Got the pedals out, but I'm struggling with both cups. I don't know which way the threading goes either.

The bike was made in Poland, pretty old. Anyone know what I could do? I have a flat-shaped spanner for the cups, but got almost no leverage so I can't turn it hard.

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    Lots and lots of penetrating fluid would be my first suggestion. Dec 3 '18 at 20:52

My experience about bicycles made in Poland says that the majority had threadless bottom bracket with cottered Thompson type spindle.
And those that had threaded bottom bracket (mainly road bikes) were BSC (BSA) threading (me myself own a Poland-made road bike frame from 1938 and BSC cups fit like a charm).

I nevertheless find it suspicious to see a square-taper spindle on such a bike.

Short story long:

  • start from the non-drive side and turn the cup counterclockwise.
  • remove the complete spindle
  • inspect the inside of the bottom bracket to confirm that the drive side has reverse thread (clockwise turning undoes the right hand side cup)
  • make sure you use the correct tool
  • And, if the drive side cup is not too terribly worn, leave it in there if you can. Dec 4 '18 at 17:06
  • @JeffreyBell - it depends on what the OP is planning to do - with overhaul only or spindle/bearings replacement the drive side cup can stay indeed. But when replacing with cartridge bearings and a matching spindle, all must be disassembled.
    – Mike
    Dec 5 '18 at 8:26

It turns out that there is a technique that involves using a bolt, a bunch of washers and a screw with a nut that can be purshased from just about any hardware store. The technique is documented here.

I tried it out and it worked like a charm. Even then, it's the amount of leverage you gain access to that makes all the difference(used a cheater bar for more leverage). The cap(drive side) happened to unscrew clockwise, same as the other one(Once I had the non-drive-side cup removed, I slid my finger along the threads of the drive-side around the inner perimeter to see if my finger was being pulled inwards or outwards to figure out the threading).

I also struggled because unbeknownst to me, my dad literally screwed a screw through the frame to lock the cup on the non-drive side. I used pliers to twist it out.

This was a satisfying experience.

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  • Great. You can mark your own answer as correct if you want.
    – RoboKaren
    Dec 23 '18 at 3:16

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