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Bottom Bracket Fixed Cup Maint/Removal

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View Poll Results: Bottom Bracket Fixed Cup Removal Schedule
Never
2
3.77%
Only if damaged
26
49.06%
Only if it comes out on the first try
5
9.43%
On a regular basis
20
37.74%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

Bottom Bracket Fixed Cup Maint/Removal

Old 07-21-22, 11:13 AM
  #1  
gearbasher
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Bottom Bracket Fixed Cup Maint/Removal

It seems merziac and I are in the minority when it comes to bottom bracket fixed cups ( see Campy BB removal. Left right or pull? ). So, here's a poll to see if we have any allies.
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Old 07-21-22, 11:24 AM
  #2  
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Include a fifth category: fixed cup removal only to install a cartridge bb.
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Old 07-21-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by leftthread View Post
Include a fifth category: fixed cup removal only to install a cartridge bb.
Good idea, only I can't figure out how to add it or it won't let me. Anyhow, that might fall into the only if damaged option.
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Old 07-21-22, 11:40 AM
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My approach:
  • if just for maintenance, I'll check for damage and if none is apparent, I'll check if it is still tight and most often just clean and grease it in situ
  • if it is to be replaced with a shorter/longer/whatever different type, I'll remove it. If that turns out to be a risk and it is in good shape, I will reconsider the replacement and look for other options
  • if it needs to come out because it is damaged or I really want that particular Gipiemme triple, it comes out, no matter what
I voted "Only if damaged".
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Old 07-21-22, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
Good idea, only I can't figure out how to add it or it won't let me. Anyhow, that might fall into the only if damaged option.
You forgot the "Always" option too.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:09 PM
  #6  
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Before I got the proper tools, I would leave the fixed cup in place and clean it the best I could from the opposite side. Now, I don't think twice about removing the fixed cup to do a proper overhaul.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
You forgot the "Always" option too.
I think that one falls into the on a regular basis option.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:14 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
Before I got the proper tools, I would leave the fixed cup in place and clean it the best I could from the opposite side. Now, I don't think twice about removing the fixed cup to do a proper overhaul.


This is the only correct answer.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
I think that one falls into the on a regular basis option.
Maybe, and that's how I voted but it leaves wiggle room where there is none for me.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:20 PM
  #10  
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Now and then.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:46 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by leftthread View Post
Include a fifth category: fixed cup removal only to install a cartridge bb.
This would be my vote, though I fear it may not be a sustainable solution for long with Italian bottom brackets. Maybe Velo Orange will step up, but it seems that Shimano has stopped making square taper Italian threaded bottom brackets (or at least I couldn't find a new one when I needed it recently). Since cartridge BBs aren't serviceable, there may come a day when I find myself looking for vintage cup and cone bottom brackets to replace them as they fail.

Of course, this leaves the original question. Suppose you have a cartridge bottom bracket that last for an improbably long time. For instance, maybe you invested in a Phil Wood and after 20,000 miles it's still spinning smoothly. Would you ever remove it just to regrease the threads? Me personally? No.

So I voted, only when damaged.
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Old 07-21-22, 01:00 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post

Of course, this leaves the original question. Suppose you have a cartridge bottom bracket that last for an improbably long time. For instance, maybe you invested in a Phil Wood and after 20,000 miles it's still spinning smoothly. Would you ever remove it just to regrease the threads? Me personally? No.

.
Yes, I would remove it just to regrease the threads. This would assure it can be easily removed when it needs to be replaced. 15 minutes of preventive maintenance can save hours of frustration.
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Old 07-21-22, 02:12 PM
  #13  
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I like to maintain fixed cups in situ if possible. However, there are lots of reasons to remove one.
I will remove a fixed cup based on a couple criteria considered at the same time.

I consider, in the following order:
  1. Is it damaged? If it is, sure, take out by whatever means necessary, unless I believe the bike is not really going to be ridden much at all.
  2. Can I get it out? If I can easily, sure, take it out.
  3. Is it RH or LH threaded? I am more likely to leave in an RH threaded fixed cup because it might be stuck (and that's a good thing in this case) and it might be hard to find another one!
  4. What's the future use going to look like? If it's going to be commuted on in salt and weather, or ridden in muddy sandy areas, I will remove it and change it for a sealed BB regardless of the condition, to save the future strife.
  5. What's the BB? If it's worth saving/preserving/reselling, and not on this bike, then I'll take it out and replace it with something appropriate for the quality level of the bike and its expected duty. I might even consider polishing the pitting out of an old damaged cup from a respectable marque, depending on the extent of the damage. There is absolutely no sense in leaving a nice Campy or Stronglight or TA BB on a bike which is going to be used for all weather touring or commuting!
Basically, be sensible. There are always exceptions.
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Old 07-21-22, 02:44 PM
  #14  
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Old 07-21-22, 02:55 PM
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I'm between choices 3 and 4, leaning toward 4, esp. since reading the recent admonitions of some of the "do it every time" purists. So far I haven't had one thwart me yet, but I suppose if I encounter one that really puts up a fight, and it's for a low-buck build / rehab, I may opt to leave it in.
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Old 07-21-22, 03:56 PM
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Moved to “Politics and Religion”.
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Old 07-21-22, 09:51 PM
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Weld or glue in place; purchase grease gun extender tube. Procure and use a high suction vacuum. Scoff at the crunchy sound after you put it all back together.

I just sell the frame.

All joking aside, I take it out every several overhauls, not each one.
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Old 07-22-22, 11:59 AM
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Every time. Just part of doing the job the way it should be done.
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Old 07-22-22, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie View Post
Every time. Just part of doing the job the way it should be done.
Amen brother.
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Old 07-22-22, 12:08 PM
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Shop mechanic: "The DS BB cup is stuck, can I just leave it?"

Shop manager: "Sure, I'll have somebody that can do it get it out, don't bother coming back tomorrow."
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Old 07-22-22, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
It seems merziac and I are in the minority when it comes to bottom bracket fixed cups ( see Campy BB removal. Left right or pull? ). So, here's a poll to see if we have any allies.
Looks like we are not truly in the minority even if you add all the others together right now, but the non believers seem to be much quicker to defend their position as I would expect.
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Old 07-22-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Shop mechanic: "The DS BB cup is stuck, can I just leave it?"

Shop manager: "Sure, I'll have somebody that can do it get it out, don't bother coming back tomorrow." "Sure, tell the customer the bike isn't worth fixing, and send them to the sales floor."
FiFY.
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Old 07-22-22, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
FiFY.
But the cup is still stuck.
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Old 07-22-22, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
Before I got the proper tools, I would leave the fixed cup in place and clean it the best I could from the opposite side. Now, I don't think twice about removing the fixed cup to do a proper overhaul.
Does your definition of "proper tools" include the Sheldon Brown nut-washers-and-bolt system?

When I took the 1959 Capo to CyclArt for a repaint, I needed help removing the fixed cup. Jim Cunningham had a bench vise mounted atop a long pole in the middle of a large room, and that was the only way we could garner enough leverage to break it loose.

For an ISO, British, or Swiss-threaded BB, I can justify removing the fixed cup, but how about Italian or French? I find I need to use Loctite to keep those fixed cups "fixed." Is it really advantageous to take these in and out and grease the threads when they inherently have trouble staying tight because of a major (self-loosening) design blunder?
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Old 07-22-22, 12:42 PM
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I fully strip all bikes when they come in (including removing the fixed cup). Otherwise when I'm doing routine maintenance I will remove the fixed cup every other time.
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