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(Safely) Removing Gazell 1980s Bottom Bracket. Mission Impossible?

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(Safely) Removing Gazell 1980s Bottom Bracket. Mission Impossible?

Old 08-27-22, 12:07 PM
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(Safely) Removing Gazelle 1980s Bottom Bracket. Mission Impossible?




My Mission (should I choose to accept it): Safely extract a Gazelle 1980's style press-fit bottom bracket, then reinstall.

Mission Brief: The original bracket is in excellent condition after 33 years and has no play, but there is an issue. Whichever a**hat who previously owned this bike (or the outfit who sold it to me which refuses to claim responsibility) snipped the existing dynamo wire flush at the point of exit near the fork, thus requiring a replacement. Our original plan was to use the existing wire to help string the new wire through, but because it was cut flush, it plopped right into the tube the moment we tried to fish it out, never again to see the light of day. We must now string a whole new wire through the tubes (from the fork to the fender-stay, which means the bottom bracket must be extracted to access this junction.

Mission headquarters would prefer to keep this bracket instead of replacing it, but we have evidence that in order to extract, brute force attack must be applied, as shown in this video with a similar style:


Headquarters has attempted to source a new bottom bracket through our international supply depot, but alas, it appears this particular style is no longer produced. It may be possible to replace this bracket with a new oneóeither Exhibit 1 or Exhibit 2 ; however, supply chains are tangled at port, which would likely delay our mission for an undetermined period of time. (We have a current parcel overdue by a week.)

Additionally, it is also unclear whether this new style will even fit, given the constraints of the original chainguard; the depot has insufficient information to confirm which style would work.

Given that the bushings are made of plastic, extraction of the part may cause them to become loose, or even break entirely.

{{END OF BRIEF}}


Question: Does anyone have any knowledge or experience on the best way to remove and reinstall this part without damage to it? Are there any tools that can be used to extract it, other than using a hammer?

Last edited by Ratspeed; 08-29-22 at 03:58 AM. Reason: Mispelled Title
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Old 08-27-22, 01:27 PM
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Consider going the other way………

Go to the other end of the wire and extend it 3-4’.
slide 3’ of small tubing over the extended wire.
slide the tubing into the frame using the extended & existing wire as the guide. You might have to remove the fork for the last bit if you can’t fish the tube out.
once tube is in place, pull old wire out and new wire in through the tube.

just what you needed but bass ackwards !

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Old 08-27-22, 01:50 PM
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...there are various tricks to running/replacing internally routed cables and wires in a bike frame.
I don't know esactly what your setup is, but I would try a couple of those before I pounded out that bottom bracket.

One is to use a small diameter, but relatively stiff stainless wire as your fish tape, and whenever it makes its way to the exit hole, and you see it down in there, making faces at you, to fish it out through the the exit hole with a tiny hook implement, that you have either manufactured or found somewhere. Once you have the fish wire in place, you use cmall diameter heat shrink to fasten one end of it to the wire you want to run for the dynamo, and gently and carefully pull it through. It's tedious, but doable usually..
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Old 08-27-22, 02:13 PM
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+1 Leave the BB alone.
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Old 08-27-22, 02:39 PM
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I'd just put up with external cable routing until the bottom bracket needed replacement. In fact I don't think I've ever had internal cables, despite using a variety of dynamos over many years. But as long as you're sure that's a press fit bottom bracket ...
I can't quite tell - is the bearing retained by a small lip on the black part? I wonder if it's waiting to pop out and could be encouraged by resting the black bit on a wooden block with an appropriately sized hole, rather than trying to support the frame and knocking the whole assembly out. That might make it a less bad design than the one in the video you included.
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Old 08-28-22, 12:47 AM
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Y'know what? I think I'm going to replace this bottom bracket after all.

tl;dr version: It came off easily. A small plastic piece broke off, probably not a biggie, but this thing was built very cheaply and probably would have worn out eventually with heavy use. Replacing it will be easy. It turns out Sturmey-Archer's parent company makes a replacement part.


And I found a domestic supplier. This bracket has a full metal casing which should last longer. Hopefully the bearings are decent.

The long version for those interested:

It was extremely easy to remove. All it took was four good whacks with a mallet and it popped out. A small piece of plastic chipped off. Not a perfect success, and yes I did damage it enough to probably cause problems, so I will most likely need to replace it, but I think I would have done that anyways. Here's why:

The entire casing is plastic. This would have cracked sooner or later. Based off the patent number, I have a feeling this was Gazelle's first model, and design improvements have probably been made in the last 40 years.

It looks like someone on another forum had bad stuff to say about this bracket as well:
https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?p=3056849

Since I've gone and done this, and since there seems to be no information about this old style bottom bracket (at least in the English-speaking world), I might as well use this opportunity for forensics to let the world see, so here's some pictures:


Half the bracket with male end of the casing. The small part that broke off is in the back. This is what locks the male end into the female end. So there might be jiggling problems if I try reinstalling it.



Female end of the bracket. This is after I removed a bunch of grime and dirt. There is no dust covering. It depended on the chainguard to keep dust out, completely. I've noticed a little resistance, so I would have needed to replace the grease anyways. It feels pretty dry.



The wire is very easy to access now. Moves freely.



Some dirt and particulates managed to make their way in, but overall pretty clean. You can see the female portion of the casing, just free-floating inside, also made of plastic.



The extracted portion shows the same type of bushing as the female end. This makes me think either a plastic dust cap was missing, or they simply didn't think it was needed.



38mm diameter. Common size. Axle length is 127mm.

So that's where things stand. I'm going to buy an aftermarket part and try it out. I'll shop around for some reviews, but I think the Sunrace part will work. I'll keep on posting updates if people are still interested in reading!

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Old 08-28-22, 02:14 AM
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1. For future reference, yarn and a vacuum cleaner is a good way to get something from Point A to Point B in a tube system. Compressed air works too, but the opposite way obviously. Use the yarn to pull string or something of more substance, until you can pull your wire.
2. Assuming some slack, and no access for tweezers, a toothpick and a dot of superglue can fish a wire out of a hole if it isnít in too far or bound up.
3. Make sure that wire isnít rubbing on the BB spindle. On bikes with a shift cable there the cable goes over the spindle rather than under. Likely less important with a slack wire than with a tensioned cable, but you donít want to run through the wire over time.
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Old 08-28-22, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
1. For future reference, yarn and a vacuum cleaner is a good way to get something from Point A to Point B in a tube system. Compressed air works too, but the opposite way obviously. Use the yarn to pull string or something of more substance, until you can pull your wire.
2. Assuming some slack, and no access for tweezers, a toothpick and a dot of superglue can fish a wire out of a hole if it isnít in too far or bound up.
3. Make sure that wire isnít rubbing on the BB spindle. On bikes with a shift cable there the cable goes over the spindle rather than under. Likely less important with a slack wire than with a tensioned cable, but you donít want to run through the wire over time.
I might just end up using something like this once it comes time to install the wires. I still have to find a way to get through that tiny hole in the headtube, so thank you, I'll keep that in mind!
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Old 08-28-22, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
1. 3. Make sure that wire isnít rubbing on the BB spindle. On bikes with a shift cable there the cable goes over the spindle rather than under. Likely less important with a slack wire than with a tensioned cable, but you donít want to run through the wire over time.
A piece of heat shrink tubing around the wire isn't a bad idea if there is room.
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Old 08-28-22, 12:48 PM
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...is there any chance that Gazelle used a standard dimensional BB shell, and just didn't bother to thread the thing, because this was a cheaper alternative, and faster to assemble on the production line ? I would measure that shell, and if it's standard inner dimension identical to a threaded shell, I'd probably just convert it over to threaded, using a set of piloted taps. The other alternative, assuming it is a standard BB shell, but lacking threads, is to go with one of the threadless units made by Sunlite.

I have a general mistrust for press fit bottom bracket units. they often do not press in firmly enough to prevent some noise issues arising after a time.

I'm just guessing, but that's probably why your original had those plastic shells on the ends, and why your new, all metal one, might be problematic.
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Old 08-28-22, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...is there any chance that Gazelle used a standard dimensional BB shell, and just didn't bother to thread the thing, because this was a cheaper alternative, and faster to assemble on the production line ? I would measure that shell, and if it's standard inner dimension identical to a threaded shell, I'd probably just convert it over to threaded, using a set of piloted taps. The other alternative, assuming it is a standard BB shell, but lacking threads, is to go with one of the threadless units made by Sunlite.

I have a general mistrust for press fit bottom bracket units. they often do not press in firmly enough to prevent some noise issues arising after a time.

I'm just guessing, but that's probably why your original had those plastic shells on the ends, and why your new, all metal one, might be problematic.
Ahh, see, I'm very new to biking fandom and have no aftermarket product knowledge! I'm much more used to PC building, and I know of no "Newegg" style website where bike parts can be filtered deductively.

As for altering the bike frame, my goal is to restore, not renovate, so I would like to stay with a press-fit bottom bracket. The plastic bushings of the SunRace BB should be able to be hammered to keep it in place. Does the Sunlite model use the same method? The piece as a whole definitely looks like an upgrade from the cheap plastic stuff. If that will also have a compression fit, I wouldn't mind trying it out!
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Old 08-28-22, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratspeed View Post
Ahh, see, I'm very new to biking fandom and have no aftermarket product knowledge! I'm much more used to PC building, and I know of no "Newegg" style website where bike parts can be filtered deductively.

As for altering the bike frame, my goal is to restore, not renovate, so I would like to stay with a press-fit bottom bracket. The plastic bushings of the SunRace BB should be able to be hammered to keep it in place. Does the Sunlite model use the same method? The piece as a whole definitely looks like an upgrade from the cheap plastic stuff. If that will also have a compression fit, I wouldn't mind trying it out!

...buy yourself a decent caliper at someplace like Harbor Freight. Measure the inside diameter of the shell (to which you now have access.) Measure it across the diameter of the shell in a couple of directions, three or four times. Then either measure a standard BB shell diameter, or look it up. They are a little different for French, Italian, and standard, but not that much different. Then measure the width of the shell. If they used a standard shell to make the frame, it ought to be close to 68mm wide.

The Sunlight thingy is a relatively high quality product, aimed mostly at aftermarket users who have unfortunately managed to damage the threading in their threaded BB bicycles. I haven't used one in years, but therrre have been various threadless repair BB units that have popped up from various makers over the years. White Industries offered one once, Velo Orange sold them for a while, and there was even an early model made by some manufacturer I forget now, that required a special tool to cut an angular taper into the shell edges, so it would self center as you tightened it.

Sunlite is probably all you're gonna find for sale these days, but they make reasonably high quality stuff, and these are offered in various lengths. The shell is metal, but the advantage is that as you tighten the thing on installation, it forces the tapers into the shell, and if they ever loosen (they usually don't), you can retighten it in the shell. Any creaking is remedied by greasing the shell and taper mating surfaces when installing it. And there's no pounding to install, which keeps the sealed bearings safer.

But it won't work if the BB shell on your frame is not pretty close to standard measurement.


^^^one of the earliest threadless bottom brackets, removed from an old Ron Cooper frame. Note the convex taper on the lock rings. (They are on backwards in this picture.) ^^^
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Old 08-28-22, 11:32 PM
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Went ahead and grabbed the Sunlite. Ended up being the same price as the Sunrace+shipping.

I'll keep the Sunrace in the box and try installing the Sunlite first. If it doesn't work, I'll have the Sunrace on standby. Since the Sunlite is built to use proper modern tools to remove it, it will be wonderful for maintaining compared to sledgehammering plastic bushings each time.

Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...buy yourself a decent caliper at someplace like Harbor Freight. Measure the inside diameter of the shell (to which you now have access.) Measure it across the diameter of the shell in a couple of directions, three or four times. Then either measure a standard BB shell diameter, or look it up. They are a little different for French, Italian, and standard, but not that much different.
Caliper measurements are between 37.6 to 38mm. I'm assuming it's slightly less than 38mm for that plastic 38mm compression fit to work.

The shell length is a proper 68mm. My spindle is 127, so the Sunlite HD295CPX 127.5mm is what I bought.

Newbie question: What does JIS stand for? I'm assuming that has something to do with the square tapered spindle ends, because every time I see it mentioned it states "square spindles." That like a standards committee or something? Similar to JEDEC for computer RAM DIMM standards?

Staring at all this "Sun" stuff, I'm gonna end up ruining my vision.

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Old 08-28-22, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...is there any chance that Gazelle used a standard dimensional BB shell, and just didn't bother to thread the thing, because this was a cheaper alternative, and faster to assemble on the production line ? I would measure that shell, and if it's standard inner dimension identical to a threaded shell, I'd probably just convert it over to threaded, using a set of piloted taps. The other alternative, assuming it is a standard BB shell, but lacking threads, is to go with one of the threadless units made by Sunlite.

I have a general mistrust for press fit bottom bracket units. they often do not press in firmly enough to prevent some noise issues arising after a time.

I'm just guessing, but that's probably why your original had those plastic shells on the ends, and why your new, all metal one, might be problematic.
Oh, by the way, I think there might have been some miscommunication going on.

The new Sunrace I bought has plastic bushings for a press-fit. It is meant as a direct Gazelle replacement. It is not all-metal.

Press-fit was something I think Gazelle came up with. Their 1981 patent apparently made this a new product. Prior to the 80s I believe they used another method. I remember hearing somewhere that threaded bottom brackets were an evolution from this press-fit invention, but don't quote me on that.

I'm also having a sudden doubt about the Sunlite working. I happened to just now catch this comment on Amazon:



By "flange," are they referring to this?

Or this?

Their terminology is so vague. If "diameter that slides into the bottom bracket tube" means the thicker diameter of the casing, minus the flange, 33.5mm will be much too skinny. If "flange" means the fatter diameter prior to final outer flange, then 38.5 will be 0.5mm too wide.

Either way... hrm... not sure if this product will work.

You mentioned French and Italian standards? What about Dutch standards? That's where Gazelle bikes are produced.

Okay, Edit time:

I just found the Manufacturer's webpage for the product, and it has an engineering schematic. Time to do some quick heavy braining.






I believe the inner 33.4mm diameter is meant to have space inside the shell, and the flange is "too wide" to fit into the shell by a millimeter, which is what you might have meant when you said "forces the tapers into the shell." Considering my shell's inner diameter is 37.6mm - 38mm, then it should squeeze in for a tight fit. If not, the lip of the flange might remain outside.

If I'm understanding this correctly, then the product would work, yeah?

The Manufacturer calls this the "BB993", unlike Modern Bike which calls it the "HD295CPX," and the Amazon and eBay pages which call it "Part Number: ‎20964" AND "BBS PART# 4587-68x127". They're all referring to the exact same product, but all call it something different, so for sanity purposes I'll refer to it as what the Manufacturer calls it. However! The manufacturer also mentions "Model" and provides a chart, with differing spindle lengths:

Can we make things any more difficult??

(I also like how they mispelled "SHELL")

Okay, so! Let's also take a look at their Installation Instruction PDF:



In the cross-section diagram on the bottom left, it shows that the flange remains outside the shell (unless it's just a generalized representation).

Where am I going with all this? I don't know! But my best guess at this point is that the flange is meant to be too wide on purpose, and stays outside the shell. I can only guess this is how it was designed, given that it's for installing in shells lacking threads. They made it adaptable for various BB sheel inner diameters.

So yeah, if I'm deducing this all correctly, no need for me to cancel the order. It might work.

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Old 08-29-22, 12:46 AM
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One last quick question. Is this Sunlite product supposed to have dustcaps on the ends to prevent sludge from caking inside against the bearings?

Or is meant for people with bikes who already have such dustcaps handy? If so, I should probably start shopping for dustcaps, because Gazelle's plastic press-fit bushings include dustcaps in the design.
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Old 08-29-22, 01:03 AM
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Yep, another post. I keep discovering more stuff.

Okay, so. I just watched this video from Park Tool:


1:40 into the video, I quote: "If you have a press-fit bottom bracket that you'll be replacing with a thread-together, see this other video for removal."

Why can't I just use a thread-together for this shell, instead of this special threadless repair kit from Sunlite?

(Too many open questions at this point. I'm going to cancel the Amazon order until I manage to investigate this further.)

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Old 08-29-22, 08:02 AM
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So many questions, but all the result of research so itís fair game. Iíll answer a few.
1. The Dutch werenít silly enough to try to make their own bottom bracket standard, or at least werenít successful enough for it to become common. More on that here: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribshe...mbrackets.html
2. If you want to read more about some of the far too far many threadless BB standards you can do so here: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribshe...mbrackets.html
3. There are two almost but not quite the same square taper standards. More on that here: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bbtaper.html

Other notes: Gazelle has been around a while. They got their start importing UK made bikes if their Wikipedia page is to be trusted. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaze...cycle_company)

If someone makes a direct replacement marketed for your bike and itís reasonably priced I would start there as a default.
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Old 08-29-22, 01:47 PM
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Thank you so much for the feedback, jccaclimber And thanks for the patience. I ask a bunch of questions to master a trade, but once I know it I never forget it. Funny how a single cylinder with bearings can become such a labyrinth of questions.

Ahhh, Sheldon Brown. Press F to pay respects. Yknow, would be really neat if that site were turned into a wiki. The cycling community could sure use one.

I'm waiting for my parts to arrive. Shouldn't be too much longer. They just passed through Port of Los Angeles. First I need to touch up the paint job, then I'll start assembling all the parts. I bought a air blower for my compressor so I'll use that to help me with the yarn idea. I'll try out the Sunrace BB and see how it goes, since it's meant for my shell. I'll post the results when the time comes!

Thanks so much for everyone's help, again!
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Old 08-29-22, 02:43 PM
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While the Gazelle press-fit bb looks uncomfortably crude, IMO they seem to fall under the category of Ēgood enoughĒ. Iíve seen a few, and they seem pretty much comparable to similarly priced threaded cartridge BBs.
Regarding dust caps/dust seals: If the manufacturer is using a reasonable choice of bearing type, the seal in the bearing should be enough.
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Old 08-30-22, 01:56 AM
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One thing to add on BBs, and really bicycle bearings in general. Their definition of sealed isnít quite as robust as mine, but for dust, dirt, grease, and an occasional sprinkle (not spray) with the garden hose it really never matters. Now, if you daily commute in the rain and salty winter, thatís a separate issue, but Iím not getting the impression thatís the case.
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