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BB / Headset maintenance window?

Old 03-10-17, 10:08 AM
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BB / Headset maintenance window?

I've got a Cane Creek S6 headset and a Dura Ace 7700 bottom bracket, both about 16 years old, perhaps 7,000-10,000 miles on both, maybe more. Neither have ever been serviced but neither seems to be giving me a problem. Just keep riding until something doesn't sound right? Not trying to create an issue where there isn't one but also not sure if my lack of maintenance is setting me up for a problem later.
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Old 03-10-17, 10:36 AM
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If they are cartridge bearings, all you can realistically do in a normal environment is replace the bearings. In an emergency you can shoot some grease in them, but that is not as good as factory bearings.

I'd leave them until there is a good reason to service them.
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Old 03-10-17, 11:06 AM
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The shimano BB may be the one with ball and roller bearings. It should have periodic maintenance. I don't know how often. I service my cup and cone hubs every 2500 miles.
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Old 03-10-17, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad
The shimano BB may be the one with ball and roller bearings. It should have periodic maintenance. I don't know how often. I service my cup and cone hubs every 2500 miles.
Nope. The Dura Ace 7700 is an Octalink. Ride it until it quits.
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Old 03-10-17, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Nope. The Dura Ace 7700 is an Octalink. Ride it until it quits.
The Dura Ace BB-7700 Octalink bottom bracket was indeed maintainable and required periodic servicing and relubing and the OP's is way overdue.

There were some specific tools required and here is the Shimano installation and maintenance sheet:

https://cycle.shimano-eu.com/media/te...9830646804.pdf

The Ultegra (BB-6500) and 105 (BB-5500) models were indeed sealed and required no upkeep. Those were indeed ride until they quit and replace.
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Old 03-10-17, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
The Dura Ace BB-7700 Octalink bottom bracket was indeed maintainable and required periodic servicing and relubing and the OP's is way overdue.

There were some specific tools required and here is the Shimano installation and maintenance sheet:

https://cycle.shimano-eu.com/media/te...9830646804.pdf

The Ultegra (BB-6500) and 105 (BB-5500) models were indeed sealed and required no upkeep. Those were indeed ride until they quit and replace.
Learn something every day. Shimano's normal model is, as you said, to just ride them until they quit working...which, in my experience, is roughly forever. I also suspect that most people are ignorant like I am and just treat the Dura Ace like all the other Shimano bottom brackets.
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Old 03-10-17, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Learn something every day. Shimano's normal model is, as you said, to just ride them until they quit working...which, in my experience, is roughly forever. I also suspect that most people are ignorant like I am and just treat the Dura Ace like all the other Shimano bottom brackets.

That was one of their new and improved models that died because it had to be serviced often and no one liked it. It was replaced with a cartridge.
shimano's mistakes are replaced with little fanfare and no apology.
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Old 03-10-17, 01:06 PM
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Since its on your mind, how about Now?
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Old 03-10-17, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad
....shimano's mistakes are replaced with little fanfare and no apology.
Unlike Campy whose mistakes (chains requiring $200+ chain tools, Power Torque cranks, et. al.) just stay in the product line.

Anyway, the BB-7700 wasn't a mistake. It was designed to be lighter and have a bit less drag than the fully sealed Octalink bottom brackets. What was a mistake was the owners who didn't read the instructions and treated it like the sealed units.

Considering the OP's is 16 years old and has about 10,000 miles with no servicing, it was also a pretty tolerant of neglect.
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Old 03-10-17, 02:51 PM
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If it can be serviced, Now is the time. Possibly yesterday :-)
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Old 03-10-17, 03:24 PM
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A well respected grease (and oil) brand in our business has said that their grease isn't made to last past 5 years, independent of use. Andy
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Old 03-10-17, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for the help. Because I've only serviced old school equipment in the past, I've got a learning curve on this one and hopefully not a lot of fancy equipment to buy. If so these jobs might be for a reputable bike shop! Always appreciate the help found on this forum.
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Old 03-10-17, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by stan_road
Thanks for the help. Because I've only serviced old school equipment in the past, I've got a learning curve on this one and hopefully not a lot of fancy equipment to buy. If so these jobs might be for a reputable bike shop! Always appreciate the help found on this forum.
Instead of buying the required tools, etc, it might be cheaper to replace the BB-7700 with a BB-5500 truly sealed Octalink bottom bracket. They are still currently available and numerous suppliers sell them.

As cyccommute noted, they tend to last nearly forever and require no attention.
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Old 03-10-17, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
Unlike Campy whose mistakes (chains requiring $200+ chain tools, Power Torque cranks, et. al.) just stay in the product line.

Anyway, the BB-7700 wasn't a mistake. It was designed to be lighter and have a bit less drag than the fully sealed Octalink bottom brackets. What was a mistake was the owners who didn't read the instructions and treated it like the sealed units.

Considering the OP's is 16 years old and has about 10,000 miles with no servicing, it was also a pretty tolerant of neglect.
If the octalink was such a good idea sealed or otherwise why didn't it last?
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Old 03-10-17, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad
If the octalink was such a good idea sealed or otherwise why didn't it last?
The industry as a whole moved to external BB cranks, for the pros and cons of this, there are plenty of options around
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Old 03-11-17, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad
If the octalink was such a good idea sealed or otherwise why didn't it last?
Octalink v2 is still around on the lower-end (Alivio, etc) cranks. It lasted longer in the mountain bike groups. And it got replaced because it's strictly inferior to external HollowTech II.

Think of it this way, Octalink is basically just replaces the square taper with a spline interface. It eliminates a lot of the install issues with square taper, but other than that, it doesn't really have an advantage.
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Old 03-11-17, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad
If the octalink was such a good idea sealed or otherwise why didn't it last?
Octalink, and it's patent-avoiding near copy ISIS, used larger diameter spindles than square taper bottom brackets which improves stiffness but required smaller bearing balls to fit in the same outer shell size. Despite this, Octalinks generally had excellent durability but ISIS varied widely in quality and the bad ones were very bad so the whole concept got a bad name.

External bearing bottom brackets allowed larger bearings with the same larger spindle and increased the bearing spacing. Both of these contributed to even better stiffness, which may or may not mean anything useful but the concept has taken over the bottom bracket design world.
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Old 03-11-17, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
Octalink, and it's patent-avoiding near copy ISIS, used larger diameter spindles than square taper bottom brackets which improves stiffness but required smaller bearing balls to fit in the same outer shell size. Despite this, Octalinks generally had excellent durability but ISIS varied widely in quality and the bad ones were very bad so the whole concept got a bad name.

External bearing bottom brackets allowed larger bearings with the same larger spindle and increased the bearing spacing. Both of these contributed to even better stiffness, which may or may not mean anything useful but the concept has taken over the bottom bracket design world.

They were a solution looking for a problem. There was nothing wrong with the square taper bottom bracket except for the fact that it was a standard of sorts that more than one manufacturer could make money on.
Now what do you have that is really better. There were problems with the octalink or shimano would have kept on making them until the patent ran out.
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Old 03-12-17, 01:42 AM
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I used to worry about regularly servicing various bearings.

nowadays my attitude is:
if the effort of servicing is about the same as the effort to replace
just wait for it to act up before bothering with it
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Old 03-12-17, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad
They were a solution looking for a problem. There was nothing wrong with the square taper bottom bracket except for the fact that it was a standard of sorts that more than one manufacturer could make money on.
Well, the square taper had it's share of problems too. Installation had to be done properly or the arms loosened and were ruined and there were two somewhat incompatible "standards", JIS and ISO, and keeping them straight wasn't always done which could also lead to crank damage.

And, I agree that "new and improved" may be new but isn't always improved. Octalink (and ISIS) were stiffer than square tapers and external bottom brackets are stiffer yet. Does it really matter?
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