10. How to Replace a Cartridge Bottom Bracket

Demonstrates how to remove and install a sealed cartridge bottom bracket.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Replace a Cartridge Bottom Bracket
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  • 01:30 - The torque specification are actually 25-30 ft-lbs, or 300-360 in-lbs. Check with the manufacturer for exact products specs.

This tutorial will demonstrate how to remove and install a sealed cartridge bottom bracket, found on most modern bicycles. You’ll need to remove both cranks first, so be sure to refer to last week’s crank removal and installation tutorial before you begin.

Required Tools

For this job you’ll need a splined bottom bracket tool and a 32mm headset wrench, or a large adjustable wrench.


A cartridge bottom bracket usually has two main components. The cartridge contains the sealed bearings and spindle, and is usually threaded into the right (or drive side) of your frame. The lockring supports the opposite end of the cartridge and is usually threaded into the left (or non-drive side) of your frame.

Bottom Bracket Removal

Remove the drive side first, using the lockring tool and wrench. On most bikes, the drive side has a left-hand thread, so you’ll need to turn your wrench clockwise to loosen. Once the drive side is removed, the non-drive side should easily loosen and unthread by turning counter-clockwise.

Before installing the new bottom bracket, carefully clean the threads on the inside of your frame, and then apply a thin layer of waterproof grease to the threads on both sides of the frame.

You’ll notice that most bottom brackets have an ‘L’ and ‘R’ written on them to assist in installation.

Bottom Bracket Installation

To install, first thread the new lockring part way into the left side of the frame by turning it clockwise. Don’t tighten the left-side yet.

Thread the cartridge all the way into the right side of the frame by turning it counter-clockwise. Tighten it with about 25-30 foot-pounds of pressure (300-360 inch-pounds) using a torque wrench. Torque specifications vary, so it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s website for their exact product specifications.

Now you can finish tightening the left side clockwise until it is nice and snug.


Related Links

Discuss this topic in the Bottom Bracket Forums

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: 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 .


07/18 Sizing of Bottom Bracket.

Is there a good way of knowing what size of BB your bike takes, without having it at hand, and not having the specs from the manual.

I would like to get the tools and part at the same time to avoid repeat trips to the bike store, if I can help it.... Read more >>

06/25 Specialized SL4 Pro Tarmac - Bottom Bracket

Hi everybody,

I am in desperate need of some assistance here.

I bought a Shimano Ultegra compact crankset to be fittet on my Specialized SL4 Pro Tarmac - 2012.

I want to replace the bottom bracket as well - but my question is:

Would a Shimano Ultegra BB6700 fit my Specialized bike - or would I need some sort of adapter or something like that?

I seem to be stuck in the BB jungle and does not seem to get the right answers when I google around.

Looking forward to hear from you experts.

Thanks in advance....

06/20 FSA energy in a 68-33 mm shell?

I'm thinking of switching out my old Ultegra crankset with an FSA Energy BB30. Will I run into any problems with compatibility? Other than the FSA, my bike would be Ultegra 6700. Thanks!... Read more >>

06/19 Chin Haur BB

Hi All -

I'm new to the BicycleTutor Forum and having a hard time finding a replacement for my Chin Haur BB. I have removed the BB from the bike frame and not able to locate the correct BB. I have been to the Sheldon Brown website and I'm unable to understand that busy website. In the process of removing the BB, I broke some teeth off the crankset so I will need a new BB and Crankset.


RFJ6...

05/05 Cross threading


Is it possible to damage the threads of the bottom bracket shell while undoing the BB?

I'm pretty sure the bike shop would have done it while putting the bike together, but if I can check it's not possible (very unlikely) to damage it while lossening then I'll feel more comfortable complaining til they fix it.

Oggy...

05/03 Bottom bracket compatability

Looking at new frames and they all have either BSA or BB68 spec'd for the bottom brackets. Which of these would accomodate an old Shimano UN73 sealed bb unit with English threads? Can't afford new components and a new frame. Thanks.... Read more >>

04/06 Fix a bottom bracket that loosens the pedal


My bike started recently having a problem where every few hundred meters my pedal arm gets loose and shaky, and I have to stop and tighten again.

I've completely opened and cleaned the bottom bracket and I've replaced the ball bearings (not the cages). The situation has improved, but the pedal still gets loose.

I'm not sure what to try next in order to fix it:
When I replaced the bottom bracket it seemed not too worn out, and only the point where the ball bearings touch on it had lost the paint, and it had signs of fatigue where the crank ... Read more >>

03/17 Cup Wrenchs - Which ones do I need?


Hopefully someone can identify the wrenches I need:

thanks in advance.

[Image: twwLjh1.jpg]...

03/02 BB question

I have a Origin 8 Adrenaline frame - Info on the frame: 65mm BB Drop?. I bought SRAM red components. SRAM Red carbon TT crankset 130bcd BB30. I'm completely new to bike building. I want to get all the parts together. not sure exactly what BB I need. BB30 but, not sure of sizing. Thanks for your help!... Read more >>

01/28 Replacing my BB/crank

I'm fairly new to bmx terminology so bare with me.

My old bottom bracket and crank was rusted and the threads were severely stripped so I decided to replace them. The new crank, spindle, and bearings I bought are all 19mm and the old ones are 22mm or something. I took the old bearing cups off the rusted bearings to use with my new ones, but they don't fit, so I'm assuming you have to buy new bearing cups specifically for the size of bearing? (I know this is probably a dumb question) And are all bearing cups the same circumference on the outside?

My other question i...

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