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Old BB woes.

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Old BB woes.

Old 04-08-12, 10:59 AM
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Bikewer
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Old BB woes.

I have a 1972 vintage Cilo/Swiss roadster. Nice bike, Columbus frame, Shimano 600 components... Been riding it for some years now.

I checked the (Shimano 600) BB when I installed the new crankset a few years ago. Doing some work on the bike I detected a bit of extra friction... BB is toast. Both the spindle and the adjustable cup are badly galled.

Planning to just install a modern sealed unit, I failed to remove the fixed cup. Niether the Sheldon Brown bolt method or the clamp-it-in a vise method worked.
At the bike shop, they got it out and I found that this is a reverse-threaded "French" style BB.
No readily-available sealed units will work. (this bike is also pre-ISO standard...

The dealer is going to call around to see what's available. I did a bit of research yesterday, and it looks like Phil Woods might be a choice...But way expensive.

Any other ideas of a source for either a sealed unit or replacements for the original spindle and adjustable cup?
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Old 04-08-12, 11:14 AM
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"French" style would not be "reverse threaded" except in comparison to a British or ISO BB which is LH threaded in the fixed cup...French is conventional (RH threads) in both cups, as is Italian...since it's a Swiss bike it could have a Swiss BB, same threads as FR but LH in the fixed cup.
Sounds like Cilo used the FR BB back in early '70s...check out the Velo Orange sealed unit, since it's a JIS spindle it should also be a good match with the Shimano 600 crank, and cheaper than Phil.
Otherwise: FR cups are available on eBay and perhaps here as well (WTB, ISO thread), but I'd really inspect that spindle since they are usually worn (pitted, scarred) if the cups are.
If it turns out you actually have a Swiss BB then your choices are few...might have to go with a Phil or use the VO "no thread" unit...or re-tap to Italian threading...but I don't recall if Shimano ever made a 600 BB with Swiss cups...anyone know?

Last edited by unworthy1; 04-08-12 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 04-08-12, 11:25 AM
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I agree if they have the correct spindle length and offset the VO threadless may be the way to go. I don't know if Shimano ever made a Swiss thread but if they did I suspect the going rate may be pretty steep.
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Old 04-08-12, 11:28 AM
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EDCO is a Swiss bike component manufacturer. Their BBs are common on eBay, though pricy. I suspect you could find a Swiss-thread EDCO, but as unworthy1 said, it would be essential to know what you have in the way of threading. If it is a right-hand thread fixed cup, it is probably a French BB. VO, Phil and others have the adapters for that.
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Old 04-08-12, 11:36 AM
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EDCO Competition French Bottom Bracket 35X1 both right hand thread. Super Mondia Swiss bike late 70's

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Old 04-08-12, 11:45 AM
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a quick look thru the Shimano catalogs on VeloBase says that a genuine 600 BB was not available in Swiss threading...at least in the catalogs up till the early '80s. If your cups are Shimano and marked 35 x 1.0, they are French and you can check the fixed cup to confirm it has RH threads...then go buy the VO FR sealed unit, best value for new, or find some replacement FR cups and keep it an "open" BB (still a fine design as long as you service it regularly).
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Old 04-08-12, 12:02 PM
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EDCO cartridge bottom brackets are nice because the chainline is adjustable, but the taper is ISO and won't work with your Shimano crank. The VO French BB seems like your best choice.
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Old 04-08-12, 12:07 PM
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$66
https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-brackets.html
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Old 04-08-12, 12:17 PM
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I have a Swiss-threaded BB I'm not using. It's never been used. Email me if you're interested. Please don't PM me, as I might never see the message.
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Old 04-08-12, 12:20 PM
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I bought a pair of new generic French bb cups from a vendor who still sells these on Ebay.
Together with the proper JIS spindle for your Shimano cranks, this will get you on the road cheaply.

For actual Swiss bb shells with LH drive-side threading, I've forced in a Shimano cartridge unit with alloy cups, UN-7X earlier model.

I had to "work" the cups in with extensive back-and-forth action on the big wrench, but they settled in nicely with a solid, re-assuring bottoming feel. This was on a 1979/80 PX10 with Swiss threading. I thought it must be British-threaded so went with the English bb, but only later noticed the 35X1 designation on the fixed cup! It took 10-15 minutes each side getting the cups to mate with the Swiss threading, should be a totally reliable installation and best of all I had the bb laying around.

I selected a 113mm bb to go with the Stronglight cranks. The original 118mm spindle was ISO taper and the JIS taper perfectly made up for the difference in spindle length.
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Old 04-08-12, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aixaix View Post
EDCO is a Swiss bike component manufacturer. Their BBs are common on eBay, though pricy. I suspect you could find a Swiss-thread EDCO, but as unworthy1 said, it would be essential to know what you have in the way of threading. If it is a right-hand thread fixed cup, it is probably a French BB. VO, Phil and others have the adapters for that.
Yes, Edco's are nice but way, way overpriced, NOS or used (and used ones are usually in poor condition because of soft pin wrench holes and lock rings that easily get really buggered up when removing or installing).....because of a bunch of sellers for the last year insisting they are $300+ nice......so they sit at ebay mostly unsold for months and months. IMO, you're better off just going to your LBS and ordering a Phil Wood BB for close to half the price and maybe twice the service life.
I heard that VO's another good option out there for French threded BBs

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Last edited by Chombi; 04-08-12 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 04-08-12, 06:39 PM
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Bikewer, I don't have anything to add to the advice given here, but I'm intrigued by your bike and would like to see photos. I have a supposed late 70s or early 80s CILO touring bike of uncertain provenance, but it came with top shelf, albeit probably some retrofitted components, and a respray, so I'm struggling to identify its vintage.

Here is a photo, after powdercoating and rebuild with all European components:
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Old 04-08-12, 06:59 PM
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I may have misread the Sheldon Brown information... Here's the actual info in the BB parts: Each cup is stamped "35 X P1". The fixed cup is right-threaded; it tightens to the right. Standard square-taper spindle.
The spindle is shot as well. (all nicely chrome-plated...) The crank is not 600, it's an aftermarket item. The original crank was a rather crappy steel number. Bike is an interesting mix of parts; it has the Columbus frame and Shimano 600 headset, BB, shifters, and DRs. However, the wheels and hubs were rather poor Maillard numbers, and the brakes are so-so Weinemann double-pivot.
I have a pic somewhere... I'll put it up if I can find it.
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