Bottom bracket service

tadpole

Senior Member
Location
St George
I want to give my bottom bracket a service, and have a look at the condition of my Crankset, as when dropping down from top ring to middle ring (under power) it will often jam in between.
I know I need a crank remover tool, and I can pick one up on Amazon for under a tenner. But as I’ve an old style Raleigh, and the bottom bracket (cup) needs pin spanner to remove it. Two choices adjustable pin spanner, or specific spanner, What dimensions are needed to choose the right spanner? (Assuming that I can’t just go to a shop and try one before I buy)
Second thing, as there is not wobble or play on the crank when I pedal, I’m hoping that the cups are ok, if I need ball bearing I’m guessing that they will be standard sized and readily available, or do I need to buy from a cycling shop.
Third thing
I’ve always used standard multipurpose grease, for everything that needs grease on the bike, is it worth spending more on Lithium HT grease?
 
if your chain is jamming between the rings - and assuming your crankset isn't actually loose - then I'd leave the BB alone, as it won't be related.
 
OP
tadpole

tadpole

Senior Member
Location
St George
if your chain is jamming between the rings - and assuming your crankset isn't actually loose - then I'd leave the BB alone, as it won't be related.
Sorry didn't make it clear, I thought as I'm having the crankset off to have a look at it, (because it keeps jamming), I'd service the BB. For the crankset I plan to measure the gap, and adjust it forcefully until it is even (if necessary replace it)
 

GBC

Veteran
Location
Glasgow
I've just done the same job on my old Triumph, and while I can't help with the pin spanner (the cups on mine had the raised lugs), the bearings were standard 1/4". The grease on them had turned to toffee, so I splashed out £2.99 for a new set from the LBS.

I did ask them about grease and when I said that I had a tin of black Moly which I use for garden machinery, they reckoned that would be absolutely fine and certainly, so far, it's running like a dream.
 

Peowpeowpeowlasers

Well-Known Member
Checklist:

1) BB making funny noise?
2) Lots of play in BB?
3) BB feels rough to turn?

If the answer to all three of those is "no" then leave it alone. I have all the required tools but they're not exactly cheap. The low-cost versions of these tools aren't up to the job, they bend and become useless. This happens easily because with age and use, BB cups can become difficult to remove.

Honestly, for the number of times you need to service an old BB, you might as well just get your local bike shop to do it.
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
BB cups ...... what are these? I though all BBs were either sealed cartridge or Hollowtech 2 now with out board sealed cups? Just replace them. It only takes 10 minutes.
 
OP
tadpole

tadpole

Senior Member
Location
St George
BB cups ...... what are these? I though all BBs were either sealed cartridge or Hollowtech 2 now with out board sealed cups? Just replace them. It only takes 10 minutes.
Ah yes another post from the twilight zone. Where everyday is a Fantasy.
 

TheJDog

dingo's kidneys
I'm amazed at the number of people who expect to be able to change gear cleanly under power. Do they think magic happens?
 
OP
tadpole

tadpole

Senior Member
Location
St George
I'm amazed at the number of people who expect to be able to change gear cleanly under power. Do they think magic happens?
So Pedalling as you change gear is not good, how do I change down when going up hill? Do I change down super early so there is no pressure on the pedals? I've never thought you stopped pedalling unless you were on one of the old style bikes with three gears in the hub? A genuine question, I'm keen to learn, if only to stop the chain jamming on the next crankset
 

TheJDog

dingo's kidneys
Unless you have one of these electric shifters, which do seem to be magic, you have to partially freewheel. It's awkward when you're going uphill, that's for sure, especially very slowly when you might need to change gear most. But it's part of the skill in cycling, choosing the gear well before you need it.
 

Peowpeowpeowlasers

Well-Known Member
So Pedalling as you change gear is not good, how do I change down when going up hill? Do I change down super early so there is no pressure on the pedals? I've never thought you stopped pedalling unless you were on one of the old style bikes with three gears in the hub? A genuine question, I'm keen to learn, if only to stop the chain jamming on the next crankset
Keep pedalling but back off the power before changing. You only need one rotation of the crank, you'll lose 0.5mph in that time.
 
OP
tadpole

tadpole

Senior Member
Location
St George
Keep pedalling but back off the power before changing. You only need one rotation of the crank, you'll lose 0.5mph in that time.
So pretty much what I do when changing into a higher gear.
Tried it this morning on my commute, it will take a bit of getting used to, having to sit down to make a gear change is annoying but I'm sure with a bit more planning I can find a better gear and just ride that all the way up, the ride in was slower, but less noisey for sure.
How do you manage on routes you don't know, some hills just keep going up, and short of sticking to granny grinding all the way up, you have to change at some point?
 

Peowpeowpeowlasers

Well-Known Member
You can change gear wherever you like, just make sure you do it with minimal power input to the crank.

If it's an unanticipated really steep hill, say 20% or more, then crunching the gears is difficult to avoid.
 

oldroadman

Veteran
Location
Ubique
Indexed gears, correctly adjusted, change anytime, but in the saddle for a second on a climb is best. Electric type not required, it's correct indexing that matters. They will crunch a bit under load, ignore it. Years of competition makes you not worry about an odd crunch (unless it's in a knee!).
 
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