I have an older Raleigh frame that I converted to a fixed gear and the bottom bracket cup on the drive side has been painted over a few times and I can't get it out.

This is the type of cup (the one on the top left):

enter image description here

I've tried brute force (lost some skin on my knuckles) and it didn't even budge. Does anybody have any tips to get it out?

  • This might help: Failing to unscrew BB - what now?
    – Vorac
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 13:29
  • 1
    Have you tried putting the bottom bracket into a vice and turning the frame around it? This requires stripping off most of the rest of the parts but gives you an enormous amount of leverage.
    – jimchristie
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 15:48
  • 1
    If you can see/feel any threads you can tell for sure if it's left-hand thread or right-hand thread: Put you thumbnail in the thread groove and "unscrew". Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


The drive side on most bottom brackets is reverse threaded. That means you have to turn it clockwise to loosen it. If you don't care about destroying it, and are just going to replace it anyway, you can try this trick that I found, which seems like it would allow you to get a lot more leverage.

  • 1
    "The drive side on most bottom brackets is reverse threaded." How can I check to see if it is for sure reverse threaded? @kibbee That looks like a good tip
    – alanj
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 13:02
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    If you can see any part of the threads, you can try to see which way they are going. If they angle towards the back of the bike they are reverse threaded. If you have trouble seeing it but there is some exposed thread, try running your finger nail along the thread to see which way it's going. And When I say most, I don't mean 51% of bottom brackets, but "just about all". Only Italian and Old French bikes use right hand thread on the drive side bottom bracket cup. Your Raleigh is almost certainly reverse threaded on the drive side.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 15:04
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    @alanj A Raleigh will have an English bottom bracket, reverse-threaded as Kibbee says
    – PeteH
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 15:42

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