Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Having trouble with this bottom bracket... thing

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Having trouble with this bottom bracket... thing

Old 07-03-18, 08:14 AM
  #1  
dwengo
Saddler
Thread Starter
 
dwengo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Having trouble with this bottom bracket... thing

I'm renovating an old frame, I've removed the old bottom bracket but on one side there is a sort of... cap thing that I can't seem to get off, how would I go about getting it off, are any special tools required?


The right hand side, with the 'cap' thing on (I don't know why the camera focused on the brush in the background....)


Even the cat is confused


The other side
dwengo is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 08:24 AM
  #2  
mixteup 
Senior Member
 
mixteup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: NW Florida
Posts: 367

Bikes: A Few

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 12 Posts
That's the drive-side or "fixed" cup - You can make a homemade tool that works really well - Never failed me :
Tool Tips--Bottom Bracket Cups

Caution - It's possibly left hand thread

Last edited by mixteup; 07-03-18 at 08:28 AM.
mixteup is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 08:29 AM
  #3  
dwengo
Saddler
Thread Starter
 
dwengo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That's perfect, I googled stuck fixed cup and can see that its a common problem, thanks for the tip will give it a tried tonight
dwengo is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 08:29 AM
  #4  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,540

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1694 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
The "cap thing" is the RH BB bearing cup. It is very tightly secured into the shell and is often called the "fixed" cup to indicate it's not changing it's position after install. These can be a struggle to remove if the right tools are not available.

First thing is to determine the cup's threading direction so you know which way to turn it to loosen/remove it. By using the LH cup one can measure that and assume that the RH cup is also of the LH's spec standard. By looking into the shell carefully one might see the RH shell's threads and thus their direction.

Next is the tooling. While I have used bench vices and huge adjustable wrenches held onto the cup/shell with a through bolt/washers using the correct BB Fixed Cup Wrench makes things much easier to set up. Since the amount of force that will likely be needed to loosen the fixed cup is very large any tool slippage will mean greater injury.

This, like some headset work, is better done by a shop if good results are wanted. Their stock of tools and prior experience can make what can be a knuckle busting and dent prone procedure (if done at home) into a safe and damage free one. Andy.
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is online now  
Old 07-03-18, 08:29 AM
  #5  
Kovkov
Senior Member
 
Kovkov's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 244

Bikes: 1957 Alpa Special, 1963 Condor Delta, 1967 Tigra Sprint, 1977 Oltenia, 1987 Mondia, 1965 Staco de luxe, 1969 Amberg

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 4 Posts
You can also consider leaving it in place if it's still in good shape.
Kovkov is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 08:36 AM
  #6  
dwengo
Saddler
Thread Starter
 
dwengo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Kovkov View Post
You can also consider leaving it in place if it's still in good shape.
This is a good idea, I've cleaned down the rest of the frame now, and kind of assumed that If I want to fit a new BB in I would need to remove the fixed cup. Is that not the case?
dwengo is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 08:42 AM
  #7  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,273

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2405 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 78 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by dwengo View Post
I'm renovating an old frame, I've removed the old bottom bracket but on one side there is a sort of... cap thing that I can't seem to get off, how would I go about getting it off, are any special tools required?
Yup. You need a special tool to get it off. It's the worst tool ever made for a bike and the worst idea ever put on a bike...and there have been some real stinkers to compete with it! The tool will slip off and you will bash your knuckles. The cup is also on there tight so the tool will slip many times and you'll bash your knuckles many times. The thread is also a left hand thread so it righty loosey.

You can save your knuckles a but by using something like this to hold the wrench in place

2015-03-14 11.28.26 by Stuart Black, on Flickr
2015-03-14 11.21.32 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The parts are from old bike parts...an solid hub axle, axle nuts, the top of a kickstand and a lock ring. You can substitute a large fender washer for the lockring. Some clever monkey at my co-op improved the tool since the picture was taken by using a right hand cup screwed into the frame on the other side to keep the tool centered. It's still a horrible tool to use but at least you don't bash knuckles.

You might just want to take it to a shop and pay someone to take it off.

I would also suggest not putting it back on. Get a cartridge bearing bottom bracket and don't look back.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 08:48 AM
  #8  
dwengo
Saddler
Thread Starter
 
dwengo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the info, I realise I've got a lot more research to put in before going any further. I didn't realise there were so many different bottom bracket types and not all of them will match the frame either
dwengo is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 11:43 AM
  #9  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,982

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 413 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5299 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 35 Posts
But seriously consider not taking it out unless you're going to put a new one in. And if you do decide to take it out, heed the above advice and know that it is probably reverse-threaded.

One way that sometimes works for me is to clamp the cup in a bench vise and use the frame as the lever.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 07-04-18, 03:11 AM
  #10  
Kovkov
Senior Member
 
Kovkov's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 244

Bikes: 1957 Alpa Special, 1963 Condor Delta, 1967 Tigra Sprint, 1977 Oltenia, 1987 Mondia, 1965 Staco de luxe, 1969 Amberg

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by dwengo View Post
This is a good idea, I've cleaned down the rest of the frame now, and kind of assumed that If I want to fit a new BB in I would need to remove the fixed cup. Is that not the case?
Depends on how much of it You need/want to change. If all the parts are fine fresh grease will do it (and new balls since they are cheap). Of all old bikes i overhauled this far not one had bad cups. I often had to change the spindle because of pitting.
Kovkov is offline  
Old 07-04-18, 05:57 AM
  #11  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO, Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,483

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 620

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Once you determine it needs to be removed, you determine the correct thread pitch (RH or LH), you get the right tool, and it still doesn't come off with reasonable force...use a heat gun on the shell, and rap with a mallet on the handle of the tool.

As said above, unless you have a professional tool, assume the tool will slip and plan for your knuckles to fly somewhere safe.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 07-04-18, 07:13 AM
  #12  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,021

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 16 Posts
90-ish % of fixed cups are left hand thread, so "Clock-wise" to remove.
I've also had good luck usung cyccocommute's suggestion of clamping the tool in place for more difficult removals.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: http://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 07-04-18, 09:58 AM
  #13  
davidad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,763
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 284 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Griping the cup flats with a vice and using the frame as the lever usually works.
davidad is online now  
Old 07-04-18, 10:46 AM
  #14  
DannoXYZ 
Senior Member
 
DannoXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saratoga, CA
Posts: 11,739
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
90-ish % of fixed cups are left hand thread, so "Clock-wise" to remove.
I've also had good luck usung cyccocommute's suggestion of clamping the tool in place for more difficult removals.
More like 99.9%
DannoXYZ is offline  
Old 07-04-18, 04:05 PM
  #15  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,021

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
More like 99.9%
Yeah, 90% was low. ... 99.8453%
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: http://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 07-04-18, 08:58 PM
  #16  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,601
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 10 Posts
I've had some success giving the fixed cup tool a few gentle taps with a hammer. Clamping the tool in place, as @cyccommute shows, helps. Penetrating oil helps. Presence of rust suggests that the cup might be in there pretty good.

If you can clean the cup while it's in place, and see that it's not pitted, then it doesn't really have to come out. You could still put in a couple drops of penetrating oil, and then leave it for next time.
Gresp15C is online now  
Old 07-04-18, 09:06 PM
  #17  
Reeses
Senior Member
 
Reeses's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 808

Bikes: Scott CR1 Pro, Eimei

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Use a breaker bar on the end of the flat headset wrench of the correct size, hold the wrench on with your palm. Slowly break it free

Its a regular forward thread so back it out towards the back of the bike to loosen it

Last edited by Reeses; 07-04-18 at 09:16 PM.
Reeses is offline  
Old 07-05-18, 12:53 AM
  #18  
DannoXYZ 
Senior Member
 
DannoXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saratoga, CA
Posts: 11,739
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Also squirt PB-blaster from inside onto threads. And outside as well.

That stuff is magical! I've sprayed it on stuck seatposts and left it overnight. Found seatpost had unlocked and slid all way down into seat-tube by morning!
DannoXYZ is offline  
Old 07-05-18, 12:00 PM
  #19  
Crankycrank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,327
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Lots of good info here but I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that cats are useless at removing BB's. They also don't care if you mangle your knuckles when the wrench slips. I love cats. They're nice to have around but not much help with bike maintenance.
Crankycrank is offline  
Old 07-05-18, 12:23 PM
  #20  
ksryder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,723

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 673 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Lots of good info here but I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that cats are useless at removing BB's. They also don't care if you mangle your knuckles when the wrench slips. I love cats. They're nice to have around but not much help with bike maintenance.
Looks kind of aloof, too. Must be a Cat 1
ksryder is offline  
Old 07-31-18, 07:41 PM
  #21  
southpier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
so … as far as determining direction, would I be correct thinking left side is reverse thread, and right side is conventional ?

in other words:

left side = clockwise to LOOSEN

right side = counter - clockwise to LOOSEN

that way, pedaling would be a tightening force for both sides.

(1984 Peugeot P-17 in question)

thanks
ps: I tried the cup in the vise method but was reluctant to try too hard for lack of directional knowledge!
southpier is offline  
Old 07-31-18, 07:46 PM
  #22  
southpier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mixteup View Post
That's the drive-side or "fixed" cup - You can make a homemade tool that works really well - Never failed me :
Tool Tips--Bottom Bracket Cups

Caution - It's possibly left hand thread
OOPS: I just read the link in this post (Thank You mixteup) so maybe my above questions are superfluous !
southpier is offline  
Old 07-31-18, 07:49 PM
  #23  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,982

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 413 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5299 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by southpier View Post
so … as far as determining direction, would I be correct thinking left side is reverse thread, and right side is conventional ?

in other words:

left side = clockwise to LOOSEN

right side = counter - clockwise to LOOSEN

that way, pedaling would be a tightening force for both sides.

(1984 Peugeot P-17 in question)

thanks
ps: I tried the cup in the vise method but was reluctant to try too hard for lack of directional knowledge!
Nope. Pedals are like that, where the left pedal (for your left foot) is reverse threaded. Bottom bracket cups have reverse threads in the fixed cup, the drive-side cup, the cup nearer your right foot.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 07-31-18, 07:55 PM
  #24  
southpier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
got it; thank you.
southpier is offline  
Old 07-31-18, 08:41 PM
  #25  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,338

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1659 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Yup. You need a special tool to get it off. It's the worst tool ever made for a bike and the worst idea ever put on a bike...and there have been some real stinkers to compete with it!
To be fair, there are far better tools for dealing with a stubborn fixed cup, e.g.:



But they're not cheap. And really, if there's nothing wrong with the fixed cup, there's no compelling reason to remove it.
JohnDThompson is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.