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Bottom brackets and the rain

stu20001stu20001 Posts: 48
edited July 2007 in Commuting chat

First question: what are we doing here? What happened to C+ fourms? Back from hols and went there to find it all locked up and no clue as to what had happened....

Anyway, main question is about bottom brackets. I'm going through them like nobody's business and I'm wondering why. Got caught in the rain only once last week and now the bb sounds like a bag of rusty spanners. Presumably its a sealed unit and I can't do much in the way of lubing it or anything so another replacement (2nd in as many months I think) is required.

I'm guessing that my LBS is fitting the cheap ones and so I wonder if its worth spending a little more and getting something more waterproof? All the gearset is Shimano so I guess thats the make of bb I need - any recommendations of the most durable type? Its for a hybrid BTW,


  • A bit of rain should have no effect whatsoever, even on relatively cheap kit. Of course the rain thing may be a coincidence of timing.

    Unfortunately you didn't say what type of cranks you have, so it's difficult to be precise, but even old fashioned non-sealed bearings should last longer than this if properly greased. It is certainly possible to upgrade the bearings and seals but it shouldn't be necessary, even cheaper units should last significantly longer than this. You say the most recent one failed after only a month, who fitted it for you ? Should still be under some sort of warranty.

    One possible aggravating factor could be the BB needing to be re-faced to make it flat and square. If your cranks are the type that use external bearings get it your LBS and ask them check and if necessary to re-face the bottom bracket before fitting new bearing cups.

    You also have the possibility that (shock horror) whoever "replaced" it last time just re-greased it and stuck it back in. Sorry, I'm ashamed of myself for even thinking such a thought.

    What tree ? ...........

    Trek 8000 ZR XC hardtail.
  • stu20001stu20001 Posts: 48
    A shocking suggestion indeed... :)

    To be honest I don't know what type of cranks I have so I can't give any more info. I think I'll just do as you suggest and take it back to the shop and whinge until they do something about it.
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    Any old £15 sealed BB (Shimano UN52 usually) should give you thousands of miles of service whatever the weather, unless you live in Tewkesbury!

    If your LBS fitted you with one that lasted *weeks* then it's duff - take the bike back. Either it was dry, or the bearing has failed early. Refund or replacement!
    Wanted: Penny farthing. Please PM me!
    Advice for kilted riders: top-tubes are cold.
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