Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: djork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,568

    clunky cranks and grainy threaded headset

    I just got a free bike from a coworker. It's a mid '90s Raleigh M-50 Mountain Trail with decnt parts. I'm going to make it into an SS. Earlier I was testing it out. First thing I noticed was a clunky sound/feel when I picked up the bike and set it down. At first I thought it was the wheels, but I believe it's the Shimano Alivio cranks. It has some lateral play. When I ppush or pull one of the crank arms, I can see the BB/shaft move about a mm side to side. I don't know how long it was ridden that way, but any damage to BB or the frame? The crankset has a "bolt recepticle" where you can fit something like a big allen wrench on each arm. Is this how I remove or tighten the cranks? I will need to remove the cranks so I can remove the granny gear.

    About the threaded headset. When I lift the front and turn it side to side, there is a grainy sound/feel to the headset. Does this mean a new headset? I really want this project to be LOW BUDGET. The brake/shifter combo plus the cantilever brakes and derailleurs will be removed. I will install V-brakes and a rear SS cog kit.

    The bikes in pretty good shape but these two things worry me.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    6,736
    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    I just got a free bike from a coworker. It's a mid '90s Raleigh M-50 Mountain Trail with decnt parts. I'm going to make it into an SS. Earlier I was testing it out. First thing I noticed was a clunky sound/feel when I picked up the bike and set it down. At first I thought it was the wheels, but I believe it's the Shimano Alivio cranks. It has some lateral play. When I ppush or pull one of the crank arms, I can see the BB/shaft move about a mm side to side. I don't know how long it was ridden that way, but any damage to BB or the frame? The crankset has a "bolt recepticle" where you can fit something like a big allen wrench on each arm. Is this how I remove or tighten the cranks? I will need to remove the cranks so I can remove the granny gear.

    About the threaded headset. When I lift the front and turn it side to side, there is a grainy sound/feel to the headset. Does this mean a new headset? I really want this project to be LOW BUDGET. The brake/shifter combo plus the cantilever brakes and derailleurs will be removed. I will install V-brakes and a rear SS cog kit.

    The bikes in pretty good shape but these two things worry me.
    Yes you'll need an 8mm allen wrench to remove the crank bolts, but you will also need a crank arm puller. The crank arms are a press fit onto the bb spindles and are VERY tight, the don't just simply slide off. You'll need something like the Park CCP-22 or similar. You'll also need to replace the bottom bracket is it's the spindle that is moving, most likely the bearings are shot. They are not serviceable or adjustable, so you simply replace the whole bottom bracket cartridge with the same size both in shell width and spindle length. Have the cranks inspected to make sure the spindle interface isn't damaged and you should be good to go. That's the beauty of the cartridge bb system, worn out bearings did nothing to damage the frame. You will need specific tools to remove and install the bottom bracket as well, a Park BBT-19 or similar tool is required. There is one thing you should know however. From 1993 to I think 1995 the M50 had a cup and cone type bottom bracket. The cups threaded into the frame, and the spindle was supported on replaceable caged ball bearings, and adjustable cones where threaded into the cups to hold the bearings in place. This system was easily replace with a cartridge style bb. But it required different tools for installation and removal. A very different system than the cartridge type bb. So knowing the exact year of the bike, or exactly what the bb and crank system look like would help.

    As for the headset. It may need replacing it may not. Traditional threaded headsets use a cup and race system similar to cup and cone hubs. The bearings are replaceable and relatively inexpensive. It may be a simple matter of servicing the head set, i.e. pulling it apart, cleaning and repacking with grease. However if the bearings are damaged/worn out you'll need to replace them as well. If it has gone further than that, as in pitted or otherwise damaged the headset cups and/or races, then the head set will have to be replaced. Threaded headsets are not that expensive, $35 or so for a good one. But it does require specific tools to remove and install the headset cups.

    If any of the above is beyond your skills and abilities I would suggest getting the bike into a shop and have them do it. Shouldn't be too terribly expensive. But if you muck it up, it could get spendy realy quick. Bottom line is, the bike should be evaluated to see just exactly what needs to be done to get it back into a safe rideable condition. That's the problem with older neglected bikes, they may look to be in good shape frame wise, but it's the other stuff that may not the "Low Budget" angle into a cocked hat. Good luck!

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: djork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,568
    Thanks for the info, squash! Learnedn that my bike is a '96 model from Bikepedia. I just checked my bike again.

    About the headset noise. I think it was coming from the three cable housings (1 brake, 2 gears) that "thread through three housing holders welded to the top tube closest to the headtube. I think they were the ones causing the grainy noise when I turned. I'm in the process of removing the gear and brake parts. With the cables removed from the holders, I don't hear the noise.

    About the crankset. The cheap plastic pedals are rocking on their spindle, so they are making some noises that sound like something is loose. But I believe the crankset is also making some noise too. There is a mm of play in the spindle when I push/pull one of the crankarms. Hard to tell, but the movement appears to be in/out and not up/down. Bad BB or something just needs to be tightened?

  4. #4
    Former Bike Wrench
    Reputation: mtnbiker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,985
    BB is a cartridge bearing model...just pull it and replace with a Shimano UN54 ($20) and you won't have any problems.

    BTW-I worked on and sold those Raleigh M-50 bikes back in 1996...those are some super tank frames, oversized strait gauge cromoly!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    6,736
    Yeah should be a cartridge bb. I'm with mtnbiker72, just pull the pedals and the bb and replace both.

    Oh, and I'd still recommend servicing the headset. I'm sure the bike has been sitting for a spell, the grease is likely a bit on the sticky and gummed up side. It won't hurt anything.

    Sounds like you've pretty much got it sorted out though.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

Similar Threads

  1. How do I measure threaded headset?
    By mrjustin007 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-13-2008, 09:47 PM
  2. Threaded headset question 2
    By mtbmike247 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-11-2008, 06:35 PM
  3. Threaded Headset question
    By mtbmike247 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-07-2008, 10:15 AM
  4. Threaded headset
    By Atomic300 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-09-2007, 11:00 PM
  5. 1 1/4" threaded headset
    By BikeLust in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-09-2004, 06:33 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •