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Bottom Bracket woes.....unbelievable!

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Bottom Bracket woes.....unbelievable!

Old 09-14-14, 10:49 AM
  #1  
corwin1968
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Bottom Bracket woes.....unbelievable!

I've been riding a 1995 Trek that I bought second-hand about two years ago. For the past couple of days, I've been noticing a "click" every time the left crank moves thru a certain point. I took off the crankarms and jiggled the BB.....no movement. I rode it a couple more times and still "clicking". I decide at this point to go ahead and take the hollowtech II crankset and BB off my newest bike (that I paid an LBS to build from a frameset) and move it over to the Trek.

Once again, I take the crankset off the Trek and head over to the non-drive side with my BB tool. I put it in the splines, slide the wrench on and the weight of the wrench alone starts turning the bottom bracket. "It was loose!!....." I think to myself and as I am unscrewing that sleeve I'm thinking that something is unusual.....and then the whole bottom bracket came out!! Not only was it just short of finger-loose...it was in backwards!! I go to the drive side and again, the weight of wrench is enough to break the sleeve loose.

I then move to my newer bike. A different LBS mentioned that my crankarm was loose and they tightened it while installing new shifters. I remove the fairly tight left crankarm and then slide the crankset out. I then attach my BB tool and it is less than finger tight! Same thing for the other side!!

When I originally picked up the bike after it was first built, I was a bit disappointed. The Ergon grips were installed upside down, the handlebars weren't lined up with the front wheel and the brakes were rubbing. I was able to fix all that in less than 10 minutes so no biggie. Now, I find that my crankarm was loose (as reported by another LBS) and both of my BB cups were just finger tight!!!!
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Old 09-14-14, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
...it was in backwards!! . . . !!!!
No, it wasn't. Many cartridge BBs from that era installed that way -- especially OEM.

Your Trek BB got loose. Why not just torque it properly and ride?

Your HTII BB was probably not torqued properly originally.

There's no crisis, so drama will not help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-14-14, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
it was in backwards!!
Don't understand this, it it was fitted backwards, the threads would be on the outside of the BB shell, facing away from the frame, in other words, just handing in mid air. You can't fit HT2 BB's incorrectly, especially as you make no mention of the Drive Side being fitted incorrectly, this would mean that the NDS side could only be fitted correctly. (have lost track in your post of what BB is going into what frame, this is the HT2 into the Trek?)

For all the other issues, if you can ID these at home, why not do the maintenance/fitting at home, rather than get a LBS who don't seem that competent to do the work.
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Old 09-14-14, 11:07 AM
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corwin1968
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
No, it wasn't. Many cartridge BBs from that era installed that way -- especially OEM.

Your Trek BB got loose. Why not just torque it properly and ride?

Your HTII BB was probably not torqued properly originally.

There's no crisis, so drama will not help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, I had assumed that all cartridge bottom brackets were installed the same way.

I still think it's crazy that the LBS that built my newer bike did such a lousy job. I've probably put less than 500 miles on it in two years.

At the time I had the bike built up, I had no idea how to do any bicycle maintenance and I didn't have any of the necessary tools.
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Old 09-14-14, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
I put it in the splines, slide the wrench on and the weight of the wrench alone starts turning the bottom bracket. "It was loose!!....." I think to myself and as I am unscrewing that sleeve I'm thinking that something is unusual.....and then the whole bottom bracket came out!! Not only was it just short of finger-loose...it was in backwards!! I go to the drive side and again, the weight of wrench is enough to break the sleeve loose.
Something here doesn't seem right. First, an English bottom bracket can't be installed "backward" without destroying the threads on both sides. Second, having two separate bottom brackets installed by two different shops on two different bikes both "finger tight" is more than coincidence can explain.
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Old 09-14-14, 01:12 PM
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By backwards, Mean the bottom bracket cartridge itself was in the left side of the frame and the ring was in the right side. It's been pointed out that this is normal for some BB's and maybe the threading wouldn't have allowed it to happen if it wasn't designed that way. Every cartridge BB I've seen installed or removed went in with the cartridge on the drive side so I assumed they were all that way.

The Trek's BB probably was placed by the factory. The cartridge itself was covered with rust. Can a BB work itself that loose over 19 years? I'm guessing it can.

JimC101,

I've installed a couple of cartridge BB's and today was my first shot at an external BB and I've had no problems. The external BB was just loose when I removed it from the bike it was on. It was the cartridge on the Trek I (mistakenly) thought was backwards.

Last edited by corwin1968; 09-14-14 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 09-14-14, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
.......The external BB was just loose when I removed it from the bike it was on....... .
There is no reason for an external bottom bracket cup to be extremely tight; it can't go anywhere.
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Old 09-14-14, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
By backwards, Mean the bottom bracket cartridge itself was in the left side of the frame and the ring was in the right side. .
How is this possible? The threading is reversed.
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Old 09-14-14, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
How is this possible? The threading is reversed.
There are cartridges with the cartridge body built into the nds cup and right hand threaded and the loose cup goes into the drive side and is left hand threaded. What the OP described is available even though it isn't the most common configuration.
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Old 09-14-14, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
There are cartridges with the cartridge body built into the nds cup and right hand threaded and the loose cup goes into the drive side and is left hand threaded. What the OP described is available even though it isn't the most common configuration.
Oh, thanks. I've never seen or heard of that before.
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Old 09-14-14, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
There are cartridges with the cartridge body built into the nds cup and right hand threaded and the loose cup goes into the drive side and is left hand threaded. What the OP described is available even though it isn't the most common configuration.
+1 I had fits with one for a little while until I read the L/R makings on the BB.
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Old 09-14-14, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
I've been riding a 1995 Trek that I bought second-hand about two years ago. For the past couple of days, I've been noticing a "click" every time the left crank moves thru a certain point. I took off the crankarms and jiggled the BB.....no movement. I rode it a couple more times and still "clicking". I decide at this point to go ahead and take the hollowtech II crankset and BB off my newest bike (that I paid an LBS to build from a frameset) and move it over to the Trek.

Once again, I take the crankset off the Trek and head over to the non-drive side with my BB tool. I put it in the splines, slide the wrench on and the weight of the wrench alone starts turning the bottom bracket. "It was loose!!....." I think to myself and as I am unscrewing that sleeve I'm thinking that something is unusual.....and then the whole bottom bracket came out!! Not only was it just short of finger-loose...it was in backwards!! I go to the drive side and again, the weight of wrench is enough to break the sleeve loose.

I then move to my newer bike. A different LBS mentioned that my crankarm was loose and they tightened it while installing new shifters. I remove the fairly tight left crankarm and then slide the crankset out. I then attach my BB tool and it is less than finger tight! Same thing for the other side!!

When I originally picked up the bike after it was first built, I was a bit disappointed. The Ergon grips were installed upside down, the handlebars weren't lined up with the front wheel and the brakes were rubbing. I was able to fix all that in less than 10 minutes so no biggie. Now, I find that my crankarm was loose (as reported by another LBS) and both of my BB cups were just finger tight!!!!
There are good shops, and not so good shops.

My shop is extremely busy because a number of the shops near me perform work like what you have experienced. That actually saddens me, because if enough people can't get their bikes working well, they may quit the sport.
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Old 09-14-14, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
+1 I had fits with one for a little while until I read the L/R makings on the BB.
I'm glad this experience can be a teaching moment for some of us. I've been examining the old bottom bracket and not only is it nasty, it's gritty. There is no play in the spindle but spinning it, it feels like there is sand in it, compared to a brand new BB I have here.

I was even starting to doubt my original story, thinking I was just confused but close examination finally uncovered "MM 110" and "L" on the side with the threads built-in. You can just barely see the "L" on the top in the first photo, just to the left of the area of rust. You can't tell it's an "L" from the photo but it is visible.

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Last edited by corwin1968; 09-14-14 at 08:41 PM.
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