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BB Cartridge Shelf Life?

Old 06-04-21, 01:13 PM
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WaffleHouse
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BB Cartridge Shelf Life?

I was searching for a sealed bottom bracket cartridge for my 1995 Cannondale M200 the other day, and I saw a lot of New Old Stock units for sale. Given that grease breaks down over time and "dries out", it got me to thinking: is there a practical shelf life to sealed bottom bracket cartridges?

What say the BF community?
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Old 06-04-21, 01:49 PM
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Sealed cartridge bb units have a very long shelf life with no deterioration of the grease. I have a NIB BB-UN72 in my parts box purchased in the early 1990's. It was never installed but still turns smoothly and I would have no reservations about putting it into service if needed.
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Old 06-04-21, 02:44 PM
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I would install and ride it without second thoughts. Unless it was stored in an outside shed in, say, Phoenix for 25 years, the grease is probably fine. If you're worried, you might prop it on end (say in a large jar) and dribble some oil in to see if you can re-wet anything that dried up. Of course, it'll take another few years for all the extra oil to dribble out.
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Old 06-04-21, 02:54 PM
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Actual new bottom brackets will eliminate any of your worry of NOS bb's. Just because that particular model number isn't made any more doesn't mean that you can't find a new model that fits.

But in general, if the NOS BB was stored in reasonable conditions, it's probably as good as new. But during the 50 years it took that thing to become NOS, does the seller know the complete history of how it was stored?
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Old 06-05-21, 05:14 AM
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Thank you for the feedback, everyone.
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