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A question on BB's

smd13smd13 Posts: 91
edited March 2013 in The workshop
My cannondale from ~2004 tends to click a fair amount these days, and I'm thinking it's from the bottom bracket as it tends to be when I stand on the pedals mainly. I've taken off the cranks and basically need some direction for how to proceed (bearing in mind I've no real mechanic experience)
1- Lifespan of the BB: does it need to be replaced, having done about 8 years of riding?

2- How to actually remove the BB, picture attached of it. The cranks are Shimano fc 6500 and I think the bottom bracket is bb-5500 (?) so is this the tool I'll need? ... ool-BBT-22

3- Lastly, if I was to replace the BB, are there better alternatives on the market for a reasonable price, or just get a direct replacement?

Picture of a filthy BB attached:

thanks for the help, slowly learning to service the bike :P


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Before I answer the questions, is worth noting it could be the pedals, or part of the crank itself ie chainring bolts, spider.

    That is indeed the tool you need for the bottom bracket though. It is often worth removing, cleaning the threads and greasing them.

    If replacing ensure you get the same axle length, shell width and thread type. it will say this on the unit you remove. The BB5500 is a good unit and worth keeping the same. You will need a 'road' type and not MTB as the spline lengths are different so don't go for an MTB BB.
  • smd13smd13 Posts: 91
    thanks for the reply. After the photo I've cleaned everything including redoing the pedals and chainring bolts so eliminated those areas... The actual BB was surprisingly resistant to move by hand, I expected smooth movement but there's resistance? Again, this is the first time stripping it down to the BB so I don't know what to expect but there seems to be a surprising lack of smoothness for a BB.
    Thanks for letting me know the BB5500 is a good one, means I can get the one tool to replace it with!

    My last question would be how do I know if it's English or Italian thread? The mearkings say BC1.S7 68, which I assume is 68mm. I would say that cannondale would use English but there's a campag 1'1/8 headset on the bike as stock so who can be sure where the materials came from?!?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Sounds like he BB has gone, but 8 years is a good lifespan, as SS says, remove, get the details, buy a replacement and fit.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I have the same BB and it seems to creak only when I push down on the NDS. Oddly I can feel a bit of play there back and forth.

    E.G if I am pedalling hard with NDS it creaks then if I stop and have the NDS backwards and bounce on pedals, it creaks and moves maybe 1mm. If i set off again, ND side 1st, it creaks and moves that 1mm.

    Bloody annoying. New BB for me too?
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