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Old 08-06-10, 04:22 PM   #1
social suicide
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Modern cotter crank BB

Does anybody make a sealed bearing italian thread cotter crank bottom bracket? I have a Legnano folding bike with an enclosed chainring that keeps the gook off your pants and looks cool. I would like to upgrade but keep the original look. Thanks...
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Old 08-06-10, 05:16 PM   #2
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Cottered cranks became obsolete way before cartridge bottom brackets were first put on the market so, AFAIK, no one ever built a cartridge bb for cottered cranks. In fact, by now both regular cup-and-cone bbs and the cotters them selves are rare items difficult to find.
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Old 08-06-10, 06:33 PM   #3
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Does anybody make a sealed bearing italian thread cotter crank bottom bracket? I have a Legnano folding bike with an enclosed chainring that keeps the gook off your pants and looks cool. I would like to upgrade but keep the original look. Thanks...
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/src/froog...36-mm-6861.htm

Threading isn't listed, most likely standard British. If so no help to you.

Anything wrong with your current setup SS? Might just need new bearing balls & lube. If the axle's badly pitted, you might be able to find a replacement. Yellow Jersey would be a good place to start, & Amazon.
Nothing wrong with a classic loose-ball BB, properly adjusted & lubed. Good Luck!
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Old 08-06-10, 07:27 PM   #4
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Well, well, someone does indeed make a sealed cartridge for cottered cranks. I also noticed the description says; "uses shimano style splined cups" so if the OP can find any Shimano square taper bb with Italian threading he should be able to use this bb on his bike.

He will have to look around as some older Shimano cartridge bbs have two removable cups while newer ones have the drive side threads as part of the cartridge itself and there is no separate cup to remove.

Edit: Here are some Italian threaded Shimano cups from the same source as the bottom bracket. Since Italian has the same right hand threads on both sides any two cups will do.
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/src/froog...-Types-113.htm

Last edited by HillRider; 08-06-10 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:36 PM   #5
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Never would have guessed that such a thing existed.
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Old 08-07-10, 02:24 PM   #6
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Doesn't Phil wood also make a cartridge with a Chater Lea spindle. I always thought that would be cottered but never took the time to find out.
Also, it's good to know that bb exists, not that there is anything wrong with good ol' ball n' cone.

Cheers
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Old 08-07-10, 03:24 PM   #7
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I think cottered cranks are interesting, but there's no way in hell I'd use one to "keep the look". I've had 2 bikes with them, and the damned things always come loose, or don't fit *exactly the correct 180 degree positon -- even with filing, and using the proper dia cotters, and following Sheldon's advice.

Of all the things that have come around in bicycles in the last 30 years, cotterless cranks have to be one of the best.
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Old 08-07-10, 04:39 PM   #8
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I think cottered cranks are interesting, but there's no way in hell I'd use one to "keep the look". I've had 2 bikes with them, and the damned things always come loose, or don't fit *exactly the correct 180 degree positon -- even with filing, and using the proper dia cotters, and following Sheldon's advice.

Of all the things that have come around in bicycles in the last 30 years, cotterless cranks have to be one of the best.
if the cranks arent in the correct position you put one or both of the cotters in the wrong way.
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Old 08-07-10, 05:04 PM   #9
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Sealed bearing bottom brackets for cottered cranks -- who'd-a-thunk-it. Now, if I could only find some carbon fiber buggy whips.
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Old 08-07-10, 05:11 PM   #10
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if the cranks arent in the correct position you put one or both of the cotters in the wrong way.
How can both cotters be in the wrong way?

Not so in this case anyway. In addition to your suggestion (which is certainly true) this is also possible from *slight misalignment of the cotters pressed against the spindle -- without the use of a cotter pin press in my case (just a hammer).

I'm not talking about a huge deviation from 180 degrees, but ANY deviation isn't worth messing with when you can just say to hell with cottered cranks.
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Old 08-07-10, 08:51 PM   #11
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That sealed BB for cottered cranks is hilarious. I'd sooner replace the cranks than the cup and cone BB. But to each his own. I guess some bikes need this, so I'll stop laughing.
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Old 08-09-10, 09:19 PM   #12
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Cottered cranks were/have been in use decades longer than any other system. They work fine. Just need to be properly assembled, not as simple as tightening a square taper nut or bolt.
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I think cottered cranks are interesting, but there's no way in hell I'd use one to "keep the look". I've had 2 bikes with them, and the damned things always come loose, or don't fit *exactly the correct 180 degree positon -- even with filing, and using the proper dia cotters, and following Sheldon's advice.

Of all the things that have come around in bicycles in the last 30 years, cotterless cranks have to be one of the best.
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Old 08-09-10, 09:24 PM   #13
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I bought one in about '05 for a Free Spirit 3-speed. It was a cup and cone bottom bracket from either Niagara or Bike Parts USA but had lip seals around the spindle. Just think: if you get a cartridge bb, then you won't have the authenticity of a lockring!!!
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Old 08-09-10, 10:18 PM   #14
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Cottered cranks were/have been in use decades longer than any other system. They work fine. Just need to be properly assembled, not as simple as tightening a square taper nut or bolt.
Yes, they are durable and reliable. You don't have to take a BB apart often, but when you have to take off cottered cranks, it *IS* a big pain in the tush.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:19 PM   #15
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Key to ovehauling a cottered BB is a Cotter press , a shop tool , for the purpose.. the cotter will, come out more likely Un Damaged, so can go back in again.

FWIW, a machine shop can take a pitted cottered axle, grind it down , precision grinding
not just hold it against the bench grinder !

to a common bearing size ..
then make it into a sealed bearing type , if you get the OD of the axle down precisely to 17mm
It will fit in the same Bearings Phil uses his axles are 17mm get the same OD bearing and Phil's lockrings will work..

there was a tube of stainless steel in between the bearings, on the outside, now it's aluminum.

Yea if you can't find something off the shelf , get it made , hire the local Machinist.
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Old 08-10-10, 09:31 AM   #16
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This sounds like a whole lot of work and expense to salvage what is basically an obsolete system. There are good reasons the square taper bottom bracket/crank interface replaced the cottered crank. It is lighter, stronger and easier to service.

Doing all of that to keep a cottered crank going is either a labor of love or a waste of time and money.
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Old 08-10-10, 10:07 AM   #17
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Haven't been around car collectors lately having things shiny but not changed is the name of the game.
The guy wanted to keep the bike looking as is.
My Father was a Machinist.
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Old 08-10-10, 02:08 PM   #18
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This sounds like a whole lot of work and expense to salvage what is basically an obsolete system. There are good reasons the square taper bottom bracket/crank interface replaced the cottered crank. It is lighter, stronger and easier to service.

Doing all of that to keep a cottered crank going is either a labor of love or a waste of time and money.
Do you recommend that all bikes with obsolete components be scrapped or that they should all be updated with modern components?
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Old 08-10-10, 06:20 PM   #19
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Right. It's a labor of love. Some cottered cranks look really cool. They had more elaborate designs than you see nowadays, and I wonder how much of them used hand labor, Ó la wrought iron.
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