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Budget bottom bracket tools?

Old 06-29-21, 07:39 PM
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GBK233
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Budget bottom bracket tools?

I have a bit of creaking on my 2020 Giant Defy. Not sure if it’s the cranks, the chain rings, or maybe even the bearings causing the creaking.

The bike has about 1000 miles on it now…and it wouldn’t hurt to pull the cranks etc and give it all a good cleaning/inspection.


What tools should I be looking at? I don’t mind spending a bit, but don’t want to buy top-of-the line if there are cheaper options that work just as well. I do NOT want to make any DIY tools, so that’s out.
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Old 06-29-21, 07:49 PM
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Who knows? What kind of bottom bracket is in your bike?
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Old 06-29-21, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
who knows? What kind of bottom bracket is in your bike?
bb86/bb92
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Old 06-29-21, 09:22 PM
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You can knock them out w/ a hammer and whatever...a socket, a drift, even a screwdriver. Installation is another story...you want a good bearing press. We use the Wheels Manufacturing kit. I'm sure you can find something specific to that size for a lot less $$$.

And obviously this thread should be in 'bicycle mechanics' not GD.
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Old 06-30-21, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
You can knock them out w/ a hammer and whatever...a socket, a drift, even a screwdriver. Installation is another story...you want a good bearing press. We use the Wheels Manufacturing kit. I'm sure you can find something specific to that size for a lot less $$$.

And obviously this thread should be in 'bicycle mechanics' not GD.
crap….didn’t see the bike mechanics section.

admin….please move this thread
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Old 06-30-21, 06:32 AM
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Rule out the seat post first by cleaning, greasing and replacing. Use fibergrip if it's carbon. Make sure your rear axle is absolutely secure too - movement there in the dropouts causes creaking. BB is the last place to look after ruling out seat, pedals, crankset, etc. Wheels Mfg makes a decent budget press when you get to that point.
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Old 06-30-21, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by veloz View Post
Rule out the seat post first by cleaning, greasing and replacing. Use fibergrip if it's carbon. Make sure your rear axle is absolutely secure too - movement there in the dropouts causes creaking. BB is the last place to look after ruling out seat, pedals, crankset, etc. Wheels Mfg makes a decent budget press when you get to that point.

Def not the seat post….I can hear and/or feel it in(thru) the cranks and or pedals. I also can get it to click if I’m coasting and reverse pedal…not always, but sometimes. Prob going to disassemble cranks and chain ring….and clean them…and add light film of grease between the rings.
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Old 06-30-21, 09:54 AM
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Look on Bangood or Ali Express for cheap tools. They won't be great quality but for use every few years, should suffice.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
Def not the seat post….I can hear and/or feel it in(thru) the cranks and or pedals. I also can get it to click if I’m coasting and reverse pedal…not always, but sometimes. Prob going to disassemble cranks and chain ring….and clean them…and add light film of grease between the rings.
Can't count the number of people who have felt the click through the pedals and have been sure it was the BB only to have it be rear axle, seatpost, headset, pedals, etc.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:31 AM
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  • Until you've diagnosed the problem, I wouldn't throw money at tools.
  • Some inexpensive tools end up costing you more later, as you replace them after failure or wear.
  • For repairs that only occur rarely and/or that require an expensive tool, it can be more cost effective to just pay someone to do the work. A bearing press might be in this category.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:48 AM
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Easier to have a shop do it. A bottom bracket reset/install costs $30-40 at the shops I frequent.
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Old 06-30-21, 12:45 PM
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The Park Tool version which is first quality only costs $16 at BikesDirect or Amazon so ordering it from China at Banggood makes no sense as you will probably wait weeks for it to arrive. You can see what it looks like here: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...hoCW9gQAvD_BwE
I lucked out recently and found a Spin Doctor versions specifically for my Truvative BB at a Goodwill surplus store and paid less than a dollar for it. A lot of new bottom brackets are sealed so there is no taking them apart to lubricate them or replace bearings. You just slip in a new cartridge.
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Old 06-30-21, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
The Park Tool version which is first quality only costs $16 at BikesDirect or Amazon so ordering it from China at Banggood makes no sense as you will probably wait weeks for it to arrive. You can see what it looks like here: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...hoCW9gQAvD_BwE
I lucked out recently and found a Spin Doctor versions specifically for my Truvative BB at a Goodwill surplus store and paid less than a dollar for it. A lot of new bottom brackets are sealed so there is no taking them apart to lubricate them or replace bearings. You just slip in a new cartridge.

The OP's bottom bracket is a press-fit unit. He needs a bearing press, not a wrench.


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Old 06-30-21, 02:54 PM
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Would a headset press work?
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Old 06-30-21, 02:56 PM
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On tools, I go by the old saying, you can "pay me now or pay me later." A good cheap tool may last for 'enough' jobs, OR it may damage what you are working on with poor specs or manufacturing on the first job (usually the one you really bought it for).

I learned this from cars and bikes.

Case in point, cheap Allen keys or Torx drivers. You could round out the hex hole with bad dimensions, or more commonly round off the Allen key due to bad dimensions AND poor heat treating or steel, or break the shaft and scratching the paint or gouging the frame material with the broken shaft. To put icing on the cake, finding a replacement for that rounded bolt, nut, or allen screw/bolt, will surely be the one the hardware store will be out of, and it will happen on a Sunday evening.

There are good tools, and cheap tools, and a smaller subset of cheap, good tools. Choose wisely.
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Old 06-30-21, 05:03 PM
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https://www.parktool.com/product/pre...ttom%20Bracket

+

Bearing press (DIY, Park Tool, Wheels mfg, chinese tools, etc)
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Old 06-30-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post
On tools, I go by the old saying, you can "pay me now or pay me later." A good cheap tool may last for 'enough' jobs, OR it may damage what you are working on with poor specs or manufacturing on the first job (usually the one you really bought it for).

I learned this from cars and bikes.
Or, as Sutherland's put in their Handbook for Bicycle Mechanics, "cheap tools are an extravagance no bicycle shop can afford."
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Old 06-30-21, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
  • Until you've diagnosed the problem, I wouldn't throw money at tools.
  • Some inexpensive tools end up costing you more later, as you replace them after failure or wear.
  • For repairs that only occur rarely and/or that require an expensive tool, it can be more cost effective to just pay someone to do the work. A bearing press might be in this category.
Paying someone to do something simple like pressing out bearings seems foolish imo. And the bigger point…is that I don’t want to and/or can’t wait around for a shop to do it. Turnaround times are days and/or weeks at local shop…and I only have one day a week that I’m not working (and they are open). I prefer to be self-sufficient.

I ride 300+ miles a month, so I would assume I should check and/or clean my bottom bracket bearings etc at least a couple times a year.

I don’t have a problem spending $100-200 on the proper bearing tools, if that’s what’s really necessary. Since the tools aren’t very complicated….I just assumed that there might be some identical clone tools out there that were good quality like Park Tool, but for less money
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Old 06-30-21, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
I ride 300+ miles a month, so I would assume I should check and/or clean my bottom bracket bearings etc at least a couple times a year.
People ride 3x or 4x that and don't pull their BBs twice a year.

If you have a compelling reason to do so, sure, but I'd do a little more troubleshooting before buying the tools. Quite often, when your BB is creaking, it's not actually your BB. The last time that I was sure that my BB was creaking, it was my pedals.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
People ride 3x or 4x that and don't pull their BBs twice a year.

If you have a compelling reason to do so, sure, but I'd do a little more troubleshooting before buying the tools. Quite often, when your BB is creaking, it's not actually your BB. The last time that I was sure that my BB was creaking, it was my pedals.
I def agree with the squeaking/creaking thing…as much of what I’ve read agrees that bearings tend to NOT be the source of the problem.

I def didn’t/don’t plan of pulling my bearings just to inspect them. Although, I would like to have the tools I need in my possession when I eventually need them….rather than trying to do a bunch of hurried research and snap purchases when I do need to pull/replace my bearings.

With that being said….how long do bearings tend to last before needing replacement?
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Old 07-01-21, 12:12 AM
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There are two different Shenzhen China sellers on ebay: alpinetopline (338608+) 98.8% --and-- jsbay88 (295572+) 98.5%
Both of these have hundreds of bicycle tools, and related associated hardware, as well as accessories and perhaps, just one or two decent component items.

I have ordered from both of these sellers before 2020. Most of the items were musical instrument hardware-components, as I have built some of my own electric guitars since 1970 or 1971, and have made modifications and alterations, and repairs to various other production guitars since before that. They do have a few items that are superior to a similar item that Stewart MacDonald carries. There are also certain, less popular, more oddball bridges, tailpieces,string trees, pickups etc that are near exact copies of items seen on many 1960's era guitars that are no longer in production, that some manufacturers in China obviously decided to copy and re-produce, at least in appearance if say for example the modern Chinese pickup has less noise and is less microphonic and perhaps has a slightly higher ohm reading(higher output).
I've ordered multiple times from both sellers. Products that I ordered were better quality than I expected and products always arrived in my mailbox usually between 15 and 27 days.........once I had an order arrive from ShenZhen in nine days.........all my orders with them were prior to 2020.
I have not ordered any bicycle tools from either of them but I have ordered other items and accessories which were at least decent enough for what they were and represented really good value for the dollars spent. I'm always amazed that these Chinese sellers can ship via China post for next to nothing to the USA, and I never had any customs duties, or any broken or missing, or more importantly, never had any wrong items........at some of the prices...with no sales tax, no customs duties, and receiving the item in under 20 days is just a no brainer, when the item is excellent quality and only 15% to 20% the total cost of buying it stateside.
You do have to self-determine which items are excellent quality and which are near trash. If you cannot determine that, then well you probably need to hedge on the side of known quality and buy the known quantity from wherever even if it costs significantly more. Trash is trash, unless you can refine it slightly, and if you knew enough to refine/modify such a product, well, you'd probably have enough knowledge.......but you don't have that knowlege probably, so go with what you know, and opt for a known decent quality product.....................................having said that, there are certain items, where there is no critical difference, so it won't matter at all...
It is sometimes a crap-shoot no matter from where you source the end product.....locally......from USA, from U.K, from France, from Italy, from Germany, from Australia, from New Zealand, from South Africa, from Brazil, from Mexico, from Canada , or from mainland China and Taiwan.
Both sellers have probably 25+ pages of bicycle parts that you'll have to spend more than hour to weed through.
A few random (alpinetopline) examples that will get you on alpine's ebay listings etc....#393418913627, #304042354028, #234059461991
a few random (jsbay88) examples #294252072456, #304050757175, #294239871379,
They have much much more but you're gonna have to SEE OTHER ITEMS and scroll through many many pages as they have hundreds, maybe thousands of tools and related parts, that might be applicable to your current bike project.
There are probably thousands or at least many hundreds of other worldwide web bike "stores" with applicable tool offerings and new parts & accessories.
This is just a suggestion that you LOOK at what those two Chinese sellers on the bay have and look everywhere else too........because I can't say if their tools are decent because I've not bought them. Its gonna be a crap-shoot...............likely may not be the best but maybe at least minimally adequate for the tasks needed, might be better than that, but I don't know. I do feel confident that you'd receive whatever item that you might order on a timely basis and in undamaged condition but the crap-shoot will be the tool quality and design itself................I do think that will be the issue with perhaps any no-name tool, from anywhere. One would assume that they would be useable for at least several uses but you never can be sure because quality-control on even some name brand mainstream tool offerings at popular trusted home improvement stores like Lowes & Home Depot is almost non-existant in my opinion. That isn't how it used to be and perhaps to keep them within a popular price range with decent profit margin, something has to give....
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Old 07-01-21, 01:59 AM
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I bought a cheap BB tool from Ebay which has worked fine for me. Obviously if I was running a shop I'd probably have something much more sophisticated, but for occasional use it's done ok for me.
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Old 07-01-21, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
With that being said….how long do bearings tend to last before needing replacement?
It depends on a lot of factors. I've had bearings last well past 10,000 kms, and I've had some go bad with less than 1000 kms. In my experience, as an amateur mech, who does all my own work, only one time that I can specifically recall could I feel the BB being "bad" while riding. Every other time, it was diagnosed while cleaning the bike or changing a chain. The bearings felt rough when turning the crank, so I pulled the crank, and turned the bearing by hand to confirm. There is also a fair amount of evidence that Press Fit BBs (to include BB30, which is assembled by threading the two sides together) can develop ticks and clicks, because the pressed bearing cartridges are moving ever so slightly in the shell, but the bearings remain good. I do concur that you should eliminate the other items others have already mentioned, first, before going after the BB.
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Old 07-01-21, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
With that being said….how long do bearings tend to last before needing replacement?
Dunno. I mean, with these types of bearings, the life expectancy is probably going to be on the order of tens of thousands of hours in good conditions, so the ingress of grit and grime is probably going to be the big X factor - riding in the rain/wet, over gravel and dirt, etc, will affect lifespan. FWIW, I don't think that I've had BB bearings go bad in under 10k miles.
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Old 07-01-21, 09:02 PM
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I just used a threaded rod, some big washers, and a couple nuts from Home Depot.
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