Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-11-11, 02:41 PM   #1
himespau 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
cup and cone or cartridge bb for me?

I'm going to be replacing my crankset with a new (to me) one I got off ebay. It's occurred to me that I haven't done anything to service my bb in the 3+ years (I don't ride a ton so only 1500 miles or so) that I've had the bike and, given the dirty gummy state of the chain when I bought it, I'm not sure the previous owner did anything to it either. So that'd imply that, in the 15 or so years this bike's been around, nothing's been done to it and when I'm pulling the crank anyway, this might be the perfect time.

Currently, the bike has a cup and cone bb with a rather non-standard size (if bikepedia is to be believed) of 68x120 mm. When I bought my crankset, the seller threw in a cartridge type bb (Shimano UN-54) that he said was 68x118 (or maybe 115, but he was pretty sure it was 118). My calipers are at work at the moment, so I haven't gotten around to checking either measurement.

Given I've never serviced or replaced a bb before, if I want to do something to mine, the way I see it, I have 2 options. Buy a bb wrench and pin spanner for the current setup and some new bearings (15 years of abuse, why not drop a few bucks on new bearings) and use the current bb. Or I could pay an lbs to remove my current bb (why buy tools for a one off thing?) and either put in the cartridge bb I have if it's the right size or buy a new one and a tool to remove it.

The first option seems overall cheaper to me ($25-30 for the two tools, a few bucks for some bearings and I've got a bunch of grease), but is that the better option? Would I be better off in the long run going with a cartridge bb? Or should I just leave the bb the hell alone as it doesn't seem to be causing me any real problems, it's just a convenient time to service it and I haven't done that before?

Oh and yes, my current bb and the cartridge are both JIS square taper, so that's not an issue.
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 02:49 PM   #2
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,686
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
You can't know for sure until you field strip and examine the existing BB. If the cups and spindle are in good shape, then it's only am matter of new balls an pennies worth of grease and you're good to go. But if either of the cups or the spindle are worn to where there's pitting or gouging of the ball track, then it's replacement time.

You have to choose between the convenience and ease of a cartridge system, or the serviceability of another cup/come system. My bias is to the user serviceability, but many others disagree. I suspect the key factor is how well and quickly you can install and adjust a cup/spindle BB. But it's your call.

As for the cost of the tools, it gets tricky. Obviously a single splined cup tool for a cartridge BB is less expansive than the three spanners needed for a cup/spindle BB, but you still have to buy or borrow the tools for your BB to know where you stand.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 02:59 PM   #3
himespau 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
3 spanners? I'm only seeing 2 for cup/spindle, but then I'm probably missing something. Fixed cup removal?
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 03:40 PM   #4
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,686
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
3 spanners? I'm only seeing 2 for cup/spindle, but then I'm probably missing something. Fixed cup removal?
Yes, the third wrench is for the fixed cup. I have seen some sets that do it with 2 wrenches, having the fixed cup tool on the other end of the pin spanner, but many don't. You don't need the fixed cup tool to examine and service the BB, but you will if you want to change to a cartridge.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 03:46 PM   #5
wrk101
DRF aka Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
Posts: 19,973
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
My favorite bb tools for vintage bikes are the Sugino branded ones. Then you only need two tools. Unfortunately, they are out of production, and have gotten pricey. I see one set on ebay right now, $90 bin......

+1 To below, have a shop pull it for you, and install the cartridge unit instead.

Last edited by wrk101; 09-11-11 at 04:24 PM.
wrk101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 03:48 PM   #6
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,686
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
My favorite bb tools for vintage bikes are the Sugino branded ones. Then you only need two tools. Unfortunately, they are out of production, and have gotten pricey. I see one set on ebay right now, $90 bin......
I think I have a few, if anybody's interested. Brand new, unused, for $35.00 including shipping within the USA.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 04:09 PM   #7
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 19,714
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 464 Post(s)
Fixed cup removal /and a 15mm open end is 1 wrench
lock ring hook spanner is a 2nd tool ,
and the pin spanner for the adjustable cup are a 3rd.

OTOH by going to a common Shimano UN-?? cartridge bb
there is just a single spline installation tool..
If you are not interested in doing maintenance of the loose ball BB
no reason to invest in the tools ,
just get a shop to fit the cartridge BB and be done with it.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 04:35 PM   #8
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Bikes:
Posts: 7,577
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
If you are not interested in doing maintenance of the loose ball BB
no reason to invest in the tools ,
just get a shop to fit the cartridge BB and be done with it.
+1

If you decide to use the cartridge BB no need to buy all the tools, especially if you never end up using them again.

I too prefer loose ball BBs simply for the serviceability. Something about not being able to fix a cartridge unit bugs me. Once it's shot, it gets thrown out and needs a whole new unit. I know they last quite a while, but still...
FastJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 07:54 PM   #9
himespau 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
you know, a mechanic's time around here is ~$75/hour (not that he sees all that). If they charge me a half hour's time to pull the bb and install a cassette, it's about breaking even to buy the tools even if just to check.

Since I'm putting a road crankset on an old rigid mountain bike (it currently has a biopace touring crankset on it, so I'm confident it can handle the extra two teeth the road crankset has given it can fit the oval of the biopace), I'd like to preserve the spindle length if possible to keep the chainline the same, so I'll probably at least give the current loose bb setup a try (something the guy I got the cartridge bb from made it sound like it might be more a 115 mm, so I might have to buy a new cartridge one anyway).
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-11, 08:12 PM   #10
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Bikes: copy/paste links: http://velospace.org/node/36949 http://velospace.org/node/47746 http://velospace.org/node/47747
Posts: 7,099
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 serviceability.

Inbuilt obsolescence sucks balls.
Kimmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-11, 07:49 AM   #11
himespau 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
As far as a fixed cup tool, can I just use the Sheldon Brown bolt method? That looks pretty workable to me. I guess, I don't know if it works in reverse though to finish tightly screwing a cup back in.
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-11, 08:41 AM   #12
mikezs
Noob
 
mikezs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Essex, UK
Bikes: Specialized Rockhopper Expert Disc 2009, Giant Boulder 510 Sports 1999, Olympic Competitor 1978
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
As far as a fixed cup tool, can I just use the Sheldon Brown bolt method? That looks pretty workable to me. I guess, I don't know if it works in reverse though to finish tightly screwing a cup back in.
It should be self tightening, but just making the bolts really tight and then (un)screwing it back in with a bit of loctite should be enough?
mikezs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-11, 09:55 AM   #13
CACycling
Senior Member
 
CACycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxnard, CA
Bikes: '08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX
Posts: 4,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I'd like to preserve the spindle length if possible to keep the chainline the same,
Keeping the spindle length the same won't necessarily kep the chainline the same. Spindle length is mostly determined by the crankset, not the frame.
CACycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:52 AM.