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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Nickel needs new bottom bracket--questions

    I have a 2011 Nickel with problems in the bottom bracket. Specifically, I can wiggle the drive-side crank a bit, and it clicks when I pedal. Also, it doesnít feel smooth.

    Couple of questions...

    How hard is it to replace the bottom bracket? (Iíve done some bike and lots of car maintenance over the years--but never one of these.)

    Do I need any special tools? (I know that to replace the pivot pin in this bike, I had to order a special tool from Santa Cruz...)

    Should I just replace the entire bottom bracket unit? (Iíve read online about people who replace/regrease just the bearings, but I canít tell if thatís possible with this model or if itís worth the trouble.)

    The manual says only ď73mm.Ē Is there anything else I need to know to order a replacement BB online?

    How often do BBs fail? (Iím considering having an LBS do this, but if the BB is something that needs to be replaced regularly, maybe I should learn to do it myself.)

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sooner518's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Its super easy if you have the right tool. What BB do you have?

    I have a SRAM GXP with Truvativ Noir cranks. To remove the BB, just use a large Allen wrench (I think 8mm) to remove the bolt holding the non-drive side crank arm to the spindle. Once you get that arm off, just slide the drive side + cranks + spindle straight out of the frame.

    Then use a Bottom Bracket tool ( I use this one : Park Tool Co. Ľ BBT-9 : Bottom Bracket Tool : Bottom Bracket) and unscrew each end of the bottom bracket. Be warned that when youre looking at the BB, one side turns clockwise, while the other turns counter clockwise. I always remind myself that they both spin over the top, to the front of the bike.

    If you feel around the bearings, and they feel crunchy, might as well just buy a new BB. its easier and probably not much more expensive than trying to replace just the bearings, which would require a tool to remove/press in new bearings. I have cleaned out/regreased my bearings and its not terribly difficult. just depends on how crunchy yours feel. sounds like you might just want to buy another one.

    Heres a good video about removing your crank-arms (AOL On - How to Install and Overhaul a Truvativ GXP ). Assuming you have a GXP style BB
    Heres a decent video for installing the actual BB: FLO Cycling - Installing the Bottom Bracket (GXP Type) - YouTube

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Thanks for that. Very helpful!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    The one that's on the bike is a Shimano SM-BB51. If that's a decent model, I can replace it with the same thing.

    Is the SM-BB70 a worthy upgrade? It's only $15 more on Amazon.


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