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Poor Man's Fixed Cup Tool

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Poor Man's Fixed Cup Tool

Old 02-17-13, 09:41 PM
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Poor Man's Fixed Cup Tool

C&V bikes can have some pretty stuck fixed cups! Funny what 30 years of rust and neglect can do. The bike shop where I worked in the seventies had a great VAR tool for removing those super-stuck fixed cups. It clamped on to the cup nice and tight through the bottom bracket. I never met a cup it couldn't remove. But that tool and it's various imitators are all pretty expensive. Nowadays, without all the fancy shop tools, all I have is my trusty old fixed cup spanner that I've had since the seventies. It's a fine tool, but pretty darn thin, and the flats on the cups themselves are also quite thin. Any of you who have tried to remove a particularly tight fixed cup with one of these can testify to the fact that the spanner easily flies off the cup under force. If you escape this particular process without a couple of bloody knuckles you count yourself lucky. There must be some way to lock the wrench to the cup...

Here's my solution. A tip of the hat to Michael Angelo who posted something very similar to this a few months ago. Hopefully my pictures will make the operation of this kind of tool obvious.





The square washers, bolt, and nut hold the spanner tight on the flats of the cup so it can't fly off. Sometimes a few determined taps with a hammer on the arm of the spanner are required to get things started. Remember English fixed cups and some Swiss fixed cups are left-hand thread.



The parts (with the exception of the spanner) are all available at your local builder's hardware store or lumber yard.
1 fixed cup spanner (no it doesn't have to be a Campagnolo which are ridiculously overpriced nowdays.)
1 machine bolt 1/2" by 4" or 5".
1 nut for aforementioned bolt.
2 square foundation bolt washers with 1/2" holes.
1 1/2" round washer. The round washer isn't really necessary, just makes the nut a little easier to turn.

Brent
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Old 02-17-13, 09:45 PM
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No more busted knuckles!

Luckily I have all the parts I could ever need to make one of these things. Looks like I have a project for tomorrow night!
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Old 02-17-13, 09:57 PM
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That is pretty cool. I've used the Sheldon tool, almost all the time it is ok. Actually, it has never failed to loosen the fixed cup, but once or twice, because of how the washers seat on the inside along with the necessity for really tightening it down for a heavily stuck cup, I've damaged a fixed cup or two. Not many, and it is hard, but it does happen.

This setup should obviate that risk.
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Old 02-17-13, 11:34 PM
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I wouldn't call that a poor man's fixed cup tool because you already have the tool otherwise- I'd call it the "square shank" of fixed cup tools-

which sounds even more obscene
and which compares it to a screwdriver with a square shank to fit a wrench on for "extra stuck"

a poor man's fixed cup tool has always been a 12 inch crescent wrench

unless the man is mentally poor, and then it may be some vice grips and a hammer.
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Old 02-18-13, 05:01 AM
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Good idea, I made a tool similar to that. I used a shorter bolt and nut assy. using a big aluminum disc for tool support.
This frame Had a stuck BB cup that three people tried to remove. It took me less than five minutes to remove the cup.



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Old 02-18-13, 06:28 AM
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I've got a Var 30 tool, bought cheap off the bay years ago (under 30$ IIRC). Once in a long while I'll run into a fixed cup that it doesn't work on and have resorted to the Sheldon method. This method appears to be a variation on the Sheldon method, and a good one... I'll stick it in the back of my mind for the rare occasion the Var 30 doesn't work. Thanks!
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Old 02-18-13, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris
C&V bikes can have some pretty stuck fixed cups!

Brent
There is a reason they are called "fixed cups". I made a cheap Stein type tool years ago from a 2" PVC pipe cap but I finally broke down and bought a real one. Having the stein tool is nice since I grease and put the bearings and axle in and tighen it in one shot.
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Old 02-18-13, 12:07 PM
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Obrentharris, nice tool for about $2 I'd guess, also nice pics of it in action. Posted this a while ago, quick to use. FWIW, I generally start fixed cup removal with a hammer strike to the tool, the impact starts the rotation easier than trying to start by pulling/pushing with my hand. If you have one of these "quick clamp" style c clamps thats all you need.





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Last edited by calstar; 02-20-13 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 02-18-13, 12:23 PM
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^^Wow. That's pretty smooth.
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Old 02-18-13, 02:17 PM
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Calstar: that's a great idea! All you need is a dead blow mallet. I'll scour the used tool places to get one myself.
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Old 02-18-13, 02:44 PM
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To me a poor man's fixed cup tool is a 5/8" x 1 1/2" bolt with a nut and some split washers...
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Old 02-18-13, 04:57 PM
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I bought this from one of the big English sites. I think it was Wiggle. $40 delivered not cheap but really heavy duty. Ed
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Old 02-18-13, 05:34 PM
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i use threaded rod / nuts / big washers from the homemade headset press i already have. setup similar to the OPs version. i like it internally clamped since i often take the bike out of the work stand and rest the bottom bracket on the floor and use my foot / leg power to slowly turn the fixed cup.

i've overhauled a few dozen 30 year old bikes and been able to get all of the fixed cups out so far. liquid wrench 24 hours before removal often helps.

a good tip is to tighten the nuts slightly past finger tight and then the fixed cup tool won't slip and mar the frame. nuts can be easily snugged and removed with a big adjustable wrench.

Last edited by brooklyn_bike; 02-18-13 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 02-18-13, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by anixi
Calstar: that's a great idea! All you need is a dead blow mallet. I'll scour the used tool places to get one myself.
Thanks. See the orange handle in the lower background, its a dead blow, much better that a normal hammer with "rebound" as you suggest.

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Old 02-18-13, 07:34 PM
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IMHO the Zog's wrench is a must have tool. It has a longer handle for better leverage and I have had good results time after time with it.

This one is called a thinwrench..........but appears to be the same as a Zog's

https://www.thinwrench.info/31-fixed-cup-wrench.html
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Old 02-18-13, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by r0ckh0und
IMHO the Zog's wrench is a must have tool. It has a longer handle for better leverage and I have had good results time after time with it.

This one is called a thinwrench..........but appears to be the same as a Zog's

https://www.thinwrench.info/31-fixed-cup-wrench.html
I don't think that link is correct....
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Old 02-19-13, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by robatsu
That is pretty cool. I've used the Sheldon tool, almost all the time it is ok. Actually, it has never failed to loosen the fixed cup, but once or twice, because of how the washers seat on the inside along with the necessity for really tightening it down for a heavily stuck cup, I've damaged a fixed cup or two. Not many, and it is hard, but it does happen.

This setup should obviate that risk.
The same thing happened when the mechanic at my LBS took off a stuck cup. It just happens. That tool really looks like eliminates that.
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Old 02-19-13, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gt eunuch
I don't think that link is correct....
It works for me.
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Old 02-19-13, 11:01 AM
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I wish I would have seen this before I bloodied myself up. A question on the same line. How about the other side where a hook type wrench is used? It seems it is even worse to slip off and even damage the lock ring grooves.

Last edited by triumph.1; 02-19-13 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 02-19-13, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by triumph.1
I wish I would have seen this before I bloodied myself up. A question on the same line. How about the other side where a hook type wrench is used? It seems it is even worse to slip off and even damage the lock ring grooves.
There are so many types of these lock rings that you'd need a dozen wrenches! I just make do with one side or the other of the hook wrench. It's a pain, but, what are you going to do otherwise? I'm just glad there's a tool that works somewhat...
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Old 02-19-13, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by triumph.1
I wish I would have seen this before I bloodied myself up. A question on the same line. How about the other side where a hook type wrench is used? It seems it is even worse to slip off and even damage the lock ring grooves.
Easiest way to remove the lock ring is with a hammer and drift. I use a old brass padlock works every tome and no damage to the lock ring. Ed
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Old 02-19-13, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gt eunuch
I don't think that link is correct....
It's not correct. It takes you to a porn site. Please remove that post and link.
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Old 02-19-13, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gt eunuch
I don't think that link is correct....
Originally Posted by anixi
It works for me.
Originally Posted by Michael Angelo
It's not correct. It takes you to a porn site. Please remove that post and link.
Works fine for me. No porn site.
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Old 02-19-13, 06:41 PM
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I'm on an iPhone and took me to porn, maybe it's a mobile thing.
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Old 02-19-13, 09:09 PM
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^Total "Twilight Zone" scenario here guys. I've never had a problem with the link, no hint of anything but great thin tools.
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