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  1. #1
    Vern
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    Sheldon's fixed cup bb tool-genius + bb question

    after noticing a bit of play in my bb after less than two weeks of casual riding, I made a bb fixed cup tool like the one described on sheldon brown's website, from a flanged bolt, nut, and some washers. It worked amazingly well, way better than a set of pliers and a lot of cursing. I don't know if he invented the implement, but genius nonetheless.
    My question is this- I have an old raleigh bb. The fixed cup has a raised ridge across its middle, no wrench flats along the perimeter, and no lip whatsoever. It doesn't seem as though there's anything to indicate when I should stop screwing it in. I pretty much stopped when the tops of the ridges were level with the shell face, leaving a millimeter or so between the face of the cup and that of the shell, but it felt as though i could have threaded it in even further, like i could just keep turning it forever practically. It seems as though its in maybe a bit too deep as it is? So, for a cup like this, how far in should it ideally be? Also, while i applied much more torque this time using sheldon's, um, device (was going to say tool, ha), without any kind of contact between a lip/cup surface and the shell face, I don't know that this is enough to keep a reverse threaded cup from coming undone again sooner than later...is loctite a must for these kinds of cups? thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member triplebutted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    from a flanged bolt, nut, and some washers. It worked amazingly well, way better than a set of pliers and a lot of cursing. I don't know if he invented the implement, but genius nonetheless.
    That is pretty cool. Guess the inspiration was from VAR Fixed cup tools or the Campy Fixed cup tools that costs a ton of $$$$

    It looks like this




    The fixed cup has a raised ridge across its middle, no wrench flats along the perimeter, and no lip whatsoever. It doesn't seem as though there's anything to indicate when I should stop screwing it in. I pretty much stopped when the tops of the ridges were level with the shell face, leaving a millimeter or so between the face of the cup and that of the shell, but it felt as though i could have threaded it in even further, like i could just keep turning it forever practically. It seems as though its
    Its been ages since I've worked on one of those and I seem to recall just stopping when it was flush and then adjust the other side (the "adjusting cup" side).

  3. #3
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    I have some older Raleighs with the same fixed cup; the depth of the threads on the bottom bracket shell should be enough that you can screw in the fixed cup tight. At that point, the face should be just about flush with the outside edge of the shell. No loctite needed as it's reverse threaded and shouldn't come loose from the movement of the spindle.

    Neal

  4. #4
    Vern
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    yeah, i figure its secure enough. they're not kidding about needing to torque down that fixed cup though, i was a good three or four full rotations away from flush. Hozan makes one of them bb tools too, but for an old raleigh, it would be pretty ridiculous to buy a shop grade set up like that.

  5. #5
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    Park has a tool that fits those 16mm flats, the HCW-11:

    http://www.parktool.com/products/det...25&item=HCW-11

    It's actually not made anymore, but I was able to find one not long ago on eBay, I believe, or somewhere in the online retailing world.

    Neal

  6. #6
    Vern
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    yeah, i scouted around for the park tool also, but...yeah, i'm kind of really amazed at how well sheldon's universal fixed cup dealy worked, and how simple it is. i can't imagine getting anymore leverage or having any more success with something like the hcw. and the bolts, washers, and nut came out to about 5 bucks. i bought a kind of fancy bolt too, so i'm sure it could be made for even less.

  7. #7
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    The old Raleigh fixed cups were tapered. They were just screwed in as far as they would go with a pneumatic driver. The depth to which they went in varied quite a bit.

    Sheldon's big bolt method usually will do the job, but friction has it's limits. On a really tight cup it will slip and damage the brittle edges of the flats. The Park tool is handy for adjustable cups, but not sturdy enough for a really tight fixed cup. The Kingsbridge fixed cup tool worked on the same principal as a big bolt, but was a finer thread pitch for more clamping friction.

    But the only tool that will work all the time is http://www.bikesmithdesign.com/BBTool/ But for someone with only one old Raleigh it may not be worth buying. Unless the fixed cup is pitted you can do a bb overhaul with the cup in place.

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    I have never had luck with Sheldon's fixed cup tool. I always end up breaking the bolt, even if it's a grade 8 bolt.

  9. #9
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    And I tore up a fixed cup on the Zullo trying to get it off using a bench vice =/

  10. #10
    Vern
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    yeah, like everything else on the bike when i got it, the fixed cup was actually relatively loose, so i removed it with some pliers, hoping that my bb was somehow 24tpi and could take a standard cartridge. not the case, so, i cleaned up both cups and bearings, put in an accordion sleeve and new grease and put it back together...probably should have replaced the bearings while i was at it, actually. oh well. I kind of hate these old style cup and cone bbs, such a pain...those bb tools are nice indeed, but yeah, a little much for my needs. You're probably right about the bolt method, and sheldon does mention that exceptionally tight cups can snap a bolt...the bolt i bought did have a relatively fine thread though.

  11. #11
    Vern
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    tough break. i've never had any luck removing frozen seatposts, even with the hacksaw blade method, if it's any consolation. cracked a panasonic seat tube once trying.

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anomaly View Post
    And I tore up a fixed cup on the Zullo trying to get it off using a bench vice =/
    A vise would have worked better.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  13. #13
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    yeah, like everything else on the bike when i got it, the fixed cup was actually relatively loose, so i removed it with some pliers, hoping that my bb was somehow 24tpi and could take a standard cartridge. not the case, so, i cleaned up both cups and bearings, put in an accordion sleeve and new grease and put it back together...
    A while back someone posted about a successful installation of a 24 tpi cartridge unit in a 26 tpi shell, which they managed by grinding off all but the last 3 threads on the fixed side of the cartridge unit, and similarly grinding down the threads on the plastic adjustable cup. Haven't tried it myself, but they claim it worked and lasted. You can probably find the post with a bit of searching.

  14. #14
    Vern
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    yeah,i saw that post as well, and actually have e-mailed the guy who came up with the idea. sounds good, but i dont have the proper tools for the job. i've had hit or miss luck with loose bearing bbs, probably because of my inability to get things just right, intentionally at least....i know its unrealistic to expect to get absolutely no play and a perfectly smooth, easy spinning spindle with old, used parts and bearings, but...i'm also still deciding whether or not its worth having the threads re-cut to 24 tpi for an old, heavy frame, when i could just put the money towards something with better tubing and the proper threading.

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