BB ballbearing retainers shat themselves

so, my bottom bracket has had too much play. i think to myself, i think “i may as well take this thing apart, give it a clean, and have all spankingly nice and smooth.”

i take out the non-dive side cup and and the bearing retainer cage has been broken into 3 or 4 bits, same with the fixed side.

how the fuck dioes this happen? it’s not as if i was using acid in lieu of grease.

after the clean i just put the bearings back in sans-cage (bit of fucking about, but it spins that little bit more smoothly and i reckon i’ve saved 2-3grams in weight).

but yea, anyone else experienced anything similar to this?

I think bearing retainers are generally a bunch of crap.

Plenty of bike people who should know what they’re talking about think that retainers serve no useful purpose. I think it’s like the continuing debate about greasing square taper spindles.

You might want to check and see if you can fit one more ball bearing in to take up the space of the missing retainer.

not uncommon, the retainer fails first due to wear. it was only there in the first place to speed up assembly, no other function that i know of. usually you need to add 1/2 balls when the retainer is left out, best all new balls. cups OK?

This used to happen to me all the time back in the BMX days. It was so bad one time that it looked like a grenade had gone of in the BB shell :oops: Got sick of it after a while and started buying another cage set and pulling all the balls out of the cages and using them loose style.
I reckon the only advantage of using the cages is you can fill them with grease and it’ll hold it to some degree, rather than have the loose balls push the grease away when it wants.

Cages vs. Loose vs. Cartridge = Personal choice.

yea. like i said, it was a bit of fucking about getting them them to stay put without the retainer. but it’s all ok. i think the number of bearings looks about ok without the retainer, too.

it was just strange how the retainers were totally destroyed.

i would always pop the bearings out of the retainer which should give you provision to add an extra ball bearing… makes sense to have an extra ball (no jokes please).

Sheldon reckoned you are better off getting a baggy of loose bearings from the same manufacturing lot so they are the same size.

just get a fucking sealed BB, dickbag.

This. Unless its a fancybike.

What are you using for lube? In my experience, grease should be thick enough to make em stick while you get the others in.

“Pearl catchers” are bloody useful for BBs as well. Available from any electronics store.

yea, grease held them in place pretty well. it probably only took an extra 2 minutes.