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Cartridge bottom bracket suggestions

Old 07-19-16, 06:40 PM
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Cheddarpecker
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Cartridge bottom bracket suggestions

I replaced my cup and cone bottom bracket with a cartridge which began to make noise within 150 miles. My LBS exchanged it for store credit but didn't offer another bearing set because the only one they carry is the kind I had problems with. Instead, I purchased a new spindle and bearings to go back where I started. Noise is gone.

I was impressed by the smoothness and silence of the cartridge initially. When removed, it had only the slightest roughness, but it started with only grease and seal drag. The bearings may have lasted a long time, even going downhill rapidly, but they would not have done so silently. I rode ten miles home with the noise, but the next day I could feel it. I didn't make it a mile away before I decided I was done with all that, went home, and tore it apart.

I cratered a Sunlite. There don't seem to be a lot of choices for a 68x110 square taper. I figured if the bike shop didn't take it back, I'd take it to the press and use the existing bearings to source quality bearings of the same dimensions to go back with, but they took the thing without any trouble.

If I were to buy a cheap bottom bracket to rebuild, which one is best?

What if I could buy one which I didn't have to rebuild?

I didn't recognize the manufacturer on the seal, but I could likely source the same stuff in SKF, F.A.G., or Timken.

Last edited by Cheddarpecker; 07-19-16 at 06:42 PM. Reason: F.A.G. is an acronym, added punctuation
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Old 07-19-16, 07:00 PM
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What's wrong with a Shimano 110mm? Is the Sunlite symmetrical or something?
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Old 07-19-16, 07:52 PM
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It's a waste of time to attempt to rebuild a (cheap) cartridge bottom bracket. The ones that are spaced with a pressed together shell, with actual bearing cartridges inside, tend not to use stock bearings (the outer race is dimensionally different from a standard bearing). I suppose you could find something, but it would be a good bit of work for not so much return.

Shimano UN-55 is pretty much the gold standard for cost vs. reliability now. You can spend big bucks, if you really want, and get an SKF bottom bracket (Compass Bicycles is their distributor), which carries a 10 year warranty, bearings inclusive. There are some oddball cases where you might consider a Phil Wood, but it doesn't really offer much over the other two, unless you are trying to fine-tune chain line.
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Old 07-19-16, 07:53 PM
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Shimano UN55
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Old 07-19-16, 09:35 PM
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You haven't looked very much....
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...0&category=268
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Old 07-19-16, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
You're right, I hadn't seen that one. Made in Japan is nice.
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Old 07-19-16, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
It's a waste of time to attempt to rebuild a (cheap) cartridge bottom bracket. The ones that are spaced with a pressed together shell, with actual bearing cartridges inside, tend not to use stock bearings (the outer race is dimensionally different from a standard bearing). I suppose you could find something, but it would be a good bit of work for not so much return.

Shimano UN-55 is pretty much the gold standard for cost vs. reliability now. You can spend big bucks, if you really want, and get an SKF bottom bracket (Compass Bicycles is their distributor), which carries a 10 year warranty, bearings inclusive. There are some oddball cases where you might consider a Phil Wood, but it doesn't really offer much over the other two, unless you are trying to fine-tune chain line.
I realize the drive side bearing is something different, and that there's a good chance that none of the local bearing distributors will be able to get it. Shimano reviews read pretty much like the Sunlite's did, only the latter was available locally.I'll probably go for the IRD.

I could buy a cheap groupset or even another bike for the cost of one SKF cartridge.

But it would need a bottom bracket before long.
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Old 07-19-16, 10:05 PM
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I've had good experience with Shimano Square tapper BBs. About 10 euros a piece and last a long time.
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Old 07-19-16, 10:30 PM
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I must admit, the price makes them attractive.
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Old 07-20-16, 08:05 AM
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Shimano UN are disposed of as a whole when they go Bad.
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Old 07-23-16, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Shimano UN are disposed of as a whole when they go Bad.
As they cost less than a pair of bearings over the counter locally, it comes as no surprise. Cup and cone is serving well enough for now.

Small bearing lots on Amazon are dirt cheap, but reviews indicate exceptionally poor quality. Order ten to get two smooth ones, and such.
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Old 07-23-16, 11:15 AM
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I bought Grade 25 bearing Balls in bags of 1000. I walked into a Bearing Supply/ specialty hardware shop long ago,
in the 2nd largest city in Oregon..
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Old 07-23-16, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheddarpecker View Post
As they cost less than a pair of bearings over the counter locally, it comes as no surprise. Cup and cone is serving well enough for now.

Small bearing lots on Amazon are dirt cheap, but reviews indicate exceptionally poor quality. Order ten to get two smooth ones, and such.
If you are referring to buying cartridges, buy from well known companies. Of course, McMaster Carr and Grainger carry bearings, but you may find it convenient to simply buy them from someplace that serves cyclists. Real World Cycling sells Enduro brand cartridges, which work just fine.

If you're referring to loose balls, as the poster above noted, buy it from a bearing supply house. You certainly have one near you, if not, Grainger/McMaster will certainly ship them to you, if you are worried about quality.

Unless you have high-precision measuring equipment, I would just settle for buying from a trusted source, and not worrying if you are getting what they say you are.
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Old 07-23-16, 07:25 PM
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Yes, I do have precision measuring tools and a press. It's the drive side bearing I figure would be hard to find locally. We have three or more bearing supply shops in town, but I'll likely just pay a little more for a quality cartridge when I'm ready for it.
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