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Thought I'd expand my bike maintenance CV to bottom brackets.  My Genesis Equilibrium 20 has a threaded, pretty sure it's 105 (brit thread I assume), BB.  Looks like a 'piece of cake' to change looking at videos and books.  Probably change it for an Ultegra BB and invest in a BB tool; Park version looks good.  What could possibly go wrong?  Is it essential to torque the BB cups?  I have a small torque wrench but not a large one (which are quite expensive).  Any risk of crossed threads? Particular grease to use?  Should the crank shaft come out easily (with a bit of mallet assistance)?

I just don't want the 'walk of shame' into the LBS!!

Some of the other bikes don't have Shimano, but that's another project.

18 comments

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henryb [55 posts] 3 months ago
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Certainly there's a risk of crossed threads but a low risk on the Equilibrium 20 because it's a steel frame - messing up the threads is harder to do with steel. Likewise, probably no need to tighten the cups to a specific torque - with a steel frame you can get away with tightening them to "quite tight". I've changed a Shimano Hollowtech BB and it's not that hard.

HB

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StraelGuy [1511 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

This is a very easy job but bear in mind the Ultegra bottom brackets are smaller than standard Hollowtech 2 bottom brackets and will need the new Park Tool BBT-59.2 rather than a standard Hollowtech 2 tool.

 

When fitting the new one, the correct torque value is approx. 30 ft/lbs but mechanics have been hand tightening them for years though so just use common sense. Make sure you can screw it in a few turns by hand before you use tools, this will reduce the chance of cross-threading.

 

Lube-wise, I always use copper grease for bottom brackets but any good grease would. Be liberal with grease and grease both the threads on the bottom bracket cups and the threads in the frame. Water tends to accumulate inside the bottom bracket area so you can never have too much grease.

 

The crank itself should be easy enough to remove. If it's a bit stuck just wallop the end with either a plastic hammer or a lump of wood, there's nothing holding it in once the left crank is off so it shouldn't give you any grief.

 

When you're re-installing the left crank, as you install the plastic preload keep pausing and swinging the crank arm. As soon as you start to feel a smidge of resistance, stop and tighten the two bolts on the crank arm.

 

Have fun!

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DaSy [835 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Don't forget that the cups have different threads - left-hand cup has a right-hand thread and the right-hand cup has a left hand thread. So as you face the bike (from either side), it's clockwise to loosen and anti-clockwise to tighten.

No need to torque it, just pretty tight as mentioned above. Give the shell a really good clean out and grease, hand install the cups as far as possible and if in doubt, back out the cups and reinsert to make sure you don't cross-thread.

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Shades [413 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
StraelGuy wrote:

This is a very easy job but bear in mind the Ultegra bottom brackets are smaller than standard Hollowtech 2 bottom brackets and will need the new Park Tool BBT-59.2 rather than a standard Hollowtech 2 tool.

 

When fitting the new one, the correct torque value is approx. 30 ft/lbs but mechanics have been hand tightening them for years though so just use common sense. Make sure you can screw it in a few turns by hand before you use tools, this will reduce the chance of cross-threading.

 

Lube-wise, I always use copper grease for bottom brackets but any good grease would. Be liberal with grease and grease both the threads on the bottom bracket cups and the threads in the frame. Water tends to accumulate inside the bottom bracket area so you can never have too much grease.

 

The crank itself should be easy enough to remove. If it's a bit stuck just wallop the end with either a plastic hammer or a lump of wood, there's nothing holding it in once the left crank is off so it shouldn't give you any grief.

 

When you're re-installing the left crank, as you install the plastic preload keep pausing and swinging the crank arm. As soon as you start to feel a smidge of resistance, stop and tighten the two bolts on the crank arm.

 

Have fun!

Thanks; v useful.  I assumed, sticking with Shimano, that one tool/adapter would cover removal and fitting.  Sounds like changing to Ultegra would need 2?  Some quite good deals on Dura-ace, but that may well have the same problem?

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StraelGuy [1511 posts] 3 months ago
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You'd only need the one tool because you fit each of the two cups in turn and then stick the axle through them. Not sure about Dura Ace but the Ultegra uses a different cup diameter to all the bottom brackets below it in the range. If you needed a tool to cover those as well then yes, you'd need two  bottom bracket tools. 

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DaSy [835 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

There are now three sizes of Shimnano external bottom bracket cups!

The original Hollowtech II  (10 speed) - 16 notch x 44mm

Ultegra and below (11 speed) - 16 notch x 41mm

Dura Ace (11 speed) - 16 notch x 39mm

Got to love industry standardisation!

I think Shimano were worried that they were missing a trick, what with Campag needing a new tool for just about every occasion.

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henryb [55 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
DaSy wrote:

I think Shimano were worried that they were missing a trick, what with Campag needing a new tool for just about every occasion.

In the future, every individul bottom bracket will be a random diameter and wil have a random arrangement of slots and spines, and will come with its own unique tool...

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SpikeBike [102 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
StraelGuy wrote:

This is a very easy job but bear in mind the Ultegra bottom brackets are smaller than standard Hollowtech 2 bottom brackets and will need the new Park Tool BBT-59.2 rather than a standard Hollowtech 2 tool.

 

When fitting the new one, the correct torque value is approx. 30 ft/lbs but mechanics have been hand tightening them for years though so just use common sense. Make sure you can screw it in a few turns by hand before you use tools, this will reduce the chance of cross-threading.

 

Lube-wise, I always use copper grease for bottom brackets but any good grease would. Be liberal with grease and grease both the threads on the bottom bracket cups and the threads in the frame. Water tends to accumulate inside the bottom bracket area so you can never have too much grease.

 

The crank itself should be easy enough to remove. If it's a bit stuck just wallop the end with either a plastic hammer or a lump of wood, there's nothing holding it in once the left crank is off so it shouldn't give you any grief.

 

When you're re-installing the left crank, as you install the plastic preload keep pausing and swinging the crank arm. As soon as you start to feel a smidge of resistance, stop and tighten the two bolts on the crank arm.

 

Have fun!

 

Had this issue! I had to buy a Shimano TL-FC25 BB tool adapter. Basically it sits inside the original BB tool which then has the correct smaller diameter. This works fine however its not ideal and given the choice again I would have just brought the correct tool. Saying that I can now install both types.

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DaSy [835 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
henryb wrote:
DaSy wrote:

I think Shimano were worried that they were missing a trick, what with Campag needing a new tool for just about every occasion.

In the future, every individul bottom bracket will be a random diameter and wil have a random arrangement of slots and spines, and will come with its own unique tool...

 

They'll use technology borrowed from the automotive locking wheel nut standard!

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Duncann [1393 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
henryb wrote:
DaSy wrote:

I think Shimano were worried that they were missing a trick, what with Campag needing a new tool for just about every occasion.

In the future, every individul bottom bracket will be a random diameter and wil have a random arrangement of slots and spines, and will come with its own unique tool...

Might be funny if it didn't look like it was coming true...

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Mathemagician [33 posts] 3 months ago
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"Is it essential to torque the BB cups? I have a small torque wrench but not a large one (which are quite expensive)"

If you're happy to have something not overpriced because it's allegedly made especially for bikes (I.e. a generic tool with a label on it), Silverline do a 20-105Nm or a 40-210Nm torque wrench for about £20.

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Mathemagician [33 posts] 3 months ago
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StraelGuy [1511 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Good shout, 30 ft/lbs is ~40 nm.

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PpPete [50 posts] 3 months ago
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Avoid the BB-R60 (supposedly Ultegra quality) unless you are a fair weather rider only.

I fitted one to a friend's bike and in less than 6 months it was creaking like crazy.  When we took it out, you could see the rust coming from the bearings - completely unsealed except by a single o-ring on the central sleeve. 

Put in a second hand Tiagra quality unit (original diameter HT II ) and all was quiet again.

Shimano - I am not impressed!

 

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kil0ran [1068 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Simple job, get the Park Tool tool as it includes the tool for removing the preload cap. Also comes with a plastic adapter so you can fit DuraAce cups. The arm on the tool is just long enough to torque by feel.

Rubber mallet is useful for tapping out the axle but not essential. It will need a decent whack.

Pay attention to the threads - give them a really good clean when taking the old one off, and apply general purpose grease. The new BB should screw in with minimum force initially - make sure you don't cross-thread it. First few turns you shouldn't need the tool. At least with a steel frame it's not too big a deal if you bollocks it up, you can always get your LBS to clean the threads up.

I've heard people suggest removing the inner plastic sleeve but my LBS says this is A Bad Idea as it will allow water to get to the bearings from inside the BB. 

When reinstalling the cranks make sure you've pushed the drive side hard up against the cup - there's enough leeway on the threads to install the non-drive crank arm without it all being snugged up. 

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matthewn5 [1222 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
DaSy wrote:

There are now three sizes of Shimnano external bottom bracket cups!

The original Hollowtech II  (10 speed) - 16 notch x 44mm

Ultegra and below (11 speed) - 16 notch x 41mm

Dura Ace (11 speed) - 16 notch x 39mm

Got to love industry standardisation!

I think Shimano were worried that they were missing a trick, what with Campag needing a new tool for just about every occasion.

All Campag external threaded BBs use the same tool as the original Shimano Hollotech II, from Veloce through to Super Record.

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DaSy [835 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
matthewn5 wrote:

All Campag external threaded BBs use the same tool as the original Shimano Hollotech II, from Veloce through to Super Record.

 

That is true; my comment was aimed a bit more widely though, such as having to buy a specific chain tool for 11 speed, a specific tool for the Ultra-Torque crankbolt, a specific tool (which they didn't seem to have even created for a long time) for Power-Torque crank removal (the most insane way of removing cranks ever!), a specific tool to remove and replace Ultra Torque BB bearings...they even have a specific tool to plug in their EPS cables!

I swear I spent as much on Campag specific tools as I ever got back servicing Campag equipped bikes!

 

Edit to say, actually thats is not true, what about Overtorque, that needs a new BB tool!

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Shades [413 posts] 3 months ago
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Just thought I'd finish this thread off with a post-BB replacement report.  I got a Dura-Ace BB in the end as it was pretty cheap and the plastic adaptor was readily available on Wiggle; also puchased a Park BB tool.

Crank removal was easy.  Noting they were the original BB cups, they really didn't want to move so had to put the bike on the floor (ie off the stand) and stand on the wrench.  Both moved eventually although the tool scuffed up the metal on the (old) BB in the process.  Excessive grease in the frame so there was some cleaning out to do.  The plastic sleeve (between the cups) was stopped from coming out by the screw that holds the cable guide (under BB on frame).  I gently used a screwdrive to help the sleeve over the screw.  Gave everything a good 'grease' but not excessive.  I didn't have a torque wrench but, seeing the torque was quite high, I just tightened the cups as high as possible by hand.  Given the difficulties taking the old cups off, a longer torque wrench (with BB adaptor - more leverage) could have been better.  Advantage of the plastic adaptor was that the 'teeth' on the BB tool couldn't scuff up the new BB.  The torque for the dust cap on the non-drive side was 'hand-tight', although  that's a bit subjective.  Noting the comment above ref spinning the cranks until you feel resitance (and another comment below an on-line video that overtightening the dust cap could damage the bearings) I just tightened it below the 'as tight as possible by hand' level.  Had a small torque wrench for the crank bolts which I tightened evenly as per the instructions.

All good!....next maintenance frontier is probably headsets (when one needs replacing).  Anyway, threaded BB replacement is pretty easy and you also get confident in removing the crank (chainring replacement).