BB - English or Italian - can I be *sure*?

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
I recently got an old racer off ebay - called a Campione. Googling has revealed almost nothing...they're obviously a minor footnote in cycling history. I'd like to replace the BB, which is an old (and old-style) unit made by some - in their day highly respected - bods called Bayliss-Wiley.

The left hand cup came off surprisingly easily, which the help of a good presoaking with WD-40, but the other is proving hard to budge. Not helped by the fact that there's almost nothing to get any purchase on - just two flat edges, about 1 or 2mm deep. I can get a grip with a vice, but I'm scared to turn too hard unless I'm certain that I'm not going the wrong way.

Is it possible that Bayliss-Wiley made BBs with an Italian thread? Is there any way I can be *certain* it's English before I give it some welly? (I'm almost certain, but not quite certain enough...)
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
I think Sheldon Brown has a drawing of a simple tool you can make using some threaded rod and some nuts and washers. Don't do what I did though and forget to remove the ball race first! D'oh! The tool applied so much force that the balls actually indented the cups!

Once you've worked out which way to turn the cup, this method works a treat.
 

MartinC

Über Member
Location
Cheltenham
Unfortunately this could be old enough that English or Italian aren't the only options. It could be Raleigh, French or Swiss. Only if it's Italian or French will it have RH threading both sides. If the cups have the thread size (e.g. 1.37 x 24 i.e. English) stamped on them it may give it away - Italian is 36 x 24, French 35 x 1 (or 25.4 tpi).

Only other suggestion is to look inside the shell at the threads behind the fixed cup if you can - you'll need good light and a dentists mirror ideally.
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Hell's bells! And I thought I was depressed before...

Thanks for that. I don't think the threads are stamped on the cups, but your answer gives me a thought...

I can definitely get one cup off. I have another English frame to hand. So if that cup fits into my other English frame, it must be an English thread, right? If English and Italian have different pitches, then if it screws in, it must be English. (And if it doesn't fit, then a whole world of horrible possibilities opens up, yes?) Or am I missing something?
 

philipbh

Spectral Cyclist
Location
Out the back
http://www.campionecycles.com/index.php

This lot in Calgary are entirely coincidental then ?

"Established in 1996, Campione Cycles is the final version in a long line of bicycle stores. The product of four generations in the bicycle industry, Campione can trace its lineage back to the province of Trentino in Italy, and parallel to the expansion of professional road racing in Canada"
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Thanks for that link. Yes, they're definitely one of the candidates! I also have 'sightings' of companies based in Belgium, Canada and Australia...but nothing really definitive. I was leaning towards this lot - and thanks to your reminder will probably send them a photo and see if they recognise it as one of theirs. But I was a bit sceptical about Bayliss-Wiley making Italian-fit gear back in what must have been the '60s. I mean, maybe they did, but it just seemed a bit unlikely.
 

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
Location
Mlehworld
yep, i'm right, the drive side on both italian and english BBs is right hand threaded, ie righty tighty-left loosey
 

Dan B

Disengaged member
MartinC said:
Good idea. If the cup fits in your English BB shell then it definitely isn't Italian.
IME English and Italian are close enough that you can spend a lot of time trying to figure out why it doesn't fit (unless you know there's a difference) but not close enough to be able to jam or cross-thread it in regardless.

Which is a long-winded way of saying "I agree with MartinC"
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Steve Austin said:
yep, i'm right, the drive side on both italian and english BBs is right hand threaded, ie righty tighty-left loosey
I was pretty sure this was wrong, so I went to check it out and, yep, it's t'other way round....this from Park Tools:

THREADING NOTE: Most modern bikes use an ISO thread standard for the bottom bracket. The left side thread is a right-hand direction thread, which tightens clockwise and removes counter-clockwise. This standard is also called English or BSC. The right side (drive side) thread is a left-hand thread, which tightens counter-clockwise and remove clockwise. There are some exceptions to the ISO. Bikes made in Italy may use "Italian" threading, with both drive and non-drive sides right hand thread.
 
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