Centaur Bottom Bracket

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by EasyDoesIt, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. EasyDoesIt

    EasyDoesIt New Member

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    Hi all

    I built my bike up with Campag Centaur groupset around April last year and up till now everything has been great, but now the bottom bracket is starting to make noise, so i'm thinking it's on it's last legs. So i took it out yesterday cleaned and regreased it as best i could (it is fully sealed) and put it back in but went out today and the noise still seems to be there. I've only done about 6 or 7000 miles on it, surely it should last longer than that ?

    Anyone else have a similiar problem ? Maybe i should just upgrade to a Chorus one ?

    Thanks in advance
     
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  2. John M

    John M New Member

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    It could be shot, especially if it got wet or otherwise contaminated. I have gotten far more miles from a cartridge BB, but sometimes have been unlucky.

    Unfortunately Chorus only comes in 102mm or 111 asymmetric (for the Chorus or Record triple) neither of which will provide a proper chainline for the centaur crankset.

    Keep in mind that Campy parts have a 3-year warranty and yours may be covered--I doubt it after 7K miles, but maybe??
     
  3. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    I have centaur triple on my bike.

    After only a few thousand kms I had a terrible time getting rid of a creak in the bb. After pulling the cranks off, recutting the threads in the bb, greasing, and so on it eventually stopped......
    .....Until recently at the 8000km point, but it only does it on hotter days! I'm thinking is do to expansion and something becomes a little loose, I have haven't had the chance to get it into the shop for service (ride the bike to work). I might drop it in on Tuesday (have the day off).
     
  4. EasyDoesIt

    EasyDoesIt New Member

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    Well firstly it's only about 7 or 8000 km i've done on it not miles, typo ! But anyway rang the bike store and they said that's actually an amazing amount of miles to get out of it, apparently with the Shamino ones your only talking 3 or 4 k ! Glad i went for the Campag now, anyway looks like i'll have to break open the piggy bank again !

    Thanks for the replies
     
  5. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    What your shop is telling you is simply not true. You should be getting a LOT more miles/kilometers from a Campagnolo (or Shimano, for that matter) bottom bracket.
     
  6. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    Life of the BB is a function of the conditions it's ridden in. If you are riding it in wet conditions and are not regularly cleaning out the slop that accumulates in the BB/outside of the seals etc. Then maybe 7,000km is what you'd expect.

    I've had a lot of MTB bottom brackets go in 3,000-4,000km, both because of the conditions I've ridden them in and also me not regularly cleaning them.

    --brett
     
  7. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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  8. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Not so, I've got ~12,000-13,000km from my current 105 Octalink BB. It's been clicking a bit, but there is no noticeable grinding.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with the Centaur BB other than in pictures ...

    BUT, based on the Record/Chorus BBs, the bearings are replaceable (it might not be worth the expense) ...

    OR, the "seal" on cartridge bearings can often be displaced, and you can flush out & regrease the bearings

    OR, (if all hope of resuscitation is seemingly lost) you can try putting a few drops of HOUSHOLD OIL (e.g., 3-in-1) or even spray some WD-40 weight lubricant "into" the cartridge to displace the grit -- really! This has worked for me with more than one, otherwise non-serviceable (aka "cartridge") BB.
     
  10. EasyDoesIt

    EasyDoesIt New Member

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    Hmmm thanks for the replies, the bike has been out in the rain a few times but i've always cleaned it down afterwards, think i actually treat the bike and components fairly well. Was thinking myself surely i should get more than 7000km from it so i've decided to keep riding it for another while. Was out with a group on sunday and didn't notice the noise but then was out on my own today and noticed it again so maybe my ears are just too sensitive when i'm on my own ! Might try the WD40 trick when it gets worse till then i'll just keep it going.
     
  11. SlowestCat3

    SlowestCat3 New Member

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    WD40 is just about the worst thing you could spray in your BB. If it were that easy, we'd buy a new BB every couple years. Just accept the fact that it's gone. I have an old style Campy BB (cup and bearings) on my winter bike. I just repack it and replace the loose bearings regularly and it works pretty well. Even the Record BB can die if it's exposed to water too often. The BB, IMO, is the only slight weak link in the Campy chain. It's worth it to me to deal with it and stick with Campy. I wouldn't even use Shi*mano to fish. That's just my take. Oh, I forgot... I don't fish.

    BMC SL01 (2006 Chorus)
    Trek OCLV (1995 Chorus...and still going strong)
    Eddy Merckx Team 7-11 SLX (1994 Chorus)
    Stupid GT Zaskar mountain bike gathering dust....




     
  12. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    Cleaning the bike down does not equal removing the cranks and BB, cleaning the junk off the outside of the seals, and flushing the junk out of the BB shell. Depending on your riding conditions maybe this is a once a season thing, maybe it's a once a month or more thing. The standard square taper Campag BB is a pain in the ass to remove and work with too frequently as opposed to outboard BB's.

    The last bike I had with this style of BB, I'd break the drive train down once a year at the beginning of the winter race season, new chain, clean the BB out etc. I found that because over summer I'd ride in the rain frequently that come winter I'd almost invariably need to replace the BB (between 7-10k) generally you could feel it not being perfectly smooth any longer and a replacement is about a $50 proposition.

    Having gone to Shimano/SRAM on my bikes and exclusively outboard BB's I tend to break them down and clean them far more frequently. Maybe once a month. On my MTB's (XT/XTR with outboard BB) any ride out in the the mud and grime and I'll pressure wash the bike then completely break the drive chain down including removing the BB and cleaning. Doing this I've seen the life of the BB going way up in the last 2 seasons. YMMV.

    --brett

    --brett
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I "love" that remark ... it's a great parrot of what I've also read in BICYCLING magazine espousd by somone who probably didn't take high school chemistry/physics/whatever, yet aforementioned published mechanic is taken as Moses coming down from Mt Sinai!

    Just trust me ... with SEALED cartridge bearing bottom brackets, the amount of WD-40 or Household Oil infiltration will be minimal ... but, it will probably be enough to move the grease around the ball bearings enough to smooth things out. There's no way on God's-green-Earth that enough WD-40 will enter the cartridge bearing to truly flush the grease out!

    If anyone can get enough WD-40 (or, equivalent) into a sealed cartridge bottom bracket, then he-or-she can clean & regrease the cartridge bearings.

    I'd elaborate, but it isn't my intent to "convert" anyone ... I was just relating a solution which I know has worked in the past for me when confronted with a cartridge bottom bracket which is no longer smooth.

    IMO, the people who should worry about misusing solvents & lubes are the ones who use chain cleaners which scrub & flush the (cosmolene-type grease in the case of Shimano) "grease" that lubes their chain's pins ...

    BTW. A properly maintained, vintage, "loose" Dura Ace (and, Shimano 600, too ... heck, include the Sugino & SunTour BBs, too, amongst others) bottom bracket will be as smooth as a vintage Campagnolo bottom bracket.
     
  14. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Have you tried spinning the crank arms by hand (after dropping the chain off the inside ring)? This check would indicate if the bearings are contaminated or failing, or if the noise was due to BB mounting, crankarms, pedals, or something else entirely.

    If you hear crunching/grinding or feel roughness as you turn the cranks, I'd try the WD-40 spray around the spindle seals, in hopes that enough will get in to flush the crud out of the bearings. As alfeng said, it can sometimes work to extend the life of your "lubed-for-life" bearings.
     
  15. EasyDoesIt

    EasyDoesIt New Member

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    Well when i took out the bb last week it was still perfectly clean, no grit or anything anywhere the original white grease was still on the cups ! Also when i took out the bb i held it up to my ear and spun it and could hear a slight grinding noise and it didn't feel as smooth as it did when i first bought it.

    As for the WD40 i think i'll wait till it gets noticeably noisy then i'll try that, by that time i'll be prepared to buy a new one anyway so won't mind if the WD40 does damage or it might even improve things for another while, time will tell.
     
  16. when eddy ruled

    when eddy ruled New Member

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    i replaced my record BB last december after 7 years. i only pulled it out once a year to regrease and thats it (i do around 12 to 15,000km a year) i put a chorus one in just coz thats all they had and i needed it immediately, i knew i should of ordered one sooner :eek:

    do the "chain off spin the crank test" but hold the seat tube. if the bearings are cactus then you'll feel grinding. (thanks to the park tools website for this)
     
  17. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    Had my bottom bracket serviced yesterday. Turns out the multiple times the bb was removed early in it's life must have damaged the threads on one side, then the hammering over the next 6000kms (I weight 98kg) stuffed the threads and the LBS had a great deal of trouble removing it, and that was causing the noise on warmer days as it must have been becoming just that little less steady.

    Getting parts for campy is very expensive and slow here in OZ, so I got talked into replacing the entire bb with a shimano part the shop had on hand that would work perfectly!!!! Its only the bottom bracket (had to keep telling myself that) and I can hardly see it, nobody will know.....:(
     
  18. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I'm NOT certain that you will find your shop's suggestion to be a satisfactory solution to your immediate problem.

    While the tapers may appear to be the same, they are not. The Campagnolo's taper is slightly smaller -- a square taper Shimano/-equivalent crank will bottom out against a Campagnolo/Sugino/equivalent spindle AND similarly a Campagnolo crank will mount further from the centerline of the bike on a Shimano/-equivalent spindle of a given spindle length.

    Unless you are using a triple on a "track" 107?/109? spindle OR have a C-Record or equivalent-offset/earlier crankset, you're probably going to have quite a messy configuration.
     
  19. Tonto

    Tonto New Member

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    Sorry if I'm way wide of the mark, but have you considered the possibility that the noise is coming from somewhere else? Bike frames have a weird way of making noises seem like they're coming from somewhere they're not. I happened to see this article the other day. Might be worth reading:
    http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/articles/11986.0.html
     
  20. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    Yes I'm riding a triple, and the LBS guy rides campy and says hes done this before with out a problem. The bottom bracket and cranks all feel fine, took it out for a 70km cruise right after picking it up.
     
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