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


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-15-08, 07:55 AM   #1
Hydrated
Reeks of aged cotton duck
Thread Starter
 
Hydrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Middle Georgia, USA
Bikes: 2008 Kogswell PR mkII, 1976 Raleigh Professional, 1996 Serotta Atlanta, 1984 Trek 520, 1979 Raleigh Comp GS, 1995 Trek 950, 1979 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist
Posts: 1,175
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Should I convert my bottom bracket?

I've been thinking for a while about converting my cup/cone bottom Bracket to a new sealed cartridge type... what do you guys think?

This is on my 1984 Trek 520, and I love that bike. I bought it brand new in 1983 as soon as the new model hit the floor in my LBS, and I've been riding it ever since. It is my daily commuter and gets about 20 to 25 miles every day rain or shine... so maintenance is an issue for me.

The old girl still has the original Maillard front hub and cup/cone bottom bracket, but I've gotten tired of repacking and adjusting the bearings again and again... so I'm looking at replacing the old BB with a modern one so as to eliminate the maintenance issues.

So I have 2 questions for you folks:
  1. Since the old cup/cone BB still works perfectly with no noise or problems... should I just leave it alone? Should I just shut up and continue to grease and adjust the BB that has served admirably for 25 years?
  2. If I do the conversion... what is involved in doing it? Do I need to modify the BB housing or anything? How do I actually shove a cartridge bearing set in there?

I sure appreciate any input that you guys have...
Bobby
Hydrated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 08:16 AM   #2
mparker326 
Senior Member
 
mparker326's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Bikes: Schwinn Paramount P15, Fisher Montare, Proteus, Rivendell Quickbeam
Posts: 1,970
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I vote for option 1. How often do you clean and repack? What is the condition of the bearings/cones/old grease when you repack?
mparker326 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 08:27 AM   #3
RK1963
Senior Member
 
RK1963's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I vote for option number 1 as well. Even though I ride my "cup and cone" equipped bike every day, I don't think I need to clean mine more than once every two years.---except, of course, if I get caught in a rainstorm.

I like the old school set up, as it appears to spin more freely and smoothly.
RK1963 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 08:35 AM   #4
mattface
Senior Member
 
mattface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Montpeculiar, VT
Bikes: Soma Rush, Fuji Cross, Raleigh Technium Mtn Bike, Ross 10 speed with Shimano 600.
Posts: 3,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Whatever you do, hang onto the cup and cone BB. After you've thrown out a couple of used up cartridge bottom brackets you might want it back. You can repack your old cup and cone BB every 2 years or replace your cartridge BB almost as often. Is it really a tough choice?
mattface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 08:50 AM   #5
ricohman
Senior Member
 
ricohman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan
Bikes:
Posts: 2,464
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I can't believe it lasted this long.
You must do top notch service!
Anyway, I have converted a couple of my bikes to cartridge and its worked out very well. And when you figure out how much Suntour BB's are selling for compared to a nice sealed unit it made no sense to keep my old BB in service any longer.
I did keep the old BB's though.
ricohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 09:12 AM   #6
evwxxx
FalconLvr
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SW Virginia
Bikes: 62 Falcon, 58 Raleigh Lenton Gran Prix, 74 Raleigh Pro, 75 Raleigh Int, 75 Raleigh Comp, 76 Colnago Super, 75 Crescent, 80 Peugeot PX10, plus others too numerous to mention!
Posts: 1,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cartridge unit should slide right in to yours, 68mm I presume, just need to get the length right. You will need a new "special tool" to put it in/take it out, but it is cheap and widely available.
evwxxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 09:18 AM   #7
Hydrated
Reeks of aged cotton duck
Thread Starter
 
Hydrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Middle Georgia, USA
Bikes: 2008 Kogswell PR mkII, 1976 Raleigh Professional, 1996 Serotta Atlanta, 1984 Trek 520, 1979 Raleigh Comp GS, 1995 Trek 950, 1979 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist
Posts: 1,175
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RK1963 View Post
Even though I ride my "cup and cone" equipped bike every day, I don't think I need to clean mine more than once every two years.---except, of course, if I get caught in a rainstorm.
Rain doesn't frighten me at all, so I ride in it as long as there is no lightning!
So I repack my BB and hubs every 4 or 6 months... dunno... maybe that's more often than I need to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
What is the condition of the bearings/cones/old grease when you repack?
Everything seems all right in there... no excessive wear on the races or anything. I have replaced the bearings themselves a couple of times over the years... mainly just to ensure that they weren't the source of any undue friction. The grease is not normally gritty or gummy when I clean it out... prolly because I do it too often!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
I can't believe it lasted this long.
You must do top notch service!
Yeah... I'm kind of OCD when it comes to this. I only use Phil Wood Waterproof grease, and clean out ALL of the old grease when I repack. I don't just add new grease to the old stuff... everything gets yanked out and cleaned with solvent before reassembly and adjustment. Maybe I'm going overboard, but she does still spin smoothly after all these years!


Maybe you guys are right... I should just leave it stock. I've made those Suntour Cyclone derailleurs last, so surely I can keep the BB going too!
Hydrated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 09:44 AM   #8
Squeazel
Luddite
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Univega Gran Turismo, Cannondale Synapse, Bianchi Aquiletta Folder
Posts: 276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 for option 1. At least for me, a well-adjusted and unpitted cup n cone BB feels soooo nice an smooth compared to a generic cartridge unit. If you don't have one of those plastic liners, maybe that will help the bearings last a bit longer by keeping crud from the openings in the BB from falling into the workings, and you may not have to take it apart as often,
Squeazel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 10:03 AM   #9
Louis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Bikes:
Posts: 4,866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I still prefer the old school BB's, although I must admit the new ones are super easy to install and there is no maintenance.

I would say your decision should be based on how much you hate servicing the old BB.
Louis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 10:35 AM   #10
Mike552
Padovano
 
Mike552's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston
Bikes:
Posts: 695
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Keep it old school.
Mike552 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 10:47 AM   #11
Ranman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodstock, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+ I for keeping it original. Have you tried wrapping pipe cleaners around the spindle to limit the amount of crud that gets into the BB?
__________________
'84 Trek 660 , '88 Trek 1500 ,'89 Trek 400 , '97 Trek 720 , '99 Trek 2200, '02 Trek 520
Ranman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 11:32 AM   #12
mattface
Senior Member
 
mattface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Montpeculiar, VT
Bikes: Soma Rush, Fuji Cross, Raleigh Technium Mtn Bike, Ross 10 speed with Shimano 600.
Posts: 3,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
See in 25 years he's never GOTTEN any crud in his bottom bracket, he's being OCD about repacking with waterproof grease at least twice as often as necessary, and if he's gonna be that way about it he definitely shouldn't use a cartridge bottom bracket. If it's really well sealed the grease pack MIGHT last twice as long as cup and cone, which means what, he's got a year before it no longer meets his OCD standards? You can't add more grease to a cartridge BB, so he's gonna want to throw it out at the first sign of grit. Also the better the seals, the more drag that is introduced by the seals.

On the other hand if he's sick of repacking his BB every six months, he could just try waiting a year.
mattface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 01:15 PM   #13
Noah Scape
can't member
 
Noah Scape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Iowa City
Bikes:
Posts: 1,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have no beef with cartridge units. I think the better quality ones are fine. In fact, I thought they were great when they first started to penetrate the market I got over that and now I prefer the serviceability of the old school bottom brackets. I also keep about 50-60 spindles in various lengths and tapers and lots of cups, which is nice (and cheaper) when you want to make crankset changes.
Noah Scape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 01:53 PM   #14
lotek
Forum Admin
 
lotek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: n.w. superdrome
Bikes: 1 trek, serotta, rih, de Reus, Pogliaghi and finally a Zieleman! and got a DeRosa
Posts: 17,702
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm going to take the alternate path here and say go for a good
sealed bearing BB, by that I mean Phil Wood. It will last practically
forever.
If this weren't a daily rider/commuter I'd say option 1.

Marty
__________________
Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
Odio la gente, tutti.


Want to upgrade your membership? Click Here.
lotek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 02:10 PM   #15
Bill Kapaun
Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Bikes: 86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
Posts: 9,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
I'd stick with servicing the cup & cone set up.
The thing I would do that is different is just stock up on grade 25 BB's and replace with new each time. It saves the cleaning/inspection time. I can get BB's from my LBS for $.05 ea. For $1.10, I don't have to trust my "iffy" vision.
Bill Kapaun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-08, 07:22 AM   #16
RobbieTunes 
Idiot Pro Tempo
 
RobbieTunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NC
Bikes: at Pedal Room
Posts: 20,172
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
I like the old school BB because I like to work on my bikes.
I like the cartridge BB on one of my bikes because it fits my cranks (Octalink).
I like the Bontrager Race-light version with he bearings in the collars, but at first I thought it was missing parts.

I let the cranks I want to use dictate. If they're square taper, I go with the simple old school BB.
I've had a spare one for about a year now, and haven't needed it yet. Mr. Kapaun above is right on the money, 5c per bearing and good grease.

For a C&V bike, there's just more fun in taking apart an old Ofmega or Campy and having a look-see.
I even like taking apart, cleaning, and lubing the skewers. It's all therapy.

In fact, there's a certain BF member who traded me a nasty Bianchi frame for a wheelset, and he promised me a Campy BB.......If you're reading this, maybe you could send it?
__________________

Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

Who drummed for Thoreau?

1985 Raleigh Competition Racing USA Series-Coleman made me do it.....
1987 Bridgestone Radac - Aluminum
1988 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Master - Steel
1989 Centurion Carbon-R - Carbon Fiber

http://www.pedalroom.com/members/RobbieTunes
RobbieTunes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-08, 07:34 AM   #17
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
Posts: 16,943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I have a Campagnolo cartridge in Capo #1 and old school cups and loose bearings (no cages) in everything else. If anything, one pays a small weight and drag penalty for the low-maintenance convenience of the cartridge system -- I do not see it as mechanically superior in any way.
__________________
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-08, 09:27 AM   #18
CardiacKid
SNARKY MEMBER
 
CardiacKid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South Austin
Bikes:
Posts: 2,829
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Remember the motto of our local Ford dealer. "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."
CardiacKid 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 06:22 AM.