Are complete bikes usu shipped w/ dry BBs?

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3/30/2017 9:45 PM

I picked up a 2017 GT Brian Kachinsky Signature a few weeks ago and after less than a week I noticed a clicking noise while pedaling which, after checking pedals and chain, I determined to be the sealed MID BB. I pulled it apart and found the whole thing dry as a bone; the right-side bearing was practically fused to the bike frame and I had to compromise it to get it out. Anticipating the worst, I had a Shadow Conspiracy Stacked BB ready to go and swapped it in, using plenty of lube as per the youtube vids which solved the issue.

I realize that GT is a name from the past and barely rates a glance these days, but I've heard of other people buying better brands of bikes and having similar BB issues from the start. I'm wondering if all the bike companies manufacture the bikes without lubing the BB to save time and money?

Thanks

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3/30/2017 10:04 PM

Honestly, you most likely didn't need to replace the BB. It was probably just in need of some grease on the spindle & splines, pedal threads too probably. Sealed BBs don't need to be covered in grease, just a lick of grease where metal comes in contact with other metal like the spindle.

It's not just GT though, a lot of stock bikes have this problem. They're partially assembled in a factory where the people don't grease shit, like you said to probably save time & money. Then they're sent to shops/mail orders. Mail orders don't go over the bikes cause they don't assemble them. Shops do but a lot of shops won't either. Working at a shop that actually does go over the bikes as they're assembled, I can tell you nearly all the bikes from nearly every company needed grease in areas like that

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3/30/2017 10:18 PM

sundaybmxRR wrote:

Honestly, you most likely didn't need to replace the BB. It was probably just in need of some grease on the spindle & ...more

Before I tore the BB down I greased the pedal threads but that didn't fix it. I figured that while the thing was all apart and since I had the new BB sitting in a box, I'd just replace it, rather than lube up the old stuff, reassemble and hope, but possibly have to take it apart again.

My GT dealer has a pretty bad reputation around town and my area is mostly beach cruisers, road bikes and mtb, so I doubt they move a dozen bmx's annually. I brought it home and went to adjust my handlebars a bit and 2 of the clamping bolts weren't even tight; I put my allen on them and they moved freely. I could have put it together better (and next time I will). So they definitely didn't go above and beyond as far as going over the bike before delivering it to me.

Thanks for the reply.

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3/30/2017 10:32 PM

When you say the whole thing was 'dry as a bone', do you mean the BB shell or were the bearings running dry?
In my experience, you'll push most of whatever lubricant you use out of the way when the bearing goes in. I'm pretty sure BBs on completes are put in on an arbor press or something similar, not with hand tools so using a lubricant wouldn't yield much, if any benefit. They're supposed to be a tight press-fit anyways, it stops them from 'walking'. Over time, it'll loosen off a little. On older frames, especially ones that have had numerous cranksets bent/broken on them, you can quite often push a bearing in with your bare hand and no grease/oil.

What do you mean by 'compromise it'?
What did you use to remove the bearings? I normally use a socket extender or a small coal chisel(you've to be very careful with that one though).

I've never had a BMX BB make any noise except for when the bearings were completely shot or when I bent a spindle and twisted euro bearings in their cups. I have always put BBs in with some kind of lubricant though. Other people I ride with don't bother and I've never heard anything from their bikes or heard any complaints from them.

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3/30/2017 10:50 PM

p1p1092 wrote:

When you say the whole thing was 'dry as a bone', do you mean the BB shell or were the bearings running dry?
In my experience, ...more

The bearings themselves seemed fine, but there wasn't any lube in the shell.

I had every intention of removing the original BB carefully so I could inspect them and not have to figure in any damage I may have caused myself. I started with a hammer and a piece of wood, that wouldn't do it; I moved on to a rubber mallet and a socket extender, which worked on the non-drive side, but the drive side was in so tight that I had to bring out an impact socket I had left over from my days working at a car dealership, adjust the bike frame in my park stand so the BB shell was perpendicular to the floor, place the impact socket inside the shell (covering as much surface area of the bearing as possible) and pound the hell out of it. After all that, I didn't trust the original bearings, regardless of whether or not they were the culprit. The replacement BB was inexpensive enough.

In hindsight, I probably could have gotten away with pulling the cranks out and lubing up the spindle, and putting some lube between the sealed bearings and the protective covers. Maybe the noise was the spindle clicking against the spacer that sits between the 2 bearings inside the shell. Maybe they would have worn it if I'm been a bit more patient and given it some time. Oh well.

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3/30/2017 11:32 PM

s197richie wrote:

Before I tore the BB down I greased the pedal threads but that didn't fix it. I figured that while the thing was all apart and ...more

Typically it's the splines, I looked the bike up and it's a 48 spline crank right? Usually it's the 8 spline cranks that are notorious for creaking after a couple weeks of riding it, but it can definitely still happen with 48 splines. But true good call, may as well replace it while it's out & rule that out completely


That's so shitty though, I hate shops like that. At least you know what you're doing and seem to be picking up on the maintenance pretty quickly

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