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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This video is available on DVD


  • 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

09/15 No spindle in the bottom bracket?


It seems like there's no spindle in bottom bracket, because when I try to take off the crankset with removal tool, then there is nothing against the bolt to push and you can see hole through the bottom bracket. Do you understand me? How should I take off crankset if there's nothing I can push against?... Read more >>

09/07 Shimano BB-UN26 bottom bracket torque specs

Ello. I was just wondering if anybody knows what the torque settings for the cups and crank arms are on this? A piece of paper within the packaging states to consult the manual, but there isn't one, not even online (that I can find).

Also, which way does the cartridge fit onto the bike? As you can see in the image below it says.#

[Image: BB_UN26.jpg]


Does that mean that the side without the metal threads goes to ... Read more >>

09/03 Help to identify and upgrade Huffy BB bottom bracket


My old cheap 2003 Huffy bike has this BB:

[Image: DSCF2067.JPG]

[Image: DSCF2068.JPG]

Since I actually enjoy riding this cheap "beater", I plan to do some upgrades.  I want to remove this BB and convert to a square taper BB (because I am now familiar with SqT BB's, having replaced two of them on other bikes), and I will install a new crankset compatible with the new SqT BB.

-...

05/11 Adjustable Cup stuck

Hi, I have a normal mountain bike bought from a department store about a year ago, I've been hearing a lot of creaking noise recently and found out that the spindle is wobbling a great deal ( not just the crank arms ).

After watching some videos, I discovered that the remedy seems to be simply adjusting the hex cup on the non-drive side, since I recognize it to be a ball & bearing bottom bracket.

I don't even need to take off the crank arm, my wrench fits in the gap between as you can see from the picture.


05/11 Frozen bottom bracket on Katmando?

Has anyone tries the bolt and locknut method for removing the left side bottom bracket bearing race cup. hope I got that right? i was able to remove the right side. the bracket is the spline wrench type like a free wheel but the tool fits in only 1/8 of a inch. 

...... method is to get a 2" bolt, 5/8th diameter, and about 14 lock washers, a large flat washer and a nut to fit the bolt. then you put the bolt with all the lock washer slid onto it and insert it through the right side of the bottom bracket and out the middle of the left frozen bearing race cup I want to remove. them y... Read more >>

04/30 Crank bearing bottom bracket

2006  Gary Fisher  Piranha BS:6102 crank is a fc-m410

Hi i am new here and need a lil help with my bike i just brought to ride to work on, so when i ride i can feel that the crank bearings need replacing or bottom bracket i am not a bike mechanic, and i am struggling to find what bottom bracket i need to fix this issue, any help will be much appreciated thanks for your time and reading,
  Adam....

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 >>

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