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  1. #1
    More cowbell!
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    Bottom bracket build question

    So I bought a new 29er frame and I want to build a bike out of it all by myself. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of experience in matters such as this, so I have questions for the collective. When purchasing the bottom bracket, how does one determine the proper spindle length. What info about the specs of my particular frame should I have in my possession when perusing various web sites and shops? Should I consider a whole crankset w/bottom bracket included, or piece together individual components?
    Thanks in advance everybody!

  2. #2
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
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    There are several BB options. The most common on current cranks is an integrated BB spindle. The design is old, but only recently has it become popular. With this design, the BB spindle is permanently attached to one of the crank arms. It makes selecting a BB easy, as it's included with the crankset. It's also arguably the easiest to install - you need one special tool and a set of allen wrenches.

    If you're looking at older cranks, you can get a nice crankset for cheaper than the new integrated styye. The previous generation of BBs made from about 1997 to 2003+ use a splined interface. There are several splines available - two Octalink versions from Shimano, and ISIS from several other makers. Generally these come in two spindle widths - double and triple - and two width 68mm adnd 73mm (although some used spacers to get around the BB size issue). You need a BB spline that matches the spline on your cranks.

    Prior to this there was square taper. Square taper BBs some in many sizes, and the size you need is mostly determined by the crankset, but sometimes your frame requires a slightly different length. Sheldon Brown has a good page that shows the BBs that mate to cranks:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bbsize.html

    The easiest thing is to by a brand new crank as they require the least thought, and are really easy to install.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  3. #3
    What's on your plate?
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    29'ers are so 2006. Retrocool. Like 1970's Schwinn fixies, neon yellow spandex, purple ano bling, 7 Eleven team jerseys, mustaches, Fleetwood Mac and Camaros. You may want to ask this question on the "Vintage, Retro, Classic" board.

    I think you need a square taper BB, bar ends, a 140mm quill stem, a Rock Shox Indy XC, canti brakes, and above the bar 6 speed Sugino thumbshifters to complete this build appropriately.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    There are several BB options. The most common on current cranks is an integrated BB spindle. The design is old, but only recently has it become popular. With this design, the BB spindle is permanently attached to one of the crank arms. It makes selecting a BB easy, as it's included with the crankset. It's also arguably the easiest to install - you need one special tool and a set of allen wrenches.

    If you're looking at older cranks, you can get a nice crankset for cheaper than the new integrated styye. The previous generation of BBs made from about 1997 to 2003+ use a splined interface. There are several splines available - two Octalink versions from Shimano, and ISIS from several other makers. Generally these come in two spindle widths - double and triple - and two width 68mm adnd 73mm (although some used spacers to get around the BB size issue). You need a BB spline that matches the spline on your cranks.

    Prior to this there was square taper. Square taper BBs some in many sizes, and the size you need is mostly determined by the crankset, but sometimes your frame requires a slightly different length. Sheldon Brown has a good page that shows the BBs that mate to cranks:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bbsize.html

    The easiest thing is to by a brand new crank as they require the least thought, and are really easy to install.
    Laffeaux pretty much sums it up. The only thing you need to know about a new frame is whether it has a 68mm or 73mm bb shell (this will determine if you need to install the spacers that usually come with with bb/cranksets).

  5. #5
    More cowbell!
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    Thanks for the advice. I didn't know about the integrated bottom bracket/crankset, so this is good stuff to have knowledge of (almost on par with knowing NOT to sport the neon yellow spandex road shorts [thanks Earthpig!]).

  6. #6
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    Awesome...Camaros never go out of style

    Since threads are worthless without pics, I am still rockin my old school Cook Bros on my hardtail SquaRE taper BB of course.
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

  7. #7
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    PS, can you find the subliminal msg? Bwahahahahh
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Monkey
    PS, can you find the subliminal msg? Bwahahahahh
    I see Waldo on the downtube...

  9. #9
    What's on your plate?
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    Nice tatas. Teats. And whatnot.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
    Reputation: TwistedCrank's Avatar
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    Those ain't nips.



    I'm just sayin'
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  11. #11
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    pdlhrd, you've won a dinner for two at Hooters and a years subscription to Jugs!
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    Those ain't nips.



    I'm just sayin'
    That is awesome, Violated by a dolphin I cant stop laughing at that vid...The children will never think the same about Sea World
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

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