Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

LBS unable to fit new Bottom bracket/cranks?

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

LBS unable to fit new Bottom bracket/cranks?

Old 05-14-15, 10:15 AM
  #1  
FE11244
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
LBS unable to fit new Bottom bracket/cranks?

Hi,

Wondering if you can help me out with this problem.

I have a mid '80s steel frame Bianchi, Italian made. I took it to my LBS to have a compact chainset fitted because I need the lower gearing. The mechanic said this was fine and sent off for the parts, a Shimano Claris 8 speed chainset and the appropriate bottom bracket (I don't know which one).

Several days later I received a call from the shop telling me that they were unable to fit the chainset because the bottom bracket was incompatible with the frame (and that others had been tried). More precisely, I was told that the external type bottom bracket required for the chainset would not fit the frame and, further, that the only kind of bottom bracket which would fit is an apparently no longer produced Italian threaded internal type square taper bottom bracket (And by implication that the current bottom bracket is incompatible with new cranks). So, the upshot of all this is - no new chainset, and I was told there is effectively no way to change the current chainset to a modern one of any kind.

Now, I should say that the mechanic is great in my experience, one of the most helpful people I've come across and always does a through job.

But... Is this correct? I thought it was common practice to upgrade parts in this fashion. It seems odd to me that there is no option to upgrade. Unfortunately I don't know enough to figure this out on my own. Is therea reason why I shouldn't be able to get a new chainset on an '80s Italian bike?

Thanks for your help

Last edited by FE11244; 05-14-15 at 10:21 AM.
FE11244 is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 10:22 AM
  #2  
andr0id
Senior Member
 
andr0id's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,526
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1419 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A frame of that vintage should have a very standard Italian threaded BB shell. If you measure it, it should be 70mm wide.

You should get more details about what he thinks won't work.

Perhaps the Claris BB is only available in English, but you should be able to use the BB shown below with any hollowtech II crank.

OK, I see Claris is not HTII. Get a HTII crank so you can use the Italian BB. 105 should work.

Shimano Ultegra 6800 SM-BBR60 Bottom Bracket | Competitive Cyclist

Last edited by andr0id; 05-14-15 at 10:26 AM.
andr0id is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 10:32 AM
  #3  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4340 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I haven't checked (and won't) but expect that there should be some 36x24 (Italian) external BB available from someone, but maybe not.

However all isn't lost, worst case scenario, you can buy 110BCD mtn cranks, and set them up as doubles with the rings of your choice. Use of mtn cranks is very common on road bikes, especially bikes set up as touring bikes. There are still Sq. taper cranks and BBs available if you can't find an external with Italian thread.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 10:48 AM
  #4  
veggie
certified vegetarian
 
veggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 358
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Doesn't Claris use standard road octalink? if so, a used 105/ultegra bb can be found and used.
veggie is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 10:52 AM
  #5  
skimaxpower
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: WA
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It should be easy enough to find a square-taper bottom bracket. Velo-Orange makes a high quality one for a fair price.

You might have to broaden your horizon with regard to the crankset (chainset) you select, and get one that is square-tapered (rather than hollowtech, for example.)
skimaxpower is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 10:54 AM
  #6  
FE11244
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions. The mechanic mentioned something about the octalink system needed for the Claris, his point seemed to be that it is just incompatible with the frame and will not fit, though I have seen that Italian threaded octalink bbs are available. What confuses me the most about this is the fact that he had seen the bike then sent off for the parts, I would've thought that he could have said without trying to fit the parts that there would be an issue.
FE11244 is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 10:59 AM
  #7  
FE11244
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This is what I thought - about choosing another crankset- And why I was surprised when he said that there was no option whatsoever. I'm still confused however (since I'm a total novice with this) what difference the square taper makes as to whether the bb fits inside the bb shell. Also there is already a square taper bb on my bike, but, as I say the mechanic made no mention of a compatible and modern crankset.
FE11244 is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:02 AM
  #8  
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,640
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FE11244 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. The mechanic mentioned something about the octalink system needed for the Claris, his point seemed to be that it is just incompatible with the frame and will not fit, though I have seen that Italian threaded octalink bbs are available. What confuses me the most about this is the fact that he had seen the bike then sent off for the parts, I would've thought that he could have said without trying to fit the parts that there would be an issue.
The main thing you need to realize is that the mechanic screwed up. And he's blaming it on the frame/parts. You can still get Italian thread square taper bottom brackets and run a compact crank that way. You can still get Italian thread Octalink bottom brackets and run your Claris crank. You can even go all the way to the newest HollowTech II design and get Italian thread bottom brackets for that. You can use literally any bottom bracket design you want.

Find a new mechanic, hopefully one that is at least somewhat competent. When replacing a bottom bracket on a bike the FIRST thing to do is determine the threading. Not after the parts are ordered and when trying to install them, "uhh.... this doesn't fit."

I hope they aren't making you pay for the wrong parts they ordered...

Last edited by FastJake; 05-14-15 at 11:05 AM.
FastJake is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:03 AM
  #9  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,458

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1130 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
The Sora FC-3550 is a compact Hollowtech II crank and is the least expensive of it's type. It works with any of the Hollowtech II external bearing bottom brackets and some models are available in Italian threading. The Sora is a "9-speed" crank so it should work ok with the rest your current drivetrain even if it's 7 or 8-speed. The Tiagra 4650 is also a compact HTII crank but is "10-speed" and my require a 10-speed chain to work properly.

Edit: OK a little more searching discovered that the Claris cranks use a V-2 Octalink and, since these were intended for MTB use, I don't think they were ever made in Italian threading so that may be what your mechanic missed. The V-1 (road) Octalinks did indeed come in an Italian threaded version but that won't do you any good. Square taper, V-1 Octalink and HTII bottom brackets are indeed, as FastJake noted, all around in Italian threaded versions.

Last edited by HillRider; 05-14-15 at 11:11 AM.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:08 AM
  #10  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4340 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by FE11244 View Post
This is what I thought - about choosing another crankset- And why I was surprised when he said that there was no option whatsoever. I'm still confused however (since I'm a total novice with this) what difference the square taper makes as to whether the bb fits inside the bb shell. Also there is already a square taper bb on my bike, but, as I say the mechanic made no mention of a compatible and modern crankset.
I suspect that the mechanic was either inexperienced, unfamiliar with stuff older than 5 years or so, or wasn't wearing his thinking cap.

There are Iralian BBs out there, and there are compact (or mtn) cranks that fit them. It's just a matter of finding one of each that matches.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:09 AM
  #11  
andr0id
Senior Member
 
andr0id's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,526
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1419 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The only reason I can think that it wouldn't fit would be that the down tube or seat tube extend into the BB shell and interfere with a cartridge style BB. Frame builders could be a bit sloppier with clean up when the only spindle type was a square taper.

If that's the case, an external bearing style BB should work since they use about the same amount of threads as a cup.
andr0id is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:14 AM
  #12  
FE11244
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
The main thing you need to realize is that the mechanic screwed up. And he's blaming it on the frame/parts.
This is what I was afraid of, not least because he's the only mechanic for miles but also because he's always seemed to be really good.

No, I didn't have to pay for the parts thankfully.

I'm sure he knew the threading on the bike is Italian. It's mystified me.
FE11244 is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:16 AM
  #13  
FE11244
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
The only reason I can think that it wouldn't fit would be that the down tube or seat tube extend into the BB shell and interfere with a cartridge style BB. Frame builders could be a bit sloppier with clean up when the only spindle type was a square taper.

If that's the case, an external bearing style BB should work since they use about the same amount of threads as a cup.
I did wonder if the problem might be something particular to that frame. If so and the mechanic knew, he didn't explain it very well.
FE11244 is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:30 AM
  #14  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,458

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1130 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by FE11244 View Post
I did wonder if the problem might be something particular to that frame. If so and the mechanic knew, he didn't explain it very well.
As I reported above, I believe the problem was with the Claris crank requiring a V2 Octalink and these were never made in Italian threading.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:38 AM
  #15  
FE11244
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
T
Edit: OK a little more searching discovered that the Claris cranks use a V-2 Octalink and, since these were intended for MTB use, I don't think they were ever made in Italian threading so that may be what your mechanic missed. The V-1 (road) Octalinks did indeed come in an Italian threaded version but that won't do you any good. Square taper, V-1 Octalink and HTII bottom brackets are indeed, as FastJake noted, all around in Italian threaded versions.
Thanks, I think this is the information I need to specifically bring up with the mechanic. So the options (if I've got this straight) are: Get a new square taper crank to work with existing bb. Get a new square taper bb and crank. Get a v-1 Octalink bb and compatible crank (NOT claris). Get a HTII bb and compatible crank like the Sora FC-3550.

Thanks for the help, this is the kind of info I was looking for. The only option it seemed I had before now was getting rid of the bike.

Last edited by FE11244; 05-14-15 at 11:42 AM.
FE11244 is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:38 AM
  #16  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 10,932
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
As I reported above, I believe the problem was with the Claris crank requiring a V2 Octalink and these were never made in Italian threading.
That's surprising to me that it was never made for italian threading.
himespau is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 11:44 AM
  #17  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,613

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6757 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 164 Times in 140 Posts
Need a different source of a JIS square taper BB if at Claris' Price Point Its only made in British/ Asian Standard

Above is Hollow tech external BB, not square taper ..

An Italian crank , ISO square taper would have more likelihood to be offered in Italian thread Older Campag race triple in my Pinarello.

I have an extra Italian thread 115 <C> ISO taper BB (bought because seller guessed wrong, then I got the 111 instead..)
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 12:00 PM
  #18  
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,640
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Edit: OK a little more searching discovered that the Claris cranks use a V-2 Octalink and, since these were intended for MTB use, I don't think they were ever made in Italian threading so that may be what your mechanic missed. The V-1 (road) Octalinks did indeed come in an Italian threaded version but that won't do you any good. Square taper, V-1 Octalink and HTII bottom brackets are indeed, as FastJake noted, all around in Italian threaded versions.
A quick ebay search reveals this Octalink V2 Italian thread BB for sale: Shimano BB ES25 Octalink V 2 Bike Bottom Bracket 70mm Italian Threaded | eBay

So assuming the OP could find the spindle length he wants, I think it's possible to use his V2 Claris crank with the bike. But I should note that I've never used Octalink so I'm not too familiar with it. Skipped right from square taper to HollowTech II...
FastJake is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 12:00 PM
  #19  
headloss 
Lost at sea...
 
headloss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Western PA
Posts: 935

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount (match), Trek 520, random bits and pieces...

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FE11244 View Post
Thanks, I think this is the information I need to specifically bring up with the mechanic. So the options (if I've got this straight) are: Get a new square taper crank to work with existing bb. Get a new square taper bb and crank. Get a v-1 Octalink bb and compatible crank (NOT claris). Get a HTII bb and compatible crank like the Sora FC-3550.

Thanks for the help, this is the kind of info I was looking for. The only option it seemed I had before now was getting rid of the bike.
Octalink v1 is no longer made, so scratch that off your list. You can still buy a crank/bb but they are getting more difficult to find.

Beyond that, ask around, maybe a friend has some spare parts. I know lots of guys that pull off a Claris level crank as soon as they buy a new bike...

What type of riding do you do? If you are running a triple, stick with square taper (there are more available parts). If you are running a double, you might as well just go HT2... FSA is compatible, fwiw.
headloss is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 03:11 PM
  #20  
FE11244
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have one more question: The cheapest option would seem to be to stick with the square taper bb that is on the bike and get a square taper crankset. Is it as simple as that? Or are there compatibility issues with square taper cranks and square taper bbs? The cranks that are coming off the bike are Ofmega.

Thanks

Edit

It seems there are compatibility issues, between ISO and JIS. So likely the best option is new bb and chainset.

Last edited by FE11244; 05-14-15 at 03:21 PM.
FE11244 is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 04:46 PM
  #21  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4340 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
That's surprising to me that it was never made for italian threading.
Not overly surprising if it came out after the Italian OEMs adopted ISO BB threads. Without an OEM request, they wouldn't tool up to make it in Italian.

Just about every main street component is driven by OEM sales. Years ago companies would list selections or variants of many items on their commercial spec sheets. I'd place orders for small numbers to broaden the offerings or fill niche needs, and the response would be that they don't actually have it, but could make it if asked. "Could make it if asked" means if an OEM asked for 10,000 or something on that order.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 04:47 PM
  #22  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,291
Mentioned: 160 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8411 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by FE11244 View Post
(And by implication that the current bottom bracket is incompatible with new cranks)
Campagnolo bottom brackets were different from most of the Asian bottom brackets. It should still work with most Campy square taper cranks.

This appears to be a SRAM 24mm Italian BB.
SRAM GXP Team Bottom Bracket | Backcountry.com
SRAM GXP Team Bottom Bracket | Competitive Cyclist

Although I think SRAM cranks may be slightly different than other brands.

It sounds to me like your mechanic/LBS is not wanting to help you get the right parts.... or you are too cheap to buy through the LBS.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 06:56 PM
  #23  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,152
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1065 Post(s)
Liked 72 Times in 55 Posts
Stronglight Impact JIS Compact Chainset Road, Chainsets, CHAINSETS ROAD This seems like a nice option.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 07:56 PM
  #24  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 10,932
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
I've often thought those Stronglight Impacts are attractive (if you believe the rumors, they're made by Sugino), but that would require also buying a new BB. Probably. I mean JIS cranks can go on ISO BB spindles, but the mating is in't consistent through the crank due to differences in taper and can lead to widening of the crank hole.
himespau is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 07:58 PM
  #25  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,458

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1130 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
A quick ebay search reveals this Octalink V2 Italian thread BB for sale: Shimano BB ES25 Octalink V 2 Bike Bottom Bracket 70mm Italian Threaded | eBay

So assuming the OP could find the spindle length he wants, I think it's possible to use his V2 Claris crank with the bike. But I should note that I've never used Octalink so I'm not too familiar with it. Skipped right from square taper to HollowTech II...
OK, the V2 Octalink was used for early 8-speed Sora and Tiagra road cranks so I suppose that's why there were a few made in Italian threading. They were not common.
HillRider is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
skijor
Foo
0
10-24-10 08:36 AM
Deeptaughts
Introductions
1
03-30-09 02:05 AM

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


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.