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Tapered spindle sealed bearing BB for Old Dura Ace cranks

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Tapered spindle sealed bearing BB for Old Dura Ace cranks

Old 07-15-13, 01:41 PM
  #1  
hockeyref
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Tapered spindle sealed bearing BB for Old Dura Ace cranks

So, Now that I've finally started riding again I can say that I'm spoiled and can feel the difference between the Sealed BB on my mountain bike and the freshly repacked and low mileage 20 year old Dura Ace loose ball BB on my old Cannondale. I seem to remember two different taper specs (JIS vs ISO) on the spindles that did matter when you talked Dura Ace cranks. Don't recall the model but I want to say FC-7402? I'll check the arms tonight to be certain.....

Can someone recommend a sealed bearing unit that will work on a 1990 or so Cannondale 3.0\3.1 frame.... What about the spindle size? Do recall if I needed 110mm\113mm\etc?

The more I get back into it, the more I realize what I've forgotten!
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Old 07-15-13, 01:49 PM
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I would tend to doubt that the difference you are feeling is due to the type of BB. The frame may flex differently between the two bikes or the modern crankset may be stiffer due to being designed with a shorter spindle.
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Old 07-15-13, 02:16 PM
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Any chance you adjusted the BB too tightly? I used to bolt on one crank in order to adjust out the play, but I found that that led to adjustments that were too tight. Now I do it this way: http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/bb-adjust.html

VeloBase shows that the 7400/7402 cranks were JIS taper and used a 112mm spindle: http://velobase.com/ViewGroup.aspx?G...0-7f27630676a5
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Old 07-15-13, 02:17 PM
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Not too tight, they feel pretty good when spun w\o the chain in place. Yes, JIS - not sure if they were compact JIS or not... Also not sure of the spindle size, vaguely remember needing to order a different size to fit the Cannondale width BB and maintain clearance and chain line????

CNY - It's possible that you are right, but the 'Dale used to feel really smooth in it's day. The MTB puts it to shame... and I'm talking just on the work stand, never mind the road...... Could just be that the MTB has essentially a new drive train where the 'Dale has a low mile chain & cluster on the back, low mile BB, but several thousand miles on the front chain rings. The MTB just plain old seems to "hum" the way the 'Dale used to...

Maybe I'm chasing my tail here and its just the completely new drive train vs the mix of low & high mile stuff.... The MTB BB IS External with the bigger\stiffer spindle & Race Face cranks... vs the Old school Dura Ace stuff on the 'Dale....

Last edited by hockeyref; 07-15-13 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 07-15-13, 03:03 PM
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I was reading that the difference you were feeling was in flex, but I can see now you're just talking about the smoothness of the bearing. Because of the different structure of the cartridge beaings they will feel smooth due to no preload. However, if you DA BB is properly broken in no pitting or fretting of spindle or cups) it should still feel quite smooth. In any case the difference is 99% psychological, as minor differences in the BB bearing are not going to slow you down. My advise is to just get out and ride, rather than spend time changing parts that are working fine.
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Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

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Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-13, 07:02 PM
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Dura-Ace 6-speed and early 8-speed cranks used a symmetrical 112mm square-taper bottom bracket (JIS). in 1996 Dura-Ace switched to a 103mm square-taper bottom bracket (for FC-7410), before going to Octalink with the switch to 9-speed in 1997.
If you want a sealed-cartridge BB, the closest are 110mm and 113mm, but neither is symmetrical like the 112mm used in pre-1996 Dura-Ace.
I would recommend that you not worry too much about how freely the bottom bracket spins (assuming you have adjusted it properly and the bearing races aren't pitted). The friction there is an extremely miniscule part of overall friction in the bicycle drivetrain.
If the bearing races are pitted, I'd still recommend that you ride it into the ground, and then replace with 110mm or 113mm sealed cartridge bottom bracket.
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Old 07-16-13, 08:16 AM
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Thanks for the input......
The Current DA BB is low miles, put it on shortly before I quit riding two decades ago. Tore it down, cleaned, greased, and adjusted it when I got the road bike back up and running. Definitely not in the DA BB.

It's definitely a "feel" thing.... Maybe I just can't stand that the MTB drive train is smoother than the road bike. And it definitely could be the difference in feel between the bigger\stiffer spindle & external bearing setup on the MTB vs the old free ball\thin tapered spindle setup on the road bike. Never mind that the MTB drive train IS essentially new with less than 100 miles on it where as the road bike is a mix of low and high mile parts. Maybe I'll clean the road bike drive train again and give it a closer inspection.... Particularly the front chain rings and the chain itself. I guess the big thing is that I really remember the road bike feeling a whole lot smoother than it does....

Thanks again!

Last edited by hockeyref; 07-16-13 at 08:22 AM.
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