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Replace Campy Centaur BB with ? Stronglight?(14 posts)

Replace Campy Centaur BB with ? Stronglight?charlieboy
Oct 27, 2003 7:02 AM
Realised that my Campy Centaur bottom bracket (AC-H English 68mm with spindle 111mm) is going... click click click when standing on the cranks. As this is less than 1 year and 2500 miles old, I have come to the painful conclusion that this particular Campy product is a piece of do-do, at least for me (170 pounder).

Two questions for RBRs...

1 is this a normal life for a centaur bb, and should it just be regarded as a consumable item to be replaced as and when? I know they are cheap.

2 anyone got a suggestion for a replacement excluding Phil Wood, which I cannot afford? I was looking at a Stronglight JPSBB as a possible choice.

You probably just got a bad one.Leroy
Oct 27, 2003 7:32 AM
If you cannot afford a Phil [isn't steel < $100?] just try another ac-h. $20.00 every 2500 miles ain't so bad. How is stronglite any better - probably doesn't fit anyway.
Centaur BBlyleseven
Oct 27, 2003 8:44 AM
Go with Chorus and avoid Centaur. No problems with Chorus. Campy does claim that the 2004 Centaur BB is better.
ChorusRusty Coggs
Oct 27, 2003 9:14 AM
Except that the spindle length is wrong for the centaur crank.
At least it's cheap do-do in bucks.......nmRusty Coggs
Oct 27, 2003 9:16 AM
Are you sure the BB is tight?Triphop
Oct 27, 2003 9:48 AM
Less than a year old and its worn out? That doesn't sound right...are you sure it just doesn't need to be tightened? Get the tool, remove the BB, clean and grease the BB and the frame BB threads, reinstall, tighten to spec, and see if it clicks anymore.
Does it click once each rotation in the same spot?bimini
Oct 27, 2003 10:06 AM
If so it may just be loose. If it happens multiple times or randomly through the rotation then it could be the BB. Does the bearing feel rough when turning the hub by hand (bad bearings)? If it's not loose you may have got a bad one or the bearings got contaminated by water. It is common for water to get inside of the tubes of your bike and collect down around the BB and then get inside the BB bearings. Any steel bearing will rust when it gets wet inside. Most bearing failures are due to contamination, not manufacturing defect or poor quality.

The Centaur is a non-adjustable, non-repairable BB so if it's shot you have to replace it but they are inexpensive.

Make sure your replacement is compatible. You must use Chorus or Record Cranks with Chorus or Record BB the length of the BB shaft is differnt. All the lower grade double campy cranks will work with the 111 AC-H. Campy also has an even less expensive SC-S which has steel hubs and a solid shaft. Same bearings inside but a steel housing and solid shaft weighs a little more but the hubs and shaft are stronger. I've seen the SC-S advertised for $15!

The big difference between the AC-H and the high end BB is it weighs a little more and it is not rebuildable or adjustable (which means you don't have to worry about adjusting it wrong and ruining a set of races and balls)
Chorus won't work, maybe FSA..C-40
Oct 27, 2003 10:41 AM
Just because something is clcking doesn't mean the BB is shot. The sound may not even be the BB. Could be the crank/spindle interface or even your pedals. Take the cranks off and see if thhe spindle turns easily with the fingers, if it feels rough, the bearings may indeed be shot. If it feels OK, take the BB out, clean and grease the threads and reinstall.

Whether 2500 miles is an acceptable life depends on the riding conditions. If you ride in the rain, don't expect long BB life. Also, it's only a $20 BB. You can't expect the same life as those that cost several times more.

As others noted, the Chorus BB has the wrong spindle length (only 102mm).

FSA makes the Ultimax Carbon/Ti model with an ISO taper spindle in 110.5mm length, which should be plenty close enough to the 111mm length. Can't tell you where to get one though.

See it at
actually chorus triple works, it's a 111mm.PeterRider
Oct 30, 2003 7:46 PM
... although compared to the AC-H, one is asymmetrical and the other symmetrical, so in theory there should be a bad chainline alignment. I did by mistake use chorus bb with centaur cranks, and it works perfectly fine.

I got the bb around 50$ at

Did you clean, grease, and re-torque?Kerry Irons
Oct 27, 2003 6:37 PM
Odds are there is nothing wrong with the BB. If it turns smoothly, then the BB is not likely failing. BB clicking is a common problem that is fixed by removing the unit, cleaning the frame and BB threads, greasing everything well, and tightening to the proper torque (with a torque wrench). Only if this does not fix the problem can you conclude that the BB is in trouble. And even then, be sure it is not something else (like pedals, cleats, bars, stem, hubs, spokes, cassette, quick releases, etc.).
Try another one...BenR
Oct 27, 2003 6:42 PM
My LBS says that the cheaper campy bb's such as yours are heavy but seem to be lasting a long time. The Chorus & Record bb's on the other hand, seem to have premature wear issues. I had one that died in 6,000 miles (not what I would expect from a $60 bb) and another that is having issues at 2,000 miles. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a Phil Wood since I'll be breaking even even if it only lasts twice as long. I don't have any experience with or rumors about Stronglight. Chorus/Record bb's are 102 mm while Centaur, Veloce, and Mirage cranks require something like a 111 spindle, so they aren't even close to compatible.

Before you go buying anything new, make sure it is actually the bottom bracket. In the past, I've been convinced that a noise or clunking felt like a bb when it was actually something else such as rear hub, cracked frame, or seatpost that needed a greasing. I'm not familiar with Centaur and Veloce bb's, but they might be adjustable as well.
fir example-Leroy
Oct 29, 2003 10:50 AM
one sound I cured that sounds like your description turned out to be a sliding part in my shoe, for gosh sakes!
Thanks everyone for the sound advice nmcharlieboy
Oct 28, 2003 12:25 AM
Probably loose.macalu
Oct 30, 2003 7:45 AM
The click means its loose not shot. I've had that problem with the Centaur/Veloce that uses the goofy starlike installation tool. Its tough to get it tight enough. Take it out, clean, grease it good, put it back in and tork it good with a piece of pipe entending the torque of the installation tool. You should be OK.