Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Lightweight Square Taper BB

Old 10-02-18, 11:50 AM
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1speed4me
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Lightweight Square Taper BB

The old loose ball bearing BB in my fixed conversion has had enough abuse so I'm looking to replace it with something higher quality and lighter weight (Sugino Super Maxy cranks). It's a 1981 Schwinn Voyageur that I built, I'd post pics but it looks like I'm not yet allowed so you'll just have to use your imagination Thank you for the help!
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Old 10-02-18, 05:55 PM
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You're not going to find a great deal of weight savings in a bottom bracket unless you go to exotic titanium units from Zeus, Stronglight, O.M.A.S., etc., which would be serious overkill matched with a Maxy crank.

Save your pennies for a full-bike upgrade and replace the current bottom bracket with an inexpensive cartridge unit.
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Old 10-02-18, 06:09 PM
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Very negligible difference in weight in the bigger picture. 100% what John says.

There's other cheaper ways to save grams though!
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Old 10-03-18, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
You're not going to find a great deal of weight savings in a bottom bracket unless you go to exotic titanium units from Zeus, Stronglight, O.M.A.S., etc., which would be serious overkill matched with a Maxy crank.

Save your pennies for a full-bike upgrade and replace the current bottom bracket with an inexpensive cartridge unit.
Having the pennies for a complete bike upgrade isn't the issue. The issue is that I really love this bike That being said I have no qualms about spending the money for an overkill BB.

I understand there isn't a lot of weight savings to be gained with a BB, but I've just about run out of places to cut weight that wouldn't drastically alter the aesthetics of the bike (that's why I've kept the Maxy cranks, they are right for the bike, weight be damned). A BB upgrade is hidden weight savings, and I like that. So, let's change the question slightly. How about a high quality BB that also happens to be lighter?
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Old 10-03-18, 10:43 AM
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Hard to make a recommendation without knowing what spindle length and square taper interface you need.
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Old 10-03-18, 01:21 PM
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The BB shell is 68mm. I assume the spindle taper is JIS since the cranks are Japanese made Sugino Super Maxy from the early 80ís but that is just a guess on my part (Iím obviously a bit out of my element on this topic). Iíll have to measure the spindle length tomorrow.
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Old 10-04-18, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 1speed4me View Post
The BB shell is 68mm. I assume the spindle taper is JIS since the cranks are Japanese made Sugino Super Maxy from the early 80ís but that is just a guess on my part (Iím obviously a bit out of my element on this topic). Iíll have to measure the spindle length tomorrow.
Have you considered the Sugino 75 crankset? I know you only want a BB, but the 75's have a retro look to them, so they may be of interest to you.

Dave
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Old 10-04-18, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Have you considered the Sugino 75 crankset? I know you only want a BB, but the 75's have a retro look to them, so they may be of interest to you.

Dave
I have... I know they are far superior from an engineering standpoint, but the look is still far too modern compared to what I have now. Iíd also have to go to a 130bdc because I canít get a small enough ring for a 144, unless I change my cog, but then Iíve only got enough chainstay clearance for a 43t, and even that is pushing it. And Iím very happy with my current gearing. So yeah, Iíd like to stick with what I have now because reasons.
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Old 10-04-18, 11:39 AM
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I just measured my spindle. I got roughly 147.3mm measuring end to end. My axle has male threads though with nuts, not bolts. So if that sounds long, thatís why.
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Old 10-04-18, 11:53 AM
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Should I do a measurement without the threaded portion? Thinking back now, most of the spindles I've seen use bolts.

Getting off topic here but... I also just noticed a big chunk missing from my rear Gatorskin, so time to try out those Compass 32's. I'm estimating that I did somewhere between 1,000-1,400 miles (1,600-2,200km) in about three and a half months. Is that reasonable tire life?
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Old 10-04-18, 12:31 PM
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Old 10-04-18, 12:33 PM
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First stage of the build.
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Old 10-04-18, 12:34 PM
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As originally purchased.
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Old 10-04-18, 12:38 PM
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...You're running those wheels and trying to shave grams from your bottom bracket?

edit - my bad, didn't notice the updated version. Still, going for a lighter bottom bracket is only going to take it from being a heavy bike to a heavy bike with a light bottom bracket.

Last edited by seau grateau; 10-04-18 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 10-04-18, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
...You're running those wheels and trying to shave grams from your bottom bracket?

edit - my bad, didn't notice the updated version. Still, going for a lighter bottom bracket is only going to take it from being a heavy bike to a heavy bike with a light bottom bracket.
Yep, what's your point? I think I've ran out of places to cut weight that won't drastically alter the aesthetics. I need a new BB anyway, so why not go light(er)?

Since that photo I've also swapped to Ti eggbeaters.
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Old 10-04-18, 12:53 PM
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Point is just that it's a practically insignificant consideration. Just figure out what kind of BB you need and buy one.
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Old 10-04-18, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 1speed4me View Post
Yep, what's your point? I think I've ran out of places to cut weight that won't drastically alter the aesthetics. I need a new BB anyway, so why not go light(er)?

Since that photo I've also swapped to Ti eggbeaters.
Tires, ditch the Gatorskin boat anchors. That will transform your ride for the better in every a lighter bottom bracket never can. I'm reading FSA Titanium is 211g, a Campagnolo Record Track is 220g, and a Shimano UN55 is 300g.

Last edited by hairnet; 10-04-18 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 10-04-18, 09:56 PM
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People worrying about the weight of a ****ing bottom bracket.

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Old 10-05-18, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
Tires, ditch the Gatorskin boat anchors. That will transform your ride for the better in every a lighter bottom bracket never can. I'm reading FSA Titanium is 211g, a Campagnolo Record Track is 220g, and a Shimano UN55 is 300g.
Actual helpful information! Thanks a lot!

New tires were ordered this afternoon. Almost 100g lighter, each.
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Old 10-05-18, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
People worrying about the weight of a ****ing bottom bracket.
Whoís worried? I want the best I can get... or rather, afford. WTF is wrong with that?
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Old 10-05-18, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 1speed4me View Post


Whoís worried? I want the best I can get... or rather, afford. WTF is wrong with that?
Heís just pointing out a valid thought error. If youíre really looking to shave weight, thatís not the place. Everyone keeps telling you this, (literally from the first reply) but okay donít listen. Weíre all idiots. I get it, the bike has sentimental value and you enjoy the aesthetic of it. Itís probably your first tinkering with a bike of this sort... doesnít change what it is... or what it can be. Which was never supposed to be a fixed gear / track bicycle in the first place. IMO look for a quality BB thatís gonna last and do you good... screw the weight aspect. Sorry for the tough love... Youíre not installing an anchor. That is all. Chill

Last edited by mouse; 10-05-18 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 10-05-18, 08:11 AM
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the name of the game in weight savings, is and always will be rotational weight. Your bb spindle is probably the absolute least important part.
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Old 10-05-18, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mouse View Post


Heís just pointing out a valid thought error. If youíre really looking to shave weight, thatís not the place. Everyone keeps telling you this, (literally from the first reply) but okay donít listen. Weíre all idiots. I get it, the bike has sentimental value and you enjoy the aesthetic of it. Itís probably your first tinkering with a bike of this sort... doesnít change what it is... or what it can be. Which was never supposed to be a fixed gear / track bicycle in the first place. IMO look for a quality BB thatís gonna last and do you good... screw the weight aspect. Sorry for the tough love... Youíre not installing an anchor. That is all. Chill
I'm chill. It is my first fixed conversion, not my first fixed gear bike. I like older stuff, so this is what I chose to build. I'm fully aware of the negatives of a build like this, but I'm trying to offset them wherever possible and thereís something about having nice parts on such a domestic frame that appeals to me. I have a lot of bikes, but this one is by far the most fun to ride, so it gets the most action. I could even possibly see myself selling off the rest of my herd and having this as my only bike... So I want to make it the best it can be, within my budget of course and it has to stay an attractive, cohesive piece in my eyes. I know a BB isn't a ton of weight savings, and I understand all of the reasons why a lighter one won't make a difference. My Ti eggbeater 11's probably didn't make a damn bit of difference compared to the 2's I had on there before, but I like them, they make me happy, that's all that matters on my bike. I know you guys probably see a ****ty old Schwinn, which it is, but I dig it and a cheap $20 BB just seems like the wrong thing to do.

Last edited by 1speed4me; 10-05-18 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 10-05-18, 11:04 AM
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Its a nice enough old frame, so if that along with whatever money you waste...errr...throw at it to make it lighter, is what makes you happy...enjoy! There are plenty of good, and even somewhat light, new modern sealed 68mm, JIS BBs for you to choose from, at decent prices.

But...you have got to get the right spindle length and that is going to be rough for you. That 147mm length on your current BB that you mentioned, however you got it, makes no sense. I'd say you should use the Google to check out what BB length your Super Maxy was originally specced for. However IIRC there were several versions so it might be hard to come up with a single, exact number, but at least that gives you a starting point.

Unless you can measure your existing BB better, you are not going to have it easy. Good luck - you are going to need it
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Old 10-05-18, 11:30 AM
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Here are good quality ones that may or may not be lightweight: Phil Wood, IRD Defiant/QB-95, SKF and White Industries. Those are all high quality square taper BBs and I will take better bearings and longer life then weight anytime.

If you want to save weight, remove the Tuggnuts, grab a carbon fork from say Wound Up Composites because they still make a 1" threaded carbon fork. Or you can do a conversion and get a 1" threadless headset from say Cane Creek or Chris King or Phil Wood and then do a Ritchey Comp fork (I think IRD or Soma or Tange basically one of the companies related to Merry Sales Co. also makes a 1" threadless carbon fork). This will allow you to use a lighter weight threadless stem (you might need to shim it if you are using a 1 1/8 stem) then maybe look at a shallower section wheel, a lighter seatpost and maybe a lighter bar either carbon or titanium.

If you wanted to keep the current set up then I would find a lighter weight quill stem and seatpost and swap out bars and of course shallower section wheels.

However me I would probably keep the set up as is and ride the damn bike. It is a good looking set up. I would change wheels and tires for myself to like a H+Son TB14 or similar rim and a tan wall tire and maybe some polished hubs (Phil Wood would look the best but Paul are just fine by me)
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