Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

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PanMan
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Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by PanMan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:28 am

Hi!
I got one of the huffy cranbrooks, and (off course) the bottom bracket is in bad shape.

I need to fix it, but I'll have limited/no time before the event (flying in from Europe, the bike is in storage), so will probably have to order parts and do it on playa:

2 options:
* Is there a sealed cartridge bearing replacement that fits the cranbrook bottom bracket? I believe the whole crankset of the cranbrook is 1 piece, so I'd have to replace the crank arms too, then? Has anybody done this? Which cartridge can I buy?
* Or should I take apart the bottom bracket and fix / grease it? How do I do this, and what tools will I need? Is this doable for a bike mechanic newbie?

Which parts should I order?
I'm fairly technical and can bring (hand) tools, but don't have a lot of experience with taking apart bikes (although I bike every day). I'd prefer the option which is the least hassle, as I'll probably have to do this repair on the playa.

Thanks a lot!

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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by asr9754 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:25 am

I've only done a bottom bracket fix/replace once and it was challenging and required special bike tools. I'm handy too and I got it done, but it's not something I would want to do on playa (alone). There are some bike repair campers on here and if you could get some help that would be ideal, maybe you could make them lunch or something as a bribe?

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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:14 pm

You’re making it sound a whole lot more complicated than it is.
You probably just need a set of bearings.
A Huffy “Crankbroke” is about as simple as bikes get.
All you do is unscrew the left pedal and unscrew the big nut on the crank, it’s not rocket surgery.
You need “special tools” like a crescent wrench and a tub of grease.

There are bike repair camps but it’s considered extremely rude and lazy to show up with an already-broken bike and expect them to put it in riding shape for you. That’s absolutely NOT “ideal”.
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Elliot
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Elliot » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:04 pm

:D
Correct! However... since he is coming from Europe, and is now an ePlayan, my camp with grant him an exception.

But NOT EVERYONE!
You better have a European passport to request this service, please. And the secret code word, which is "Pineapple".

PanMan, bring your bike to Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service etc, etc, and we will slap a pair of new bearings in it -- and lots of grease, which the People's Glorious Bicycle Factory Number 38 has not even heard of.

General information....
The Huffy Crankbroke has a one-piece crank (an Ashtabula crank to us bike nuts, after the town in Ohio where they were originally made).

And that Goddamn Captain has it right -- a 15 mm open end wrench for the pedal, and a much larger one for the lock nut. BOTH OF THESE ARE LEFT-HAND THREAD!

Now... other than replacing the disintegrated bearings, there may be additional damage. In which case we deal with it "as needed".

It IS possible to replace the one-piece crank and its bearings with a three-piece crank and a sealed bearing unit. I am experimenting with this now. The cost looks like $40 or more. You buy an adapter kit and install that, then measure how long a sealed bearing unit needs to be and buy that assembly. In addition, you need a pair of crank arms and bolts/nuts, and pedals with 9/16" thread. (Ashtabula cranks use 1/2" pedal thread.)

I will try to report back, once I have time to try this arrangement myself.
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Elliot » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:20 pm

Related information:
A trusted camp-mate with enormous bicycle knowledge informed me that....
The Huffy Crankbroke is engineered to last 100 kilometers on level smooth ground, in good weather, when ridden by an average Chinese lady, with minimal luggage and all other conditions ideal.

And THAT... is after the selling dealer performs a thorough pre-delivery service, clearly including packing grease in the bearings. I have a manual for these bikes in front of me, and they emphasize this pre-delivery servicing.

Now... guess what the no-good-nick at Walmart considers pre-delivery service? Heck, I have seen these bikes come straight from the Reno Walmart with the front fork BACKWARDS. They slap it together just enough that it resembles a bike, and out the door it goes.

In general... if you can find a suitable bike with THREE PIECE CRANK, buy that one, and not a one-piece crank. Somehow, the three-piece bearings are much less prone to failure, even if they are not permanently sealed.
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by motskyroonmatick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:06 pm

You could always bribe us bike repair guys with gifts of Burbon or a 10 pack of bottom bracket bearings. :roll: :D

(Preferably on Sunday when most people don't have their bike unpacked yet.)
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Elliot » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:01 pm

Try a couple CASES of those Crankbroke bearings!
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by BBadger » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:50 pm

My friend and I fixed a crank/bearings on my Cranbrook on playa with some bearing grease, a larger Crescent wrench, and some other wrenches. The casing was in tatters, but the bearing grease held the bearings in place while we made it tight enough to hold them in place. Worked great the rest of the event and actually felt smoother than before. I'll probably replace it again before next time, but it worked.

So yeah, you can do it on playa, and it'll work even better with a cage holding the bearings, but you'll need the wrenches, grease, and the bearings to do it.

Study some vids online. It's a pretty simple bike to repair.
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by PanMan » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:30 am

Thanks for all the replies, and Eliot thanks for the kind offer!
What bearings should I buy? I wouldn't mind getting the 10 pack, but would want to get the right size :).
I went over the Huffy Cranbrook manual, and couldn't find the size.

And does anybody know what size sealed cartridge would fit? That seems to be a bit more expensive, but easier solution?

@Captain: I'm certainly not planning on just showing up with a broken bike and expecting someone else to fix it, I'm figuring out how to best prepare (supplies and skills) to fix it and be self reliant. If the bike was at home I'd taken it apart by now, but since the storage is about 9000 km from here, I'll have to do what I can from here.

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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by motskyroonmatick » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:48 pm

This is an example of the bearings you need. I am in no way associated with this seller but I did buy these bearings and they worked. https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-Bicycle-Cr ... 237c36fade
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Canoe » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:18 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:48 pm
This is an example of the bearings you need. I am in no way associated with this seller but I did buy these bearings and they worked. https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-Bicycle-Cr ... 237c36fade
$12.97 USD for a 10-pack of bearings!
Are you crazy!
That's almost worth as much as the bike.
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by motskyroonmatick » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:39 pm

Canoe wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:18 pm
motskyroonmatick wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:48 pm
This is an example of the bearings you need. I am in no way associated with this seller but I did buy these bearings and they worked. https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-Bicycle-Cr ... 237c36fade
$12.97 USD for a 10-pack of bearings!
Are you crazy!
That's almost worth as much as the bike.
Maintanance is so expensive!!!!! :lol:
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Canoe » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:07 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:39 pm
Maintanance is so expensive!!!!! :lol:
We won't discuss grease alternatives.

Curious. I wonder if the overseas factory gets over or under $20 USD per bike.
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Elliot » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:18 pm

Here is another eBay box of ten bearings (5 bikes).

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sunlite-Bearin ... 23a1472383

These are called #66 bearings.
#64 will also work, but are technically only for vintage Schwinn and a few other relics.
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Krokodyle » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:35 am

Elliot wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:18 pm
Here is another eBay box of ten bearings (5 bikes).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sunlite-Bearin ... 23a1472383
These are called #66 bearings. #64 will also work, but are technically only for vintage Schwinn and a few other relics.
Thanks for the bearing number, Elliot!

I'm pretty handy with tools, but will this bearing replacement job on a Cranbrook require that specific bicycle crankshaft tool or can I get away with my normal wrench assortment?

Thanks!
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Elliot » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:19 am

You are probably thinking of a "crank arm puller". This tool is used on three-piece cranks only.
On a one-piece crank, you need a 15 mm open end wrench for the left pedal, and with some pedals this needs to be a fairly thin wrench -- not an adjustable one -- but also a strong one.
You can of course buy a "pedal wrench" specifically for this purpose.
Remember that this pedal has left-hand threads.

Loosen the chain by loosening the rear wheel axle nuts with a 15 mm box wrench or socket -- though open end may get the job done.

Back to the crank....Then you need a larger wrench for the lock nut -- probably 32 mm, though they can be slightly smaller or larger. A big honking adjustable wrench works fine here.
Again... left-hand thread.

Next, remove the washer. It has a tab that fits in the keyway on the crank, to keep it from rotating, but has often rotated a little bit because of the poor quality, so it may be slightly stuck.

Then unscrew the bearing cone, either by hand or with a simple "poking tool" such as a broken screwdriver to push on the groove in the cone. Still left-hand, yes.

The crank can now be wiggled out of the frame -- after making sure both bearings are out of the way. And the chain guard, of course, which takes a #2 phillips screwdriver.

After reassembly... with plenty grease (I use white lithium grease)....

When you adjust the chain tension, turn the crank and wheel around a number of turns and feel the chain tension with your other hand. Touch only the outside of the chain, so you do not risk getting a finger caught in the sprocket. The tension will vary! Poor quality parts.
Set the tension at the tightest spot -- just before the tension would cause it to bind up and restrict movement.
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Re: Fixing/replacing Bottom bracket on huffy Cranbrook bike?

Post by Krokodyle » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:32 am

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You're a rock star, Elliot! Thanks for the great info!
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