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Specialized cartridge bottom bracket locked up after sitting a few months?

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Specialized cartridge bottom bracket locked up after sitting a few months?

Old 07-16-16, 09:42 AM
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Specialized cartridge bottom bracket locked up after sitting a few months?

On a bike purchase a few years ago I acquired a very nice Specialized bottom bracket and spindle. Probably S-Works because it has aluminum cups, cartridge bearings, and what I am guessing is a Titanium spindle. I was trying to make my M500 as light as possible, so this really was a nice weight reduction over a standard cartridge type bottom bracket.

I rode the bike a few times, the last time being as recent as early March of this year, and the time before that a few months before, when I built it. I ordered and installed new bearings, and it was smooth as silk with no binding. Well anyway I pulled the M500 out this morning, to check it out, and....

The cranks were locked up solid? They refused to move? I got them to move, after a few pings and crackling noises, and now they're as smooth as silk again and quiet as far as I can tell. There was no tightness or binding when installed, and the cranks spun free with no chain on the rings. They were not ridden through water, or even in the rain. I am wondering now if there was any grease in them? I may pull the BB, and pop the seals out to see what's what.

Was this a case of cheap bearings? They are VXB brand, part number kit1044, from Amazon.. The weird thing is in my order history, is it shows that I ordered one, when I definitely received and installed both of them. Weirdness.,,,,BD
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Old 07-16-16, 09:50 AM
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Maybe the "kit" means pair?,,,,BD
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Old 07-16-16, 10:50 AM
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Apart now, and definite signs of water intrusion. I guess through the spindle holes somehow? Maybe the time when I washed the sweat off of it? I guess it would have to be, since the bottom bracket tube has no holes going to the other frame tubes. Bearings are crunchy, and done. It makes me think twice about this BB for sure, as it is not worth replacing the bearings a couple of times a year, or removing the BB every time I wash the bike. Especially when both the cups and the frame are aluminum.,,,,BD
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Old 07-16-16, 10:52 AM
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Maybe a light coat of grease on the spindle, and putting some silicone around the spindle holes, then letting it set up as a makeshift spindle gasket. It didn't have any when I bought the donor bike.,,,,BD
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Old 07-16-16, 11:00 AM
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I've had this same thing happen with the high-end FSA ceramic BB on my Tarmac. I "unsealed" it, cleaned, greased and it's working like a champ again.

Seems that if I don't ride that bike once a week, bad things start to happen. I chalk it up to the generous amount of DNA that pours out of me on a hard ride combined with the brutal Houston humidity attacking anything that sits in my garage. I've resorted to a thorough wipe down after every ride and storing bikes in the house. Definitely helps.
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Old 07-16-16, 12:04 PM
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It's like unsticking a brifter, only to have it stop working on the first cold snap. It's a bummer since I currently have ONE bottom bracket I could use. I slipped the crank onto the frame it was in, and there you have it. The big ring was a half inch or more from the chain stay. Groan....,,,,BD
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Old 07-16-16, 12:41 PM
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Score, from my own stash! I just remembered the bottom bracket off of the Cannondale fixie, that became the red Dura Ace bike. It's a Ritchey, with a 109ish spindle. The cartridge bearings from that, fit the Specialized cups and spindle like they were made in the same factory, and they probably were. Cranks are on the Santa Fe now, and silky smooth again. If I wash this bike in the future, I will put something over the spindles. Maybe some bits of bike packing pipe insulation. Got to love a stash score!,,,,BD
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Old 07-16-16, 12:53 PM
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I wonder too, if that might be a semipermanent solution? I could cut out some "collars", from the pipe insulation, and ziptie them in place around the spindle. That could actually work? Or maybe even a piece of fuel line cut to slightly oversize, that would take up the space, and squish up against the BB when the cranks are installed?,,,,BD
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