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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering how often people grease their BB bearings? I have screw in tapered BB but I am new to the biking world and would like peoples opinions. Do I have to remove the BB to regrease the bearings?
 

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Road bike, non-sealed good quality BB. Best practice 1-2 years depending on use and grease quality. If you're cycling in a lot of rain or off-road 3-9 months is a better bet.

If it's a cheap bb and you don't care about failure then let it eat so long as it's adjusted and running smooth.

I've seen 30+ year old campy BB's with campy grease inside that have been stored inside look quite fresh. On the flip-side I've seen nearly new low quality BB's get ruined in 6 months of wet use. Poor adjustment and poor quality grease did them in.

Years back, prior to well sealed BB's, some used Boat Trailer Wheel bearing grease in BB's. Worked fairly well for hard wet use. Not the best bet if you're trying for world TT records mind you.

Cheers,
NM
 

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IIRC, you bought an older, used bike. If you've never checked the bb, it might be worth doing. What you do if there's a problem depends on the type. I'd slip the chain off the ring and turn the cranks gently by hand. If they spin freely and quietly, and it's a sealed unit, ride on and don't worry about it. If they're binding, crunchy, etc., consider replacing the unit.

If it's a loose-ball type, it's relatively easy to take it apart and overhaul with fresh grease, and given the age of the bike there's a good chance the grease is contaminated to some extent.
 

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If the bike hasnt been riden for awhile, then i second the overhaul cause the old grease is dried and uselless.
Aside from that, enjoy riding your steel frame. Mine gets overhauled each year, but mine has a star shaped cut out in the area of the BB that allows dirt and stuff to work its way in. Even with a sealed unit its good to do to keep the threads fresh and free of continamants

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Years back, prior to well sealed BB's, some used Boat Trailer Wheel bearing grease in BB's. Worked fairly well for hard wet use. Not the best bet if you're trying for world TT records mind you.

Cheers,
NM
I'd think any bearing grease would would and I happened to have some Vehicle bearing grease laying around. School me.
 

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When I hear something, which ironically was yesterday. Pop the seals and flush as best as possible. Short of luck, though, as crap somehow got into one of the sealed bearings and I can't get it out.

Does anyone make loose ball external BB's? I swear those could be godly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As I stated in my op above I have a screw on tapered BB and an aluminum frame. My problem is that I know aluminum threads and because they are so soft that they "shed" (my made up word) shavings of threads when you screw and unscrew them. So I'm just hesitant to do maintenance on my BB until absolutely necessary. So I'll take the chain off and see how the spindle feels and if it feels good I'll call it good.
 

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As I stated in my op above I have a screw on tapered BB and an aluminum frame. My problem is that I know aluminum threads and because they are so soft that they "shed" (my made up word) shavings of threads when you screw and unscrew them. So I'm just hesitant to do maintenance on my BB until absolutely necessary. So I'll take the chain off and see how the spindle feels and if it feels good I'll call it good.
If you're saying that you have a square taper BB I would repack the bearings every season. If the bearings are sealed they won't need all that maintenence, but it would be worth your while to open the BB up and see what you've got in there.
 

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As I stated in my op above I have a screw on tapered BB and an aluminum frame. My problem is that I know aluminum threads and because they are so soft that they "shed" (my made up word) shavings of threads when you screw and unscrew them. So I'm just hesitant to do maintenance on my BB until absolutely necessary. So I'll take the chain off and see how the spindle feels and if it feels good I'll call it good.
So far you haven't told us what we need to know in order to offer advice. Square taper BB axles does not imply sealed bearings or loose bearings. If you have a sealed bearing unit then you need to pull the BB and clean/grease the threads on the BB cups but there is often nothing to be done about the bearings. Seized BB cup threads are a VERY bad thing and they need to be regularly cleaned and regreased. Some people pick the seals out and push fresh grease into the cartridges but I have 85,000 miles on my Campy Chorus cartridge BB and the bearings are just fine. If you have a loose ball BB then you should clean and repack annually unless you are not riding much.
 

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I use high quality sealed bearings for all applications when possible. The Phil Wood BB I installed in my Ritchey Commando in 1986 has never needed servicing. That's 27 years. Same with the Specialized sealed bearing hubs. Same with the Chris King headset (but they NEVER wear out). In my modern bikes, the SRAM GPX bearings seem to be problem free but they're too new to know of the long term service.
 

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I have a 1993? (haven't checked serial # to know for sure) but decals on bike before repaint said 2.8 R700 Cannondale. It has loose bearings.

Do you know when the last time anybody was inside the BB? If not and if it was me, I'd repack the bearings. Like I said earlier, on a bike that I'm putting milage on, I'm gonna do the bearings every season.
Hubs, headset, BB, any system that's loose or caged balls and races.
 

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pulled a 1985 trek out of the garage last year it had been in there for 18 years. the grease was was dry. cleaned and repacked all the bearing it worked fine, when I use to ride this bike. I repacked the bearing at least every 12 months
 
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