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BB sleeve and bearings?

Old 03-13-14, 07:17 PM
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BB sleeve and bearings?

Hi all,
I think I bought a BB Campy NR that is slightly pitted? It's got even wear around both cups. Seems okay to use. I'll check at LBS.
I'm wondering if I should use the plastic sleeve though? Does it help or hinder?
Secondly, I bought good new bearings. The ones I have are in a cartridge, but I hear loose is better - thoughts?
Attached a photo.
Thanks!
Ash

Ash
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Old 03-13-14, 07:26 PM
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Loose ball bearings and cartridge bearings are not interchangeable. If you mean caged bearings then there can be a performance/longevity disadvantage compared to loose ball bearings. Caged balls are very slightly easier to deal with in BB's.

(I now see the caged balls in the picture. Cartridge bearings are a different animal altogether.)
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Old 03-13-14, 07:40 PM
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There's absolutely no reason not to use caged balls is a BB (make sure to install them correctly- the bulk of the cage nestles into the cup (toward the outside of the bike). There's no loss of performance of any kind.

As for the sleeve. If the BB shell is closed, it serves little purpose, and can trap water between itself and the shell. OTOH sleeves came into common use when cutout BB shells came into vogue. For those they were absolutely necessary to keep crap out of the bearings.
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Old 03-13-14, 09:02 PM
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Caged versus loose balls is kinda like which chain lube is best. I'm good with either in BB's but prefer caged headset bearings for ease of use.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:33 AM
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for oldschool BB bearings i like caged best. i've managed to lose too many bearings down the seat tube and up the down tube, only to become permanently, i thought, lodged in the frame somewhere.

i'm usually wrong about that, after a while, long enough to forget that they were in there somewhere, the grease dries up, they come loose and rattle around in the frame like those in a cheap can of spray paint, until i disassemble the BB yet again and shake the devil out of the frame to free them. but i've forsaken even caged for cartridge BB's. what a godsend...

i'm looking forward to one day buying one of the more modern BB arrangements where the spindle is part of the drive-side crank arm, is hollow, and a lot wider.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:55 AM
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press out the old balls and fit new ones in the retainer if you wish ,

just notice if the balls are as close together
as they may be if the retainer was not there some take up the room another bearing would fit.

if the balls were just stuck in the bearing grease.

some are like that ... load bearing, more the merrier..
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Old 03-14-14, 08:36 AM
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Great advice, thank you people!
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Old 03-14-14, 09:48 AM
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The sleeve isn't a Campy NR one but a more recent (i assume) Asian (Sugino?) design. Not that it matters, actually the Campy two piece sleeves tended to crack, not fit the cups well and generally be a PITA. Maybe this is why the sleeve isn't the Campy one... Caged (retainered) BB bearings come in different ball counts. Some have as few as 7 balls each, some 9 and, what i consider to be the best, some have 11 balls. If the 11 ball count retainer is used then only assembly ease and the space for grease are different from loose balls. Andy.
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