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Vintage Bike Bottom Bracket

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Vintage Bike Bottom Bracket

Old 05-08-20, 11:05 PM
  #1  
YankeeInTX
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Vintage Bike Bottom Bracket

I have a bottom bracket this is the correct size for the frame I am installing it on. It is threaded, and I meet quite a bit of resistance when trying to hand turn it and even turn it with a wrench. Is this typical of vintage frames? Does it need more grease?

The bracket is a shimano sized at 68x107
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Old 05-09-20, 12:53 AM
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cpach
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Nope, not typical. Doesn't need to hand turn but it should be easy with a tool. Make doubly sure that you're not cross threading it. Also, how do those threads look? A real bike shop should have a die to tap the bb threads, but they're crazy expensive for personal ownership.
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Old 05-09-20, 04:51 AM
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It should start to thread on fairly easily and then get harder to turn. As cpach says, it sounds as if you're cross-threading it. STOP before you ruin the threads.

A good bicycle mechanic should be able to chase the threads for you.

A bicycle co-op is a great place to learn how to do things like this. Unfortunately at this time most of those seem to be closed.

Good luck and cheers
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Old 05-09-20, 05:32 AM
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You might try cleaning up the frame threads with a wire brush, then removing the chips and adding some grease before trying again. If you still have issues seek help; forcing parts into place rarely improves a poor fit or crossed threads.
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Old 05-09-20, 06:24 AM
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andrewclaus
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Assuming it's a cartridge, it's marked L and R. Be sure you have that correct. Again, if it's a cartridge, if you put the "fixed cup" in first, it may be hard to start the "adjustable" cup.
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Old 05-09-20, 06:58 AM
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Concur with @dsbrantjr; clean the threads out with a wire brush and try again. Failing that, you may need to do more aggressive thread chasing. This is best done with a piloted tap set, but often an acceptable thread chaser can be made by grinding slots into an old bottom bracket cup:



Be aware that if your frame has English (most likely) or Swiss (rare) bottom bracket threads, the fixed cup side will be a left-hand thread, and you will need a separate thread chaser for each side.
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Old 05-09-20, 10:03 AM
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Thanks everyone. I decided to bring it to my LBS. The mechanic suggested thread chasing, as was mentioned here.

Luckily, I didnít cross thread and mess up anything. The mechanic said the threads are pretty fine and caked, but whatís making it difficult is the fact that the inside tubing holes (sorry, not sure about terminology) make it difficult for the bb to catch. He said he could probably jam it in now, but that would affect the future removal of the bb.

$40 to rethread and install bottom bracket. Iím thinking this is pricey, but the shop is located in an affluent suburbó the mechanic was helpful, so I donít mind doing things the right way.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by YankeeInTX View Post
Thanks everyone. I decided to bring it to my LBS. The mechanic suggested thread chasing, as was mentioned here.

Luckily, I didnít cross thread and mess up anything. The mechanic said the threads are pretty fine and caked, but whatís making it difficult is the fact that the inside tubing holes (sorry, not sure about terminology) make it difficult for the bb to catch. He said he could probably jam it in now, but that would affect the future removal of the bb.

$40 to rethread and install bottom bracket. Iím thinking this is pricey, but the shop is located in an affluent suburbó the mechanic was helpful, so I donít mind doing things the right way.
Not terrible to do all of that. Keep in mind you are paying for the skills, expertise and for use of the tools which aren't cheap. Good you are doing things the right way, your bike will thank you and you have just saved yourself big time and headaches.

Would love to see the project when it is complete. I love vintage bikes. Nothing like lugged steel to get you going in the morning. Heck even the old attempts at other materials like aluminum or carbon are neat to look at.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:58 AM
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If it was only the frame tube ends that stich inside the shell's ID) were the issue a simple grinding down/out of them would open up the clearance. A Dremel could do this although fairly slow. A 1/4" die grinder would make it a faster job. Andy
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Old 05-09-20, 04:48 PM
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Price will vary, but that's what I'd consider about 30 minutes of shop time, so if they have an approximately $80/hr shop rate that sounds about right, which wouldn't be uncommon in a high rent metropolitan area. They also may, fairly, be erring on the generous side of their labor rate given the relatively high tool cost.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:03 PM
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Car dealers around here charge more per hour, AND have a one hour minimum! I needed a five minute job on my truck, yep, 1 hour labor.

All things considered, to operate a bike shop and charge $40 for this job is cheap.
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