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Old 02-12-12, 11:54 AM   #1
captainben44
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Help needed - removing and replacing my old-shool bottom bracket!

Hi there,

I've just got into this forum! I am Benjamin, a French expat in Copenhagen and I can pratice my hobby, i.e. fixing old bikes I'm riding to my work everyday with a Peugeot from the 70s but this tread is about a Dutch bike I bought this week-end. It is in fair condition except for the bottom bracket...

Here is a genral picture of the bike (without back wheel)


I don't know at all the make and model of the bike but there is this small plate on the front:


It's written:
Wielbelasti
1939
SPR. V RIETSCH'S
SPECIAAL ZAKEN
....FRENGR 98
A-DAM-C

I don't know if anyone could help me identifying the bike...? However it's not the main issue I have.

There is a substantial slack in the bottom bracket so it requires being removed and replaced...Here comes the tricky part for me as I don't have special tools with me.

Pictures of the bottom bracket:




I have three main questions about issues I have:
1) the cotter for one pedal axle it TOTALLY built-in (not in picture). I think I could remove it in warming it up but I consider sawing the main axle....It that really stupid? I have a spare pedal axle...

2) in order to remove this type of bottom bracket with bearing direcly screwed into the frame, I have found out that I need a "pin spanner", like the one from Park Tool (green version, SPA-1C):
http://www.parktool.com/product/pin-spanner-green-spa-1
Is that what I am looking for? Does someone know the type of bottom bracket is it on my bike from the picture ("made in england"...)? I can show more pictures once removed. I also have to check if the pin size of the tool (2.9 mm) matches my bottom bracket.

3) The final step will be to replace the bottom bracket with a new one or a used one in good condition....I will invesgtate this more deeply once I have removed it. Any hope with that? If you have any advice....
The main axle is about 111 mm, the bearing diameter around 30 mm and the "frame width" around 63 mm. I will come up with exact dimensions later.

Thanks a lot for your help in advance, I hope I will make this gorgeous bike alive again!

Benjamin
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Old 02-12-12, 12:43 PM   #2
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1. You should be able to remove the stuck cotter by supporting the crank arm on a piece of wood or a piece of metal pipe stood on end and driving it out with a hammer if you don't have a proper press. It should not be necessary to saw the spindle and that would be difficult in any case as it is hardened steel. Do not pound on the cotter pin with out supporting the crank arm and frame securely.

2. If you don't have the proper pin spanner, a small punch and light hammer can be used in the holes to turn the cups.

3. A modern (either cup and cone or cartridge) bottom bracket may fit if the threading is standard "English", "Italian" or "French" and if the bottom bracket shell is a standard widthe like 68 or 70 mm. The length of the spindle will be determined by what replacement crank you choose.
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Old 02-12-12, 01:32 PM   #3
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Hi !

Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
1. You should be able to remove the stuck cotter by supporting the crank arm on a piece of wood or a piece of metal pipe stood on end and driving it out with a hammer if you don't have a proper press. It should not be necessary to saw the spindle and that would be difficult in any case as it is hardened steel. Do not pound on the cotter pin with out supporting the crank arm and frame securely.

2. If you don't have the proper pin spanner, a small punch and light hammer can be used in the holes to turn the cups.

3. A modern (either cup and cone or cartridge) bottom bracket may fit if the threading is standard "English", "Italian" or "French" and if the bottom bracket shell is a standard widthe like 68 or 70 mm. The length of the spindle will be determined by what replacement crank you choose.

Thanks for your answers!

1. It's a good tip and I wish I was aware of it before hitting so much with a hammer....that's my mystake. Now the clotter is badly damaged and hitting with a hammer seems hopeless. I will have to find a special trick to remove it You're right about the spindle, it will be hard to saw....that's tricky !

2. I don't really want to harm more the bike...I might get a proper tool which is not so expensive anyway

3. Sounds good! Will check out the exact dimensions when I the 2 first issues are sorted out.

Cheers

Ben
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Old 02-12-12, 02:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainben44 View Post
Thanks for your answers!

1. It's a good tip and I wish I was aware of it before hitting so much with a hammer....that's my mystake. Now the clotter is badly damaged and hitting with a hammer seems hopeless. I will have to find a special trick to remove it You're right about the spindle, it will be hard to saw....that's tricky !

2. I don't really want to harm more the bike...I might get a proper tool which is not so expensive anyway

3. Sounds good! Will check out the exact dimensions when I the 2 first issues are sorted out.

Cheers

Ben
The trick now is to support the crank arm and then hit the threaded end of the cotter back and forth until it breaks off. Then place a flat punch on the remaining portion of the cotter and hammer away.

When you get the replacement take in the old crank arms/chainwheel, spindle and cups. Any decent mechanic/shop should be able to provide you with the perfect replacement given the old one as a reference point.
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Old 02-12-12, 02:35 PM   #5
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Proper Cotter press is not a cheap tool, but I expect any decent shop in CPH
has that tool to do the job
though a pin punch and a hammer are low cost.


if mangled you have to buy new cotters anyhow.
You are aware that there is some hand filing the taper on the cotter ,
for best fit, right?

BTW, the fork looks bent, like it hit something.. blades have a reverse curve.
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Old 02-12-12, 02:56 PM   #6
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cheers!

Thanks for your inputs guys, it's really nice you're trying to help me with this cotter issue (kind of classic one!).

I think I will go for the cotter pusher solution, i.e. going to a cycle shop in CPH I will just try the one at the corner. With some luck, it can be at cheap cost.

I am aware cotters require hand filling! But thanks for reminding me, I learnt it quite recently.

Regarding the fork....I see what you mean but I had a proper look to it and it seems OK. No "bent" signs or fragile parts....It might be the original shape! I think the frame is in OK condition.

Cheers, Ben
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Old 02-12-12, 07:13 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forums, Ben. If your hobby is in fixing up old bikes, you should learn how to inspect and rebuilt old-style bottom brackets, rather than just slapping in a new part. ('cause there might not always be one. )

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/bbcups.html
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/bbadj.html

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Old 02-16-12, 03:34 PM   #8
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thks!

Thanks Scott for the advice and links, I will investigate that.

For info, a guy in a cycle shop in CPH did the job for free to remove the damned cotter...It just required the right tool and some experience!

Next step is to unmount the bracket properly...I'm wating for the Park Tool I bought online...I could loose the bolts on the frame (see picture) but the bike is so old that I prefer no to touch them

Benjamin
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Old 02-16-12, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
If your hobby is in fixing up old bikes, you should learn how to inspect and rebuilt old-style bottom brackets, rather than just slapping in a new part. ('cause there might not always be one. )
I love cup-and-cone square taper BBs, but cotters are truly an abomination (in the same category as front indexed shifting, plastic BB cups, stem shifters, and turkey levers). In addition, most cotterless cranksets are riveted together and not very nice. I think replacing the BB with a cartridge unit (discrete spindles and cups are getting harder to find) is a good call unless you're a stickler for keeping everything stock.

No matter what kind of tools you have, removing the fixed cup (the tool you've ordered is for the other cup) will be very difficult on anything this old. Hopefully, it will have happy little wrench flats to grab; if not, Google should tell you how to improvise a clever tool for this purpose.
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Old 02-16-12, 06:11 PM   #10
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i think this may be what dave35 is referring to.

Sheldon Brown's DIY Fixed Cup Bottom Bracket Tool:



i've used this to good effect on a number of BBs. one nice thing about it is that the tool will break (and it's cheap to make) before anything else does.
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