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compatible bottom bracket /cranksets for new crank on vintage frame (ex: FSA SL-K?)

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compatible bottom bracket /cranksets for new crank on vintage frame (ex: FSA SL-K?)

Old 10-05-15, 11:15 AM
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T Stew
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compatible bottom bracket /cranksets for new crank on vintage frame (ex: FSA SL-K?)

Bottom brackets I still haven't 100% figured out though I'm up to speed with most the rest of the bike components. I'm updating my 88 Schwinn Prologue and Tempo to modern components. Originally I was going to upgrade the Prologue to DA-7800 crankset and move its current and in nice shape Suntour Sprint on to the Tempo. But the nice shiny DA7800 looks great on the metallic blue Tempo and I am thinking for the red & white prologue of changing to black components. Since the Prologue will be upgraded with tri racing in mind, and now that I have considered black, this opens up possibility of a carbon crank to trim some weight. I don't know the weight of its current ST Sprint crankset though, I can't seem to find it online anywhere and I don't yet posses the tools or knowledge to pull it though I'll look into that shortly. I assume the DA-7800 would be an upgrade and something like this even more so if I go the carbon route?



Basically what I am looking for is a lightweight crank compatible with my 88 Prologue that has the traditional 5-bolt 110 or 130 bcd so that I can try my 1x10 gear experiment with a WolfTooth Dropstop chainring. The FSA SL-K Light or K-Force seems to be found on ebay with somewhat reasonable price and low weight. But I am really confused about the bottom brackets. They seem to be available in multiple bottom bracket styles. Additionally, there seems to be multiple versions of each, some with a big red K others just black and white. I can't figure out what the differences are and I haven't come across a comprehensive description or review yet of all of them.

For example an ebay listing for a BB386 Evo K-Light crankset. I'm totally confused as to whether BB386 Evo describes the crank, the frame, or the bottom bracket. But its also stated that this will fit a standard external threaded BB like a MegaExo BB. Will that fit my frame? My head is starting to hurt.
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Old 10-05-15, 01:14 PM
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If the problem is matching a new BB to a new crank, I suggest acquiring the crank first. Then try taking the following measurements and putting them in a simple top-view diagram of your drive train:

1. Measure the distance from the center of your rear cogset to the middle of your rear axle between the dropouts (middle of "over-locknut distance"). That measurement establishes your chain line.

2. Measure the same distance from the center of the BB shell to the middle of your chain set. On a double, that will be the space between the rings; on a triple, it will be the center ring.

3. To the distance found in step 2, add the distance to the crank hole in the crank set. Measure only to point where the crank bolt will actually seat, because that's where the BB spindle will end.

4. You now know half the length of the BB spindle. Double this length to get total spindle length, assuming the spindle is symmetrical, as most are.

5. The width of your BB shell (usually 68mm) and the thread type are the final determinants in selecting a BB. Otherwise, buy a threadless BB for your shell width, and with the spindle length you calculated.

I think I got it right, but if others disagree, I'd appreciate input. I've had this chicken-and-egg problem myself, and I'm sure others have as well.
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Old 10-05-15, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
For example an ebay listing for a BB386 Evo K-Light crankset. I'm totally confused as to whether BB386 Evo describes the crank, the frame, or the bottom bracket. But its also stated that this will fit a standard external threaded BB like a MegaExo BB. Will that fit my frame? My head is starting to hurt.
BB386 EVO describes the spindle. It should work (I don't know for certain that Schwin didn't do something proprietary, although it's unlikely).

It's a "universal" answer to the plethora of current bottom bracket standards including 30mm bearings inside a 68mm shell (PF30), 86mm wide external bearings on a 68mm wide conventional threaded shell (BSA), 86mm wide shells with internal bearings (PF86).

With the right spacers or cups you can use it in almost any frame (it shouldn't fit BB90).

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-05-15 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 10-05-15, 01:37 PM
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I expect that needs external bearing type BB screwed into the frame. get the whole thing in a package.

usually part of the right crank arm, the pipe tube Axles have their own BB to go with them.
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Old 10-05-15, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
BB386 EVO describes the spindle. It should work (I don't know for certain that Schwin didn't do something proprietary, although it's unlikely).

It's a "universal" answer to the plethora of current bottom bracket standards including 30mm bearings inside a 68mm shell (PF30), 86mm wide external bearings on a 68mm wide conventional threaded shell (BSA), 86mm wide shells with internal bearings (PF86).

With the right spacers or cups you can use it in almost any frame (it shouldn't fit BB90).
This solution is a new one on me. It seems to depend on re-use of your original spindle, or an equivalent one. In my case, I was replacing a rusty old cottered crank set mounted on a cotter-specific spindle. Since I wanted to go cotterless, I needed a new spindle. I found a Japanese spindle marked 5F that happened to fit the old Raleigh cups and 1/4" ball bearings. I have a second bike, also an old Raleigh, that I want to convert to cotterless.

Here is a spindle designated as 32.0 x 52.0 x 37.5 x 121: Sunlite Bottom Bracket Axle W/Nut 3Stainless 32.0X52X37.5X121 | Bikewagon

The 121 obviously refers to the overall length, but how does it relate to the 30mm bearings you mention? Can the adapter work with a 71mm Raleigh shell or only 68mm?

Since I can't find another 5f spindle online, I thought I was stuck buying the Velo Orange Grand Cru for about $70. Is their a cheaper way to go?

Last edited by habilis; 10-05-15 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 10-05-15, 02:37 PM
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On second thought, I can't use the BB 386 EVO since Raleighs have proprietary 26tpi threading (thanks, Raleigh).

Can someone decipher the specs given for the Bike Wagon item and tell me how to relate them to my Raleigh spindle? Are spindles generally of the same diameter, differing only in the overall length and the spacing of the integral bearing "cones"? On my spindle, the cone bulges are exactly 52mm apart, from center of bulge to center of bulge. Is that what the 52mm on the Sunlite specs refers to?

@T Stew, if I'm derailing your thread, please speak up, and I'll butt out.

Last edited by habilis; 10-05-15 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 10-05-15, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
BB386 EVO describes the spindle. It should work (I don't know for certain that Schwin didn't do something proprietary, although it's unlikely).

It's a "universal" answer to the plethora of current bottom bracket standards including 30mm bearings inside a 68mm shell (PF30), 86mm wide external bearings on a 68mm wide conventional threaded shell (BSA), 86mm wide shells with internal bearings (PF86).

With the right spacers or cups you can use it in almost any frame (it shouldn't fit BB90).
I'm pretty sure all my Schwinns are 68mm conventional threaded bottom brackets but I am realizing I know less about bottom brackets than I realized. What is a 'spindle'? I know what a spindle is on a car but this is a new term for me on the bike. You have the part of the frame... that is the shell right? Then the bottom bracket bearings, then the crankset. So where does a spindle fit into all this?

Anyhow, back to my FSA crankset question... so here is an example: FSA K Force Light Carbon Compact 50 34 175mm Road Bike Crankset Ceramic MegaExo | eBay

Will that fit the Prologue? That particular set is too long of crank arms for me but just for example. It is Mega Exo and includes 68mm threaded standard english BB, that's all I need right?

Also for the Dura-Ace 7800 crankset I still need BB for my Tempo. I think all the current gen back to my 7800 all use 24mm Hollow Tech II or something like that and all Hollow Tech II BB are compatible correct? So I could use a brand new DA or Ultegra BB?
Shimano Dura Ace 9000 Bottom Bracket Cups, Bottom Brackets, BOTTOM BRACKETS
Shimano BB R60 11 Speed Cups (Ultegra 6800/105 5800), Bottom Brackets, BOTTOM BRACKETS
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Old 10-05-15, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
I'm pretty sure all my Schwinns are 68mm conventional threaded bottom brackets but I am realizing I know less about bottom brackets than I realized. What is a 'spindle'? I know what a spindle is on a car but this is a new term for me on the bike. You have the part of the frame... that is the shell right? Then the bottom bracket bearings, then the crankset. So where does a spindle fit into all this?

Anyhow, back to my FSA crankset question... so here is an example: FSA K Force Light Carbon Compact 50 34 175mm Road Bike Crankset Ceramic MegaExo | eBay

Will that fit the Prologue? That particular set is too long of crank arms for me but just for example. It is Mega Exo and includes 68mm threaded standard english BB, that's all I need right?

Also for the Dura-Ace 7800 crankset I still need BB for my Tempo. I think all the current gen back to my 7800 all use 24mm Hollow Tech II or something like that and all Hollow Tech II BB are compatible correct? So I could use a brand new DA or Ultegra BB?
Shimano Dura Ace 9000 Bottom Bracket Cups, Bottom Brackets, BOTTOM BRACKETS
Shimano BB R60 11 Speed Cups (Ultegra 6800/105 5800), Bottom Brackets, BOTTOM BRACKETS
I'm the one with the misunderstanding, T! I've muddied the waters with my comments, and I apologize. I now see that you are considering a Hollow Tech BB, which is several generations removed from the ancient system in my Raleigh. My BB uses loose ball bearings surrounding a steel "spindle" that passes through the BB. The crank arms are bolted to either end of the spindle. My comments have no application to the product you are considering, and I'm sorry I inserted them. Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-05-15, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
I'm updating my 88 Schwinn Prologue and Tempo to modern components.
Both of those will have English threaded bottom bracket shells, which until recently, was the predominant standard. Most of the common non-press-fit bottom brackets will work. Shimano Hollowtech II, among others, will work fine. On the other hand, a number of press-fit bottom bracket types, like BB30 and PF30, can't be made to fit. (BB386 EVO, although it's press-fit, can work because its wider spindle allows use of outboard bearings on an English threaded bottom bracket shell.)

Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
I am really confused about the bottom brackets. They seem to be available in multiple bottom bracket styles. Additionally, there seems to be multiple versions of each, some with a big red K others just black and white. I can't figure out what the differences are and I haven't come across a comprehensive description or review yet of all of them.
Some cranksets come in multiple bottom bracket types so that they can be sold to customers who have different types of bottom bracket shells. Say for example Acme makes a crankset and they want to sell it to anyone who has a road bike made in the last 10 years. Cannondale customers will need BB30. Cervelo owners may need BBright. My 2006 Bianchi will need something that'll work with English threading. So Acme will make all three, or some combination of bottom bracket types that'll cover most of their customers.

Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
For example an ebay listing for a BB386 Evo K-Light crankset. I'm totally confused as to whether BB386 Evo describes the crank, the frame, or the bottom bracket. But its also stated that this will fit a standard external threaded BB...
BB386 EVO is a bottom bracket standard, and that crankset was designed to work with BB386 EVO bottom brackets. It has an extra wide spindle, so bearings and adapters can be made to fit most bottom bracket shells. (In short, a crankset designed around a BB386 EVO bottom bracket will work with your English threaded bottom bracket shell.)

Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
I'm pretty sure all my Schwinns are 68mm conventional threaded bottom brackets but...
Yes, they do. 68 mm wide, English threaded, aka ISO.

Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
What is a 'spindle'? I know what a spindle is on a car but this is a new term for me on the bike. You have the part of the frame... that is the shell right? Then the bottom bracket bearings, then the crankset. So where does a spindle fit into all this?
In general mechanical terms, a spindle is an axis like a rod around which parts rotate. In this particular case, it's the axle that passes through the frame's bottom bracket shell, around which the crankset rotates. Historically, on road bikes, spindles have typically been separate from the crank arms as a three-piece design: The left and right crank arms each fasten separately to the spindle. Nowadays, it's more common to find two-piece cranksets where the right arm and spindle are a single piece and the left arm gets clamped or bolted to the spindle.
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Old 10-06-15, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by habilis View Post
I'm the one with the misunderstanding, T! I've muddied the waters with my comments, and I apologize.
It's no problem, Drew used the term spindle I was quoting him... yeah I know your talking about a different setup though perhaps it is similar to the ones I have now but will be removing (but saving for maybe another vintage build later).

Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
In general mechanical terms, a spindle is an axis like a rod around which parts rotate. In this particular case, it's the axle that passes through the frame's bottom bracket shell, around which the crankset rotates. Historically, on road bikes, spindles have typically been separate from the crank arms as a three-piece design: The left and right crank arms each fasten separately to the spindle. Nowadays, it's more common to find two-piece cranksets where the right arm and spindle are a single piece and the left arm gets clamped or bolted to the spindle.
Gotcha thanks for that explanation. I tend to think of it more as an axle since it rotates where a spindle I think of as a stationary device such as what a tire mounts to in the front of a RWD car or truck.

So I've done more reading, and perusing cranksets and have read a few times now while looking up FSA MegaExo cranksets that they are compatible with Shimano HollowTech II is that right? I guess looking at the specs they are both 24mm shafts (spindle?). Could something like the current Dura-Ace 9000 or Ultegra 6800 Bottom Brackets I mentioned previously work both for my older DA7800 crankset and an FSA MegaExo crankset? That would sure make things easier than multiple ones, and I could order an extra spare that would cover both.

Edit: well I knew it wouldn't be that easy. Upon further investigation it seems FSA specs are all over the place with slight differences in BB compatability across their lines, some being Shimano compatible and some not. Why does this have to be so hard lol.

Last edited by T Stew; 10-06-15 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 10-06-15, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
So I've done more reading, and perusing cranksets and have read a few times now while looking up FSA MegaExo cranksets that they are compatible with Shimano HollowTech II is that right?
As you note some are, some aren't.

With 24mm spindle MegaExo chainsets:

The hollow carbon arm "Light" cranks require a 6mm non-drive-side bearing and use the BB-8681 / BB-8200 (ceramic) bottom bracket.

The solid carbon arm cranks take the BB-8000 bottom bracket with a 7mm wide bearing and correspondingly larger overall width.

The alloy cranks use the BB-6000 bottom bracket which is presumably different in some way.

Edit: well I knew it wouldn't be that easy. Upon further investigation it seems FSA specs are all over the place with slight differences in BB compatability across their lines, some being Shimano compatible and some not. Why does this have to be so hard lol.
New and improved sells better.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-06-15 at 04:38 PM.
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