On removing a stubborn square tapered bottom bracket

·Clayton Craft

I recently acquired enough quality parts to upgrade my road bike's drivetrain from 9 speed to 10 speed. It couldn't have come at a better time too, my old bottom bracket was starting to get that hallmark 'coffee grinder' sound to it.

Of course the old bottom bracket was more difficult to remove than every online tutorial would have you believe. The hosts of these videos must be some of the strongest people alive, or they're working with some perfect setup where the bottom bracket was installed minutes before and has never been used. You know what I am talking about.

In the real world, bottom brackets are a pain in the ass to remove. The area that the bottom bracket tool has to grip the bottom bracket is often shallow, and tool slippage is a real challenge. It can do things like damage threads in the frame (or so I've heard, I've luckily never accomplished this), and cause you to accidentally grind your knuckles on things (I wish I were going off of rumors on that one.)

I figured out a neat trick with my particular bottom bracket tool to remove the old square tapered bottom bracket using no extra parts, except for a washer added for good measure. Here are all the parts you need:

The bolt is the dust cover bolt from the cranks, that screws directly into the threads at the end of the square taper. The bolt is long enough to reach the threads with enough room to spare, even when inserted into the tool. I added a washer because the diameter of the bolt head is just barely larger than the tool opening, and I didn't want it to pop off unexpectedly when I was giving it my all. If the bolt isn't long enough, find one that is with the same threading as the original bolt!

Don't get too crazy tightening the bolt, I just used my hand to tighten it. The goal is to have the tool held tight to the bottom bracket. With the tool securely fastened to the bottom bracket, it's time to get to wrenchin':

After cleaning off the threads in the frame, it is now ready to accept a new bottom bracket!