Bicycle TutorBicycle Tutor

Show off your bike!

Replacing BB and Crankset on Cheap Bike

Author Message
coffearobusta Offline
New Member

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #1
Replacing BB and Crankset on Cheap Bike

Been commuting for over a year on a cheap Walmart bike:

In retrospect, I probably should have bought something better, but at least with this bike I haven't been afraid to tinker with it. Well anyway, I recently got a set of bike tools, and was set to do my first major repair - the BB, since it has been making noise and had a little play in it. Things never go quite as smooth as I'd like. Smile

First, one of the crank arms had damaged threads so the puller had nothing to grab. So I had to remove the BB first. Oh my tool kit only has a tool for cartridge type BB? No problem, vice-grips and channel-locks removed the adjustable cup but damaged the threads in the process. Inspection revealed one of the bearing cages had nearly disintegrated and the grease had been replaced by road grime and metal shavings. So now it's all apart, except the drive crank is still attached to the spindle.

At this point, I figure replacing the crankset and replacing/repairing the BB is what I need to do. I would like to replace the crankset with one that only has one chainring, instead of three.

1) repair/replace with cup and cone style
2) replace BB with cartridge style

Any feed back on what's better?

1) Sizing of BB to match new crankset. How do I know what spindle length I need to match my bike?

Mar 14, 2011 08:14 AM
Find all posts by this user
JohnV Offline
Senior Member

Tampa. FL
Posts: 472
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #2
RE: Replacing BB and Crankset on Cheap Bike
I don't know what you paid for the bike or what condition the bike is in, but depending on what you are going to replace your components with, it may be cheaper to get another bike. If you were looking to get a better bike in the first place and can still afford one, now may be the time to get it.

HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
Mar 14, 2011 10:01 AM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
DaveM Offline
Veteran Member

Posts: 1,423
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #3
RE: Replacing BB and Crankset on Cheap Bike
JohnV has a point. But if the bike isn't too bad otherwise, it may be worth keeping it rolling.
Get a cheap cartridge BB, cup and cone is essentially gone.
If you can support the crank so that the old BB dangles underneath (like with two blocks of wood), then give the end of the spindle a couple hard taps with a hammer, you should be able to knock it out of the crank. The stripped threads would still be a problem next time. But by the time you wear out a cartridge BB, it will probably be the least of the problems on the bike.

If you do get a new crank though, just don't go nuts and get something nice. This bike isn't really worth "upgrading" parts on. But no reason to landfill it just because of a BB. The maker of the new crank should be able to recommend the right length BB spindle.
Mar 14, 2011 11:43 AM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
coffearobusta Offline
New Member

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #4
RE: Replacing BB and Crankset on Cheap Bike
Thanks for the replies, guys. DaveM had the preferred option, as my goal was to get back on the road cheap. I was able to take the crank down to my LBS, and the guy was nice enough to tap the old spindle out of the crank and sell me a slightly used cartridge BB for $25.

I've been commuting on my bike 3-5 days a week about 18 miles round trip, as the wife and I are trying to save some dough and it made sense to become a one-car family. Soon I will be able to get a new bike...soon.

Thanks again,

Attachment shows my bike with my DIY panniers.

Attached File(s) Thumbnail(s)
Mar 14, 2011 07:38 PM
Find all posts by this user

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Need Info On Tools For Replacing Bottom Bracket straightbangin 37 1,886 Nov 10, 2014 02:31 PM
Last Post: straightbangin
  Replacing BB neil180 4 841 Sep 9, 2014 03:48 PM
Last Post: neil180
  Not sure if my cartridge bottom bracket needs replacing... louisecunning 9 10,940 May 7, 2014 02:27 PM
Last Post: painkiller
  Replacing my BB/crank okjaymie 4 1,536 Jan 28, 2014 12:44 PM
Last Post: nfmisso
  Coaster brake bike pedals don't turn kjw 1 1,160 Jan 14, 2014 08:51 PM
Last Post: painkiller
  Replacing crank / BB apey75 5 2,127 Oct 22, 2013 06:15 AM
Last Post: Joe_W
  Replacing a french BB mikes105 2 1,367 May 30, 2013 02:44 PM
Last Post: mikes105
  BB install on road bike Benen 8 3,026 Apr 24, 2013 12:55 AM
Last Post: Benen
  Tools and recommended bottom bracket for my bike? Josephine 13 5,666 Dec 13, 2012 01:10 PM
Last Post: GeorgeET
  Replacing old cottered cranks/bb brainpolice 5 5,030 Mar 14, 2012 08:08 PM
Last Post: Bill

Forum Jump:

RSS Forum RSS Feeds / Powered by MyBB

ISSN 1918-3445 © Copyright 2007-2010 Bicycle Tutor / Privacy Policy