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  1. #1
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    help with a couple of components for touring

    So I am looking for a bottom bracket (from which I will acquire the right cranks to suit or perhaps vice-versa), could someone inform me of good budget bottom brackets for touring? I did have a square tapered BB, and I am looking to buy a new set (not square tapered, and probably sealed?).
    I really don't understand these modern outer bearing systems: when buying a BB should I get a spindle with it or am I looking to attain the spindle on the cranks? Presume I am buying the two components seperately. Could anyone brief me?

    Oh and does anyone know a good stem for touring? I heard aluminium stems are prone to rust and get stuck against the steel forks.

  2. #2
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Might want to tell people where you are and in what areas you intend to tour. Both will have impacts on what people may recommend.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Pretty muddled It seems ..

    Stem : custom Titanium .. it's lighter than steel and won't rust,
    but costs a pile

    Don't want square taper? then you should buy into the External BB
    and special crankset , stuff that all the rage now..
    Shimano offers Road and MTB and in some markets, like Europe, Trekking bike stuff..
    spindle is a tube, permanently part of your Right crankarm/chainring spider.

    have to buy the whole kit, cannot pick and choose..

    Personally I'm still fine with square taper, but to each their own.


    by definition only the Iron in steel rusts, aluminum .. corrodes,
    Both are a combining with atmospheric O2..
    but a well maintained bike will not have these issues
    It's only if ignored and left out in the weather,
    That this becomes a problem.. .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-20-11 at 02:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    Square taper bottom brackets and cranks are reliable and durable and still favoured by many tourists. A basic UN54 cartridge will last several years daily use. A Phil Woods will last several decades.
    External bottom brackets seem to work OK, esp the Shimano systems.
    The splined systems are not recommended.

    Standard Aluminium stems are the norm with steel steerers. If you assemble them with std lithium grease or fancy copperslip they dont corrode. If you leave them exposed to rain and salt spray, without maintenance , for several years, they will size together.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I run 20+ year old Shimano Deore LX stuff some of it has been in use for over 10,000 miles. I also run 40 year old Sturmey Archer 3 speeds with something over 30,000 miles on it and the crankset on that bike happens to be cottered Pick something common (I like basic MTB stuff) and ride on.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    BB, cranks, FD, and type of shifters all need to be integrated. If you are using STI shifters then a 45-47mm chianline works best. If you want to combine STI and Mtn gearing (44/32/22) which usually are set up to run on a 50mm chainline on a bike with a 68mm BB shell, then a shorter BB is needed (103mm). However, if you are using bar ends, flat bars, and Mtn shifters; then a Mtn FD will work with the same chainset and a longer BB. The point is there are a large number of combinations, and to make them work, more than the BB and cranks need to be considered. Square tapered BBs are available in a lot more sizes than many of the other types.
    Last edited by Doug64; 05-21-11 at 11:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    ok thanks, i'll look into it more, square tapers are back in my mind as a possibility. ooohh the posibilities.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Consider going to your local mechanic with your bike. Tell him/her what you'll use it for, the level of quality you want, maybe the amount of money you have to spend, and let him/her pick it and install it. I like to do a lot of wrenching myself, but I also like the security of knowing the part was chosen and installed by someone who knows what he's doing.

  9. #9
    Pedaling up north 6footeli's Avatar
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    square taper will never go away.

    While there have been octalink I and II and isis bottom brackets, they are being replaced by the new externals. I have got a octalink I triple crankset, its now obsolete, because you can't find BB's. Stick with square taper, also pick a chain ring size and stick with it. If you go with 110/74 five hole you have alot of choices for changing the gearing.

    I'll keep my friction shifting and sqaure taper bottoms brackets till the prey them of my cold dead.... well you get the idea. I we don't give into the newest technology sqaure taper will be around for along time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6footeli View Post
    I'll keep my friction shifting and sqaure taper bottoms brackets till the prey them of my cold dead.... well you get the idea. I we don't give into the newest technology sqaure taper will be around for along time.
    You're right I'm with you on that. I would restore my current square taper bottom bracket if its possible. I am also very tempted with a new 110/74 crank set, something long term.

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