07 December, 2009

Threadless Bottom Brackets



The threadless bottom brackets that I mentioned a few months ago have arrived and are available in the VO store. They fit most frames, even those with Swiss threading. And they work on frames with damaged BB shells, even if the existing threading is totally stripped.

Unlike previous attempts at threadless BBs, this new design is "internally expanding". As the adjustable cup is tightened the silver sleeve (see photo) is pushed up the tapered alloy cups, expanding and locking in the BB. This differs from older designs, like the Mavic, that pressed in from the outside and would sometimes slip. Installation requires only a traditional-style BB spanner or a pin wrench. The BB shell does not require chamfering or facing, simply slip the BB into the shell and tighten.

Like the other Grand Cru BBs, these have sealed cartridge bearings so require no servicing and should have a very long life. Taper is JIS and available spindle lengths include 103mm, 107mm, 110mm, 113mm, 116mm, 122mm, 127mm. The color is as shown (sorry). Price is $60.

We have tried these on British, French, and Swiss frames and they work perfectly.  I don't know if they will work in the odd Raleigh BB shells since we don't have frames to test them in. These BB will make it cost effective to put a lot of great old frames back on the road, especially Swiss threaded Motobecanes.

Speaking of BBs, Grand Cru Italian thread BBs, with JIS taper, will arrive in a couple of months.

37 comments:

BikeBike said...

That BB is kickass! What a great design.

The colours are ok too :).

Yann G.S. said...

do these damage the existing threading?

michael said...

Raleigh bb's are the same I.D. as regular british thread, but are 26 TPI instead of 24 TPI.

If it works for regular British it will work fine for Raeigh's bastard size.

Chris Kulczycki said...

It will not damage existing threads.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Italian BB's...was about to pull the trigger on the IRD offering but me and the Benotto will gladly wait it out.

awg

Fred Blasdel said...

The wild anodization ain't so bad — it's a good signifier to someone with a spanner that they are dealing with something special.

Which way do the threads go? Is there any googleable text visible from the outside as a hint?

Perry said...

Fred-

The pink side is the non drive side and tightens right handed, the blue side is the "fixed" side and simply slides into the bottom bracket shell.

Tarik Saleh said...

How wide a bb can these fit in?

Anonymous said...

It would be great to post the weight for these BB's, as the bikes with raleigh 26 TPI threading all weigh a ton and any little savings counts ... :-) :-) Also I note that with a scrub brush and some EZ-OFF in a metal bowl you can probably remove the anodizing on the lockrings in about 15 mins.

TD said...

michael said...
"Raleigh bb's are the same I.D. as regular british thread"

I think the issue is that some of the old Raleighs have a wider BB shell. It's something like 71 or 73 mm instead of the standard 68mm.

If someone tries it out and it works, let me know!

I. Birch said...

If it's pressing against the BB shell hard enough to hold itself in, how is it not damaging the threads?

Chris Kulczycki said...

I don't know how well it'll work with wider BB shells. Again, we don't have any of those Raleigh frames to try them on.

The weight is about the same as any other alloy BB.

Regarding thread damage, we've installed and removed these BB's; then we threaded in a regular BB. The regular BB screws in easily. Perhaps the very tips of the threads were blunted, but not enough affect their function.

Pete said...

Thanks Chis, very good news as my french thread BB is shoot! Does it have adjustable cups for fine tuning the chainline? It seem Shimano's current BB tool won't work. That is a shame as it's so common these days. What tool is need then and will you stock a good value one?

Rob E. said...

Excellent. I'm curious to hear if anyone tries it in an old Raleigh. I have a Twenty I'm working on, and I believe a bottom bracket replacement is going to be necessary. If this works, it may be the best option yet.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I gather that the R20 bb (width 75) is probably too wide but what do you think of the 71 width for a Raleigh Sport, still too wide or doable?

Thanks,
Jack

johnson said...

jeez. its like no one listens when he says if its a raleigh, he doesn't know.

buy one, and see!

Anonymous said...

yeah, if this works on raleighs, you rule!

Chris Kulczycki said...

This BB was designed for 68mm BB shells, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work on wider BB shells.

So here's a plan. If some folks who have been steady VO customers want to test one on a Raleigh, I'll sell a few at half price in return for some feedback on how it worked out; e-mail me if interested.

Anonymous said...

are they really color??

Anonymous said...

I was glad to read the pink/red side is non-drive, and the blue was drive. Port and Starboard; tidy.
M Burdge

TD said...

"This BB was designed for 68mm BB shells, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work on wider BB shells."

After looking at the spindle lengths available I think I agree with you. I'm going to measure the spindle on my Raleigh and then figure what the offset would be due to the wider BB shell. I should be able to get the chainline fairly straight.

superfreak said...

steal is harder than alum so threads shouldnt be damaged. but i dont know for sure over many cycles or heavy riders like me. i still wish someone would make a bb in 1mm incriments from 96mm to 135mm in all widths 68mm 70mm 73mm 100mm (for DH bikes) and all threadings. maybe vello orange will step up to the plate? thx superfreak

Joshua A.C. Newman said...

So... what's the story with the color choice? Did you want some in magenta, some in cyan, and they sent you them with both?

Anonymous said...

Just a thought. As the raleigh 20 BB is 71 mm and this replacement retrofit bearing set is 68mm then the simple solution is to get the file out an carefully file off 1.5 mm from each side.

johnson said...

anon,

using a hand file, or even a dremel, to file the faces of a bb shell down would undoubtably lead to crooked bb faces. and so your cranks would be crooked. and your pedal stroke wonky. if anything, (and i would recommend this, either) using a bb facing tool to shave down the bb would be the way to go. and that would unduly wear the tool out.

Chris Kulczycki said...

You could probably use a BB with a 3mm longer spindle and leave the BB shell as is. We have couple of testers who will try this soon.

Brian said...

Wow, what a great great great invention. I usually just come here for your awesomely styled leather goods! But this will save me a bunch of headaches in the near future. I actually have an old Raleigh from 70s with the crazy threads....I also have a 90s american raleigh that's normal threaded but has stripped threads. Is this a very limited run?

Anonymous said...

Help. I have just bought an old dutch bike with i think a cottered thompson push fit bb which is terrible and i would like to replace but have no idea. This looks perfect as it's threadless. The hole for the bb to fit in is 1.5 inch and roughly 3 inches across the bottom bracket will this work??

Matt said...

Gday Chris

Just curious if there are any Australian distributors of this BB? or if it is easy to ship from the US?

Cheers,
Matt

team_galloway sled dog racing said...

Woiuld this BB work on an 1990 fisher bike with a threadless BB?

Deminsions are:
33mm inside
40mm outside
88mm across

Thanks,

Don

Big Herm said...

Wow ! I was about to scrap my peugeot! just received my first disapointment in the mail today when I ordered a french thread grand cru BB. Took for granted that peugeot =french =french BB... Nope Swiss. My bad! Great to see that Velo Orange are indeed innovators. I'm about $350.00 in parts on my Peug conversion to single speed and if I would have scrapped the frame I probably would have given up. Thank you I will be ordering Threadless on payday...

Eric said...

Just wanted to report that I used the 116 mm threadless bb in a 71mm Raleigh Sprite shell, along with a VO triple crankset, and it worked great. Pics and a few more details on the site linked to my name.

Daz said...

For anyone wandering about the best tool to use to fit one of these....I just fitted mine using a Pedro's Shimano Integrated BB Wrench and it is a perfect fit for the non-drive side cup. :)

MJ said...

Hi,
I'm planning on building a Raleigh Sport-based road bike, and I need a threadless bottom bracket. Has anyone tried this with a Raleigh Sport yet? From the comments, it looks like some people were about to.

Also, how do I decide what spindle length to choose? What types of cranksets are compatible (square-tapered spindles only or do you offer other types)?
Thanks!

Tarik Saleh said...

I covered the sports in my review:
Probably it will work, but not a sure thing:
http://tsaleh.blogspot.com/2010/01/review-velo-orange-grand-cru-threadless.html

vintage crap said...

Velo Orange co. told me, via email, that it does not work on bikes equipped with Thompson bottom brackets, but did not specify why.

Rona Tyger, EdD said...

My frame has a 36 mm diameter. No threads inthe frame. Frame width is 68 mm. I bought Thompson bottom bracket, but cups were too large. Will the flages on this be able to hold the bracket to the frame? P. S. I bought vintage cottered crankset and would live to use it.