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Dirt in the bottom bracket?
#1
I bought my bicycle almost 1 month ago. Everything was fine until i decided to go off road. I was riding through a deep and muddy puddle. After that i started feeling that when i pedal the motion wasn't as smooth as before. It feels like there is dirt in the bottom bracket or something.

Please look at the attachments - i can't get further than that because i don't have any special tools - can't even get the crank off lol.

For my bottom bracket what tools do i need? I have watched some videos on youtube and it seems that everyone is doing it differently or the brackets are of different types. As i understand i have cartridge bottom bracket.
Also how do i know what size tools i need? I just don't want to buy some expensive tool that wouldn't fit.
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#2
you have a standard square taperd spline spindle bottom bracket so will need a crank puller and a cartridge style bottom bracket tool. you did not post where you are from.but if you have a walmart close they have what you need at the online store with free "site to store" shipping. The crank puller will be around 15 dollars and the bottom bracket tool shimano style will be around 10 bucks

both good tools to have in your stable

But what you describe could be as simple as hosing down your bike good and re-lubing everything.
sand and gunk get everywhere when you off-road. So go get a good waterproof grease also.
rubit on all surfaces , bottom bracket cups,the shell on your frame and your spindle splines
and good luck, it is an easy task and let us know how you did
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#3
(05-18-2011, 04:36 PM)painkiller Wrote:  you have a standard square taperd spline spindle bottom bracket so will need a crank puller and a cartridge style bottom bracket tool. you did not post where you are from.but if you have a walmart close they have what you need at the online store with free "site to store" shipping. The crank puller will be around 15 dollars and the bottom bracket tool shimano style will be around 10 bucks
both good tools to have in your stable
But what you describe could be as simple as hosing down your bike good and re-lubing everything.
sand and gunk get everywhere when you off-road. So go get a good waterproof grease also.
rubit on all surfaces , bottom bracket cups,the shell on your frame and your spindle splines
and good luck, it is an easy task and let us know how you did

Thanks for the advice painkiller but is it possible to fully lube the bottom bracket without opening it (as i understand it is possible only on the expensive bottom brackets)?
I haven't seen a single video showing that - only lubing cups and frame threads. As i understand the only moving part are the bearings in the bracket itself.
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#4
(05-18-2011, 05:38 PM)jekabssk8 Wrote:  
(05-18-2011, 04:36 PM)painkiller Wrote:  you have a standard square taperd spline spindle bottom bracket so will need a crank puller and a cartridge style bottom bracket tool. you did not post where you are from.but if you have a walmart close they have what you need at the online store with free "site to store" shipping. The crank puller will be around 15 dollars and the bottom bracket tool shimano style will be around 10 bucks
both good tools to have in your stable
But what you describe could be as simple as hosing down your bike good and re-lubing everything.
sand and gunk get everywhere when you off-road. So go get a good waterproof grease also.
rubit on all surfaces , bottom bracket cups,the shell on your frame and your spindle splines
and good luck, it is an easy task and let us know how you did
Thanks for the advice painkiller but is it possible to fully lube the bottom bracket without opening it (as i understand it is possible only on the expensive bottom brackets)?
I haven't seen a single video showing that - only lubing cups and frame threads. As i understand the only moving part are the bearings in the bracket itself.

it is non- serviceable, sometimes grit can get in the shell of your frame and cause a grunching sound and feel.take your bike to the car wash
and hit it with the pressure "NO SOAP" and lube it up and see if that takes care of it.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#5
It's unlikely that much of anything got inside your BB since it's sealed. More likely to have grit in the pedals, chain, and other exterior parts. If you are getting side to side play in the cranks or creaking sounds from the BB it might be worth taking everything apart to grease and reinstall. But I would look at the exposed parts that move when you pedal before messing with the BB.
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#6
some pics for you
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#7
Thanks for advice everyone - i will keep you guys updated.
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#8
It is NOT "sealed". High pressure water will go right through flushing out the grease.

Get the tools shown above. Take it apart. Clean everything, and re grease.

I use boat trailer wheel bearing grease, in expensive and more than adequate for the job. Fill the whole bottom bracket to over flowing with grease, this will keep the gunk out for as long as possible. Plan on a rebuild/relube every few months.
Nigel
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#9
Oh my, nfmisso I think to much is not a good thing, I say smear it on the surfaces but the water needs to leak out and air needs to circulate throughout the frame. with a glob of grease like that plugging up the holes water cannot get out and air dry fast enough. Don't take it to heart but I would never do that to my rides. As for the high pressure, it works fine as long as you do not use soap to break down the grease and do it quickly, stay away from the freewheel as much as possible. it does the trick for blowing away sand and grit. I would like to say that a leaf and lawnblower make a great blow dryer to. works for me for the last thirty years
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#10
(05-18-2011, 11:59 PM)painkiller Wrote:  Oh my, nfmisso I think to much is not a good thing, .....

You are entitled to your opinion; and as a Mechanical Design Engineer who has designed bearing systems, I am entitled to mine.
Nigel
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#11
sounds like a job for mythbusters. You never said if I was wrong or right. But I will say your way does hold water, pardon the pun. and mine does not
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#12
(05-19-2011, 01:48 AM)nfmisso Wrote:  
(05-18-2011, 11:59 PM)painkiller Wrote:  Oh my, nfmisso I think to much is not a good thing, .....

You are entitled to your opinion; and as a Mechanical Design Engineer who has designed bearing systems, I am entitled to mine.



Saw this website and thought of you Nigel
Understanding engineers


SORRY
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#13
Great news - a buddy of mine has both tools for taking out the bottom bracket. So as i understand i have to wash it with high pressure water. How about using some degreaser, that wouldn't hurt?

As for drying the bottom bracket im thinking about just laying it in sun for a day or two. Would that be enough?
You guys mention both grease and lube as i understand lube is like an oil for chain but grease is thicker (sorry english isn't my first language). Which one would be a better choice? As for greasing/ lubing the bottom bracket i just have to put the lube/grease on the sides of the bottom bracket and it will relube/regrease itself right?
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#14
Don't use high pressure water unless you need to. It just forces water into areas it should not go.
Remove the bottom bracket (BB) use a rag and mild cleaner (simple green, degreaser, etc.) to clean out the inside of the frame/threads. The BB bearing will come out as a sealed unit. Do not spray this with water or degreaser. If any of either gets inside to the bearings you cannot get it out and it will damage the bearings. Just wipe down the exterior surfaces.

Take the BB and spin it with your fingers. If it feels smooth, most likely the "crunching" you are hearing/feeling is coming from another area. If it is very rough, you may have to replace it.

When you put it back together, at least coat all the surfaces with a thin layer of grease. Water proof automotive/marine grease is a good option. You could pack the whole area with grease as nfmisso suggested. I can't see how that would either help or hurt much. But it is important that all threads and contact points get a coating.

Note that your BB bearing are sealed inside a cartridge. These are not serviceable. You CANNOT regrease them. Once they wear out, you throw them away. Just riding through puddles wouldn't normally allow water inside. But as nfmisso also pointed out, "sealed" doesn't mean that there is no way to get contamination in there. That is why you don't want to use a power sprayer to shoot water at it.

If you do get water inside the frame or find water already in there from riding, definitely a good idea to make sure it's dry before you put it back together. A little sun or compressed air should do this pretty quick.

Exterior stuff like a chain can be power washed because it is pretty easy to dry it completely and then relube it. But never spray water anywhere there is bearings like the BB, pedals, freewheel, hubs, headset.

As I said above, riding in wet, muddy conditions MIGHT get grit into your bearings, but it definitely gets grit into your chain. Bearings don't need to be cleaned out after every wet ride. A chain however should get a least a quick rinse after a messy ride. I recommend the chain cleaners that clamp around the chain without removing it from the bike. Taking the chain off and on a lot can also weaken it which seems to defeat the point of cleaning it.
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#15
Sorry for no updates guys - i had many important exams.
As for the bottom bracket i think that bottom bracket works fine because when i take the chain off and spin the cranks it spins really smoothly. After i cleaned and relubed the chain i actually felt that rough feeling even more when i ride. So i took the chain off again and spun the cranks and i noticed that the front sprockets are wobbling. That also explains why the chain periodically touches the front derailleur when pedaling. How can i get rid of this wobbling? I tried to pull the screw which holds the crank but it is already tight and front sprockets are tight as well.
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#16
you may have bent the chainring....
Nigel
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#17
you may have bent the chainring....
Nigel
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