30. How to Overhaul A Bottom Bracket

How to disassemble, re-grease, reassemble and adjust a cup and cone bottom bracket.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Overhaul A Bottom Bracket
DVD Vol. 2 DVD Volume 2
This video is available on DVD


  • 02:22 - IMPORTANT: Apply a thin layer of grease to the threads before inserting into the frame.

Today we'll learn how to overhaul and re-grease an adjustable bottom bracket. To remove the cranks you'll need a crank puller, a 17mm open end wrench and a large adjustable wrench. To overhaul the bottom bracket you'll need a bottom bracket wrench or a pin spanner, a hooked lock ring wrench, and a 36mm wrench. For re-greasing the bearings you'll need some cleaning solvent and waterproof grease, a rag, a toothbrush and a small container to clean the bearing cages.


Begin by removing the cranks. Watch the cotterless crank removal tutorial for a more detailed procedure. Once the cranks are removed, loosen and remove the lock ring on the non-drive or left side of the bike by turning counter-clockwise. Once the lockring is removed you should be able to easily loosen and un-thread the bearing race using either a pin spanner or a bottom bracket wrench.

Now pull the spindle and both bearing cages out of the frame. It's important to remember which way the spindle came out, as they are directional. The drive side usually has a longer distance from the bearing race to the end of the threads. Wipe off the bearing cages, drop them into the solvent, and let them soak while you use your rag to clean the spindle and both outer bearing races.

Tighten the drive-side bearing race by turning it counter-clockwise with your 36mm wrench. Unless you are replacing the bottom bracket, there is no need to remove it.


Shine a flashlight into your bottom bracket shell to inspect the bearing race for pitting and wear. Inspect your other bearing race and then carefully inspect the spindle. Most wear occurs on the spindle's bearing races. If you see pitting here you should take it to your local bike shop for a replacement.


Now clean both bearing cages with a toothbrush and solvent, and then set them aside to air-dry. These should also be replaced if they are worn or have bent cages.


Apply a layer of grease on both bearing races and cages. A grease gun makes it easy to squirt grease inside the gaps between the bearings. Then place the bearing cages into both races. The rounded side of the cage should be facing down into the bearing race. Seal them in with another layer of grease.


Now insert the spindle the same way you removed it. Wipe off any excess grease that comes out on the spindle. Grease the threads inside the bottom bracket shell, and then slide the outer race and bearing cage onto the spindle. Thread it on all the way clockwise but don't tighten it. Again you’ll need to wipe off excess grease.


Thread on the lock ring finger-tight. Before adjusting the bottom bracket, first install the drive-side crank arm and tighten it as shown in the crank installation tutorial. This will help us make a proper adjustment. Now hold the inner race firmly with your wrench or spanner and tighten the lock ring. When properly adjusted the spindle should spin smoothly. If it doesn't, you'll have to loosen the lock ring, back off the inner race a little bit, and then tighten it again.

Check for play by placing the crank arm close the frame and pushing and pulling it against the frame. There should be no movement. If it feels loose, you'll have to loosen the lock ring, tighten the inner race a little bit, and then tighten the lock ring again. When the adjustment is correct, install and tighten the left crank arm and you're done!


Related Links

Discuss this topic in the Bottom Bracket Forums

02/23 German FAG bottom bracket

Hello folks.

This is about a bitchy seized and insisting bottom bracket. It is from a 85 german hercules bike and the BB is the standard german F.A.G by that times. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innenlager#mediaviewer/File:Fag-g.jpg  well in my case both plastic sides are broken after trying to remove it. I have the appropriate tool but the BB was seized so it's jammed and broken in there. After reading some forums I got a soldering tool to melt the plastic. It works. The bearings are e... Read more >>

01/23 Viscount Aerospace

Hi. I am trying to renovate a Viscount Aerospace and am having difficulty with the bottom bracket. The shell is normal 68mm, but has pressed in 35MM bearings (not BB30) and a 119 mm spindle that (obviously) passes through these bearings.

Bearings are easy to find, less so the spindle! The spindle has been damaged (not by me) and is useless. I have tried all the places I know to find a spindle, but cannot locate. So am toying with the idea of fitting a sealed bottom bracket (the damaged thread, repair type, as the shell is not threaded and too thin to try and thread). Has any... Read more >>

01/01 Bottom Bracket for a 1973 Schwinn Continental

hey I have a 1973 Schwinn Continental frame and fork. I ordered it off of eBay and it did not come with a bottom bracket or anything. How would I go about deciding which bottom bracket to buy?

thanks...

11/03 Bottom Bracket Removal


First time changing one of these things seemed to be going well.

Cranks came off fine, lockring removed and now im stumped.

I dont see anywhere where I could use to multi-tooth removal tool to get a grip onto the old bracket im not quite sure how to go at it.

Il post a couple of pics up from each side, any help would be much appreciated Smile... Read more >>

10/30 ISIS bottom bracket - drive side 'cap'

Hey guys,

Trying to remove an ISIS bottom bracket from a '06 Trek 1200. Bought the 8-notched cup removal tool (similar to http://harriscyclery.net/merchant/370/images/large/bbt18.jpg), removed the non-drive side no problems, loosened the drive side cup fine. But no matter how much I try to unscrew it, it won't come off! It seems to be on the last thread, but not catching on to 'exit' the screw hole..

Anyone have any idea what's going on here? Also sorry if i'm misusing terminol... Read more >>

10/27 French BB replacement

I am trying to replace the bottom bracket on an unknown model Pugeot circa 1970 because I broke the crankset during removal (rusted through) and the cups/bearings are quite worn from age and rust.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about the bike or the proper terminology but the bottom bracket is 68mm wide, the cups screw on clockwise and the threads look about 1mm apart but I cant tell more than that. The cottered spindle is 145mm end to end, ~55-56mm between the bearing retainers (on the spindle) and the drive side is ~3mm longer than the other.

I was h...

10/23 Lockring stuck on bracket Cup


I am trying to restore an old 1955 Triumph that I bought at a car boot sale. I was removing the bottom bracket today and have been having a problem removing the lock ring. I was using a hammer and punch to turn the lock ring (it was very stiff). Once it was loose I managed to remove it almost completely before it got stuck again. When I resumed using the hammer and punch I ended up just loosening the bracket cup which has now come free with the lock ring still attached.. I can get the cup back on but the lock ring doesn't go flush and I am concerned it will not be properly se... Read more >>

10/21 Should I replace my bottom bracket? (fixie)

Hi, I just bought my first fixed gear bike last week but yesterday the bottom bracket loosened. I went to the closest bike shop and asked if they have a tool/wrench for tightening it. I showed the photo of my bottom bracket and i was told that this type of bottom bracket is not suitable for fixed gears. Do I really need to replace it? I'm still a noob regarding bike parts and I'm having second thoughts about replacing it.

Here's a photo of the part of my bb that got loosened:
[Image: 23rjxvd.jpg]


10/11 Need Info On Tools For Replacing Bottom Bracket

Hi guys. I'm new to these boards. I learned how to fix / maintain my jetski and scooter on message boards so now I'm hoping to do the same with my bikes. I have a mountain bike

This one -


(Cheap bike but I like her)

I know that I need to replace the barrings in my bottom bracket. I want to just replace everything since I have all new parts under warranty - p... Read more >>

09/26 Unable to Identify Bottom Bracket

I just want to make the point that I am only 16 and a beginner. My situation is that I have bought a frame and fork from ebay to make into a single speed bike.
I have got into some trouble with identifying the bottom bracket but think that I may have chosen a suitable bottom bracket.
I don't know the model bike, only that it is a Raleigh that I think may be from the 80's. But I have little to go on.
The Bottom Bracket shell is 70mm. But this is the confusing part. I think the internal diameter is 34.5 mm (or around there). I have a bottom bracket cup - SM-BB70 -... Read more >>

09/19 Bottom bracket removal

Hello everyone,

lately I've been hearing to a clank sound while pedaling, but on the right pedal. At first, I thought that the pedal was the problem. But yesterday I realized that the issue was that the bottom bracket is loose.

I removed the allen bolt and this is how the bracket looks like. (see attachment)

Do you guys know what tools I need to fix that?

After watching some youtube videos I thought I needed a Crank Puller Remover like this one: http... Read more >>

09/09 Replacing BB

I apologise if this has been asked before.

I would like to change the BB on my wife's Mountain bike. At the moment it has cup and caged bearings with a square tapered spindle.
Is it possible to replace it with a cartridge type one.

Neil...

08/23 Clank sound when pedaling

Hi All,

First post on the forum, but I've been reading around for the last few months while I built my modified Schwinn OR2 700c electric bike conversion. I've done a little homework, but i'm really looking for a bit of advice before i pull the trigger on part orders:

After some decent overhaul to the stock bike, I am now hearing some clanking sounds when pedaling. I've checked the chain for any tight links and just did a thorough cleaning of the chain to see it that could have been the cause. At this point, i'm convinced its an issue with the BB.

After ...

08/23 New bottom bracket for schwinn

I have a schwinn sidewinder I bought at walmart, and may need to replace the bottom bracket. I believe I will need a crank puller, at the very least, and some sort of specialized tool for the bottom bracket itself (maybe). What do I do to get the correct bottom bracket for my bike?

It's an OK bike and gets me where I want to go.

I am mechanically inclined, and do some of my own auto repair work, but I've never done much for my bike other than replace the innertube.... Read more >>

07/19 What bb thread for a peugeot ph8?

Hi there ,

Ive been given what I believe to be a peugeot ph8 by my uncle . Ive narrowed the year down to somewhere between 79 and 83 .
The serial number is 0931716 PH8CE 60.

Here are two pictures of what I think is the exact same model except my one has cottered cranks .

https://www....

New Thread
How to Overhaul A Bottom Bracket
Repair Guide / Help Forums

Free Email Updates: