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Worth replacing a worn adjustable BB spindle or hub cones (beyond adjusting)?

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Worth replacing a worn adjustable BB spindle or hub cones (beyond adjusting)?

Old 09-03-12, 08:54 PM
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saturnhr
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Worth replacing a worn adjustable BB spindle or hub cones (beyond adjusting)?

I got a really nice road bike with complete Dura ace 7400/7401 groupo. The bottom bracket was really loose, since the guy who owned it was not aware of the adjustability. Consequently the bottom bracket spindle was pretty worn on the drive side: 180deg around, cleary visible and feelable with thumb, and somehow lesser on the none drive side. Nevertheless after adjusting the bottom bracket the bike rides nice and stiff and smooth.
Mostly to please my mind, I was searching for a new axle/spindle - which I installed today. (I don't like cartridge style bottom brackets for aesthetic reasons - that is way I searched for a new spindle). I don't really know what I was expecting - but the bike rides the same with the new spindle. By the way: the front hub cones also are feelable worn. So what is all that perfectionism about? Just a waste of money?

(PS: I forgot to mention, that I had replaced the balls already while I still was riding the old, worn spindle)

Last edited by saturnhr; 09-03-12 at 09:02 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 09-03-12, 09:01 PM
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Bill Kapaun
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Absolutely a waste of money.
Especially when your semi worn parts become badly worn parts before you get back home.
BB cups/spindle aren't a big deal to replace, but a wheel hub may be a much more expensive undertaking..

It's your call.
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Old 09-03-12, 09:14 PM
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saturnhr
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Especially when your semi worn parts become badly worn parts before you get back home.
BB cups/spindle aren't a big deal to replace, but a wheel hub may be a much more expensive undertaking..
.
I don't understand your argument, after adjusting the wear should slow down substantially the the balls can distribute load more evenly so the concern of not making it home does not really apply.
Also in regard of expenses it is the other way around: cones are available for appr. $10 each; the original DA axle I have seen from $60 and above (I so far had a Shimano 600 axle in stock, which just brings out the non drive side crank 1mm more (the original Dura Ace spindle is asymmetric)
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Old 09-03-12, 11:17 PM
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The problem is that the weight distribution will actually be poor. Assuming the drive side race is brindled. The ball bearings will be rolling on a pocked surface not a smooth surface, so the ball bearings will be rolling on the tops of the craters, not evenly distributed on a smooth surface; if you hold the spindle vertically and spin the bearings inside a cup you can feel the difference between the smooth and brindled bearing surfaces. While you may not feel this at the pedal it will negatively effect the bottom bracket in several ways. One is you will not be able to adjust the the ball bearing preset to it's optimum. This means it will require constant adjustment and because the friction will generate more heat, grease will have a hard time staying on the bearing surface (causing even more friction and wear). So yes it will work for a while, but it will need much more attention on your part to keep it going..

BTW if you are not worried about a brindled axle, then you should certainly use the cheapest spindle you can find. With the more expensive Dura Ace and 600/Ultegra spindles you are simply paying for plating and polishing (and obviously 1mm on the non-drive side will make no functional difference).

Last edited by onespeedbiker; 09-03-12 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 09-04-12, 08:32 AM
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saturnhr
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
The problem is that the weight distribution will actually be poor. Assuming the drive side race is brindled. The ball bearings will be rolling on a pocked surface not a smooth surface, so the ball bearings will be rolling on the tops of the craters, not evenly distributed on a smooth surface; if you hold the spindle vertically and spin the bearings inside a cup you can feel the difference between the smooth and brindled bearing surfaces. While you may not feel this at the pedal it will negatively effect the bottom bracket in several ways. One is you will not be able to adjust the the ball bearing preset to it's optimum. This means it will require constant adjustment and because the friction will generate more heat, grease will have a hard time staying on the bearing surface (causing even more friction and wear). So yes it will work for a while, but it will need much more attention on your part to keep it going..

BTW if you are not worried about a brindled axle, then you should certainly use the cheapest spindle you can find. With the more expensive Dura Ace and 600/Ultegra spindles you are simply paying for plating and polishing (and obviously 1mm on the non-drive side will make no functional difference).
Thanks for your thoughtful explanation!
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Old 09-04-12, 07:47 PM
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Did the new axle solve the problem. What kind of shape were the cups? As long as the cups on the hubs are ok you can replace the cones if they are pitted. Be sure and adjust a little preload in the BB and the hubs. This is very important for bearing life.
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