Pre-1982 French and Italian Drive Side Cups
It’s easy to forget which direction bottom brackets cup turn for removal. I thought I’d provide a visual guide, as it’s always the best way to memorise. Before 1982, French bikes had different threads and sizing to other bikes from different countries. By the 1983, all French bikes conformed to the standard ISO threading.
- For a Pre-1982 French bottom bracket drive side cup, turn it anti-clockwise for removal. The cup has a right threading, so it tightens as most threaded objects do, by turning clockwise.
- For a vintage Italian drive side cup, turn anti-clockwise for removal.
Pre-1982 French and Italian Non-Drive Side Cups ( Adjustable )
Non drive side, or the adjustable cup, sometimes needs to be loosened or tightened to prevent rattle or stiffness the bottom bracket:
- For a Pre-1982 French bottom bracket non-drive side cup, turn it anti-clockwise for removal
- For a vintage Italian non-drive side cup, turn anti-clockwise for removal
British or ISO and Vintage Swiss Bottom Bracket Cup Removal – Drive Side
The vast majority of modern bikes will have British ( ISO ) bottom brackets threading, often called “standard” threading. I seems counter-intuitive but the rotation of the pedal causes “precession”, unscrewing of an object in the opposite way to its rotation load. There’s a good article on it here:
- For the vast majority of modern bikes, turn the drive-side cup clockwise for removal
- For vintage Swiss-threaded bikes, turn the drive-side cup clockwise for removal
British or ISO and Vintage Swiss Bottom Bracket Cup Removal – Non-Drive Side
Many modern road bikes do not use conventional cups and a square tapped spindle in their bottom brackets, and instead use sealed and pressed-in bearings ; some modern bottom brackets don’t use cups at all. There are many different designs for today’s road bikes and a plethora of adaptors and tools to go with it.
- For the vast majority of modern bikes, turn the non drive-side cup anti-clockwise for removal
- For vintage Swiss-threaded bikes, turn the non-drive-side cup anti-clockwise for removal