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Merlin Pressed-In (pressfit?) bottom bracket

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Merlin Pressed-In (pressfit?) bottom bracket

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Old 03-03-17, 08:34 AM
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VintageDude
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Merlin Pressed-In (pressfit?) bottom bracket

Hi folks - I have an eye on a nice, early Merlin titanium road bike in my size that has a pressed-in bottom bracket.

What I'd like to know is whether I should avoid this bike due to that BB or if that BB type is serviceable and isn't considered a real liability. At this point, the BB runs smooth and there's no play in it. Do they simply loosen over time/miles?

Any info on these would be really appreciated.

I'm aware of the costs of switching out the BB shell for a threaded one and that isn't something I'm interested in.

Thank you!

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Old 03-03-17, 09:11 AM
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Think you need to do some research on costs before you buy the bike, the early pressed in BB sounded interesting, and a quick Google search bought this thread up from here http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-me...placement.html it's only a couple of years old, so should still be relevant.

Thinking what it will do, is severely limit you to the choice of cranks you can put on it, so would be aware of that.
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Old 03-03-17, 09:26 AM
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Agree that future crank replacement will be the real potential limit with this BB. As to retaining the current crank that's no problem These BBs used common radial contact cartridge bearings that were pressed in (don't remember if they were also located by retainer rings or retaining compound but these are just another hurdle to get over) and can be serviced/replaced by qualified/experienced people with little real concerns.


My Burley tandem used much the same set up and I replaced those bearings before with acceptable results a few times (I sold Burley for many years and did this on a few bikes). Really it's the spindle that controls the situation. Andy.
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Old 03-03-17, 10:13 AM
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They still accept any square taper crankset though, right? Just nothing beyond that? Thanks.
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Old 03-03-17, 10:25 AM
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Measure, I see no dimensions... as to what is the size of the bearing it is that fits.

is there a snap ring? a pressed in BB can be pressed out also,
with an Arbor press

There are 17mm BB axles from Phil Wood , Chromo-stainless or Ti,
a 17mm ID bearing and a sleeve over the axle between those bearings,
presses into that BB shell , and there is your new BB..


...

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-12-18 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 03-03-17, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Measure, I see no dimensions... as to what is the sze of the bearing it is that fits.


When the time to replace the bearings comes the "size" will be labeled on the "rubber" seal. (as example 6802 or 6001). Andy
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Old 03-03-17, 01:20 PM
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Nobody starts off with dimensions when they post, it seems.
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Old 03-03-17, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Nobody starts off with dimensions when they post, it seems.

I completely agree and I suspect both an ignorance and assumption (that all info is on line) leads many to neglect info. I made a comparison to asking a Dr for help but not telling them detail...


But in this case the OP wasn't looking for bearing replacement help. He was trying to understand the options he has (or more in this case the options he doesn't have). I have no problem with the data he supplied for the question he asked. Andy
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Old 03-03-17, 01:35 PM
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People - be nice please. As I stated in my initial post, "Hi folks - I have an eye on a nice, early Merlin titanium road bike in my size that has a pressed-in bottom bracket." I didn't say I had the bike in my possession. What I'm really looking for are people who have owned Merlin road bikes or similar (Klein is another good example with the pressed in BB from early 90s) and if they would recommend steering clear of these because they come loose over time and their repair/replace/adjustment is more pain that it's worth, OR... if the BBs are reliable and there really isn't a strong history of chronic problems with them. Thanks again.
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Old 03-03-17, 01:45 PM
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VD- I thought I was being non judgmental in my replies. Sorry if I wasn't


I haven't owned a Merlin but have serviced many over the years including some with the press fitted BB. (So to with some early Fishers and the tandem work I already mentioned). None of these suffered any issues unique to the design or assembly. All have had wear and age/exposure in time. Exactly what you would expect/suspect in a well done system.


It was only when the bearings finally did need replacement that the non typical assembly required other the usual methods of service. Not really hard just not common process and tools. Which is why many shops these days that are looking at volume in their service dept. might shy away from this work.




This says nothing about the products (but a lot about some shops focus).


So to recap, in my experience these Bb prove to be very reliable and long lasting but are just steel and "rubber" and suffer the same wear in time that all Bbs do. As long as you're happy with the current crank I see no reason to not consider this bike. Andy.
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Old 03-03-17, 01:48 PM
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A friend bought one of these frames about a year ago. I'm pretty sure he had the bearing serviced after he got it.
It's perfectly fine as long as you're willing to stay retro and run square taper cranks. This is just one of my friends many bikes, so he is cool with that, he has a newer Trek with fancy 11 speed stuff on it.
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Old 03-03-17, 03:40 PM
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Andrew - You were non-judgmental, no problems at all. Thank you for your help - much appreciated.
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Old 03-05-17, 03:53 AM
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It occurs to me it should be possible to have external bearing cups machined so it can take a Hollowtech, GXP, or Ultra/PowerTorque crank.

Certainly a lot cheaper than replacing the BB shell.
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Old 08-08-17, 12:17 PM
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I have a '92 Merlin road bike with a Grease Guard bottom bracket. I bought the frame new, I've put a ton of miles on it and I still love it. That bottom bracket is easily serviced and the frame has a lovely ride, particularly if you're into longer distance stuff. The only downside is the bottom bracket's square taper design I suppose. My frame has straight gauge tubing -- it's not the extralight.


I remember being a little nervous about that bottom bracket design when I bought the frame, but it's been fine. It comes apart with typical home garage shop tools and the bearings are easy to find.

Last edited by tamnalan; 08-08-17 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 08-08-17, 12:32 PM
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Car drivetrain has lots of press fit cartridge bearings.

Grease guard is patented.. Sun tour paid a fee to use it, but they went out of business.
Nobody else approached the patent holders, since.
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Old 08-08-17, 06:45 PM
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Phil Wood sells outboard bearing bottom brackets that acccept Shimano Hollowtech II cranks and they have a "press fit" model specifically as a retrofit for older Klein frames but say any frame that use press fit 6003 bearings can also accept it. Check it out.

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Old 08-10-17, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Phil Wood sells outboard bearing bottom brackets that except Shimano Hollowtech II cranks and they have a "press fit" model specifically as a retrofit for older Klein frames but say any frame that use press fit 6003 bearings can also accept it. Check it out.

I learned something new, thanks. Leave it to Phil! Andy
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Old 07-11-18, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tamnalan View Post
I have a '92 Merlin road bike with a Grease Guard bottom bracket. I bought the frame new, I've put a ton of miles on it and I still love it. That bottom bracket is easily serviced and the frame has a lovely ride, particularly if you're into longer distance stuff. The only downside is the bottom bracket's square taper design I suppose. My frame has straight gauge tubing -- it's not the extralight.


I remember being a little nervous about that bottom bracket design when I bought the frame, but it's been fine. It comes apart with typical home garage shop tools and the bearings are easy to find.
I just scooped up this 1992 61cm Merlin Road in what what the owner described as less than 200 miles and in perfect conditon.
I sent you a PM and look forward to discussing this new to me Merlin Ti. It’s nice to know from someone who actually owns a Merlin Road that IF I need to replace the BB bearings it’s not that big a deal.


61 cm 1992 Merlin Road







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Old 07-11-18, 08:45 AM
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Welcome to Merlin Metalworks

https://www.wtb.com/blogs/wtb/154264...bottom-bracket
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Old 07-12-18, 06:26 AM
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Thank you! Hopefully I won’t need to replace the BB, but if so this will help for sure!
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Old 07-12-18, 10:46 AM
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I edited 5th post above.. I have a a One Off Touring bike ,
snap ring BB shell , for a pressed in BB, (gentile tap with a soft face mallet )

frame part, came from Burly Tandem , Stoker end...
it has only 1 hole in the shell between the bearings
and that has a Zirk grease nipple in it....

Shell, a sleeve with Grooves in the inside edges for a snap ring ..
the BB, would be reasonable to replace if needed..

One just may need a visit to a shop with the press...
to press the old BB bearing assembly out..
In my case, overcoming the loc tite..


....

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-12-18 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 07-12-18, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Phil Wood sells outboard bearing bottom brackets that acccept Shimano Hollowtech II cranks and they have a "press fit" model specifically as a retrofit for older Klein frames but say any frame that use press fit 6003 bearings can also accept it. Check it out.
Kleins used a larger diameter BB than Merlin, and no one makes a pressed in external for the small Merlin diameter. With a 24mm spindle, I don't know if there would be room for an adequately strong press sleave - it would have to be around 2mm thick.

The Merlin system works well, you can buy the bearing and get a new spindle in JIS or ISO in most any length from Phil Wood. So while you are restricted to square taper, it is really just about any square taper. I don't think it is much an issue.
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Old 07-12-18, 12:15 PM
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rather than Outside, I have a sleeve as a spacer between the bearing inner races...
it slipped over the straight square taper axle..

24mm hollowtech would need a threaded bb shell .. or probably oversize..

"Bullsye" Roger Durham , who held the patent for a tube spindle attached to the right crank arm ,
... to have an internal BB, used a combination of roller bearings for the loading and ball bearings for the thrust sideways .
to fit it all into a normal type of Frame..
no bearings were very large but there were a lot of them..




...

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Old 07-12-18, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
rather than Outside, I have a sleeve as a spacer between the bearing inner races...
it slipped over the straight square taper axle..


"Bullsye" Roger Durham , who held the patent for a tube spindle attached to the right crank arm ,
... to have an internal BB, used a combination of roller bearings for the loading and ball bearings for the thrust sideways .
to fit it all into a normal type of Frame..
no bearings were very large but there were a lot of them..
I don't know what the first bit means.

But the tube spindle thing is exactly how a Dura Ace Octalink tube spindle BB works.

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Old 07-12-18, 02:04 PM
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yea but the patent had to lapse first.. now it's fair game..

like sun tour's patented slant pantograph Rear Derailleur design ,
now that has expired , everyone is using it..


cartridge bearings have an inner race. and an outer race.





.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-12-18 at 02:09 PM.
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