Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
Hope it's OK to ask this here, rather than another maintenance thread elsewhere. Recently acquired Ricardo. Front wheel, (rear no doubt in similar state), felt pretty rough on the hold-axle-rotate-and-feel test. Sure enough, bearings look a bit pitted, if not slightly surface-rusted. Cones not too good either. Where do you Retro home-maintenance guys source these sorts of items? Is my LBS as good a place as any? Have bearings become more sophisticated in current bikes?
You can still buy suitable cones, bearings, axles and spacers from my LBS. However, I would normally grab a couple of extra wheels here and there if I am passing the tip just to get the spokes and hubs. Even on a ruined wheel you can normally salvage one or other of something. Anything with a quick release will have something the right size for a wheel on a Ricardo. The worst broken wheel in the world will usually have serviceable parts in the hub.
Thanks Drubie. I'll kick on a little here... Been a while since I did this stuff, (don't ask how long), so can do wheel bearings, headsets, but never attempted BBs, not that I'm afraid to. Maintenance stand coming this week. What will I need to tackle BBs? Should I go for a basic Park kit? Recommendations? Crank is a Sakae SR. Do I need a specific puller? Or are they a bit generic from the era?
So many questions...
A generic crank puller will get a Sakae crank off - they're all pretty much identical (I use mine on everything including square taper campagnolo, stronglight, SR, shimano, sugino etc. etc.). They will get anything off as the threading is standard.
To get the bottom bracket out, don't tell anybody but I use a hammer and a screwdriver to remove the lock rings on the old school BBs (I do have the proper tools for modern ones ). The fixed cup will come out easily with the sheldon trick of using a big bolt, nut and washer. Put the bolt into the fixed cup with the nut on the inside and tighten the bolt - that is the right direction for a fixed cup to come out. Never had a traditional BB beat me yet although some of the later ones have a rubber seal on them that you don't want to crush if you're going to re-use it. Generally, if the BB is going back on the bike I leave the fixed cup in place and dismantle from the other side then just clean it out and put it back together with fresh grease (or better bearings if they are had it). If you're fitting a sealed bearing BB then just tear the old one out with the bolt and nut.
Really, the only special tool you need for older BB's and cranks is the crank puller.
That one will cost less than $4. You can spend a lot more and get the same tool pretty much - some of the more expensive ones have extra fittings on them to do a wider variety of crank bolts etc. but for old 80s roadies that will do it.
Invest in a proper pedal wrench too while you're buying tools.
Be careful with that crank puller. Older cranks that have been sitting on the BB forever will be stuck hard. I sadly stripped my threads when doing it.
And what hub are on those wheels? If the hub is pitted, then it's gone. The cone can be replaced(nice selection on eBay) and would be quite universal. I've swapped balls, cones and axles between bikes before, and they're fine. Just find the right sized axle balls and cones, and you should be ok.
Hub side doesn't look too bad. May try some gentle massage with fine wet'n'dry. Wipe... then see how they look.
Crank surfaces. Shall squirt with some Inox the day before. May help. Then proceed and see what happens. What's that catch phrase these days? It's a 'journey'. It's only since I flicked the MTB and re-Retro'd that I've felt motivated to go back into territory I'd left decades ago. Feels familiar though.
Anyone got an opinion on which full BB kits as a solution if it's, in the title of the Emmylou Harris song, 'Too Far Gone'.
hub / cone / axle / ball bearing parts source
You just need to be sure of what part you need
I've found wheels manufacturing to be the best source of quality replacement parts, they make axles and cones for almost every old shimano hub as far back as late 80s, and there is also a good selection of generic sizes- just measure and pick the closest match. They also sell nice ball bearings. WM are not basement bargain cheap, I think I payed $10-15 per cone, plus there's US postage, but they're very nicely made, will keep your bike on the road for longer, and are much better than the Incomex cheapie parts stocked by most shops.
Drubie on the ball as normal. $4 crank puller more than adequate, and no need to go buying pricey replacement cones, etc. unless absolutely necessary. Like stated earlier - serviceable parts from trashed wheels.
Agree - But you can't order trashed wheels from your computer chair
http://www.ebay.com you're not trying hard enough!!
Last edited by Dan on Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Re. the bottom bracket. Unless its an old Campagnolo, Superbe Pro or Dura ace I would pull it out and toss it. Replace it with a brand new Shimano UN series sealed unit. The thing will last forever with no servicing. Old cup and cones are a pain in the arse unless its high end.
Older Stronglight and TA cranks have their own threads and need specific pullers.
Campagnolo axles have different threads to Japanese ones. Dura Ace cones can only be replaced with Dura Ace cones as the outer diameter is smaller and the bearing surface is a different shape to many.
If the cups are shot, chuck the hub unless it is Campagnolo, in which case the cups can be removed and replaced.
I have a drawer of old Hubs axles and cones and generally find you have to match reasonably well for things to work smoothly.
Replace the cups? That lamp I made out of pitted Campag hubs wasn't such a bright idea then. Don't fret, there wasn't anything high end in there.
I gave lovemiyata my TA crank puller when I gave him the Viscount Sebring last year. (I'd upgraded to a TA triple after I bought it in '78). Been told it's a silly idea giving tools away, even if you think you won't need them. Probably correct.
I wouldn't fret too much about giving away the tools - especially if you passed them on with the bike you bought them for - it's good karma.
It's hard to go past these for good value bottom brackets at $10 each:
cyclingdeal also have genuine shimano un26 ones for $12 but not in the same variety of sizes.
If the cranks are tight, just warm them up a little with one of those "hair drier on Steriods" heat guns. You can get one at Super Crap Auto, pretty cheap. They are an incredibly usefull tool
We need a sticky thread with everybodys favourite tricks and tools in it - heat is useful in the workshop and I have one of those cheap guns, it gets more use than I thought it would when I bought it.
I have had one set of cranks that gave me trouble but only because somebody else had ruined the first 3mm of threading - I assume they tried to pull the crank without winding the tool in far enough first.
Funny someone should mention those. I use one at work to soften and remove reinforced plastic tubing going to filters on a printing plate processor. What takes me 1 minute would take 10 otherwise, along with the strings of profanities.
Oh yeah Drubie, we all love a bit of good karma.
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