Bottom bracket - swap cup&cone for cartridge?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by David W.E. Roberts, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Hi,

    servicing my Univega Rover 3.5 (yes, that was one very minor factor in the
    purchase) and there has obviously been water in the bottom bracket.

    I need one set of bearings (so obviously get both) and an axle.

    However this may be a chance to upgrade to a cartridge bottom bracket.

    Anyone know if the threads in a frame are standard for both setups?

    TIA
    Dave R

    --
     
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  2. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    David W.E. Roberts wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > servicing my Univega Rover 3.5 (yes, that was one very minor factor
    > in the purchase) and there has obviously been water in the bottom
    > bracket.
    >
    > I need one set of bearings (so obviously get both) and an axle.
    >
    > However this may be a chance to upgrade to a cartridge bottom bracket.
    >
    > Anyone know if the threads in a frame are standard for both setups?


    There are different BB thread standards* but there isn't a seperate
    standard for cartridge types. Modern "English" or "British" type
    carrtridge BBs fit most frames, including frames many years old.

    * http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html

    ~PB
     
  3. "Pete Biggs" <pblackcherry{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > David W.E. Roberts wrote:
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > servicing my Univega Rover 3.5 (yes, that was one very minor factor
    > > in the purchase) and there has obviously been water in the bottom
    > > bracket.
    > >
    > > I need one set of bearings (so obviously get both) and an axle.
    > >
    > > However this may be a chance to upgrade to a cartridge bottom bracket.
    > >
    > > Anyone know if the threads in a frame are standard for both setups?

    >
    > There are different BB thread standards* but there isn't a seperate
    > standard for cartridge types. Modern "English" or "British" type
    > carrtridge BBs fit most frames, including frames many years old.
    >
    > * http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html


    Thanks for the URL - talked to my (fairly) LBS where I bought the bike.
    Established that a cartridge should fit, and that the length was probably
    127mm.
    However it is 10 miles away (so fuel costs).

    Checked with Halfords, and they only have a 122mm in stock.
    The guy said that it would 'probably fit'.
    This would bring the pedals etc. in by 2.5mm each side (not a massive
    amount) and alter the front gear change settings so I am not sure that this
    would be a wise move

    What I have realised is that I would also have to buy a bottom bracket
    fitting tool, so that ups the cost of the replacement a bit.

    I assume that cartridge bottom brackets are an upgrade on cup&cone?

    Or is a good cup&cone better than a bottom spec. cartridge?

    Nothing is really easy, is it?

    TIA
    Dave R
     
  4. MSeries

    MSeries New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Messages:
    121
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    You need to ensure that the shorter BB axle doesn't cause your inner chainring (or the bolts) to hit the chainstay.

    Generally a cartridge BB is considered to be better than a C&C, though I am sure some will dispute this, they are mean't to be sealed and need no adjustment, just tightend the 'cups', not too tight though and forget.

    You may also need a tool to remove your old BB, the fixed cup may prove to be troublesome. Sheldon Brown has a good tip for a DIY fixed cup removal tool that I have used myself - only works for English BBs though. A cartridge tool is a good investment IMHO, a cheap one will be fine as it will not get used much and shouldn't take too much torque. Once you have this tool you are free to get replacement cartridges from anywhere and fit them yourself (provided you have the tools to remove the cranks, if you need one, too)
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    David W.E. Roberts wrote:
    > Thanks for the URL - talked to my (fairly) LBS where I bought the
    > bike. Established that a cartridge should fit, and that the length
    > was probably 127mm.


    It would be good to confirm that, although that's difficult without
    removing cranks and measuring.

    > However it is 10 miles away (so fuel costs).


    I'd say it's worth the journey unless you're prepared to do the whole job
    yourself, including removing cranks first to measure BB spindle. Some
    Halfrauds brances are ok but I wouldn't be too trusting with this
    job.......

    > Checked with Halfords, and they only have a 122mm in stock.
    > The guy said that it would 'probably fit'.
    > This would bring the pedals etc. in by 2.5mm each side (not a massive
    > amount) and alter the front gear change settings so I am not sure
    > that this would be a wise move


    It's enough difference to affect the chainline (angle of chain) and
    /might/ make life difficult for the front derailleur. I think it's wise
    to try and get the same length unless you sure you want different.

    > What I have realised is that I would also have to buy a bottom bracket
    > fitting tool, so that ups the cost of the replacement a bit.


    But it could save on labour costs in the long run, and just nice to have
    your own tools.

    Inexpensive crank remover and BB tools can be bought from:
    url:http://www.mwdyason.ltd.uk/shop.asp?no_category=23&text_company=TOOLS

    You'll /probably/ need the "Bottom Bracket Wrench" to get old BB off, and
    "Bottom Bracket Tool for Shimano" to fit new one.

    Tip for cartridge BB tool when used with BBs with hollow spindles: Use a
    rear wheel quick release skewer (with some washers/nuts as spacers)
    through it to hold it on better.

    > I assume that cartridge bottom brackets are an upgrade on cup&cone?


    Debateable. Main advantages are that they don't require any maintenance
    and are well sealed.

    > Or is a good cup&cone better than a bottom spec. cartridge?


    Yes (with the top end fancy ones) but there's not much to be gained from a
    better bottom bracket. Even fairly inexpensive cartridge jobs tend to
    work well enough. They're the norm for most bikes nowadays.

    Shimano UN73 is a decent model. Available in 127.5 from
    www.settlecycles.co.uk/shop @ £19.95 post free. You'd need to check that
    Shimano BB's are compatible with your cranks. What make & model cranks
    have you got?

    Chain Reaction are a bit cheaper but don't seem to have any UN73's long
    enough.

    > Nothing is really easy, is it?


    Would be boring if it was :)

    ~PB
     
  6. On Sat, 31 Jul 2004 00:05:13 +1000, in
    <[email protected]>, MSeries
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Generally a cartridge BB is considered to be better than a C&C, though
    >I am sure some will dispute this, they are mean't to be sealed and need
    >no adjustment, just tightend the 'cups', not too tight though and
    >forget.


    I think you'll find cartridge BB's are heavier than C&C though.
    --
    "Any accidents or injuries in the last two years, sir"?

    "Yes. I broke my hand last month, punching a no-win-no-fee lawyer
    in the mouth".
     
  7. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, David W.E. Roberts
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > I assume that cartridge bottom brackets are an upgrade on cup&cone?
    >
    > Or is a good cup&cone better than a bottom spec. cartridge?


    A top spec cup and cone is as good as a top spec cartridge, and is
    adjustable to boot. If you can set one up properly, there's a lot of
    merit in a cup and cone bearing.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    to err is human, to lisp divine
    ;; attributed to Kim Philby, oddly enough.
     
  8. "David W.E. Roberts" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi,
    >
    > servicing my Univega Rover 3.5 (yes, that was one very minor factor in the
    > purchase) and there has obviously been water in the bottom bracket.
    >
    > I need one set of bearings (so obviously get both) and an axle.
    >
    > However this may be a chance to upgrade to a cartridge bottom bracket.
    >
    > Anyone know if the threads in a frame are standard for both setups?



    I have done the deed - at least I have taken the bits into the LBS and had
    them measure, and got a replacement cartridge and a fitting tool.

    We shall see how it performs.

    BTW (thanks for all the responses) I knew that it was 'shagged' because I
    had already disassembled it for cleaning and greasing, and found that one
    shell of bearings and the matching part of the axle were both pitted -
    apparently from water ingress.

    So I have the tools to disassemble - and now another one to do cartridges.

    Hopefully there is nothing else worn - amazing what you end up doing when
    you decide to change the chain :)

    Cheers
    Dave R
     
  9. David W.E. Roberts wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > servicing my Univega Rover 3.5 (yes, that was one very minor factor in the
    > purchase) and there has obviously been water in the bottom bracket.
    >
    > I need one set of bearings (so obviously get both) and an axle.
    >
    > However this may be a chance to upgrade to a cartridge bottom bracket.
    >
    > Anyone know if the threads in a frame are standard for both setups?


    No problem. Do get the right length - mail order if necessary. I was
    dubious about the whole cartridge thing when these first came out but
    the better Shimano ones are pretty much indestructible - MBUK (before it
    was crap) did some lake jumping and total immersion in water did them no
    harm.

    Do get the UN73 (XT quality) and avoid the UN53. I got through a UN53
    in under 100 miles. It was probably a one-off rogue unit, but a seized
    BB is not something I'd want to repeat - there is nothing you can do to
    fix it at the roadside.
     
  10. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "Zog The Undeniable" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Do get the UN73 (XT quality) and avoid the UN53. I got through a UN53
    > in under 100 miles. It was probably a one-off rogue unit, but a seized
    > BB is not something I'd want to repeat - there is nothing you can do to
    > fix it at the roadside.


    I'd say rogue - I'm happily using UN5x on the tandems, and the rear BB on
    them gets a very hard time.

    cheers,
    clive
     
  11. "David W.E. Roberts" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "David W.E. Roberts" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > servicing my Univega Rover 3.5 (yes, that was one very minor factor in

    the
    > > purchase) and there has obviously been water in the bottom bracket.
    > >
    > > I need one set of bearings (so obviously get both) and an axle.
    > >
    > > However this may be a chance to upgrade to a cartridge bottom bracket.

    <snip>
    > I have done the deed - at least I have taken the bits into the LBS and had
    > them measure, and got a replacement cartridge and a fitting tool.
    >
    > We shall see how it performs.
    >
    > BTW (thanks for all the responses) I knew that it was 'shagged' because I
    > had already disassembled it for cleaning and greasing, and found that one
    > shell of bearings and the matching part of the axle were both pitted -
    > apparently from water ingress.


    Cartridge is now in:

    (1) The cartridge would not initially screw in - took it back to the LBS
    rather than force it.
    It turned out that the screw holding the underneath cable guides protruded
    ito the bottom bracket tube enough to foul on a cartridge, but obviously not
    a cup&cone as there is a big space in the middle.
    The screw is now spaced by 2 * M5 washers

    However, lesson learned.
    Obvious once you have seen it.
    It may help some other poor soul in the future.

    (2) Looking at the setup I realised that there are a load of hollow tubes
    which open into the bottom bracket tube, so there is potential for water to
    enter the frame elsewhere and migrate to the bottom bracket.
    This, to me, is the greatest weakness of a cup&cone setup and justifies the
    replacement with a cartridge.

    Cheers
    Dave R
     
  12. A Leicaphile wrote:

    > You may also need a tool to remove your old BB, the fixed cup may prove
    > to be troublesome. Sheldon Brown has a good tip for a DIY fixed cup
    > removal tool that I have used myself -


    Thanks! http://sheldonbrown.com/tooltips

    > only works for English BBs though.


    That's not correct. You just tighten the bolt from the opposite side,
    for a wrong-way-threaded continental fixed cup.

    Sheldon "Universality" Brown
    Newtonville, Massachusetts
    +-------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Give a man a fire, and he will stay warm for a day. |
    | Set a man on fire, he stays warm for the rest of his life. |
    +-------------------------------------------------------------+
    Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
    http://harriscyclery.com
    Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  13. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    David W.E. Roberts wrote:
    > Cartridge is now in:
    >
    > (1) The cartridge would not initially screw in - took it back to the
    > LBS rather than force it.
    > It turned out that the screw holding the underneath cable guides
    > protruded ito the bottom bracket tube enough to foul on a cartridge,
    > but obviously not a cup&cone as there is a big space in the middle.
    > The screw is now spaced by 2 * M5 washers


    On one bike I found the screw interefered with fitting the BB but could be
    screwed in again once the (cartridge) BB was fitted. Thinking about it
    now, I don't understand it but it worked!

    > (2) Looking at the setup I realised that there are a load of hollow
    > tubes which open into the bottom bracket tube, so there is potential
    > for water to enter the frame elsewhere and migrate to the bottom
    > bracket.
    > This, to me, is the greatest weakness of a cup&cone setup and
    > justifies the replacement with a cartridge.


    Yes, and a tip that some people suggest for all sorts of BBs is to drill a
    small hole in bottom of shell to let any water drain out.

    ~PB
     
  14. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    Pete Biggs pblackcherry{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc opined the following...
    > On one bike I found the screw interefered with fitting the BB but could be
    > screwed in again once the (cartridge) BB was fitted. Thinking about it
    > now, I don't understand it but it worked!


    Because you probably screwed it into the casing of the cartridge! It'll
    have done no harm unless it punctured it.

    Jon
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Jon Senior wrote:

    >> On one bike I found the screw interefered with fitting the BB but
    >> could be screwed in again once the (cartridge) BB was fitted.
    >> Thinking about it now, I don't understand it but it worked!

    >
    > Because you probably screwed it into the casing of the cartridge!
    > It'll have done no harm unless it punctured it.


    Ooh my good gawd! :) Probably no harm done even if it has punctured as
    the casing is just a protective sleeve, really, and I doubt water would
    get in through the puncture... Well, let me fool myself that's true:
    ignorance being bliss :)

    ~PB
     
  16. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    Pete Biggs pblackcherry{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc opined the following...
    > Ooh my good gawd! :) Probably no harm done even if it has punctured as
    > the casing is just a protective sleeve, really, and I doubt water would
    > get in through the puncture... Well, let me fool myself that's true:
    > ignorance being bliss :)


    Just remember to unscrew it when you change the cartridge! Even if it
    has punctured it while it remains in place it will continue to seal the
    unit. I've never taken one apart but I suspect that cartridge bearings
    are flooded with grease so it should take a bit of a washing before it
    became an issue anyway.

    Jon
     
  17. "Pete Biggs" <pblackcherry{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > David W.E. Roberts wrote:
    > > Cartridge is now in:
    > >
    > > (1) The cartridge would not initially screw in - took it back to the
    > > LBS rather than force it.
    > > It turned out that the screw holding the underneath cable guides
    > > protruded ito the bottom bracket tube enough to foul on a cartridge,
    > > but obviously not a cup&cone as there is a big space in the middle.
    > > The screw is now spaced by 2 * M5 washers

    >
    > On one bike I found the screw interefered with fitting the BB but could be
    > screwed in again once the (cartridge) BB was fitted. Thinking about it
    > now, I don't understand it but it worked!

    <snip>

    If you are very lucky then the interference was very marginal.
    Thus when screwing the cartridge in it will align with the centre of the
    threads and just foul the end of the screw.
    When the screw is backed off and tightened again after the cartridge is in
    it will push the cartridge off centre and take up any lateral play in the
    threads - we are talking a very small movement here.
    So you may be lucky.
    Then again, probably best to take the screw out now and fit an M5 washer
    before refitting.
    Then you won't forget when you are leaning on the spanner to get your sticky
    cartridge out :)

    Cheers
    Dave R
     
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