Was I expecting too much from my £350 bike?

The bracket cost £18 and was replaced in Feb. Is an ingression of water likely? We have a lot of rain here in the Welsh valleys.
It seems unlikely. I've got two bikes with sealed BB's. One is on 8000 miles, the other is 22 years old and spent a lot of time on car bike racks, I replaced that only a few years ago as it was getting stiff. You could be unlucky here but it's puzzling that you've had so many things go on a relatively new bike and it's not a cheap piece of rubbish it's a reasonable bike.

One thing to check, take your seat out and turn the bike upside down and see if any water comes out but even if it does I'd still expect more from a BB.
 

raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
My local bike shop tells me freewheel installations are prone to snapping axles.

I suppose the freewheel itself may be durable.

The conclusion seems to be a freehub is a better job overall.

Sheldon says much the same.
I'm sure that keeping the wheel bearings properly adjusted mitigates that problem, the load should be taken at those but once they're loose the static 'axle' is under more stress, no doubt @Yellow Saddle will disabuse this theory but in 50+ years of cycling I've yet to break a spindle and I'm not a light fella (up to 106Kg at one point)
 
I've broken one, touring. Cheap wheels though, so exact cause unknown. I didn't notice at first as it jammed against the brake blocks intermittently. I got to the top of the hill I was on first before collapsing and thinking I was on a bad day.
 
I'm sure that keeping the wheel bearings properly adjusted mitigates that problem, the load should be taken at those but once they're loose the static 'axle' is under more stress, no doubt @Yellow Saddle will disabuse this theory but in 50+ years of cycling I've yet to break a spindle and I'm not a light fella (up to 106Kg at one point)
The bike shop had a few Carreras in with snapped axles.

To use what is possibly a northern phrase, the bikes are 'ragged about' by the kids who think nothing of crashing off kerbs or doing jumps.
 

Yellow Saddle

Veteran
Location
Loch side.
I'm sure that keeping the wheel bearings properly adjusted mitigates that problem, the load should be taken at those but once they're loose the static 'axle' is under more stress, no doubt @Yellow Saddle will disabuse this theory but in 50+ years of cycling I've yet to break a spindle and I'm not a light fella (up to 106Kg at one point)
Allow me to abuse your theory, if I understand it correctly. Do you say that properly adjusted wheel bearings will reduce axle breaks on freewheeled hubs?

If so, then the answer is no. Freewheel hubs have a long unsupported axle on the right hand side whereas freehub wheels have bearings almost right up to the frame of the bike. This long unsupported section of axle flexes under pedalling forces and develops cracks from the stress risers at the thread of the axle. 5-speed was OK, but then as freewheels progressed to 8-speed with super long unsupported axles sections, things got worse. They regularly break. Note that the breaking is not caused by potholes (the British blame for all cycling ills) but by regular just-riding-along chain tension working on the axle. It is worth keeping in mind that the most highly stressed part in a bicycle is the chain and its opposite force - the right chainstay. Nowhere else in a bike is there more stress than there and it is all concentrated on a section of axle, hence the weakness.

Freehubs improved the situation to the point that when a freehub axle breaks, you look for a frame misalignment and you will always find it.
 
OP
nmfeb70

nmfeb70

Regular
Location
Tonypandy, Wales
The bottom bracket ought to withstand the weather.

Do you know what make the replacement is?

My admittedly limited experience is there are cheap 'no name' bottom brackets that do not perform well.

Anything with 'Shimano' written on it should do the job.
It's a 'no name' bracket. The old one was very dry and a little rusty. I'm wondering if it's the same problem of water seeping in.
 

raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
Allow me to abuse your theory, if I understand it correctly. Do you say that properly adjusted wheel bearings will reduce axle breaks on freewheeled hubs?

If so, then the answer is no. Freewheel hubs have a long unsupported axle on the right hand side whereas freehub wheels have bearings almost right up to the frame of the bike. This long unsupported section of axle flexes under pedalling forces and develops cracks from the stress risers at the thread of the axle. 5-speed was OK, but then as freewheels progressed to 8-speed with super long unsupported axles sections, things got worse. They regularly break. Note that the breaking is not caused by potholes (the British blame for all cycling ills) but by regular just-riding-along chain tension working on the axle. It is worth keeping in mind that the most highly stressed part in a bicycle is the chain and its opposite force - the right chainstay. Nowhere else in a bike is there more stress than there and it is all concentrated on a section of axle, hence the weakness.

Freehubs improved the situation to the point that when a freehub axle breaks, you look for a frame misalignment and you will always find it.
Like I said I thought you'd disagree, but as I said I've never had one break on 5-6-7 speed freewheels and I'm firmly of the opinion that because I keep the cones adjusted there is little 'load' on the spindle but once they're loose the assembly loses it's integrity and the weakest part fails.
 
It's a 'no name' bracket. The old one was very dry and a little rusty. I'm wondering if it's the same problem of water seeping in.
Sounds like your next move is a Shimano bottom bracket.

It's not an Evans store is it?

One near me wanted to use a no name bracket until I applied a bit of pressure on them.
 

HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
Leaving aside the technical discussion.....

Thanks Crackle, when I first had problems with the freewheel & BB the dealer told me he admired my enthusiasm for cycling (at my age!) and said I would wear parts out quickly with the amount of miles I cover.
A knocking noise started to emerge after two months (approx 200 miles).
100 miles a month is about 25 miles per week and the bike shop is telling you you'll wear out components quickly???
This!
Think the dealer is piss poor, 100 miles a month is not high mileage. Have put thousands of miles on a bike without need of bb or freewheel
As oldftfool said, a 100 miles a month is not a high mileage, last month I did 500 miles, your dealer sounds like an idiot.
I think your first step is to look for another shop/mechanic.

Without knowing your weight and riding style and mechanical skills it's difficult to say whether wheel failure is due to a crap wheel, a reasonable wheel that was not "tuned" correctly or not maintained properly.

Most bike dealers will have a free tune up service to check these kinds of things after a few weeks/distance.

While 350 is not a lot for some people, it is a significant amount for others and so long as the bike is being used within the reasonable bounds of the bike design I would not be happy with those failures.

As for the clicking sound, from experience, it can be many things, some technical, some not, some in the location you suspect, some not, but they can be very distracting and cause a lot of worry.

If you don't want to tackle this yourself, bring it to another shop/mechanic. If you do want to tackle it yourself but lack the confidence/skills Youtube is your friend.

Good luck!
 

Yellow Saddle

Veteran
Location
Loch side.
Like I said I thought you'd disagree, but as I said I've never had one break on 5-6-7 speed freewheels and I'm firmly of the opinion that because I keep the cones adjusted there is little 'load' on the spindle but once they're loose the assembly loses it's integrity and the weakest part fails.
I don't follow your explanation.
 

dave r

Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner
My local bike shop tells me freewheel installations are prone to snapping axles.

I suppose the freewheel itself may be durable.

The conclusion seems to be a freehub is a better job overall.

Sheldon says much the same.
In the days when we were all on 5 or 6 speed blocks I used to break axles quite regularly, but the club I was a member of used to do rough stuff as part of their Sunday rides, I'm no heavy weight, five and a half tall and eleven stone.
 

dave r

Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner
I'm sure that keeping the wheel bearings properly adjusted mitigates that problem, the load should be taken at those but once they're loose the static 'axle' is under more stress, no doubt @Yellow Saddle will disabuse this theory but in 50+ years of cycling I've yet to break a spindle and I'm not a light fella (up to 106Kg at one point)
on the six speed blocks the wheel bearings were inboard and there was a section of unsupported axle between the wheel bearings and the frame, the axle could break or bend at that point.
 
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