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Been having some bottom bracket (BB) woes. Noticed a click on the top of the left pedal stroke decided to re-grease the BB. Took it apart cleaned everything re-greased, put it back together. Roll forward a week. Notice my cranks sticking here and there, gets progressively worse on the ride. Get it home and off the bike notice my bike has turned into a rain-stick (this provided no calming effect) Que another strip down of the BB. Upon inspection, I found all the bearing on the non lockring side of the where out of the cage, which now would no longer hold them. I pinched the cages with pilers to secure the ball bearings back in place. Re-greased repacked. Lifted my bike out today for my cycle to work jingle-jingle; LOOSE BEARING! Cycle to work was sub 3miles so risked it. Want to take care of this ASAP, so my questions are:

1. I figure I am over-tighting the bottom bracket, causing the damage to the cage, however what else could cause?

BB info:

  • Campagnolo Italian threaded
  • plastic sleeve is in two parts, the smaller part pushes into the other.
  • 2 caged bearings from memory 8/9 bearings in each cage.
  • Two screw in cones one locking.

here is a pics of my spindle: enter image description here

Brev whatever that means enter image description here

2. What size bearing does an Italian threaded BB take?

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"Italian threaded" doesn't tell us much apart from which way the BB threads into the frame. I suspect the best thing would be to take it to your local bike shop and ask them what size BB/bearings you need. – Olly Hodgson Jun 15 '12 at 12:05

Take everything apart,get all the grease out of the bb and feel inside where the bearings go,it should be fairly smooth,do this to both sides and compare the "feel" of each..If it doesn't feel right(burrs,cracks) there's your problem...I just replaced the bearings in my bike and they were 1/4 inch but your bearings will probally be metric in that general size,it's easy enough to find online...don't skimp on the bearings,get grade 25 bearings,there the has them for short money and good luck

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+1 The old campy cup/cone bearings on BB and hubs are very hard hard steel. The surfaces where the balls ride should be completely smooth almost like a mirror. You do have to get the hardest ball bearings for this. – Angelo Aug 18 '12 at 15:09

Note that most bottom brackets don't use a cage. Rather you get enough loose balls to fill the race, gob some grease into the race of the cup, press the balls into the grease, and install. The cage should not be necessary to hold the balls in place.

In your case you may want to consider replacing the cups, bearings, and shaft with a cartridge -- much less to go wrong.

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