Servicing a cup and bearing (non-cartridge/non-ISIS) bottom bracket DIY. This DIY shows how to service a Hatta cup and cone bottom bracket.
These same steps may be applied to most other cup and bearing styled (non-cartridge/non-ISIS) bottom brackets with minor adjustments.
Tools (from top to bottom):
-Plastic/Glass tub and rags (cleaning of parts)
-Hex wrenches (crankarm bolts)
-15mm box (crankarm bolts)
-Pencil (check for pitting)
-Pin spanner (BB cup removal)
-Channel locks (various)
-8/9mm, 10mm, and bottle opener (chain tensioner, opening beer)
-14mm socket (crankarm bolts)
-Screwdriver (chain removal – depends on chain…)
-Lockring/Fixed Cup Wrench
1. Removing the cranks
a. Remove chain. This chain requires a screwdriver. Others may be masterlink or pin style. Check with your chain manufacturer. This required me to loosen the rear wheel (15mm box wrench and 10mm open wrench for MKS chain tensioner).
b. Remove crankarm bolt. Depending on manufacturer, this might be a 14mm bolt (use a 14mm box or socket wrench) or 8mm center bolt. This specific bolt here is 8mm center, hence the hex set.
c. Remove crankarm using crank puller. Make sure you have the correct style puller. The one required for this bottom bracket has a smaller head on it for tapered spindles. NOTE: Make sure you engage all possible threads on the crankarm/puller. This will minimize the chance of stripping out threads on the crankarm.
a. Wipe off chainrings and crankarms.
b. Clean off surface that contacts bottom bracket spindle.
c. Place chain in plastic/glass tub and saturate with degreaser. Let this sit while you work on the bottom bracket.
3. Removing BB lockring, cup, spindle, bearings and spindle guard.
a. Using the lockring wrench, apply suitable counter-clockwise pressure to loosen the lockring.
b. Using the pin spanner, apply suitable counter-clockwise pressure and loosen the free cup then remove it from BB shell. Note: for service purposes, you do not need to remove the fixed (drive-side) cup. Carefully remove the spindle and caged bearings from this side on the BB.
c. Remove plastic spindle guard. This may require a little extra help from pliers. If so, be very careful so as not to damage the threads of the BB shell.
d. Remove drive-side caged bearings. Your bottom bracket is now ready to be cleaned and repacked!
4. Cleaning the BB parts
a. All parts are best laid out in the fashion they were removed. This ensures the caged bearings go on the side from which they were removed.
b. Wipe down lockring and spindle, using a little degreaser on a rag. Place caged bearings into plastic/glass container with degreaser and let sit for a few. Wipe dirt and grease from spindle guard. Sip some beer. Look at the clouds. Pet your dog.
Back to work…
c. Gently scrub off any excess grit/grime/grease. Wipe dry with clean rag. Do the same (b and c) for the other caged bearings.
d. Wipe grease and dirt from bearing cup. Swirl a bit of degreaser to further clean the cup. Wipe dry.
e. All parts, cleaned and laid out, ready to be greased and installed.
5. Cleaning the fixed cup.
a. Dirty cup. As mentioned earlier, there is no reason to remove the fixed (drive-side) cup. The only time to do this really is if you are replacing the BB completely or selling the frame without the BB.
b. Using a rag and a finger or two, clean the BB shell and threads.
c. To effectively get the grease, grit, and grime off the fixed cup, I use a toothbrush and a rag with a little degreaser. I advise not to use a screwdriver or other metal object – you may damage the BB shell/threads/bearing race. After getting all the muck out, wipe dry.
d. Clean fixed cup!
6. Check for pitting.
a/b/c. Using a pencil, check the bearing races/contact surfaces for pitting. This means each end of the spindle and BOTH cups of the BB. You will feel any if they exist on your BB. If the pitting is very severe, you should replace the BB. If it is very minor, you can chose to continue using the BB (remember – this is a very important piece of making the bike go. The more resistance, the harder it is to go forward…and the more effort it will take to pedal). I advise a good amount of grease and more frequent service, until it is no longer usable.
7. Greasing and installing the bearings, spindle and spindle guard.
a. Apply grease to the fixed cup side of the spindle and seat the same-side caged bearings. Slide the spindle guard onto the spindle. Insert this into the BB shell
b. Grease the inside of loose cup/bearing race.
c. Place the appropriate caged bearings into the greased cup and apply more grease (at your discretion). Hand-screw the cup/bearing combo a few twists back into the BB shell.
8. Installing the cup, lockring, and crankarms.
a. Using the pin spanner, screw the cup back into the BB shell (note the grease applied to the threads). Do NOT tighten down all the way. Leave it loose enough to accommodate a free spinning BB spindle, but tight enough to eliminate loose play in the spindle and bearings.
b. Install lockring – do NOT fully tighten this yet.
c. Using both pin spanner and lockring wrench, snug up the cup and lockring. This means holding the cup in place once you get it “dialed in” (see step 8a above) and tightening the lockring down. A loose lockring will not hold the cup in position, so make sure you set the lockring tight!
d. Reseat crankarms (one side at a time) and install crank arm bolts. Do one side at a time. Also – some people prefer to keep the spindle/crankarm contact area dry. I do not, so I apply some grease to the spindle contact area before installation. Tighten bolts down, and then back them off a bit. Retighten them again – this little step helps to ensure the cranks are fully seated on the spindle.
Install your chain and reset the wheel in the track ends (if you moved it at the beginning) and you are done!!!!