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Old 02-21-09, 10:15 PM   #1
HopliteGrad
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How do I size BB ball bearings and do Home Depot/Loews carry them?

The gist is in the title. Picked up a Craigslist Schwinn Crisscross for my girlfriend today and just finished pulling the bottom bracket. The bearings in there are pretty hurt; the grease had long since dried out. Luckily the spindle's ok.

Figure a bunch of new bearings will be much cheaper than a new cartridge BB.

So, how do I figure out what size the little buggers are, and does Home Depot or Loews carry loose ball bearings? My local shop is closed on Sundays, which I respect a lot, but it doesn't help me in my quest to rebuild this bike for my girl.
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Old 02-21-09, 10:56 PM   #2
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Don't think home centers carry BB's, but can't say for sure. Can't imagine them having grade 25 BB's.
Figure the size by measuring the diameter or comparing an old one to new ones. 1/4 inch should be what you need.
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Old 02-21-09, 11:15 PM   #3
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Park Tool makes a spoke-measurement gauge. It looks like a ruler and it also has holes in it that you can drop a bb into and it says how big the hole is.

http://www.parktool.com/products/det...=18&item=SBC-1

Other companies make a similar device. Shop around.
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Old 02-21-09, 11:32 PM   #4
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You'll need 1/4" bearing balls, 22 total (11 each side). Get Grade 25 if you can. Your bike shop or a bearing supplier will have them, not a home center.
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Old 02-21-09, 11:34 PM   #5
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If it was mine, I'd put a cartridge BB in it.
Life it too short to spend time fussing with non-cartridge bearings.
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Old 02-21-09, 11:53 PM   #6
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If it was mine, I'd put a cartridge BB in it.
Life it too short to spend time fussing with non-cartridge bearings.
So how much time is he going to save by waiting to get a cartridge BB or new bearings at the LBS. NO difference!
How much money is he going to save?
$20-30+ plus a BB tool or $2 worth of BB's?

Life may be short, so you may as well have some money to enjoy it!
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Old 02-22-09, 12:05 AM   #7
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My cup & cone bottom-bracket run so smooth it's almost religious. I'll take loose balls anytime. Though I was recently surprised to find how smooth Hollowtech II is. I'd avoid cartridges and Octalink/ISIS though. My old Campy Record BB, which I overhaul yearly, still runs like it's first day. I expect it to outlive me - barring disasters - and still be like-new.
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Old 02-22-09, 07:44 AM   #8
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My cup & cone bottom-bracket run so smooth it's almost religious. I'll take loose balls anytime. Though I was recently surprised to find how smooth Hollowtech II is. I'd avoid cartridges and Octalink/ISIS though. My old Campy Record BB, which I overhaul yearly, still runs like it's first day. I expect it to outlive me - barring disasters - and still be like-new.
+1 Loose balls are fine. I buy them by the bag (100 to 144 depending on size) from Niagara. Include them with a larger order so that the shipping doesn't get silly.
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Old 02-22-09, 07:58 AM   #9
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I don't think home centers or hardware stores carry them and certainly not in the preferred Grade 25 version (the numbers refer to size and roundness uniformity and lower is better). An auto parts store might have them if you can't get to a bike shop.
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Old 02-22-09, 09:41 AM   #10
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I don't think home centers or hardware stores carry them and certainly not in the preferred Grade 25 version (the numbers refer to size and roundness uniformity and lower is better). An auto parts store might have them if you can't get to a bike shop.
Autozone or similar might fix him up on a Sunday.
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Old 02-22-09, 12:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
So how much time is he going to save by waiting to get a cartridge BB or new bearings at the LBS. NO difference!
How much money is he going to save?
$20-30+ plus a BB tool or $2 worth of BB's?

Life may be short, so you may as well have some money to enjoy it!
That's pretty ironic seeing as how you need to overhaul it x10 before a cartridge bb wears out. Life is short but money doesn't buy time. Oh how I wish it did.
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