I have created a single speed bike out of a 1982 Helkama Kulkuri. The only part that is a mystery to me is the bottom bracket (BB). It seems it is an interesting and easy to work with Shimano Selecta.


It's an original but its teeth are too worn and I need to get something much more modern.

My worry is the size, do I need some kind of conversion kit to use a modern bottom bracket? Is there a kit in the EU I could get to take care of this? Or is it the correct size and any BB will do?

According to what I am reading above it is the same size as the american single piece crank so can I buy the same conversion kit for it?

  • You'll put in some modern BB and a square taper 3 piece crank, not some single piece crank. If you cant find a BB that threads in, chances are the Velo Orange universal BB (or similar) will work.
    – Batman
    Nov 16, 2015 at 0:23

2 Answers 2


I see that this is a year old, but just wanted to share in case others are still looking up the topic.

Today I replaced a Shimano Selecta with a new, cartridge style Shimano BB (note: the bike is a late 70's or early 80's Apollo Custom Sport road bike).

The weirdest part was removing the old one, but came down to three steps:

  1. Remove both crank arms with 6mm Allen wrench (they pull themselves off, no crank extractor required!) and remove the chainring by hand.

  2. Remove the lock nut on the non-drive side with a 23mm wrench. (I think it was reverse-threaded), then remove washers, bearing rings, cone, until the axle pulls out of drive-side.

  3. At this point there's just the "cups" left, they kind of dish out the end of the BB shell, and then curl inside where they have a splined inside. Using the old Shimano freewheel tool (I think it's called FW30) remove the 2 cups separately (remember which side is reverse threaded!) and then give it a good swipe inside with a rag.

At this point, I went to the shop and bought a Shimano cartridge 68mm x 117 (BB shell width x spindle length) and threw it on with some grease on the threads. Of course, the spindle length will be determined by your crankset (they usually have a specific one that they're designed for) and the cranks from the Selecta will not fit, so if you went for the cheap, simple,

A few hours of tinkering, and then $15 for the BB and another $5 for a crankset from your local community exchange. I think the end result is worth it, instead of having to switch to a one-piece crank, as it leaves you with more options for future uses of the bike (double, triple chainring, SS, etc).

Good luck to all future Selecta removers. Your struggle is not in vain!

  • 1
    Welcome to Bicycles @roger. Thanks for your experience report. We recommend that new members take the tour to make best use of the site. Nice to see you here
    – andy256
    Dec 14, 2016 at 7:02
  • Oh nice... a Very big help! Dec 15, 2016 at 10:40
  • Are you sure it was the FW30 and not the FW20? bikerecyclery.com/… Jun 23, 2022 at 12:17

The link that you provided seems to have different opinions about the size of the bottom bracket for the Selecta crankset. It sounds like you'll need to do some measuring. If the gods are with you it will be British standard - 1.375" x 24 tpi. That's a very common size. You could easily test this if you have another bottom bracket available to try.

By "old American standard" I'm thinking they mean the single-piece Ashtabula cranks. The odd thing about that is that they weren't threaded (IIRC) and a quick search doesn't turn up anything about a thread size or for the Selecta-to-British bushings that were mentioned in the link.

Can you measure or try a known British threaded bottom bracket?

  • I will try to find a too to measure with and see how it looks. Nov 17, 2015 at 8:05

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