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Old 06-16-09, 07:03 PM   #1
onthedrive
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Rebuilding a sealed bottom bracket...?

Hey all,

A guy I bought a bike from gave me a square taper titanium bottom bracket spindle from a sealed bottom bracket (I assume it was sealed because the spindle has no cones, only a small lip on one side and a pair of recessed rings around the other that look like they would hold a circlip or snap ring). The spindle has no makers mark but its brand new, light as hell, has the right taper for my cranks and is the right length for my chainline.

My question is: is it possible to use this spindle? can I build a sealed bearing bottom bracket? I have an older shimano UN-51 with the right threads for my bike... could I rip it apart and rebuild it using this titanium spindle?

As always, any and all advice is appreciated!

Stefan
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Old 06-16-09, 07:14 PM   #2
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Why would a spindle have cones? Maybe you could take some cartridge type bb's apart and substitute that spindle, but...
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Old 06-16-09, 07:19 PM   #3
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Why would a spindle have cones? Maybe you could take some cartridge type bb's apart and substitute that spindle, but...
Old type "cup and cone" bottom brackets had races machined into the spindle that acted as the cones. The cups were the threaded parts that screwed into the bb shell and loose or caged balls were held between these races.

So, cones are the appripriate description for that type of spindle.
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Old 06-16-09, 11:20 PM   #4
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Old type "cup and cone" bottom brackets had races machined into the spindle that acted as the cones. The cups were the threaded parts that screwed into the bb shell and loose or caged balls were held between these races.

So, cones are the appripriate description for that type of spindle.
True story, they look like this (yes those lips are cones):



OP, is that the lips your spindle have, or are they more like a notch lip?
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Old 06-17-09, 12:53 AM   #5
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Doh! Makes sense...but I was just thinking of these as races and just called 'em loose bearing bb's. I see what Sheldon has to say now.
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Old 06-17-09, 06:06 AM   #6
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sounds like he needs bearing cartridges and maybe special cups to fit it in his frame

Its not a loose ball cup and cone axle

Maybe go to an engineer to see what he thinks.
Bearing cartridges are quite cheap.
either localy in the yellow pages or on Ebay
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Old 06-17-09, 06:34 AM   #7
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Perhaps we can go at this from another direction, assuming all we are told is correct. How many companies make square taper BB spindles out of ti?
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Old 06-17-09, 06:58 AM   #8
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Perhaps we can go at this from another direction, assuming all we are told is correct. How many companies make square taper BB spindles out of ti?
Phil Wood for one, in both ISO and JIS tapers. Look here: http://philwood.com/store/page44.html
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Old 06-17-09, 08:37 AM   #9
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Perhaps we can go at this from another direction, assuming all we are told is correct. How many companies make square taper BB spindles out of ti?
Stronglight made one for cartridge bearings. There's a French seller on eBay who lists them fairly regularly.
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Old 06-17-09, 11:59 AM   #10
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Phil Wood for one, in both ISO and JIS tapers. Look here: http://philwood.com/store/page44.html
I guess I assumed that if it were Phil it would say so on it, although I never did ask.
OP, What markings are on the spindle? I'm guessing that a manufacturer with enough skill to sell titanium spindles would also have enough pride to label them. The bearings you can probably get at a bearing house, the question is where do you get the cups.
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Old 06-17-09, 12:42 PM   #11
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The bearings you can probably get at a bearing house, the question is where do you get the cups.
The cartridges are most likely standard industrial bearings, available (as you point out) at any bearing supply house. As such, the cups to hold them are also going to hold standard industrial bearings, so if you have a donor BB available you might be able to scavenge some that way.
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Old 06-17-09, 12:57 PM   #12
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I have an American Classic BB that uses cartridge bearings. I think I got some for $16 at a local bearing supply a couple years ago. You might be able to get some cups from them, though they've moved on to the newer style splined axles. Maybe they have some leftovers floating around or the cups from the newer style may be compatible.
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Old 06-17-09, 02:32 PM   #13
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TA makes a tapered TI BB also , the Axix Light Pro. It doesn't use clips though either.

Stefan, why don't you post a photo, as we have no idea what your axle looks like.
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Old 06-18-09, 11:31 AM   #14
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will do... give me 8 hours...
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Old 06-19-09, 08:24 AM   #15
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8 hours....
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Old 06-19-09, 10:41 AM   #16
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sorry... that was more like 18. In any case, here is the spindle (my apologies for the pic quality). No markings whatsoever, but definitely titanium. Note the 2 groves on the left and the small lip (not a cone, just a lip) on the right.

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Old 06-19-09, 10:46 AM   #17
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Ummm... I don't see them in this thread but the pics are here:
http://s664.photobucket.com/albums/v...t=P1010450.jpg
http://s664.photobucket.com/albums/v...t=P1010453.jpg

They're even crappier than I thought...
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Old 06-19-09, 10:54 AM   #18
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Ummm... I don't see them in this thread but the pics are here:
http://s664.photobucket.com/albums/v...t=P1010450.jpg
http://s664.photobucket.com/albums/v...t=P1010453.jpg

They're even crappier than I thought...


Is that a permanent lip on the right side of the spindle?

I'm getting the feeling this was a spindle for one of the CNC crazed crank makers of the 90's, when everyone and their mother was making one.

Can you use it? ..... dunno . Even if you could manage a working BB out of it, what crank is it going to fit?
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Old 06-19-09, 02:37 PM   #19
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Not quite what I was expecting. If you can find cones of a standard size you can probably buy bearings and a snap-ring at a bearing house and hardware store. At this point however I'm wondering how much effort this is worth.

Edit: I meant cups of a standard size, not cones.

Last edited by jccaclimber; 06-20-09 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 06-19-09, 02:59 PM   #20
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It is a permanent lip... and given the lack of a logo, it probably was just 'someone and/or their mother' who made it.
If I can make a working BB, I think it should fit my campy SR cranks... the spindle seems to be standard ISO taper. But jcca is probably right - how tough getting it working remains to be seen.

Thanks for the input guys.
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