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  1. #1
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    Non-Threaded Bottom Bracket Shell

    I have an frame that I got for 5 dollars that is probably 30+ years old. I have some parts that I can build it up with, but the bottom bracket shell is non-threaded. Where can I get a crankset that will work with a non-threaded bottom bracket shell? Have any of you ever seen this before?

  2. #2
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    The only unthreaded bottom bracket system is the American one with the one piece crank. The BB shell would be about 2 inches in diameter

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    There are two possibilitis I can think of:

    It could be a one-piece (or 'American') crankarm bottom bracket commonly found on kid's bikes, BMXs, and department store bikes.

    Or it could be some uncommon obsolete design, such as what (I think) Fisher used in the mid-late eighties.

    If it is for a one-piece crank, you can get replacement parts through any LBS, or get another $5 and scavnge the parts you need.

    If it is some other crazy concept BB like a Fisher or something from the days of yore... good luck!

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    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    More information or a picture would be very helpful. Eg, Viscount made non-threaded BB shells. I'm sure there are others as well. Then there are eccentric BB's and the Ashtabula one-piece cranks already mentioned.

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Another option might be an American to English bottom bracket adapter.
    Last edited by Wordbiker; 06-08-09 at 05:09 PM.
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    johnlyons53-- That is not the only bottom bracket that is not threaded at all. There are others as well. Yes you may have a bottom bracket that is typical of BMX bikes where you can get an adapter to except 68mm bottom brackets I have used the one made by FMF. But if you have a typical shell diameter you can look into Mavic bottom brackets http://www.bikepro.com/products/bott...ets/mavic.html they are "floating" So you don't need threads but you need to fine tune them. There are also "press in" bottom brackets by Phil Wood and other actually newer systems. I know that people who strip out their bottom bracket can often find a solution using Mavic bottom brackets, which may be your solution as well. Well I hope that gets you going in the right direction!
    Last edited by greyghost_6; 06-08-09 at 05:05 PM.
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    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    YST makes one that will work as well. It's cheap, though.

    Klein had their own system, and I don't thing either the Mavic or YST will work.

    You need to measure the ID of the BB shell before you go spending any money or getting any more blind BF advice, including mine.
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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
    YST makes one that will work as well. It's cheap, though.

    Klein had their own system, and I don't thing either the Mavic or YST will work.

    You need to measure the ID of the BB shell before you go spending any money or getting any more blind BF advice, including mine.
    Are you saying that some clues about what type of frame, a picture or a verbal description more complete than "non-threaded" would've helped?


    Naw, I'm busting out the Ouija board.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
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    Pleasurable Pain greyghost_6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Naw, I'm busting out the Ouija board.

    One step ahead of you! Ouija boards are soo 70s its all about the crystal ball now.
    I had to re-learn how to walk once, but never needed to re-learn how to ride a bike. Cyclist for life.

  10. #10
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyghost_6 View Post
    One step ahead of you! Ouija boards are soo 70s its all about the crystal ball now.
    Well, he did say the frame is 30+ years old.

    I was being age-appropriate.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
    YST makes one that will work as well. It's cheap, though.

    Klein had their own system, and I don't thing either the Mavic or YST will work.

    You need to measure the ID of the BB shell before you go spending any money or getting any more blind BF advice, including mine.
    In order to do a proper installation of either the Mavic or YST threadless BB requires chamfering the shell.
    Good luck finding a shop with that chamfering tool.

  12. #12
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WashWizards727 View Post
    I have an frame that I got for 5 dollars that is probably 30+ years old. I have some parts that I can build it up with, but the bottom bracket shell is non-threaded. Where can I get a crankset that will work with a non-threaded bottom bracket shell? Have any of you ever seen this before?
    As others have said, this could be an early Fisher, Klein, or Viscount frame that used pressed-in cartridge bearings. If so, the frame might be worth saving. There were also frames that had 2-piece cranks with pressed-in bearing races that were - at best - cheap junk. Pictures would help figure out what your bike is.
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  13. #13
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    Merlin's also did a pressfit bearing system.

    Phil wood sells spindles and bearings to fit those shells

  14. #14
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyghost_6 View Post
    johnlyons53-- That is not the only bottom bracket that is not threaded at all. There are others as well. Yes you may have a bottom bracket that is typical of BMX bikes where you can get an adapter to except 68mm bottom brackets I have used the one made by FMF. But if you have a typical shell diameter you can look into Mavic bottom brackets http://www.bikepro.com/products/bott...ets/mavic.html they are "floating" So you don't need threads but you need to fine tune them. There are also "press in" bottom brackets by Phil Wood and other actually newer systems. I know that people who strip out their bottom bracket can often find a solution using Mavic bottom brackets, which may be your solution as well. Well I hope that gets you going in the right direction!
    EDCO also made a threadless cartridge bottom bracket that was quite nice. It used eccentric cups to lock the cartridge into the shell:



    Unlike the Mavic cartridge, it didn't need any special preparation to install.
    Last edited by JohnDThompson; 06-08-09 at 09:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowegian View Post
    More information or a picture would be very helpful. Eg, Viscount made non-threaded BB shells. I'm sure there are others as well. Then there are eccentric BB's and the Ashtabula one-piece cranks already mentioned.
    Before Viscounts they were called Lamberts (of England). From the 70's.
    Is the front fork aluminum? Rough, oversized looking fork? Could be the death fork - a Lambert for sure.
    A pic would be helpful.

  16. #16
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Does anyone but me really think the OP has anything other than a standard American ashtabula type bottom bracket?

    It's all useful esoteric info to be sure, but the odds say he's dealing with the most common type.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  17. #17
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Does anyone but me really think the OP has anything other than a standard American ashtabula type bottom bracket?

    It's all useful esoteric info to be sure, but the odds say he's dealing with the most common type.
    Hard to say without a picture. The OP could end all the esoteric speculation quite easily with just one picture.

  18. #18
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    OK, I have a few pictures. After taking the pictures, I looked at it more closely, and I was able to twist an adapter of some sort off of the bottom bracket shell. But now I have a new problem. One of the adapters is really tight, and I can't get it off. It doesn't have any tabs for a lockring wrench or anything. And btw, the brand is a Raleigh Rampar R-4






  19. #19
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Shimano freewheel removal tool.

    And now that you have it out - do you see threads?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
    Shimano freewheel removal tool.

    And now that you have it out - do you see threads?
    I have 2 different kinds of freewheel removers, but neither of them fit in properly. Yes, there are threads, and I was able to get the other one off with a vice.

  21. #21
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I love saying that name - Ashtabula. Ashtabula, Ashtabula, Ashtabula. Named after the town in Ohio where they were from originally. And then there's Guacamole. Guacamole...But, alas, there are no bike-parts named Guacamole...
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  22. #22
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WashWizards727 View Post
    OK, I have a few pictures. After taking the pictures, I looked at it more closely, and I was able to twist an adapter of some sort off of the bottom bracket shell. But now I have a new problem. One of the adapters is really tight, and I can't get it off. It doesn't have any tabs for a lockring wrench or anything. And btw, the brand is a Raleigh Rampar R-4





    Ok, that's not an Ashtabula shell, but rather a Shimano "Front Freewheel System" shell. The front freewheel system was used with Shimano's original "Positron" indexed shifting system and has been obsolete for a couple decades already. I suspect that replacement parts will need to be sourced from a donor bike.

  23. #23
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    There are solutions if you can't find age appropriate parts.

    Just about any machine shop could make a press-fit sleeve with internal threads that would accept some readily available BB. You could drill a hole (or 2) in the underside of the BB shell and weld the press fit sleeve after pressing into place for security. A bit of bondo and no one would know.

    Or, you could thread the existing shell for "adaptor" cups that are threaded on the outside and inside.

    Or, you could replace the shell with a different one seeing as the frame is lugged.

    Or, you could just replace the frame with something that doesn't have all these problems.
    I am Fred, hear me slurp my Grande Mocha.

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  24. #24
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
    ...you could just replace the frame with something that doesn't have all these problems.
    Best advice in the thread.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WashWizards727 View Post
    I have 2 different kinds of freewheel removers, but neither of them fit in properly. Yes, there are threads, and I was able to get the other one off with a vice.
    You need the esoteric Shimano TL-FW20 or its equivalent....Nevermind, see you already got it off.
    Last edited by Iowegian; 06-10-09 at 05:28 PM. Reason: lack of reading comprensionhending

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