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Clueless Italian

Old 09-08-11, 06:33 AM
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aaronshtan
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Clueless Italian

Hi peeps,
Is there any way to differentiate an Italian BB shell threading? Probably any signs or markings. Read similar thread from cyclingforum.com and only way to spot an Italian/British is by measuring the bb shell - Italian bb shell 70mm wide while British bb shell 68cm wide. Another way by looking at the bb cup markings which install on the shell.

What if there's no bb cup, just an empty frame set? Would be great if someone could share more infos on verifying vintage frame.

Thanks
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Old 09-08-11, 06:38 AM
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Find any british bb cup, if it "drops" in, without engaging threads, the shell is probably italian threaded. Or find any italian cup, if it won't begin to engage because it's too big, the shell is probably english threaded. Unless it's french or swiss
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Old 09-08-11, 08:02 AM
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You're right on the shell measurement--70mm shell would be Italian, 68mm is other. That's probably the easiest way to tell, if you have an empty frameset and no other bb cups handy.
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Old 09-08-11, 08:30 AM
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As folks are indicating, BB shell width is the first thing to check. The (careful) cup checks are also a good idea.

If you measure the I.D. of the BB shell threads, British threads should be about 33.8 mm or so, whereas Italian threads should be more like 34.8 mm. I.D.

Remember also that sometimes stripped non-Italian threads were reamed out / re-tapped to Italian as a repair, though, so a 68 mm wide Italian-thread BB can occur on an old frame. I think there were also some Italian marques (certain very old Cinellis, for example, iirc? Not to mention their 74 mm ones...) that had 68 mm shells that were Italian threading.

Edit: French/Swiss BB shell threads should be about .2 mm larger than BSC, or approx. 35 mm I.D. Unfortunately, that is very close to BSC (no surprise), and the I.D.s can vary a bit, so that's not a great way to distinguish French/Swiss from BSC on used frames.

Last edited by 753proguy; 09-08-11 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Added French/Swiss shell comment
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Old 09-08-11, 08:33 AM
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My '89 waterford paramount may be a re-tapped example, shell width is 67mm, threading is italian.
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Old 09-08-11, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tomd7 View Post
You're right on the shell measurement--70mm shell would be Italian, 68mm is other. That's probably the easiest way to tell, if you have an empty frameset and no other bb cups handy.
This should only be considered a "screening" test. I've seen both British and Italian thread BB shells ranging in width from 65mm to 74mm.
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Old 09-08-11, 10:10 AM
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It does engage but only at beginning and then stuck. Works fine (smooth insertion) on other Italian bb shell threading bike with similar bb. Frame is NOS condition.
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Old 09-08-11, 10:11 AM
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What's I.D mean? Sorry, I'm a newbie in vintage bikes
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Old 09-08-11, 10:12 AM
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chase the threads?
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Old 09-08-11, 10:23 AM
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can you please explain more about chase threads?
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Old 09-08-11, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
This should only be considered a "screening" test. I've seen both British and Italian thread BB shells ranging in width from 65mm to 74mm.
Refacing can often remove material and result in a deceptive measurement.
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Old 09-08-11, 10:50 AM
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I.D. is inside diameter. Chasing threads means to run the correct tap through them to clean up the threads. A tap is a tool which cuts threads, so you need to make sure you are using the right one, and using it correctly.
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Old 09-08-11, 10:59 AM
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Thanks Pars for your clarification
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Old 09-08-11, 12:22 PM
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You might want to just post up some pics of the bike itself. There are are a lot of people here who are amazing in their ability to identify manufacturers/models (seriously, I mean, savant-like).
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Old 09-08-11, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tomd7 View Post
You might want to just post up some pics of the bike itself. There are are a lot of people here who are amazing in their ability to identify manufacturers/models (seriously, I mean, savant-like).
And some of us are just idiots
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