Haven't done maintenance on my bike in years. Recently cleaned it up and repaired some spokes. Greased the front and rear wheel bearings and degreased the chain. Looks good but only thing didn't do was grease the crank.

  • Is it even possible to disassemble and grease your bottom bracket? Basically all bottom bracket types from the last decades use sealed bearings which are non-serviceable. The bearings usually last about 10 000 to 20 000 km.
    – Michael
    May 21, 2017 at 8:13
  • 2
    When you say "crank" are you referring to the bottom bracket/axle, that runs through the bike between the two crank-arms?
    – Criggie
    May 21, 2017 at 9:29
  • Is there any lateral play or slop in the tip of the crank arm? If there's nothing significant you may be okay for years. However catching damage early will save you money - its cheaper to replace ball bearings than cups and cones. That said, if the bike is using old cup and cone and does exhibit crunchiness you might be better served by fitting a nice new BB cartridge, which is good for 10-20 thousand km and is also non-serviceable. An inspection will only cost you time and a bit of grease.
    – Criggie
    May 21, 2017 at 9:44
  • To be honest, loose bearing cranks don't get serviced as often as other bearings, both because the don't need it quite as much and because they are a PITA to deal with. (If nothing else you need some special tools, plus care on reassembly is needed or you create more problems than you fix.) But I'd swag it at around 10K miles, and go ahead and replace the balls when and if you take it apart. But note that most BBs less than about 25 years old use sealed cartridges, and those you might as well ride until they begin to show signs of failure. May 21, 2017 at 12:07

2 Answers 2


It is likely, unless your bicycle is quite old, that it has sealed bearings in the crankset, so there is no real need to grease them yourself. It is good practice to visually inspect and clean them regularly, but they do not need deep maintenance unless you encounter rough movement or an unusual sound coming from them.

Ciitation: Bicycle industry work experience.


Depending on how often you use it but I give mine a going over around every 12 months as an annual service.

  • Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Routine maintenance is a good idea. Could you expand this answer a bit? Would you replace bearings in your annual service, or simply clean and lube? Also, do please have a browse of our tour to see how SE is a bit different.
    – Criggie
    May 21, 2017 at 9:22
  • Welcome to Bicycles SE. We're looking for answers with more detail. Please consider expanding your answer to explain how you arrived at the conclusion that annually was the proper timeframe for you. What would prompt you to service them sooner? Or less often? What is a "going over"? A short, one-line answer like this is likely to get downvoted, flagged for moderator intervention, and possibly deleted.
    – jimchristie
    Jun 1, 2017 at 12:24

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