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Maintenance for Sealed Bottom Bracket? Also, 7-Speed Cassette?

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Maintenance for Sealed Bottom Bracket? Also, 7-Speed Cassette?

Old 04-28-20, 02:12 PM
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Miradaman
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Maintenance for Sealed Bottom Bracket? Also, 7-Speed Cassette?

OK, amateur here trying to research some basic vintage bike mechanics (slow work day). Looked up the catalog entry for my '89 Trek online and it says it has a "sealed" BB. Does this mean the BB doesn't need cleaning and repacking?
Question two, I assumed given the age this bike had a freewheel, but catalog says 7-speed cassette. I assume they're not just using the two terms interchangeably here, that it actually is a cassette?
Thanks everyone as usual.
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Old 04-28-20, 02:53 PM
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Sealed BBs do not require service, just replacement when worn out. Some folks try to open them up and grease them but I don't.
Cassette or freewheel? https://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
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Old 04-28-20, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Sealed BBs do not require service, just replacement when worn out. Some folks try to open them up and grease them but I don't.
Cassette or freewheel? https://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
Thanks. So, to quote the article, "Most decent-quality bikes made since the late 1980s have used this greatly improved design", i.e., cassette, then it's safe to assume Trek actually meant "cassette" in the catalog, not freewheel? They're not just using it as a generic term?

Yes, I could probably answer this myself by just taking it apart and looking, but haven't had the time...
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Old 04-28-20, 03:10 PM
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If you would take the time to read the article I linked to you will see this phrase and a picture: "Shimano Cassette Freehub, showing characteristic bulge on the right side of the body." No need to take anything apart, just look.
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Old 04-28-20, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
If you would take the time to read the article I linked to you will see this phrase and a picture: "Shimano Cassette Freehub, showing characteristic bulge on the right side of the body." No need to take anything apart, just look.
I did read it. Hence the quote in my previous post. And the article said some, not all, have the bulge...
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Old 04-28-20, 03:39 PM
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https://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
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Old 04-28-20, 04:22 PM
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There are some 7 speed cassettes. Someone a few days ago had an issue posted here. I thought he was mistaken when he referred to his as a cassette, but he was correct. However back then, I think that there were some marketing catalogs and other literature that used the terms loosely since cassettes and free hubs were the new thing to have, and they wanted their freewheels to sound more modern than they were.

There was also, a free wheel that did have a cassette that was more easily changed than what the typical freewheels were.
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Old 04-28-20, 04:43 PM
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"Sealed" can mean several things when it comes to bottom brackets. I have seen regular cup and cone bottom brackets that had seals in the cups that would keep dirt out of the inner workings. Similarly, the Campagnolo Record bottom bracket from my 1973 Raleigh Professional had reverse spiral "seals" that would actually throw road dirt and grit out as I pedalled. I could leave the bottom bracket for extended periods and the grease in the cups would stay very clean for a long time. Sealed cartridge bottom brackets are another thing entirely. They are very durable, not serviceable, and require no maintenance until they wear out. I no longer own my Professional, but the semi sealed bottom bracket from that bike is still as smooth and friction free as it was in 1973
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Old 04-28-20, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Miradaman View Post
OK, amateur here trying to research some basic vintage bike mechanics (slow work day). Looked up the catalog entry for my '89 Trek online and it says it has a "sealed" BB. Does this mean the BB doesn't need cleaning and repacking?
Question two, I assumed given the age this bike had a freewheel, but catalog says 7-speed cassette. I assume they're not just using the two terms interchangeably here, that it actually is a cassette?
Thanks everyone as usual.
Even though the BB is sealed, if you are wanting to service your bike and fully check out it's operation - I would suggest removing your cranks to clean them more thoroughly, then use the correct tools to remove the sealed bottom bracket. Once out of the bike you can check the bearings, check the condition of the bottom bracket threads, clean things, re-grease the threads and reassemble everything properly. This will give you confidence in your bottom bracket.
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Old 04-28-20, 05:30 PM
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As said "sealed " means different things. From my experience with that era Trek I'd be surprised if it had a sealed cartridge BB. Likely just means seals on a cup & cone BB.
My 84 Raleigh Gran Prix is "sealed" - Standard cup & cone with rubber seals where the spindle comes through the cups.
If it's cup & cone service it, if it's really a cartridge run it until it dies.

Got a picture?
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Old 04-28-20, 06:18 PM
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Would you post an image of the non drive side of your bottom bracket? That way we can tell if it's a sealed cup and cone unit or a sealed cartridge unit.

Yes, there were 7-speed cassettes. Most of the ones I'm familiar with were Shimano Uniglide ones where the smallest cog screwed onto the freehub body. I know some 7-speed cassettes were of the newer Hyperglide type where the cogs were held on by a threaded lockring that screwed to the inside of the freehub body. I have one freehub body here that was a hybrid design with both external threads for a Uniglide samll cog and internal threads for a Hypeglide lockring.

Cheers
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Old 04-29-20, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Would you post an image of the non drive side of your bottom bracket? That way we can tell if it's a sealed cup and cone unit or a sealed cartridge unit.

Yes, there were 7-speed cassettes. Most of the ones I'm familiar with were Shimano Uniglide ones where the smallest cog screwed onto the freehub body. I know some 7-speed cassettes were of the newer Hyperglide type where the cogs were held on by a threaded lockring that screwed to the inside of the freehub body. I have one freehub body here that was a hybrid design with both external threads for a Uniglide samll cog and internal threads for a Hypeglide lockring.

Cheers
Were? I run 7-speed Hyperglide cassettes on all 3 of my current bikes. I have NOS spares stashed away, too.
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Old 04-29-20, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
If you would take the time to read the article I linked to you will see this phrase and a picture: "Shimano Cassette Freehub, showing characteristic bulge on the right side of the body." No need to take anything apart, just look.
Yep, it has the bulge, so it is a 7-speed cassette. Puts a new wrinkle in my current quest for a budget wheel upgrade...
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Old 04-29-20, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Would you post an image of the non drive side of your bottom bracket? That way we can tell if it's a sealed cup and cone unit or a sealed cartridge unit.

Yes, there were 7-speed cassettes. Most of the ones I'm familiar with were Shimano Uniglide ones where the smallest cog screwed onto the freehub body. I know some 7-speed cassettes were of the newer Hyperglide type where the cogs were held on by a threaded lockring that screwed to the inside of the freehub body. I have one freehub body here that was a hybrid design with both external threads for a Uniglide samll cog and internal threads for a Hypeglide lockring.

Cheers
I'll try to remember to post a picture tonight when I get home. Now, would I need to remove the crank arm on that side before I take the picture? Or would you guys be able to tell with it on?
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Old 04-29-20, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Miradaman View Post
it's safe to assume Trek actually meant "cassette" in the catalog, not freewheel? They're not just using it as a generic term?.
Why are you asking?

I presume it's for the purpose of buying replacement parts. If that's the case, that's definitely not a safe assumption.
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Old 04-29-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Miradaman View Post
I'll try to remember to post a picture tonight when I get home. Now, would I need to remove the crank arm on that side before I take the picture? Or would you guys be able to tell with it on?
If it's a cup and cone bottom bracket there will be locking on the non-drive side of the bottom bracket. Thus, you should not have to take off the crankarm to get the image we need. Just tak the image from an angle that shows the shell of the bottom bracket behind the crankarm. An angle like this but from the non-drive side should work.


Cheers
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Old 04-29-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Why are you asking?

I presume it's for the purpose of buying replacement parts. If that's the case, that's definitely not a safe assumption.
Yeah, I was kicking around the idea of replacing the wheels. They're mismatched and a bit scuffed up.
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Old 04-29-20, 06:07 PM
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You can re-grease sealed cartridge bearings if you have the right tools & know how. You have to pluck out the plastic seal on the side. Then flush or soak the bearing to dissolve the old grease. Then, inject new lubricant into the bearing with a grease needle. Pop the plastic seal back on. That's it. That's all. Done deal.
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Old 04-29-20, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Would you post an image of the non drive side of your bottom bracket? That way we can tell if it's a sealed cup and cone unit or a sealed cartridge unit.

Yes, there were 7-speed cassettes. Most of the ones I'm familiar with were Shimano Uniglide ones where the smallest cog screwed onto the freehub body. I know some 7-speed cassettes were of the newer Hyperglide type where the cogs were held on by a threaded lockring that screwed to the inside of the freehub body. I have one freehub body here that was a hybrid design with both external threads for a Uniglide samll cog and internal threads for a Hypeglide lockring.

Cheers
Can you tell anything from this photo? Thanks
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Old 04-29-20, 07:27 PM
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That's an adjustable cup on the non drive side. There's plain old ball bearings inside. You'll need a crank arm remover tool. Some kind of spanner hook wrench. And, one of those adjustable pin spanner things to get it all apart. (Sorry, I'm going to have to look up the names of all those tools. Maybe somebody else knows proper nomenclature.)

https://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-SPA.../dp/B001B6PGHY

https://www.rei.com/product/710554/p...spanner-wrench

https://www.wish.com/product/5dc6110..._wcB&share=web

Last edited by ramzilla; 04-29-20 at 08:01 PM. Reason: tool names
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Old 04-29-20, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Miradaman View Post
Can you tell anything from this photo? Thanks
Great image.

That's a cup and cone bottom bracket not a sealed cartridge one. The seals on yours are most likely just inside each cup and are set into slight recesses. They are not as well sealed as a true sealed unti.

Cheers
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Old 04-29-20, 08:19 PM
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Looks like a Hatta "High Cup" cup & cone bottom bracket.
Service it or replace with a sealed cartridge unit
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