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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 09-02-08, 04:27 AM   #1
EGreen
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When is a Bottom Bracket Done?

What are the symptoms of a Bottom Bracket on the decline and in need of a replacement?

Why I ask is because I have recurring crank creaking. The first time I went to a total of 3 mechanics. The first one whom I did not personally speak with (the set up is that the mechanics are in the basement and the sales guy reports) It was reported that he said that the BB needed to be replaced. I went to two other guys who said no. The last of which tightened everything, thoroughly cleaned an lubed my bike and I rode away with no crank noise and feeling like I was riding a new bike.

A couple of hundred miles/2 weeks later, the crank creaking has reemerged. I am wondering if the first guy was correct and that the thorough lubing just masked the problem for awhile.

That it was not lubed with 'Titanium grease' (the frame is Ti) could this be an issue?

btw this is a Record BB (over a year old) and Record ultra torque carbon cranks (double) A lot of riding year round.

Edit -The noise itself is a creaking on the right (drive train side) of the crank with every rotation- but only with pressure. It cannot be replicated on a stand.

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Old 09-02-08, 05:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by EGreen View Post
What are the symptoms of a Bottom Bracket on the decline and in need of a replacement?

Why I ask is because I have recurring crank creaking. The first time I went to a total of 3 mechanics. The first one whom I did not personally speak with (the set up is that the mechanics are in the basement and the sales guy reports) It was reported that he said that the BB needed to be replaced. I went to two other guys who said no. The last of which tightened everything, thoroughly cleaned an lubed my bike and I rode away with no crank noise and feeling like I was riding a new bike.

A couple of hundred miles/2 weeks later, the crank creaking has reemerged. I am wondering if the first guy was correct and that the thorough lubing just masked the problem for awhile.

That it was not lubed with 'Titanium grease' (the frame is Ti) could this be an issue?

btw this is a Record BB (over a year old) and Record ultra torque carbon cranks (double) A lot of riding year round.

Edit -The noise itself is a creaking on the right (drive train side) of the crank with every rotation- but only with pressure. It cannot be replicated on a stand.
On our bikes I've only had this sound when a cartridge BB is moving in the BB shell, i.e. not secured correctly. I fixed it by removing the crank and BB, cleaning everything, and reassembling. You could need the BB shell faced, or the threads could be in bad shape, or you don't have it at suitably tight torque, or the threads just need a threadlocker in place. I can't say anything about Ti grease or any special Ti issues. The right attachment is very tight, at least on old fashioned BBs.
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Old 09-02-08, 06:37 AM   #3
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Assembling the bb cups with a lot of grease or a couple of layers of plumber's teflon tape on the threads and torquing them to spec should quiet everything down for good. The recommended torque is very high (35 N-m or 310 inch-pounds) so a normal wrench won't get there unless you really lay on it.

If the bearings are really bad, there will be roughness and play you should be able to feel on the repair stand. If the bb is shot, Campy has a three year warranty on their components.

There is nothing special about "Ti grease" or Ti-prep" (anti-seize). They are standard greases and anti-seize packaged in tiny containers at hugely inflated cost.
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Old 09-02-08, 06:47 AM   #4
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Assembling the bb cups with a lot of grease or a couple of layers of plumber's teflon tape on the threads and torquing them to spec should quiet everything down for good. The recommended torque is very high (35 N-m or 310 inch-pounds) so a normal wrench won't get there unless you really lay on it.

If the bearings are really bad, there will be roughness and play you should be able to feel on the repair stand. If the bb is shot, Campy has a three year warranty on their components.

There is nothing special about "Ti grease" or Ti-prep" (anti-seize). They are standard greases and anti-seize packaged in tiny containers at hugely inflated cost.
Thanks for the well informed feedback (Both HR and RF)!
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