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Curious Question - Please don't laugh.

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Curious Question - Please don't laugh.

Old 01-31-17, 12:47 AM
  #1  
Senior Ryder 00
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Curious Question - Please don't laugh.

Over the years I've collected some English threaded sealed bearing bottom brackets in various sizes. The bearings appear to be the same size. I've recently started an Italian threaded Bianchi build and since I like to recycle parts, was wondering if I could use Italian threaded cups with an axle & bearings that I have. I volunteer at a local bike co-op an may be able to get cups from a trashed sealed bearing BB.

Thanks and regards,

Van
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Old 01-31-17, 12:56 AM
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I suspect not because English/ISO bottom brackets are 68 mm wide and Italian are 70 mm. 2 mm of one, .2 cm of the other, as they say. Maybe there is enough adjustment to handle that, but I'd want to measure/check to be sure.
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Old 01-31-17, 07:29 AM
  #3  
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If you can find a non-drive side cup without a flange, it may work since you could thread it in far enough to properly support the end of the bearing shell.
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Old 01-31-17, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Senior Ryder 00 View Post
Over the years I've collected some English threaded sealed bearing bottom brackets in various sizes. The bearings appear to be the same size. I've recently started an Italian threaded Bianchi build and since I like to recycle parts, was wondering if I could use Italian threaded cups with an axle & bearings that I have. I volunteer at a local bike co-op an may be able to get cups from a trashed sealed bearing BB........
Should work with no issues, as long as the Italian cups are still good.

The cups are the only difference on the Shimano sealed/cartridge bearing BB that I have looked at. Just installed a 73x110 UN54; the bearings and axle are the exact same as a 68x110; the cups are just deeper.
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Old 01-31-17, 12:59 PM
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One question, are the drive side cups separate parts on your bottom brackets or is the shell itself threaded? Older Shimano cartridges (BB-UN-7X) had removable drive side cups while newer and/or cheaper ones (BB-UN5X, et. al.) had the threads as part of the shell. If the cup isn't separate, you won't be able to use an English bb in an Italian frame.

Last edited by HillRider; 01-31-17 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 01-31-17, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Senior Ryder 00 View Post
Over the years I've collected some English threaded sealed bearing bottom brackets in various sizes. The bearings appear to be the same size. I've recently started an Italian threaded Bianchi build and since I like to recycle parts, was wondering if I could use Italian threaded cups with an axle & bearings that I have. I volunteer at a local bike co-op an may be able to get cups from a trashed sealed bearing BB.

Thanks and regards,

Van
what type of crankset are you going to use? if it is early 80's Campy then you start getting into aysmetrical axles and Iso vs Jis and other fun
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Old 01-31-17, 05:13 PM
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Curious Answer - Maybe

You won't hurt anything by trying...
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Old 01-31-17, 05:20 PM
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I am most familiar with Shimano bottom brackets, and I believe that the only difference between Eng and Ita is the cups - the cups have a built in spacer so the same bearing assembly can be used with both types. However, are Ita cups for your bearings available? And are they actually less expensive than a whole new BB assembly? Because a good quality BB like a UN-51 (or similar - I don't remember the exact naming convention) costs about the same as for what I imagine they would sell individual cups.

Edit:
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...9&category=268 <--- UN55 BB assembly for $19

Last edited by Wilfred Laurier; 01-31-17 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 01-31-17, 06:05 PM
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I dunno...mixing Italian and British is never a good idea. A good example would be the Innocenti Mini....
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Old 02-01-17, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Senior Ryder 00 View Post
Over the years I've collected some English threaded sealed bearing bottom brackets in various sizes. The bearings appear to be the same size. I've recently started an Italian threaded Bianchi build and since I like to recycle parts, was wondering if I could use Italian threaded cups with an axle & bearings that I have. I volunteer at a local bike co-op an may be able to get cups from a trashed sealed bearing BB.

Thanks and regards,

Van
This comes from a hardcore retrogrouch: use a new appropriate cartridge bearing for the build. Cheap, durable, reliable.

Italian cups should fit onto the old body, though fitting the right one (right hand side) will be tricky if I remember correctly (correct me if I'm wrong). Also, check for axle length, as well as the whole bearing unit length (width in the frame), since it might not match. This can be overcome sometimes if the left hand side cup has no limit set, but not always the best option.

BB is a critical, hard working part. Mind the chainline, mind the part quality. Cheap Shimano made ones are very durable and work fine - I'd get a new one.
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Old 02-01-17, 01:23 PM
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Senior Ryder 00: You are on the right track. The better quality square taper BBs from Shimano and Campagnolo shared the same core 'cartridge assembly', with replaceable cups, depending on whether the frame was Italian, English (68mm) or MTB English (73mm).

So if you have the ubiquitous Shimano UN72, then you can keep the central bearing/spindle core, and just use Italian cups. BTW: the plastic cups are better than the metal ones.

The cheaper Shimano cartridge BBs: this is not possible due to the fixed-cup side being non-removable.

The very last generation of Campagnolo square taper cartridge BBs such as Centaur, Record and Chorus - these are the best ever made, and also feature swappable cups. They are also completely serviceable, and all of the cart bearings are replaceable. If you have an ISO taper crankset....
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Old 02-01-17, 11:33 PM
  #12  
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Hi folks,

Thanks for the feedback. OK, so, this was one of those wild hair ideas. Things are further complicated by wanting to use an 80s Campagnolo Athena crank-set which probably requires an ISO taper BB axle. Does anyone know if Shimano BBs with Italian threaded cups come with ISO tapered axles or are they all JIS taper. I’ve seen a couple of e-bay ads that say the BBs are Italian thread and ISO taper, but I don’t really trust them.

The bike is an 84 Nuovo Racer which doesn’t justify an expensive BB. It came with a non-sealed Shimano BB, but without a crank. I guess I could figure out a way to check the taper.

Thanks again,

Van
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Old 02-02-17, 01:45 AM
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With an Athena crankset you need an ISO taper. All Campy BBs had a ISO taper. All Shimano BBs had a JIS taper, unless you're going back to the 70s.

Italian BBs are dirt cheap. You need either a 115 or 111mm wide spindle, I can't remember which; it depends on the vintage of the crankset.
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Old 02-02-17, 11:11 PM
  #14  
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Italian BBs are dirt cheap. You need either a 115 or 111mm wide spindle, I can't remember which; it depends on the vintage of the crankset.[/QUOTE]

Hi Dave,

Yes, I need a 115mm axle. Do you have a source or link to reasonably priced Athena compatible BB?

Thanks and regards,

Van
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Old 02-03-17, 10:36 AM
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Don't know, but personally I would give it a try. You'll know fairly quickly if it isn't going to work.
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