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Old 09-17-2015, 04:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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School me: bottom brackets and cranksets

I have been out of the scene for a while as I have gotten fat and old. I am looking to start riding again and am refreshing my old GT Pantera I bought in 1992. When I got the bike I was working in a bike shop during college and I upgraded a ton of parts (everything except the seat post and frame). The bike is still in good shape except for the bottom bracket and crankset. In looking around, all the current stuff is much different than 20 years ago and I am unsure what to do since I forgot so much about wrenching on bikes.

It came with a cartridge BB, but I replaced it with a two piece Tioga integrated crank/BB (one of the first integrated set ups), which is pretty beat up and I would like to replace it, but I am just not sure with what. I thought I would go back to the OE BB style, but can I install any of the newer integrated stuff into an old frame? Am I better off just staying with what was orinally on it?
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It should have a regular threaded bottom bracket so you will have lots of option in that regard. That bike is probably 7 or 8 speed? Modern crank desgined for narrower 9/10/11 speed chains will shift sloppy. I would lean towards buying a cheap 7/8 speed crank and square taper BB, which is probably what that bike came stock with anyway. You'll need to measure your bottom bracket shell width and order the right one, it will be either 68 or 73mm.

Example of what I'd buy:
Shimano Altus 7/8SPD Square Crankset > Components > Drivetrain, Brakes and Pedals > Cranksets | Jenson USA
Shimano UN-26 Bottom Bracket > Components > Drivetrain, Brakes and Pedals > Bottom Brackets | Jenson USA
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is 73mm. I was able to dig out the old BB (but not the cranks).

Thanks for the help!!
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You'd be fine using a 9 speed crankset, the 10-11 stuff wouldnt work all that great and the the 7-8 speed stuff is junk now. I would aim for a Shimano Alivio or Deore with at least Octalink. I would stay away from the square taper if you actually want to ride at all, it will loosen up rather quickly. Also TruVativ should still offer an entry level crank/BBor reasonable $$.

The other thing you need to keep in mind is your BB spindle length, the older frames like yours require a longer spindle to keep the little chainring off of your chainstay so youll probably be looking in the 122.5-127mm range. Also used parts are fine as cranks arent exaclty a wear item and chainrings last a good long time, i would plan on a new BB though. I was a bike mechanic for 9 years and did this stuff all the time for customers. I need to do this same thing for my ProFlex hanging in the garage
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just get an XT Bottom bracket. A new BB will be like $35. I don't run expensive BBs because I replace them yearly.

F cartridge type BBs. They're a pain in the ass.

Just make sure you read the directions on the BB to put in the spacers for the right place. IIRC, if you have a 73mm shell I don't think you use any of the spacers but it'll be in the directions.
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