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Shimano BB-LP26 bottom bracket

Old 02-08-16, 07:27 PM
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Doc V
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Shimano BB-LP26 bottom bracket

Does anyone happen to know how many 5/32" ball bearings were in a Shimano BB-LP26 73x113mm bottom bracket? I know there were 12-7/32" bearings but I am not sure about the smaller bearings. My son and I were regreasing the unit and trying to determine if there is a missing 5/32" bearing.

Mike
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Old 02-08-16, 09:41 PM
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The LP26 BB is so inexpensive that I don't know anyone who felt the need to rebuild it. But the time proven method to figure this is to rebuild with the lower number then repeat with the higher number and compare the rotational feel. The wrong count will be hard to set the preload (we use to call this the adjustment) and if the spindle has an orbital rotation that usually is 1/2 of the revolution. Either suggests too many balls. Andy.
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Old 02-09-16, 02:44 AM
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Think the LP26 is a sealed cartridge ? if it's an open axle then it's the same number & size either side, are you repacking a cheap cartridge ? I would not have thought its worth the effort the BB takes all the loading of pedaling, on older bikes with open axles (pre sealed units) no choice part of the overhaul ritual.
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Old 02-09-16, 08:12 AM
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Yeah, the LP26 is a sealed cartridge and I don't know how you get into it without a can opener. As you noted, they are so cheap they are considered expendable and most won't bother trying to overhaul them.

As to the correct bearing ball count, typically you fill the entire bearing circle with balls and then remove one.
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Old 02-09-16, 08:16 AM
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I disassembled it mainly because I like to tinker and reuse when possible. It also provides a learning experience. It is not an open axle and the term sealed for this bracket is a misnomer because it is quite easy to open and uses cup and cones verses cartridge bearings. I currently have 17-5/32" bearings and I think it should be 18. I plan to stop by my LBS and see if they have a 5/32" bearing that I can try to use in the BB.

In the end I will probably replace it with a Shimano UN55 BB, but I still am curious as to the correct number of 5/32" bearings in the unit.
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Old 02-09-16, 08:24 AM
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Hi HillRider, they are quite easy to open, but the UN series and newer look to be permanently sealed. In the attached pic the piece with the words "sealed cartridge" is just a plastic cover and underneath are a lock nut, washer and the cone.

Attached Images
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Old 02-09-16, 09:01 AM
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OK, these are indeed accessable for maintenance. Again, try a full circle of balls minus 1.
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Old 02-09-16, 09:12 AM
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Don't confuse "sealed" with a bearing design term like "angular contact cartridge bearing". Seals only really mean that some sort of barrier is adjacent to the rolling elements, to shield the interior from the outside. Many loose ball, cup and cone, angular contact bearings have seals and many radial contact cartridge bearings don't. Andy.
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Old 02-09-16, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Don't confuse "sealed" with a bearing design term like "angular contact cartridge bearing". Seals only really mean that some sort of barrier is adjacent to the rolling elements, to shield the interior from the outside. Many loose ball, cup and cone, angular contact bearings have seals and many radial contact cartridge bearings don't. Andy.
True, but in the case of most cartridge bottom brackets "sealed" means "canned"in that getting to the bearings requires some pretty aggressive and almost destructive disassembly. Apparently this one isn't made like that.
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Old 02-09-16, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
OK, these are indeed accessable for maintenance. Again, try a full circle of balls minus 1.
HillRider - thanks for the recommendation I will try that.

Mike
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Old 02-09-16, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
True, but in the case of most cartridge bottom brackets "sealed" means "canned"in that getting to the bearings requires some pretty aggressive and almost destructive disassembly. Apparently this one isn't made like that.
I'm very familiar with the misuse of the term "sealed" when describing bearing types. I just don't like it. As a shop guy I try to use correct descriptions. BTW some of the earlier Shimano cartridge (used to describe a unit construction, not the bearing element type) were both loose ball with angular contact angles and also adjustable. Shimano made specific wrenches that just barely fit the cone and lock nuts. I have a tool set and have used it , maybe, a half dozen times at most. Andy.
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Old 02-09-16, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
BTW some of the earlier Shimano cartridge (used to describe a unit construction, not the bearing element type) were both loose ball with angular contact angles and also adjustable. Shimano made specific wrenches that just barely fit the cone and lock nuts. I have a tool set and have used it , maybe, a half dozen times at most. Andy.
Wasn't this type of cartridge limited to Dura Ace? AFAIK, all of the lower lines (Ultegra on down) were not maintainable.
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Old 02-09-16, 08:12 PM
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HillRider, the BB-LP26 was an Alivio/Acera level component and came off a 1997 Trek 6000SHX mountain bike. The higher level Trek's had UN51, UN52E and UN72 BBs.
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