My Crappy tire bike has a three piece bottom brack with loose bearing cones. I rode the thing for three years no problem, but earlier this summer I notice my spindel was all weird. I took the BB apart and the non-drive side cone was completely corroded. I bought me another cone and put the BB back together and everything was fine.
Untill last night...
I notice my spindel was out of wack again and thought it was just a matter of tighten the cup a little. I figured, while I had all the tools out, I would do a little bit of cleaning. I took the BB apart and one of the bearings on the non-drive cone had fallen out and the cone showed signs of corrosion.
My questions are:
1) am I doing something wrong with the assemble that I could do different to avoid this issue or is corrision just a matter of course and something I'm gonna have to live with.
2) is it worth it to by a cartridge BB and if so, what information do I need in order to make the right purchase.
I can buy UN26 Shimano cartridge bb on line for $10 here in the US. Places like Jensen and Niagara Cycle sell at that price.
My basic rule on bottom brackets, is that I rebuild the cup and spindle units, until either a cup or spindle needs to be replaced. At that point, I go with a UN26 cartridge bb. The exception is on old french or swiss threaded bbs. Thats a whole different topic.
Sounds like you are reusing loose ball bearings (bad idea) and got the count wrong. Balls just do not randomly escape.
Loose ball bearings cost about 5 cents each. Reusing old ones is false economy in my book. It takes a microscope to really see wear/defects in old bearings (unless they are obviously toast). Myself, I do not own a microscope, so I just replace them.
If you are going to continue to use spindle and cup bb, spend some time reading up on how to properly install and adjust them. You should not be having problems this quick.
Once you read up on the adjustment process, you may just decide to go with a cartridge bb instead, as its just install and go. Of course, you will need the right size, and a couple of tools.