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Bottom bracket. Worn out to the point of breaking in a half. (Pictures)

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Bottom bracket. Worn out to the point of breaking in a half. (Pictures)

Old 11-08-04, 04:46 PM
  #1  
Inoplanetyanin
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Bottom bracket. Worn out to the point of breaking in a half. (Pictures)

This is a non-sealed, old bottom bracket from early 80s. Before going on a cross-country tour, I replaced ball bearing, cleaned and lubricated it. Half along the way, some 2000 miles later, it developed a play that could no longer be adjusted. The bearing races were not smooth anymore. Lubricated and tighten up the best I could, in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Now, approximately 2000-3000 miles later, it finally gave up.

Yesterday, when pedaling hard up hill, the cup on the right side of the axle, just broke in a half.

I will inspect closely later after removing it, to see what caused it to break. Maybe stress, metal fatigue, or maybe this broken bearing ball retainer that cut through the cup's metal.


Any ideas?

I thought this could contribute to the forums and serve as an example of when new stuff matters and helps to avoid such accidents.

Now the problem for me is whether I will be able to remove the other part of the cup that is still screwed into the frame.

If successful, I should probably get a sealed bottom bracket that so many have recommended me to do long time ago.
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Old 11-08-04, 05:29 PM
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Once you determined your bearing races were not smooth you should have replaced them. That you had a complete failure after an additional 2-3 thousand miles is no surprise at all. Any time you find damaged balls or races they should be replaced as soon as possible, or, expect the exact result you got. If this happenned to your headset you could have a serious accident when you lost steering. One of the major reasons you do tune-ups/periodic/preventative maintenance is to inspect the bearings and race surfaces. Performance is nice, but safety is nicer.
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Old 11-08-04, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for a comment.

I couldn't agree more with you.

But!

It's also nice to know that you used a part all the way
Why throw away bottom bracket that still allows the pedals to rotate j/k.
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Old 11-08-04, 07:22 PM
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I once destroyed a nice Raceface ISIS bottom bracket in a similar way. When it was removed from the BB shell, it appeared that one or more balls had escaped from the races, wedging between the axle and the steel shell. It came out in several fragments.
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Old 11-09-04, 08:26 PM
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OT a bit, but since you linked it I'll ask - did you ever finish your tour?
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Old 11-10-04, 06:50 AM
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I'm glad to see you got your money's worth . How do you plan on removing the other half of that fixed cup?
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Old 11-10-04, 08:06 AM
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I had this happen on my old mountain bike which was badly maintained (after 3 years of daily commuting on it). Getting the bb out was a pain, it had to be drilled out by the LBS, like a stripped bolt. They charged me something like $75 for removing and replacing it, which I was not particularly happy about :-)
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Old 11-10-04, 09:03 AM
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Why go for a cartridge? Do some proper maintenance instead from time to time and replace faulty parts. A cartridge is not better then a cup and cone, it is just more expensive.
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Old 11-10-04, 09:17 AM
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Is that a crack in the frame on the top of the bottom bracket on the right hand side?

Does the bottom bracket have a lot of rust inside (on the frame)? Looks like there's a bit of rust around there.
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Old 11-10-04, 07:13 PM
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Oddly enough, I just fixed a bike with this exact problem. Your photos even look identical to the situation. I pulled the cranks out and unthreaded the remains of the fixed cup out by simply finding a purchase spot on the part of the cup inside the shell, and using the flat of a screwdriver and a hammer to remove (unthread) the threaded portion of the cup. Tap tap tap, just slowly rotating the cup remains out of the shell. As long as the threads are okay, you shouldn't have a problem.

Wasn't a particularly hard job. The owner of the bike was greatly relieved, as the "best" of our hideous lot of LBSs wanted fifty bucks to even look at the bike and (a minimum of) one-twenty five to repair it. They also tried to sell him a new bike. I ordered him a new sealed BB, total cost to him, twenty bucks. I'll never send anyone to that LBS again, which means there are now exactly zero shops I'd recommned for service.
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Old 11-11-04, 06:35 PM
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Oh, some replies here. I didn't receive any notifications.

Originally Posted by EastKY
OT a bit, but since you linked it I'll ask - did you ever finish your tour?
Yes, was lucky to finish it.

Rollo, I am not sure how to remove it.

Poguemahone, thanks for sharing your experience. I hope my bb wouldn't be too hard to remove.

There is no major rust around. Might be few spots, but most grease and thick layer of dust.

No cracks in the frame yet, to the best of my knowledge.

Yeah, in this society, often things are being replaced instead of repaired, for different reasons.

Bike shops want to make money, any possible way to do it, many of them will go for it. Really few really

care about saving customer his/her money.

Thanks everybody for replies and comments.
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Old 11-11-04, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Berodesign
Why go for a cartridge? Do some proper maintenance instead from time to time and replace faulty parts. A cartridge is not better then a cup and cone, it is just more expensive.
Well, the price difference is around 10$, with sealed bb being more expensive.

I hear often that sealed ones cause a lot less problems. It also seems like they are easy to remove.

We'll see...
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Old 11-12-04, 03:10 PM
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Ok, 10$ difference... but a c&c bb will last alot longer, therefore it will be cheaper with a c&c bb in the long run.

Ok, if you do ALOT dirt ride in rain, then a sealed one is better, but as I said before, with proper maintenance from time to time a c&c bb will last longer, and you can keep it in perfect working order all the time. (With some work I admit.)

About the easy-to-remove part, it is not alot more work, you still have to remove the cranks (alot of work) and after that, it is no great difference in a cartridge or c&c removal. Anyway, buy what you like dude.
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