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Bottom bracket or new bike?

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Bottom bracket or new bike?

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Old 12-07-18, 11:18 AM
  #1  
zowie
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Bottom bracket or new bike?

Hi.


My ol' aluminum frame/carbon fork Lemond has about 15000 miles on it. I'm very comfortable on it.


15 year old Ultegra 8 x 3 drivetrain with lower end brifters. Plus clyde-worthy hand built wheels with only about 5k on them.


Recently replaced 2 chain rings, cables and housings and bar tape (big deal).


Now the bottom bracket seems to have had it. That's a job I don't have tools for or experience doing. It's about due for new tires and chain too, and who knows what the next thing might be or how long.


What do you think: keep it fully maintained, or leave it as is for a spare and put the money towards something new? I wouldn't mind a having something with little more lower gear, wider tires and maybe even discs, but I'm a waste-not want-not type of guy.
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Old 12-07-18, 11:41 AM
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caloso
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A new BB is $30. https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-10...Bottom-Bracket
The tool that you need to remove the old one and install the new one is $13. https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-TL...tallation-Tool
It takes about 15 minutes to do. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...cartridge-type

You can decide if that is such an expense and hassle that it makes more sense to buy an entire new bike.
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Old 12-07-18, 11:49 AM
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zowie
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Thanks. Do I need to have a torque wrench or can I use a regular ratchet?
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Old 12-07-18, 12:15 PM
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I took mine to the LBS, where it took almost a month for daily applications of penetrating oil and whacking to move the old BB. Labor and BB came to $45, IIRC. A lot cheaper than a new bike, and it's lasted for over 25,000 miles since then.

Naturally, I took it apart 3 months after getting the new BB installed and used my new BB tool, new Allen key "socket," and 25-year old beam torque wrench to re-install the BB with Teflon tape. The Teflon tape is supposed to make it easy to remove the next time.
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Old 12-07-18, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by zowie View Post
It's about due for new tires and chain too, and who knows what the next thing might be or how long.
I consider chain and tire replacement to be annual or semi-annual maintenance. Your bike is by no means obsolete, and it's not like an aging car, where one repair inevitably leads to another. Moreover, it seems to me that even if you want to "keep it as a spare" you'd still want to replace the chain and tires.

Originally Posted by zowie View Post
I wouldn't mind a having something with little more lower gear, wider tires and maybe even discs.
I don't see this as an either/or proposition. Add a gravel bike to your stable and you can have it all!
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Old 12-07-18, 12:44 PM
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So for fifteen years you have not needed a BB tool or torque wrench and you probably won't need them again for another fifteen years. You have confirmed that your BB is bad, right? Maybe just buy a BB at an LBS and negotiate the install as a package. You'll need a new cassette soon so add that in and get lower gears in the process. When the tires wear out, replace them with wider. That's all cheap and easy and you can get riding quickly. But if all you want is permission, stand by.
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Old 12-07-18, 01:14 PM
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Just make sure you know what crank/spindle interface and spindle length your crank uses. I believe that 8 speed Ultegra was still Square taper and not Octalink.
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Old 12-07-18, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Just make sure you know what crank/spindle interface and spindle length your crank uses. I believe that 8 speed Ultegra was still Square taper and not Octalink.
When the LBS pulls the old one, the spindle specs will be revealed. A Shimano UN55 goes for about 20 bucks, and will likely last several years. Totally worth it, IMO.
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Old 12-07-18, 08:25 PM
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You would also need a crank puller to get the square taper cranks off.
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Old 12-11-18, 02:36 PM
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zowie
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Thanks. Appreciate all the good replies!
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Old 12-11-18, 03:41 PM
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Older square taper BBs are easy. I'm no mechanical whiz and have only a few basic tools but redid my Univega's BB last night while semi-watching TV.

Only reason I bothered was to track down a persistent creaking noise. I'd already snugged down the lock rings, which seemed to help... for awhile. Then I tightened the crank arm nuts, which seemed to help... for awhile.

Then I thought, ah, must be the old SSK Bluemel fenders I just re-installed. They'd been in the closet for a couple of years. Snugged down all the nuts and bolts again, checked contact points where the fender was rubbing the frame, slipped paper between contact points to eliminated variables... nope.

Maybe the cassette lockring was loose again? Nope.

Oh, wait a dang minute... that stupid dork disc I meant to remove a couple of months ago.

It was the plastic dork disc.

But, hey. that BB needed regreasing after, what... it was made in 1992? The spindle was pitted on one raceway so I just reinstalled the original captive bearings for now since they were good. Eventually I'll need to replace the whole BB but it's fine for now as a commuter and casual ride bike.

It was all done before the movie was over and I was mostly loafing around.
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