BB help please!

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BB help please!

Postby jools » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:06 pm

Hi!

I've got a 1981 Apollo IV that I've been using as my daily commuter and in the last couple of days it has developed a knocking noise from the BB. It's not constant and at times it's not there at all but often when it's under load and also after going through a bit of water you can hear it and feel it a bit through the pedals. When I got home today I had a closer look and there is a noticable lateral movement in the cranks - if I grab a pedal and move it away from the frame the whole crankset moves - not by much, maybe a millimetre or two, but definitely an obvious movement.

I don't have the tools to remove the BB so I can't tell if it just needs tightening or whether it is more serious. The question is, is it safe to ride for a few more days or should I get it to the emergency ward asap?

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by BNA » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:27 pm

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Re: BB help please!

Postby Duck! » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:27 pm

It'll be ok for a little while, but it's not wise to leave it unattended in the longer term, as it will continue to get worse.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby jacob_T » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:38 pm

If it's an unsealed BB (which I'm assuming it is, I could be wrong though) I would say, at the least, it could use some new ball bearings and regreasing of the bearing surfaces.

I have an old spindle Shimano 105 BB and, in my experience, it's really hard to remove all of the play from the BB without the correct tools.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby Pedaling » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:46 pm

If you keep riding, the BB bearings will start to pit and damage the cup and cones.
I recently replaced my old cup and cone BB for a cartridge type.
It is easier to maintain, as I was tired of greasing and adjusting the bearings after 20 odd years.
I replaced it myself, although your LBS will be able to fix it up in no time.
Cheers,

Darrin.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:58 pm

Looking at it, I'd be going replace. Not a fan of the rust.
One of THESE and 15" with the right tool and you'll be good for yonks.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby Pedaling » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:06 am

+1 Mulger,
Measure the the length of the spindle to make sure you have the correct size.

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Re: BB help please!

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:16 am

Pedaling wrote:Measure the the length of the spindle to make sure you have the correct size.


:oops:
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Re: BB help please!

Postby jools » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:59 am

Thanks for all the advice guys! I'll keep riding it for a few days until I can source a new BB. I've got the tool for a cartridge BB but how do I get the old one out?
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Re: BB help please!

Postby bychosis » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:17 am

You might be able to get away with a decent pair of locking pliers if you aren't worried about damaging the current BB. I have done that before. Ido the locking ring first, then grip the exposed thread with to remove the cup. Make sure you turn it the right way too (one side is left handed thread, but I can't remember which side.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby slidetaker » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:40 pm

Your adjustable cup and lockring is too loose.

You can try to use a pointy pliers to tighten the adjustable cup to eliminate the "play" (clockwise tighten).....Later use BB adjustable cup tool to do it properly.

You can try to use a flat-head screw driver and hammer to tighten the lockring (clockwise tighten).....Later use lockring tool to do it propertly.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby DavidI » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:12 pm

bychosis wrote:.......one side is left handed thread, but I can't remember which side.

drive side, aka fixed cup, (right hand side when sitting on the bike) is left hand threaded.
non drive side, aka adjustable cup, is right hand threaded.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby LG » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:16 pm

As mentioned above, replace with a cartridge BB of the same length. Basically maintenance free once done. As per usual Sheldon Brown gives you hints for removal of BB's http://sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/bbcups.html . If you're replacing the BB, don't worry about having the right tool for the adjustable cup lockring, just punch it counter clockwise with a screwdriver/hammer combo. The fixed cup removal using an appropriately sized bolt is my bog standard technique.

While you're working in that area, fix up your FD cable routing as well :wink:
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Re: BB help please!

Postby jools » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:23 pm

thanks - i'll have a crack at tightening the cup and lockring to see if that helps, but I'll measure the spindle while I'm at it just in case.

LG, while on the subject, do you still have the bb from the dawes? I need to order a new one but don't know the axle length to order..

Is there a problem with the FD cable routing? It's taken a shortcut! :) That's how it was when I bought the bike, I just haven't gotten around to re-cabling the gears and brakes as yet
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Re: BB help please!

Postby jools » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:08 pm

ok, so I've now ordered the UN55 from CRC, along with some of those self extracting crank caps - discovered to my pleasant surprise that the shimano 600 cranks have these fitted so the cranks come off with the allen key, when you think its just going to be the caps. I've got a couple of other bikes that will benefit from these!

While I was shopping I found that torpedo7 is the cheapest and they have the un55 on sale for $19.99 at the moment in case anyone needs one, unfortunately they didn't have the axle length I needed...

I also now have the correct tools to remove the old BB, courtesy of Pedaling :D :D

Thanks for the help guys! I don't know what I'd do without this forum!
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Re: BB help please!

Postby Pedaling » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:12 pm

Glad I could help out Julian.
See you on the cycle way mate,
Cheers,

Darrin.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby jools » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:58 pm

Thanks Darrin!

I think we crossed paths again at the end of airport drive tonight - I was coming up from that underpass under the railway line and you were flying through bends coming off the long straight..
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Re: BB help please!

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:19 pm

And while you're at it jools, fix your front derailler cable routing. The cable is supposed to go under both guides so that it is out of the way of bottles, etc that might be attached the frame, as well as looking better.

Definitely go the cartridge BB.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: BB help please!

Postby TTar » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:52 pm

ironhanglider wrote:
Definitely go the cartridge BB.

Cheers,

Cameron


I hear this all the time, but tell me, is ease of maintenance the only consideration?

I can't believe there's any weight or performance benefit and in practice failing cartridge BBs are simply thrown out rather than maintained -- so out goes the entire assembly to be replaced by another entire assembly when the fault was likely nothing more than one little seal or something.

Contrast that with cup 'n' cone BBs, admittedly messy and fiddly to maintain, but typically all you need do is degrease and re-lube the thing once in a while and maybe install a couple of bucks worth of new steel balls once a decade. Isn't retaining an existing unsealed BB a more "sensible" option?

Look at poor old Jools, moping around trying to source the correct size sealed BB and buying fancy tools, whereas the problem could've been fixed already with a simple maintenance/repair.

BTW Jools, if the problem is intermittent it could indicate a bearing cage has broken (if it has them). If that is the problem, you could throw away just those and replace them with (better performing) loose steel balls -- one or two more than is in the cage, and off you go!
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Re: BB help please!

Postby ironhanglider » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:11 pm

TTar wrote:
ironhanglider wrote:
Definitely go the cartridge BB.

Cheers,

Cameron


I hear this all the time, but tell me, is ease of maintenance the only consideration?

I can't believe there's any weight or performance benefit and in practice failing cartridge BBs are simply thrown out rather than maintained -- so out goes the entire assembly to be replaced by another entire assembly when the fault was likely nothing more than one little seal or something.

Contrast that with cup 'n' cone BBs, admittedly messy and fiddly to maintain, but typically all you need do is degrease and re-lube the thing once in a while and maybe install a couple of bucks worth of new steel balls once a decade. Isn't retaining an existing unsealed BB a more "sensible" option?

Look at poor old Jools, moping around trying to source the correct size sealed BB and buying fancy tools, whereas the problem could've been fixed already with a simple maintenance/repair.

BTW Jools, if the problem is intermittent it could indicate a bearing cage has broken (if it has them). If that is the problem, you could throw away just those and replace them with (better performing) loose steel balls -- one or two more than is in the cage, and off you go!


:)

Unfortunately jools can't do a simple maintenance/repair because he doesn't have the fancy tools. At least he can remove the existing one once with improper tools.

There is no telling what he is going to find there either. If any of the four races are pitted then he is going to have to find new parts which are becoming increasingly rare, particularly for good ones.

I think the reliability of a fit and forget vs "messy and fiddly to maintain" will win a lot of arguments.

Even though you can get better performance out of all bearings by removing all the seals, and using low viscosity lubes, the performance falls away dramatically if the maintenance is not up to the mark. I used open bearings on my track bike for a while. I would also clean the bearings before every race day. I soon got tired of that.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: BB help please!

Postby bychosis » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:03 pm

I'd go sealed, should last forever if you get a good one (sometimes you get unlucky) and no maintenance required. I've had one on an MTB for many years through all sorts of mud, dust and grime and its still fine without ANY maintenance, and will probably end up on a bike somewhere again.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby Pedaling » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:18 pm

TTar,
"Poor old Jools" is actually fit young Jools.
The tools Jools required were to remove the old cup and cone set up.
I know, as met up with Jools on my way to work, to give him the tools.
I was tired of maintaining my old BB after 20 odd years, so I finally went sealed.
Something should have done a long time ago.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:58 pm

I've got no problems with keeping a cup and cone BB if it's in good nick but the rust on Jools unit rang alarm bells.

If, once Jools pulls it he finds that it's nowt but light surface corrosion then a clean and repack wouldn't hurt.
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Re: BB help please!

Postby jools » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:20 pm

TTar, good points and if the bike was just the sunday ride then I'd consider rebuilding, but in this case, reliability and ease of maintenance are key. The bike at the moment is my main commuter so I need it to be usable every day. Thanks to Pedaling I now have the tools to remove the old BB without damage. The current BB is noisy intermittently but there is lot of lateral play constantly through the cranks. I have never pulled apart a BB andI have no idea what to expect so if I pull it apart and can't put it back together then I'm stuffed. I'll have a crack at it once the new BB arrives but for the moment I'm inclined to just leave it alone as it is still mostly working.

The long term concern though is the reliability - I commute along the cooks river cycleway which can get a bit waterlogged in places. I've ended up going through water that was much deeper than expected so I suspect the BB has been underwater once or twice. There's grease oozing out both sides so I think there's a bit of river water in there diluting the grease!

Hopefully a sealed unit will be a little more robust!
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Re: BB help please!

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:44 am

Image
This is a clean and unrusted version of what you should find Jools, and here's a video on what has to be done to pull it out...
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Re: BB help please!

Postby jools » Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:36 am

Thanks for the vid, that was very useful! Certainly a lot less daunting than I was expecting! What happens if I find the bearings or the bearing cage are unusable? Is this the sort of part a typical lbs would carry? I'd hate to crack it open then find I can't get the parts needed for a few days.
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