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Sealed cartridge BBs for C&V bikes?

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Sealed cartridge BBs for C&V bikes?

Old 01-22-14, 03:01 PM
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Sealed cartridge BBs for C&V bikes?

Is there any reason not to? Things to watch for? Tips?? Tricks???

I'm thinking of converting my '75 Fuji and '84 Univega to sealed cartridge BBs. My concern is HOW??? What do I have to look for? The Fuji wears a triple, bu the Uni is still a double. How do I determine what I need? I've been to the Sheldon site but am still conflustered...
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Old 01-22-14, 03:41 PM
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well both bikes are English threaded yes? so that ends that part you the 1.37 x 24 threading. the hard part is how long is your spindle and what is the offset. Unless you can find the info on a site like Velo base or Sheldons you need to pull your spindle and check it out.

For example The Campi cranks on my Hetchins needed a new BB. OK I take out the old CampI SR and measure 118mm total length but the 'offset' for the chainwheels is 3mm to the right. I go to the Phils website and look at CampI taper BBs and find the 118 with a 3mm offset and toss it in my cart. Then I buy a pair of English rings and tool. (note this information is somewhat fiction and the measurement are nit intended to be correct)

Odds are your going to end up with something like a shimano BB UN 51 (that is the model number something like Exage level) 122.5 (spindle length) Again the hard part is figuring hou your offset.

There is good information on these charts, the problem is a lot of it is for bikes/parts from the mid to late '80s and newer.

https://sheldonbrown.com/bbsize.html
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Old 01-22-14, 03:49 PM
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If it gives a decent chainline... I have several bikes with Shimano UN54 or UN55 BBs. So far none has burst into flames and I haven't been arrested.
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Old 01-22-14, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Is there any reason not to? Things to watch for? Tips?? Tricks???

I'm thinking of converting my '75 Fuji and '84 Univega to sealed cartridge BBs. My concern is HOW??? What do I have to look for? The Fuji wears a triple, bu the Uni is still a double. How do I determine what I need? I've been to the Sheldon site but am still conflustered...
https://sheldonbrown.com/bbsize.html

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Old 01-22-14, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
As I said, I've been to the Sheldon Brown site but am still confused!!! My cranksets are not listed
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Old 01-22-14, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Is there any reason not to? Things to watch for? Tips?? Tricks???

I'm thinking of converting my '75 Fuji and '84 Univega to sealed cartridge BBs. My concern is HOW??? What do I have to look for? The Fuji wears a triple, bu the Uni is still a double. How do I determine what I need? I've been to the Sheldon site but am still conflustered...
You will need to get BBs with cups with correct threading; I am assuming g both bikes have English thread BB shells so that should not be a problem.

If you are going to keep the cranks you have, the main thing to be concerned about would be matching spindle configuration.

-- Spindle length determines proper chain line for your cranks. You don't need a precise match because a mm here or there won't make much difference but too far off on short side and your crank may rub against the chain stay.

-- in addition to overall length, you will need to know whether the spindles you have are symmetrical (i.e. crank interface same length on both sides) or asymmetrical (long or shorter on drive side than non drive). Once you have this info, you just need to hunt down cartridge BBs with similar dimension spindles. Most likely the BB with the triple will have longer spindle than the one with the double.

-- Lastly, you'll need to know whether cranks, which I presume are square taper, are ISO or JIS taper.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:13 PM
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I don't know! They are not listed on the Sheldon Brown site! The cranksets in question are a Sakae SX 48/38/28 triple on the Fuji and Sakae CX 52/42 on the Univega. The Fuji has been fine for years with what it has, but for some reason I feel compelled to go sealed cartridge. The Uni is my 'new' road ride, but an unknown quantity, so I wanted to replace it just because... I suppose I'll have to disassemble each to determine length/offset. But even then, the question of longer driveside for the triple enters into the equation.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
As I said, I've been to the Sheldon Brown site but am still confused!!! My cranksets are not listed
That link has been overlooked before, just wanted to be sure you saw it.

Very basically... Cup and cone BBs were often asymmetrical for chain ring clearance and the non drive side crank arm had an outward flair to equalize tread width. Cartridge BBs tend to be symmetrical and the crank sets made for them have nearly equal shapes for both sides.

Using a symmetrical BB with a crank set intended for an asymmetrical crank set can result in unequal tread width of a few millimeters.

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Old 01-22-14, 04:18 PM
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Now that you posted the brand and model someone may actually know it. If the BB is serviceable I would let it be. If your already planning an overhaul on the Univega just plan for a few extra days and after you get the BB out measure it. Buy a shimano or VO unit and put it in.



BTW relax it is only a BB and it is working fine for now. Just cruise through the Sheldon site and look at some of the information. I think what you need is there your just stumped because your crank isn't shown in the chart. think outside the spread sheet. Once you commit to overhauling the Univega just measure and use the data on the site to help find a corresponding cartridge BB.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:21 PM
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I would pull the crankset from your cup and cone BB, and measure from the cup to the spindle end on the drive side. Go to the LBS with that measurement and match it. This assumes you're not changing taper. Don't worry about the NDS; just get the correct shell width.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I don't know! They are not listed on the Sheldon Brown site! The cranksets in question are a Sakae SX 48/38/28 triple on the Fuji and Sakae CX 52/42 on the Univega. The Fuji has been fine for years with what it has, but for some reason I feel compelled to go sealed cartridge. The Uni is my 'new' road ride, but an unknown quantity, so I wanted to replace it just because... I suppose I'll have to disassemble each to determine length/offset. But even then, the question of longer driveside for the triple enters into the equation.
You'll have to measure the spindles, but Sakae cranks will be JIS taper.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I would pull the crankset from your cup and cone BB, and measure from the cup to the spindle end on the drive side. Go to the LBS with that measurement and match it. This assumes you're not changing taper. Don't worry about the NDS; just get the correct shell width.
This is the right answer.

As for should you do it or not, unless you feel compelled to remain 100% period correct I don't see why not.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:27 PM
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Any reason not to? Firstly, cup & cone BBs can be serviced. When regularly maintained, they can last for decades. In general, they have less resistance than a sealed bearing unit. I've never found anything smoother than a nice Campagnolo cup & cone BB. I don't find standard BBs difficult to install/maintain, but I can understand how sealed bearing units can make the production process a little more streamlined and consistent at the factory level.

Why are you thinking of making the change?

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Old 01-22-14, 04:34 PM
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All you need to do is measure your spindles with a caliper as they're shown on Sheldon's site. If they're symmetrical you can buy get the closest match.

If they're asymmetrical you can purchase a metal spacer that should be half of the offset (long side minus the short side) and use that on the drive side of the cartridge closest matching the overall spindle width.

Otherwise, you can just measure the spindle offset and then add that number to your spindle length and purchase that length (114.5mm spindle + ~3mm offset = ~117.5mm, purchase 118mm). A little bit of crank offset is fine.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:36 PM
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Thanks to all who have responded! At least now I know more than I did before re: taper...

Bianchigirl - that SX triple has been in there waaaay too long - probably 25,000+ miles - so it is long overdue for a replacement! The Uni is an unknown, so I want to replace it 'just because', if you know what I mean...

So I still need to measure my current axle length and/or offset in the case of the triple, correct???

Thanks again!!
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Old 01-22-14, 04:59 PM
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If you have already determined that your current chainlines are optimal, then the next easy step is to look at the text that may be stamped into your existing spindles.

There is some likelihood that a familiar code like "D-NL" or similar would direct you to one of many charts which describe exactly what those codes mean in terms of length and in terms of left-hand and right-hand "protrusion" of each end of the spindle out beyond each side of the bb shell.

I think that this is where I would start. Many folks here can assist from there with any needed decoding of the spindle markings.

Keep in mind also that at least some some of Shimano's cartridge bb's are not symmetrical, particularly those longer than 118mm (as with the popular D-NL version).
This is where the alphanumeric codes really clear things up with precise definitions of length AND offset.

Lastly, don't confuse the bike-industry-specific term of "offset" with the actual offsetting of the spindle.
In bike-catalog terms, it usually refers to how much longer that one end of the spindle is than the other, meaning that a "3mm offset" is actually only equivalent to shifting a same-length spindle only 1.5mm to the right side.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:06 PM
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No love for Phil Wood? PW bottom bracket would be appropriate in bikes back to the early 70s.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Thanks to all who have responded! At least now I know more than I did before re: taper...

Bianchigirl - that SX triple has been in there waaaay too long - probably 25,000+ miles - so it is long overdue for a replacement! The Uni is an unknown, so I want to replace it 'just because', if you know what I mean...

So I still need to measure my current axle length and/or offset in the case of the triple, correct???

Thanks again!!
Wear is measured not by miles, but by condition. If the cups and cones are not pitted or scored they're fine. Remove, clean, repack with new bearings and reinstall. As noted above, if you do it correctly you'll have smoother operation than with sealed. Also, sticking with original equipment ensures you won't have any size issues. If you want to change things "just because," however, have at it and good luck.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:46 PM
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What I found nice to have, at least on the sealed cartridge BB's I've installed, is adjustable cups on both sides of the BB. I really makes for much easier fine adjustments to the chainline, plus the BB's are much easier to remove as you only have to dea with lock rings and not a massive fixed cup that just loves to stubbornly seize on to BB shells on most occasions.... So far I've never had any problems with having two fixed cups on my BB's. Makes me wonder why they even had fixed cups on BB's in the first place....
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Old 01-22-14, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
No love for Phil Wood? PW bottom bracket would be appropriate in bikes back to the early 70s.
I love Wood!! Considering how long a few Campi cartridges lasted and their cost compared to a Phil I usually buy the Phil
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Old 01-22-14, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by smallpox champ View Post
All you need to do is measure your spindles with a caliper as they're shown on Sheldon's site. If they're symmetrical you can buy get the closest match.

If they're asymmetrical you can purchase a metal spacer that should be half of the offset (long side minus the short side) and use that on the drive side of the cartridge closest matching the overall spindle width.

Otherwise, you can just measure the spindle offset and then add that number to your spindle length and purchase that length (114.5mm spindle + ~3mm offset = ~117.5mm, purchase 118mm). A little bit of crank offset is fine.
This is what you need to do. Sakae cranks are JIS taper. Your cup and cone BBs will very likely be assymetrical so you should pull them and measure the offset.
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Old 01-23-14, 07:54 AM
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Remove the old bb and bring it to a bike shop, they will give you a matching sealed unit, there are no "offset" measurements you need to worry about.Shell width and spindle length are all that need be addressed. Id bet You'll end up with a 68x113 for the triple and a 68x109 for the double
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Old 01-23-14, 09:18 AM
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I found a cartridge BB in my Super Course, which I found in the garbage. I've had to take it out once or twice because of creaking. I greased the threads to cure it. Next time, I'll use plumbers' tape.
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Old 01-23-14, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I found a cartridge BB in my Super Course, which I found in the garbage. I've had to take it out once or twice because of creaking. I greased the threads to cure it. Next time, I'll use plumbers' tape.
Thanks Tom, I can't believe that simple solution never occurred to me.
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Old 01-23-14, 09:26 AM
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Tom,

Plumbers tape = Teflon tape?
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