Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-03-07, 11:31 AM   #1
more ape than man
Thread Starter
timmhaan's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: nyc
Posts: 8,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
clarification on crank/BB terminology

I think i have a general idea, but can someone more knowlegeable than I explain these a little and the differences between them:

Hollowtech II?



cartridge bottom bracket?

integrated bottom bracket?

external bearings?

square taper?

i'm trying to buy some park tools and just want to make sure i understand completely what i actaully have.

Last edited by timmhaan; 08-03-07 at 11:43 AM.
timmhaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-07, 11:53 AM   #2
San Rensho 
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,607
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
I can tell you about a couple of them.

Square taper is the "old school" type where the spindle is a tapered square shape and the crank arms are press fit onto the taper with a bolt. Works very well, but you need an extractor tool to get the crank arm off and many people ****** the threads on the crank arm, making removal difficult, but not impossible.

Cartridge BB is sealed bearing assembly that threads into the existing BB that had ball bearings. They last a long time and have no maintenance.
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-07, 12:52 PM   #3
SoonerBent's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oklahoma City
Bikes: RANS Tailwind
Posts: 768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK here goes.
Originally Posted by timmhaan View Post
Hollowtech II? Shimano version of the external bearing type crankset

I.S.I.S? Consists of a splined BB axle to crank arm connection.

Octalink? Shimano version of a splined BB axle to crank arm connection. Splines are a different pattern than ISIS

cartridge bottom bracket? A sealed bearing BB where the bearings and axle are installed as a unit

integrated bottom bracket? Not sure but I assume this refers to BBs like Klein used to use where the BB is pressed in and is a PIA to ever change

external bearings? Newer style BB where the bearings install first and on the outside of the BB shell and the axle slides through the bearings to install

square taper? Old school BB axle to crank arm connection using a square tapered axle. Still works really well BTW
SoonerBent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-07, 12:56 PM   #4
Packfodding 3
caloso's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 35,560
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 808 Post(s)
See Sheldon's bike glossary :

caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-07, 02:07 PM   #5
Elitist Troglodyte
DMF's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dallas
Bikes: 03 Raleigh Professional (steel)
Posts: 6,925
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Also Articles.
Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

- Will Rogers
DMF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-07, 11:42 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Bikes: 1989 CAnnondale Black Lightning
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
those pics are a lifesaver
smendoza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-08, 09:04 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: kenya
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
good info thanks a lot....
SAJAD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-08, 11:55 AM   #8
Jynx's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Long Island
Bikes: 2006 Cannondale CAAD8
Posts: 4,816
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
From sheldon brown and google images.

Hollowtech II/integrated bottom bracket/external bearings

"The two-piece crank /bottom bracket system introduced with the 2004 10-speed Dura-Ace line. These use external bearings that hang outboard from the bottom bracket shell."


(International Spline Interface Standard)
"When Shimano introduced its proprietary Octalink splined bottom bracket system, a group of other manufacturers got together to produce their own competitive splined system. This became ISIS. ISIS cranks and bottom brackets only work with each other, as do other splined systems. "


cartridge bottom bracket

"Bearings which are assembled in a modular unit, as opposed to cup-and-cone bearings, which may be disassembled down to the individual bearing balls for service.

Cartridge bearings are the only type of ball bearings used in most industrial products; bicycle technology is the major area where cup-and-cone bearings still survive, but they are in decline even in the bicycle industry. ******* A conventional cup-and-cone bottom bracket.

The lock ring wrench is about to loosen the lockring, the pin wrench is engaging two of the holes in the adjustable cup A cartridge bottom bracket. The splined tool is shown above the bottom bracket. The crank would need to be removed to actually use the tool. "

square taper
Jynx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-08, 01:30 PM   #9
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 616
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good info in the previous posts, except for Hollowtech II, which really refers to Shimano's design of the cranks themselves and has nothing to do with the type of BB/bearing assembly. As the name implies, the arms are formed with a hollow cavity inside. Per Shimano, this makes them stiffer (because the structure of the arms are essentially an irregular shaped tube), and lighter (because the arm is hollow). The Hollowtech crankarms were introduced before the outboard bearing BB became popular, so you can find cranksets that have the Hollowtech arms but use the Octalink spindle/BB.
ginsoakedboy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:38 PM.

  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.