Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Topic started by: rogerzilla on July 27, 2020, 05:39:17 pm

Title: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: rogerzilla on July 27, 2020, 05:39:17 pm
I've bought an old Eddy Merckx frame and, despite being Belgian, they all have Italian BB shells.  Do you simply install the RH cup bastard tight and/or use threadlock?  It'll be a conventional Shimano 7400 or 6400 BB.  I have a big fixed cup spanner.
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on July 27, 2020, 05:44:30 pm
Italian driveside BB cups are fine if the frame is faced, the cup done up bastard tight and weak threadlock is used. Miss one of the three and it will probably stay in place. Miss two and it won’t.

Ugo De Rosa helped Merckx set up his factory and I guess Italian BBs stuck around. https://www.marchettispa.com/ were the biggest manufacturer of production framebuilding equipment but might not be now.
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: rogerzilla on July 27, 2020, 05:55:27 pm
I have a facing set so I'll do all three.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: rogerzilla on August 20, 2020, 09:02:07 pm
After a few full-bore climbs, it hasn't moved.  I think it's ok.

Also, the rear wheel hasn't pulled over despite EM clinging to horizontal chromed dropouts years longer than everyone else (I'd forgotten how much easier it is to get the wheel out without the acorn nut fouling on the rear mech pivot, which it so often does with vertical dropouts).  I do have proper Shimano 600 internal-cam skewers.
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on August 20, 2020, 09:13:10 pm
Nice!
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: Giropaul on August 20, 2020, 09:25:17 pm
I've bought an old Eddy Merckx frame and, despite being Belgian, they all have Italian BB shells.  Do you simply install the RH cup bastard tight and/or use threadlock?  It'll be a conventional Shimano 7400 or 6400 BB.  I have a big fixed cup spanner.

How old? There are good archives - see Eddy Merckx steel Facebook site. Originally some frames were built by Kessels - Falcon sold a few in the UK whilst they had a licence to use the Merckx name on some much less than ordinary bikes.
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: rogerzilla on August 21, 2020, 06:08:43 am
It's a 1995 Strada OS, made from (as the name suggests) oversize Columbus Brain tubing.  Not the top model; I think that was the Corsa Extra - but it is the stiffest.  It's a proper one made in the EM factory in Belgium, when Eddy was still the MD.
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: Giropaul on August 21, 2020, 08:47:20 am
It's a 1995 Strada OS, made from (as the name suggests) oversize Columbus Brain tubing.  Not the top model; I think that was the Corsa Extra - but it is the stiffest.  It's a proper one made in the EM factory in Belgium, when Eddy was still the MD.
I don’t think that there was any real “ ranking” of frames - it was horses for courses. The one thing that always stands out is the handling. I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Title: Re: Italian bottom brackets - how bad are they?
Post by: rogerzilla on September 27, 2020, 09:04:16 pm
Well, after a couple of hundred miles it's a keeper and worth a respray - it's more retouching than original paint, but the chrome is good.

I removed the fixed cup when I stripped it down.  That would NEVER have worked loose on the road.  It was hard going getting it out! My fixed cup spanner has never failed, except on a Raleigh BB which doesn't have the flats for one.