How to Replace a Cartridge Bottom Bracket
Demonstrates how to remove and install a sealed cartridge bottom bracket.
- 01:30 - The torque specification are actually 25-30 ft-lbs, or 300-360 in-lbs. Check with the manufacturer for exact products specs.
This tutorial will demonstrate how to remove and install a sealed cartridge bottom bracket, found on most modern bicycles. You’ll need to remove both cranks first, so be sure to refer to last week’s crank removal and installation tutorial before you begin.
A cartridge bottom bracket usually has two main components. The cartridge contains the sealed bearings and spindle, and is usually threaded into the right (or drive side) of your frame. The lockring supports the opposite end of the cartridge and is usually threaded into the left (or non-drive side) of your frame.
Bottom Bracket Removal
Remove the drive side first, using the lockring tool and wrench. On most bikes, the drive side has a left-hand thread, so you’ll need to turn your wrench clockwise to loosen. Once the drive side is removed, the non-drive side should easily loosen and unthread by turning counter-clockwise.
Before installing the new bottom bracket, carefully clean the threads on the inside of your frame, and then apply a thin layer of waterproof grease to the threads on both sides of the frame.
You’ll notice that most bottom brackets have an ‘L’ and ‘R’ written on them to assist in installation.
Bottom Bracket Installation
To install, first thread the new lockring part way into the left side of the frame by turning it clockwise. Don’t tighten the left-side yet.
Thread the cartridge all the way into the right side of the frame by turning it counter-clockwise. Tighten it with about 25-30 foot-pounds of pressure (300-360 inch-pounds) using a torque wrench. Torque specifications vary, so it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s website for their exact product specifications.
Now you can finish tightening the left side clockwise until it is nice and snug.
- Park Tool: Cartridge Bottom Bracket Service
- Sheldon Brown: Bottom Bracket
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- Shimano TL-FC10 Crank Extractor
- Park Tool PAW-12 Adjustable Wrench
- Park Tool Wrench Combo Set
- Park Tool SK-3 Starter Mechanic Tool Kit
- Park Tool PK-3 Professional Tool Kit
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