just get a new bike? lol
Ha ha..What a great idea...ha ha...show me the money ha ha..
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Old 12-14-01, 09:13 PM   #12
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I took one of my bearings packs and unpacked them...WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!! It took me about 2 hours to repack them..So I decided to quit while I was ahead and not do the other pack. I just degreased the second pack and got all the rust off without unpacking it...I used some bearing grease from an auto parts store, and I agree with D*Alex, its to thick for bikes. Anyway, I got my BB put back in my bike, all the rust is gone, and my BB runs smoothly..Mission: Accomplished!!!
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Old 12-15-01, 12:49 AM   #13
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Congrats, man! It will only get easier after the first time (and your BB is likely the most difficult to service ). I'm glad you put the effort into ressurecting your older (pre-Trek) Fisher. I think that these MTBs have a great deal of character. My friend still misses his CR-7 (the wacky one with the rear triangle bolted onto the front triangle - same BB as yours BTW )

How much of the work are you planning on doing on your fork/headset/stem install? It's easy to mess this up so make sure you're prepared. I think you made good choices, especially the nice snazzy stem.
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Old 12-15-01, 10:32 AM   #14
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Thanks bikerider!!! I plan to do most of the work on my bike..I was talking to Buddy and he says that I should probably get a shop to install the star-nut, so I won't be doing the star-nut. I'm confident that I can install the headset though, and the race. I am getting a FSA headset and apparently they have easy races to set, so I'll do that. I have a pipe cutter so I'll probably cut the steer tube myself..I forgot to order spacers though, so I need to get a few of those. I picke the cool Kore stem because a) the shiny finish matches my handlebars, and b) I like the look of the 3 bolt on the front, and c) I like Kore.. I can't wait for the stuff to get here!!

By the way, was your friend able to find a replacement BB?? Or did he always have the original??
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Old 12-15-01, 05:59 PM   #15
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It was never replaced. I know he had a shop work on it once but the memory is hazy as it was a long time ago. Unfortunately the cro-mo chain stay cracked (he weighs 260 lbs). He sent in the fame but had to pay for a (then cro-mo) hoo koo e whatever frame which they sold him at reduced cost He cracked that in 5 months. The next one (warranty) lasted 3. They replaced that with a very nice Mt. Tam frame which was very generous of GF but he decided to sell it to cut his losses. Oh well.

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Old 12-15-01, 07:06 PM   #16
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I've got a MT Tam...Was his cro-mo??
Fisher is big on XC racing and making light bikes, so they may not be the best frames for a 200+ lb. rider. Maybe thats why your friends kept cracking:confused:
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Old 12-16-01, 12:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by fubar5
I've got a MT Tam...Was his cro-mo??
A picture is worth 1000 words:

http://www.firstflightbikes.com/BlackCR7.html

This is a great site to see a lot of early MTBs.

http://www.firstflightbikes.com/atb.htm

Quote:
Fisher is big on XC racing and making light bikes, so they may not be the best frames for a 200+ lb. rider. Maybe thats why your friends kept cracking:confused:
Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing the frames per se. He really liked his CR7. Also, when he bought it, it was already a few years old. Not to mention the fact that he used to ride it down stairs etc. It's funny that it was the cro-mo that went and not the aluminum. He even broke the x-mart POS loaner bike they gave him between hoo koo e koos If I had the money I would probably collect old MTBs over anything else!

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Old 12-17-01, 07:27 AM   #18
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Cool link!! Thanks!
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