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Bottom bracket options - lightning cranks

Old 06-27-23, 05:32 PM
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Bottom bracket options - lightning cranks

Are there any alternative options to replace the bottom brackets for lightning tandem cranks?
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Old 06-28-23, 12:45 PM
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That really depends on what the bike's bottom bracket type is. I replaced the Lightning stoker BB with a wheels manufacturing BB when the original started creaking.

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...s.php?id=96097
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Old 06-28-23, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TooMany
That really depends on what the bike's bottom bracket type is. I replaced the Lightning stoker BB with a wheels manufacturing BB when the original started creaking.

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...s.php?id=96097
ok great, just wasn't sure that the spindle size was "standard"
This is a calfee with standard threaded cups
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Old 06-29-23, 12:26 PM
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Is this what you're looking for?
MTB cups (lightningbikes.com)
Road Cups (lightningbikes.com)
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Old 07-07-23, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ahultin
Are there any alternative options to replace the bottom brackets for lightning tandem cranks?
Most bottom bracket companies have options for 30mm spindles with ~86mm bearing span. I'm a huge fan of Wheels MFG bottom brackets with angular contact bearings for use on tandems.
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Old 07-09-23, 05:36 PM
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Thanks to all who commented. Ended up getting the cups direct from lightning (the wheels mfg would have been preference but could not find anyone with them available fast enough. I got them installed and found the noise I was trying to rectify didnt go away 🤔. Digging a little further and almost fully disassembling the crankset I found that the spider lock ring had loosened, ever so slightly. Just enough to create an intermittent hard to locate creak! Problem now solved (and new bottom brackets lol)
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Old 07-10-23, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ahultin
Thanks to all who commented. Ended up getting the cups direct from lightning (the wheels mfg would have been preference but could not find anyone with them available fast enough. I got them installed and found the noise I was trying to rectify didnt go away 🤔. Digging a little further and almost fully disassembling the crankset I found that the spider lock ring had loosened, ever so slightly. Just enough to create an intermittent hard to locate creak! Problem now solved (and new bottom brackets lol)
I don't know how many times I've decided that some click or creak is a bad bottom bracket, only to discover that it's something else.
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Old 07-14-23, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ahultin
Thanks to all who commented. Ended up getting the cups direct from lightning (the wheels mfg would have been preference but could not find anyone with them available fast enough. I got them installed and found the noise I was trying to rectify didnt go away 🤔. Digging a little further and almost fully disassembling the crankset I found that the spider lock ring had loosened, ever so slightly. Just enough to create an intermittent hard to locate creak! Problem now solved (and new bottom brackets lol)
You ended up getting probably the best option for new BB cups since the Lightning version has ABEC-5 bearings which are superior to lower spec bearings (Wheels uses ABEC-3). Sadly like most things now, the price has jumped up a bit from the long static cost of $60 to $85, but happily it is still well under the $100 that Wheels charges for lower quality bearings.

The small issue with the lockring is a known quirk that Lightning is aware of (a few of us owners have notified them previously). The best solution to solve is by adding a super thin washer between the lockring and the spider body, which fixes the issue of the lockring working loose by 100%. Lightning supplied us with the thin washer promptly and without charge. When we travel, I do include the lockring tool in my tool kit, as that item is custom and you cannot use a generic or Specialized ring tool.
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Old 07-14-23, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by twocicle
You ended up getting probably the best option for new BB cups since the Lightning version has ABEC-5 bearings which are superior to lower spec bearings (Wheels uses ABEC-3). Sadly like most things now, the price has jumped up a bit from the long static cost of $60 to $85, but happily it is still well under the $100 that Wheels charges for lower quality bearings.

The small issue with the lockring is a known quirk that Lightning is aware of (a few of us owners have notified them previously). The best solution to solve is by adding a super thin washer between the lockring and the spider body, which fixes the issue of the lockring working loose by 100%. Lightning supplied us with the thin washer promptly and without charge. When we travel, I do include the lockring tool in my tool kit, as that item is custom and you cannot use a generic or Specialized ring tool.
Great information, thank you! I'll reach out to lighting and order both the spacer and the lockring tool.i had improvised a tool which seemed to work but relied on contact with only 2 pins. We are riding STP tomorrow so I brought my improvised tool, hopefully i don't need it lol.
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Old 07-16-23, 05:35 PM
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Lightning cranks and diagnosing noise

I have lightning cranks on my tandem and last time we took it out, the noises and creaking were pretty bad. The bearings had been replaced by a mechanic not too long ago, but something definitely seems off. Would you suggest checking 5he lock ring on the captainís cranks, or stokerís cranks, maybe both? Any suggestions on how to maybe find the issue. Thanks!
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Old 07-16-23, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ghoundz
I have lightning cranks on my tandem and last time we took it out, the noises and creaking were pretty bad. The bearings had been replaced by a mechanic not too long ago, but something definitely seems off. Would you suggest checking 5he lock ring on the captainís cranks, or stokerís cranks, maybe both? Any suggestions on how to maybe find the issue. Thanks!
Carnac The Magnificent suggests having a good mechanic review your issue in person. Remote guesses are worth less than the cost of the bits needed to write this.
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Old 07-16-23, 08:32 PM
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Ours was the drive side stoker spider, that said, the plan is to request the shims for all three spiders twocicle described from lightening as well as the correct tool amd get all three to spec.
Tightening the drive side stoker spider eliminated 90% of the creak on for the whole of the stp ride we just completed!
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Old 07-17-23, 07:37 AM
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In terms of asking Lightning for this washer (or maybe it is a shim), does this go between the spider and the spider lock ring? Will Lightning know what I am asking about when I contact them? Lastly, since this is a tandem, should I request 3 of these washers? Thank you!
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Old 07-17-23, 08:52 AM
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Lockring tool

Is the lockring tool the same as Specialized lock ring tool, for cranks that are very similar to the lightning cranks? Or is the Lightning lockring tool specific and different from the specialized version? Thank You!
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Old 07-17-23, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ghoundz
Is the lockring tool the same as Specialized lock ring tool, for cranks that are very similar to the lightning cranks? Or is the Lightning lockring tool specific and different from the specialized version? Thank You!
based on what Bryan mentioned above, it appears the lock ring and lock ring tool are proprietary.
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Old 07-19-23, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ghoundz
In terms of asking Lightning for this washer (or maybe it is a shim), does this go between the spider and the spider lock ring? Will Lightning know what I am asking about when I contact them? Lastly, since this is a tandem, should I request 3 of these washers? Thank you!
The thin washer is only needed for the driveside on the stoker cranks.

The lockring tool is different than Specialized which will not work on these cranks.
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Old 07-19-23, 03:58 PM
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Lockring tool and washers / shims

I ordered the Lightning lock ring tool and 3 new spider lock rings from Lightning yesterday. I believe I was speaking with Tim at Lightning, and he said he would also include these washers or shims, 3 of them, which have been mentioned in this thread. From your last post, it sounds like I really only need to use 1 of these shims on the stoker drive side. I guess I may end up with a couple of spares; not a bad problem to have, Just curious, why is the shim good for the stoker drive side, but not needed for the timing side cranks. If it is a pain to explain, then I understand and you can ignore my curiosity. I will go with your experience and advice. Thank you!
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Old 07-23-23, 08:03 AM
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I received the lock rings, shims,and lock ring tool from Lightning. The directions say to use Blue Locktite on the lock rings; is this what others have done? Thanks!
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Old 07-23-23, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ghoundz
I received the lock rings, shims,and lock ring tool from Lightning. The directions say to use Blue Locktite on the lock rings; is this what others have done? Thanks!
I don't have this crank, but I would absolutely follow their instructions if I did! In general, if something isn't supposed to turn, I use blue Loctite. It's got good grip, but is still easy enough to break.
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