EBB MAINTENANCE FOR BEGINNERS

3047875385_7c731d09e8_zSo, it’s that time of year a lot of people are thinking about going singlespeed for winter, or (gasp) just doing some periodic bike maintenance. Here are a few notes on maintaining the EBB’s fitted to many Singular frames, preferably as a preventative measure, but also to resolve creaks and stuck EBB inserts.

First remove the left crankarm.

If HT2 (or similar external cup bb) you will need to remove one of the cups to get the EBB insert out. If square taper you can leave the bb in and drive side crank on. Though if you have an un-diagnosed creak it’s best to just take everything apart once, clean it all, grease it and reassemble. You’re beginning on a potentially long and frustrating journey of creak discovery which could be any number of metal on metal interfaces on your bike – so you may as well eliminate as many as you can in one go.

Loosen the two set screws/bolts in the bottom of the BB shell. When everything is new the whole assembly will just slide right out, but where dirt/water/grime is involved some binding can happen and the ebb can seize* in the shell. Put an allen key in the ebb (large 6mm) and move back and fork until it frees up. You should be able to just pull it straight out, though sometimes you need a few taps with a rubber mallet.

Some ebb’s don’t have an allen bolt shaped hole in them. In this case use a bb tool on your left hand bb cup to exert torque on the ebb insert. Or alternatively put an allen key in the hole and use the crank arm as a lever against it.

Once it’s out, clean everything, inspect the ebb shell for rust, coat everything (inside shell and ebb insert) in heavy grease and re-assemble. Torque the ebb bolts to 5-6nm (not very tight – about stem bolt tightness), torque the bb shell and crank arm bolts to manufacturer’s spec (good and tight) and you are good to go. Periodically check the ebb to ensure it’s not getting sticky and clean and grease as necessary – a little bit of love goes a long way.

*Note on complete seizing. If your ebb really seems stuck, first use a penetrating lubricant (Plus Gas is best, WD-40 is OK, GT-85 in a pinch) where the insert meets the shell on both sides. If it’s really seized in there you can remove the set screws completely and squirt some lube inside the shell and also down the seat tube. Ideally leave for a day to allow to penetrate. Then follow the steps above to gradually work it back and forth easing it out. If it’s really stuck then remove the entire crankset and BB. Lie the frame on a flat, solid surface ensuring the frame is well supported by blocks of wood to prevent damage and the ebb shell is off the surface of the bench. Use a large block of wood (1.5″ square is ideal) as a drift against the ebb insert and tap it out the other side. Again, take it steady, keep rotating the EBB and keep applying lube as you go.

Wet, muddy and especially salty conditions are more likely to result in seized ebb’s. In such an environment care should be taken to 1. prevent the bike sitting for extended periods of time wet, dirty and salty, and 2. regularly back off the ebb bolts and rotate the ebb to ensure it’s moving. If you live in a REALLY wet environment and have experienced problems with excessive oxidisation in the bb shell it is possible to drill a hole (dia. 5-6mm) in the bottom of the shell to allow water to drain and excessive moisture to evaporate. Regular checking and lubrication of the BB insert helps significantly.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 19th, 2016 at 8:42 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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