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Old 06-14-09, 06:23 PM   #1
robtown
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ARGHH - I hate BB installation

Even with new frames I often have to get the BB shell re-tapped for a cartridge to install. Today I finally got around to installing the new ISIS BB into my Nashbar touring frame (nice green, lots of braze-ons).
One side went in without issues. The other tightened down by hand a few turns then seized after a couple turns with the appropiate too. I was unable to back it out. I had to go to Sears and buy a 36mm socket. It then took 30 minutes with the 1/2" socket wrench, standing on the BB shell and whacking it with a rubber mallet to remove the BB. It's removable shell is trashed, the BB shell threads are trashed! I hate life.

On the positive side, the external bearings installed flawlessly on my Ritchey Breakaway frame. I just picked up a chain and 11-32 9 speed cassette. Ritchey OCR road wheels should arrive Tuesday and I'm having a set of Ritchey WCS hubs built with CX width Salsa rims by Jermemy in AZ.
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Old 06-14-09, 06:33 PM   #2
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Sometimes it's just cheaper to let the LBS take care of the nasty jobs like headsets and BBs
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Old 06-14-09, 07:11 PM   #3
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Sometimes it's just cheaper to let the LBS take care of the nasty jobs like headsets and BBs
Yes, the headsets for that frame and another were installed for $40 last month. Last week I returned with the Ritchey and they couldn't install it's headset while I waited. It seemed the charge would be the listed $40. I went back to work and ordered the Nashbar headset tool at $40 after discounts. It arrived Saturday and I installed the Ritchey headset with no issues.

That said, I doubt if I'll every buy a fancy BB thread chaser. I've also never successfully removed an old style fixed cup side of a BB.
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Old 06-15-09, 06:31 AM   #4
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Sometimes you can pick up a used bb thread chaser I got my Hozan C-402 (set of 2 - one for each side) for less than $60. I learned the hard way (an incident not dissimilar to yours) that it's worth running the thread chaser through the bottom bracket before installing a new bb every time. It doesn't take much to screw up the threads.

I know we don't like to see bike shops going out of business, but if one in your area ever does announce it's closing the doors... well, you might be able to pick up some real useful tools at next to nothing.
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Old 06-15-09, 08:15 AM   #5
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Just a little bit of dirt, grit or paint in the BB shell will ruin your whole day, Ask me how I learned that lesson.
My rule is that the parts have to go together with just finger pressure, and with out the spindle first, If anything more than finger pressure is needed, something is amiss and should be looked into before wrenches are used. It usually just needs more cleaning, I use a spray can of brake cleaner. And put some grease on the threads.
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Old 06-15-09, 08:53 AM   #6
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Try installing a cartridge BB in a freshly repainted ca. 1960 frame. At least I don't have to worry about it coming loose.
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Old 06-15-09, 09:10 AM   #7
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Wow, I've installed a zillion bottom brackets. New frames, old frames, I've never had a problem, neve rhad to chase threads or face the shell. Now that I've written it, I guess the Bottom Bracket Fairy will have my name on file!
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Old 06-17-09, 09:24 AM   #8
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I dropped the frame and BB off with a guy who used to run the Pedal Shop in Ashburn, VA. He's got another GPX BB and the tool to chase the threads.

Meanwhile my Ritchey road wheelset came in for the CX bike. I also scored a TREK 2100 composite bike with new wheelset and commuting gear for an obscenely low price. I'm working on a cash/trade deal with a coworker. He commutes on a TREK hybrid and is tired of being dropped by the roadies. I hope to profit a slightly used HID system.
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Old 06-17-09, 03:23 PM   #9
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Does anyone make an internal thread file for English BB threads (1.37mm x 24tpi)? It sure would be a nice tool to have. bk
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Old 06-17-09, 06:23 PM   #10
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There are certain bicycle jobs I just won't do. These include, but are not limited to:

-Bottom bracket installation.

-wheel truing.

-headset installation. (Nooooo!!!)

The aggravation of these is just not worth it. I need professional hands and eyes on these jobs.

Man, I love living in close proximity to Harris Cyclery.
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Old 06-17-09, 10:31 PM   #11
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I have installed many bottom brackets and have rarely had any problem. I keep an old BB with steel cups around to use as a cheap, light duty thread chaser. I install the old BB and its harder steel threads will usually cut through any minor defects in the frame threading with firm but not extreme arm power to the wrench. Then I remove the chaser BB and install the real one. I have only come across one frame that could not be prepped in this way. I took it to my LBS and they were able to clean up the threads with the proper tools. I then installed the BB myself.
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Old 06-18-09, 04:09 AM   #12
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Even the factory messes this up sometimes. My first (this time around) bike about 10 years ago rode just fine. When I had learned enougt to want to alter and rebuild it, the BB wouldn't come out. 1 bike shop, 3 tech's and some big wrenches later and it still wouldn't come out. Diamondback was good enough to give me a new frame for my trouble and my shadow career as a bike mechanic began.
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Old 06-18-09, 07:35 AM   #13
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I have installed many bottom brackets and have rarely had any problem. I keep an old BB with steel cups around to use as a cheap, light duty thread chaser. I install the old BB and its harder steel threads will usually cut through any minor defects in the frame threading with firm but not extreme arm power to the wrench. Then I remove the chaser BB and install the real one. I have only come across one frame that could not be prepped in this way. I took it to my LBS and they were able to clean up the threads with the proper tools. I then installed the BB myself.
That's a great idea. I actually have a new set of steel BB cups that I bought last year [for some unknown reason]. I'll give that a try next time.

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There are certain bicycle jobs I just won't do. These include, but are not limited to:
...
-headset installation. (Nooooo!!!)
...
My early attempt with a 2x4 and a rubber mallet was unfruitful and embarrassing. No permanent damage was done. The recent Nashbar headset tool worked like a charm. I also got the headset cup remover and the star nut installer - they worked great. I've also used a clamp on guide for cutting forks [acquired by trade] and seat tubes successfully.
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Old 06-18-09, 07:58 AM   #14
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That's a great idea. I actually have a new set of steel BB cups that I bought last year [for some unknown reason]. I'll give that a try next time.



My early attempt with a 2x4 and a rubber mallet was unfruitful and embarrassing. No permanent damage was done. The recent Nashbar headset tool worked like a charm. I also got the headset cup remover and the star nut installer - they worked great. I've also used a clamp on guide for cutting forks [acquired by trade] and seat tubes successfully.
While you absolutely need something like the clamp on guide for cutting carbon steering tubes, I have found that an old tubing cutter with steel replacement wheels makes a beautiful cut on an aluminium steering tube. You only have to touch up the outside of the tube to remove the bulge left by the cutting pressure.
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Old 06-18-09, 08:07 AM   #15
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Have installed at least a dozen BB's over the years. Had a Ridley frame that in the end it was just more productive to have the LBS chase the threads and face the BB area.

On cutting a steerer tube. I found some clamps that are used to hang copper plumbing pipe. Faced one side to make sure it was flat. Just put the clamp on the tube after I have measured it a dozen times to be sure and works great. I know this is hard to visulaize.
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Old 06-20-09, 10:18 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
"aything more than finger pressure is needed, something is amiss and should be looked into before wrenches are used."
I learned that long ago and it has served me well. If you have to leverage something together something is wrong and you're going to regret it.
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Old 06-20-09, 10:36 AM   #17
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I've installed a number of BB's in steel, Ti and Aluminum frames ... I guess that I've been lucky because there's been nary a problem. I also made up my own tool for headset installation -- threaded rod, washers etc. -- that too went well. My son-in-law has the proper headset installation tools, including the Chris King adapters -- I used his last time -- but this time he and his tools were 1250 miles away -- I was anxious to ride the new frame and too cheap to buy the tools, so I bought the DIY parts at Ace Hardware.

I've also built and trued wheels ... so I guess that I'm a true bike nerd !
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