is this bad?

Create New Tag

1/20/2015 11:26 PM

is it bad to run your bb and cranks without the bb spacer? im currently running my bike without it right now because it doesnt fit with my new frame. its loose and it would rattle everytime i ride.


1/21/2015 5:08 AM

I've heard of guys doing it so their cranks wouldn't spin. I imagine it's probably hard on the bearings though if you tighten it


I ride to stay on two wheels and have fun!

1/22/2015 4:50 PM

As long as you dont tighten your cranks down super tight you should be fine. As a general rule, I buy a new BB every year, and I can't imagine you blowing the bearings out of that in a year as long as you dont tighten them down too hard. But, using the bb spacer definitely gets rid of any risk that poses so if you can id definitely run a spacer. Ask your friends, everyone has those laying around one is bound to fit for ya. Cheers


1/22/2015 10:57 PM

BlisterGypsy wrote:

As long as you dont tighten your cranks down super tight you should be fine. As a general rule, I buy a new BB every year, and ...more

>As long as you dont tighten your cranks down super tight you should be fine

Loose cranks lead to worn out spindle splines, which fuck your cranks with a wobble after awhile that doesn't go away even when fully tightened. I personally wouldn't chance doing that unless he has pinch bolts cause then he can get away with it cause the arms can still be tightened to the spindle without risk.

To answer your question, OP, yes.

You NEED that spacer. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a moron.

That spacer prevents the pressure from tightening the cranks from crushing your bearings. If you don't have it, the pressure will keep pressing on the inner bearing races, and will cause premature wear resulting in fucked bearings.

A lot of people counter that with "Oh but my frame has the bearing seats built in so I don't need it!" but they're wrong, those are for the outer bearing races, the internal spacer is for the inner races.

You CAN get away with it for a little by not tightening your cranks as much as normal as stated in the quote above, but that is not recommended at all since that can cause wear on the spindle splines as I said above.

If you have extra crank washers, they will work just fine in adding to the internal spacer. You might have to tap the bearings in and out a few times to get it dialed, but it's well worth it. My BB spacer is the perfect length, and no matter how tight I make my crank bolt, they spin super well, and even though my bearings are creeping up on 2 years old here soon, they feel brand new.


2/5/2015 8:33 AM

Is the spacer too long? or too short?

if its too long just file it down a little till its in. if its too short go to a hardware store and see if you can find a washer to fit.
its okay for the spacer to be the slightest bit short as it will stop your cranks spinning as much but chain tension and your driver helps too. your crank bolts will never be tight without one and you risk fucking your bearings.


2/5/2015 11:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/5/2015 11:19 AM

or just ask your lbs for a longer tube spacer? it'll only cost like a dollar or two.

sundaybmxRR, what? you're just trying to psych out the newer riders. you do not NEED it, its just a good idea to use it. yes, your bearings will wear fast without it. but who cares? a bb is like 35 bucks. they'll last a year without the spacer if youre nice to it, and its not expensive to replace every year. and even without the spacer, they're more reliable than those old loose ball American BB's all riders used in the 90's.

one thing sundaybmxRR was on point about is the spindles and arms should ALWAYS be tight. loose crank arms cause more expensive damage in the future than a simple blown bb


2/8/2015 1:50 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/8/2015 2:43 AM

sundaybmxRR wrote:

>As long as you dont tighten your cranks down super tight you should be fine

Loose cranks lead to worn out spindle ...more

YES! Internal BB spacers are there for a reason, just like the top cap of your forks or cone nuts on your hub, they make your bike run smoothly if installed and maintained properly. Headsets are the perfect example because, generally, they have no internal spacers. You ever tighten down your fork's top cap til your bars/forks didn't turn? That's pressure on the inner races of your bearings. Spacers are there to alleviate and minimize that pressure.
Since most BB bearings are designed with ball bearings, they have little tolerance for lateral pressure. XS came out with a needle bearing design to rectify this years ago and, I swear, they should've been copied more than the pivotal seat...but that's besides the point.
Just to reiterate and clarify the quoted reply....if your internal BB spacer is too short, add some of the external BB/crank/sprocket spacers most companies provide - super fucking easy fix. I do it when needed. Usually you have enough for inside and outside since it's all a matter of a few millimeters. Only drawback is fishing spacers out of your BB when switching shit out.
Only thing I need to add is before throwing everything in and finding out you need one more spacer, just do a mock assembly of your cranks with all the spacers and bearings outside of your BB and check the spacing compared to your bottom bracket. I do it sometimes when I'm drunk and lazy whilst building bikes. Works fantabulous! Measure, line it up with your eyes, be a critical thinker. It's alright if your bearings stick out 1/32" on either side, there's almost no effect to load transfer with the bearings, no one is gonna notice and it's not going to affect your riding or chain alignment enough to fuck up your sick ass, killa style.....blown bearings will do the exact opposite and not get you laid! As I pray to baby Jebus you understand, may Zeus be with you.


Check my bikecheck
Eat shit or die tryin', yo!

2/11/2015 5:51 PM

any one who sais you don't need it is a dumb dumb its purpose is common sense. Its pretty obvious to any one that knows how bearings work, and are used just add spacers to it or cut it down depending on which way it doesn't fit if you run it with out it it will create numerous problems.


3/16/2015 5:40 PM

Just don't tighten it down too much because you don't want to damage the frame or push the bb through