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Bottom Bracket Tools Question

Old 03-09-17, 08:30 AM
  #1  
bamab2
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Bottom Bracket Tools Question

I'm about to break open my first bottom bracket, on a new acquisition, and wanted to make sure I know which tools I need. The bearings feel good but the bike has been sitting a while so I thought I would clean a re-grease everything. I have attached a pic so you guys will recognize it. Here is what I think I need, Park Tool Numbers:

SPA-1 pin spanner
HCW-5 lock ring wrench
HCW-4 bottom bracket wrench

Correct? Any preferred substitutions?
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Old 03-09-17, 11:58 AM
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Yep that looks right to me. Those are the tools that I use, minus the HCW-4 tool. Usually I use an adjustable crescent wrench on the right (when sitting on the bike) fixed cup. However, the HCW-4 is made for the job and probably works better. Guess, I better buy it

Just remember that the right cup is usually left threaded. Its a good idea to check. You will be wrenching real hard with no success if you try the other way. Made that mistake before.

And take a look at Sheldon Brown if you haven't already.

For info about left threaded bike parts
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Old 03-09-17, 12:08 PM
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The Hcw 4 is for the fixed cup on the drive side and also has pins for the adjustable cup. If you get that, you probably won't need the chopstick pin spanner. On the other hand, you don't need to remove the fixed cup to overhaul the BB.

The HCW 5 should work OK. I use the Campy tool which has more notches and fits more snugly. Hozan also makes a nice plier-like adjustable cup wrench. Both these tools would cost you a bit more. If you're doing the every once in a while BB, I'd stick with these Park tools.
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Old 03-09-17, 03:05 PM
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Thanks guys. I didn't actually think about not removing the fixed side. I was thinking adjustable wrench but thought I would get the tool any way. Can never have too many tools. Especially if they aren't very expensive.
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Old 03-09-17, 03:13 PM
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Yeah, don't remove the fixed cup unless there is a very good reason to do so. Reach in with a rag to clean it. Inspect with a flashlight.
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Old 03-09-17, 03:20 PM
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You should be able to find a six toothed, closed end, adjustable lockring spanner in most bike shops. I prefer using those over the single toothed, universal C claw spanners that is most common, as there's less chances of slipping so you can tighten and remove the lockring with much more torque... it's the eight toothed ones that are hard to find....... Figures that one will need the eight toothed spanners for French, Stronglight BB's.

Last edited by Chombi; 03-09-17 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 03-09-17, 04:02 PM
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I will add that there is a greater chance of slipping with the Park tool (and consequently chewing up the lock ring teeth) and BITD, I would often use a square ended small punch and tap the lock ring to loosen it up
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Old 03-09-17, 07:07 PM
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What Spaghetti Legs said. Its called a fixed cup for a reason and if you don't get it tight enough on the reinstall it will be the source of lots of needless aggravation.
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Old 03-09-17, 07:17 PM
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What everyone said, +1, and using the right tools makes for less chance of buggering up flats and pin spanner holes. Besides, buying new tools is a right that is in the Constitution. Isn't it? Surely it is a protected right for cyclist.

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Old 03-09-17, 07:24 PM
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Back in college, my younger brother and I used to remove our fixed cups by using a big bench vise, with ver sharp edged square jaws. He pushes down on the frame right over the BB while I turn it, no fixed cup ever defeated us using that method, and some of them were really tight. They came of with a satisfying snapping sound when we cracked them loose from the frame.
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Old 03-09-17, 08:41 PM
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All good fun sounds to me . When putting back together has anyone ever rigged up a indicator to measure end play ?
I just do it by feel , but it would seem to me .oo2 +- .0005 would be awesome . ??
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Dial-Indic...UAAOSwMmBVzXa9
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Old 03-10-17, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
You should be able to find a six toothed, closed end, adjustable lockring spanner in most bike shops. I prefer using those over the single toothed, universal C claw spanners that is most common, as there's less chances of slipping so you can tighten and remove the lockring with much more torque... it's the eight toothed ones that are hard to find....... Figures that one will need the eight toothed spanners for French, Stronglight BB's.
Hey Chombi,
Do you have a pic, part number or brand for the 6 toothed adjustable spanner. I found this after a search but it appears it not available any more.
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Old 03-10-17, 12:07 PM
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There's no good reason to remove the fixed cup unless it has to be replaced. Clean and inspect its bearing surface. It's probably as good as the adjustable cup.

Removing it, especially with less than ideal tools, opens up many possible problems with no corresponding benefit.
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Old 03-10-17, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bamab2 View Post
Do you have a pic, part number or brand for the 6 toothed adjustable spanner. I found this after a search but it appears it not available any more.
For lockrings, I prefer a lockring pliers, such as the VAR #16 or Hozan C-203, as this makes it easy to keep a firm grip on the ring. N.B. they only work for rings with an even number of notches. Also note that you can fabricate a good copy of the Hozan C-203 from a set of Channel Lock pliers and a little work with a grinder or file:



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Old 03-10-17, 01:33 PM
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Yeah thanks for the advice from all. The current plan is to not remove the fixed cup. Bad part about it is I guess I'll have to order tools online. The closest bike shop to me is about 30 minutes from work (with no traffic) and closer to an hour from home. Took a quick hour round trip ride over during lunch to discover that they didn't have anything except tools for "modern" bikes. The guy mentions that I would also need the fixed side wrench. I say that I probably will not remove it and I get that sort of disapproving look for a split second. He said he could order the tools. I asked how long to get them in. Two weeks. At that point I thanked him and he moved on. No interest what so ever. No "what are you working on?". No interest. I took the time to type this so that for the members that have good shops and resources near by, appreciate what you have.
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Old 03-10-17, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
For lockrings, I prefer a lockring pliers, such as the VAR #16 or Hozan C-203, as this makes it easy to keep a firm grip on the ring. N.B. they only work for rings with an even number of notches. Also note that you can fabricate a good copy of the Hozan C-203 from a set of Channel Lock pliers and a little work with a grinder or file:



Thanks JDT. Good option.
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Old 03-10-17, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bamab2 View Post
Hey Chombi,
Do you have a pic, part number or brand for the 6 toothed adjustable spanner. I found this after a search but it appears it not available any more.
Your pic does show on of the tools by Park I've seen a lot. Too bad it's not available anymore. You might want to check out tools by "Hozan". I think I've seen closed end lockring spanners from them for 6 notched BB lockrings
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Old 03-10-17, 06:14 PM
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Au contraire, I always remove the fixed cup

Hard to get the fixed cup clean and a good look at it's condition in the bottom bracket.
If replacing with a cartridge bb, it is really hard to make them fit without removing the fixed cup.
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Old 03-10-17, 06:39 PM
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I've found that old Raleigh fixed cups are rarely worth extracting, but otherwise I always remove both cups.
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Old 03-10-17, 07:25 PM
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I also remove my fixed cups when I have the time and chance to, problem is, the only bike I have with a fixed cup right now (all my other bikes have adjustable cups on both sides of the BB) is the one I owned since college, and the last time I had it out was......back in college. I wonder if it will come off as easy as it did back then.....
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Old 03-10-17, 08:17 PM
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I improvised Sheldon's fixed cup removal tool with a 1/2 inch bolt, nut. lock washer, and a couple flat washers. Put the bolt and a flat washer through the inside of the bottom bracket, then add a flat washer and a lock washer, then the nut on the outside. When you tighten the nut, it grabs the cup and spins it correctly to back out the left hand threads. You are relying on friction, so make sure all the bearings and grease are cleaned out first.
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Old 03-10-17, 08:28 PM
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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I bought a Sugino BB tool set. It consisted of one large thin wrench that had a hook on one end to fit the lockring and a closed hole with flats on the other end to fit a fixed cup, and a flat thin wrench-like thingy with two pins for the adjustable cup. They have served me well and worked for every BB I've ever done, though I've used a large adjustable wrench for the fixed cup once or twice or thrice or perhaps even quice.

I second the motion about not removing the fixed cup unless necessary. You can clean and lube it in place. Remove it only if it must be replaced.
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