Raleigh Chopper
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This assembly is called the ‘Bottom Bracket’, well, it is at the bottom, but it’s hardly a bracket…more a threaded tube. Bottom threaded tube doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Lets get started, you start on the left side of the frame, opposite side to the chain.
Looking closely at the assembly, you will notice a thin threaded ring that goes around the centre piece. This ring is removed by tapping it anti clockwise. You will find it isn’t that tight, but will need knocking around .You can of course use the proper bike shop spanner, which is a “C” shaped affair that locates in the lugs around the ring.
As you haven’t got one, a blunt screwdriver will probably be at hand, place it against the edge of one of the cut out lugs in the lock ring and tap lightly with a hammer.
In the photo, we have used a punch. Notice you tap it to the left, or anti-clockwise, as this part has normal thread.
In the second picture you can see the lock ring is removed, and we are attempting to remove the bearing carrier. This part is screwed into the frame. It is the same thread as the lock ring, so turn it anti-clockwise. It will be tight in the frame. Do not be tempted to use pliers or mole grips around the exposed thread of the bearing carrier, as we don’t want to damage the thread, or we'll never get the lock ring back on!
You will see a flat-ish raised bar across the front edge of the bearing carrier.
In the picture we have an adjustable spanner and an appropriate sized open ended spanner on either side of the raised bar. Using gentle progressive force, start to turn it to the left. It will be difficult, but should come out eventually.
When you eventually screw it out…its quite deep, you will find half the bearings come with it. The bearings are still available from Bike shops, so you may want to just throw the old ones away. Next, get hold of the axle that is sticking up towards you and pull it out. If it is for any reason stiff, you may have to tap it with your hammer from the other side. Once the axle shaft is out, everything can be cleaned thoroughly.

If you turn the frame over, so you are looking at the chain side, you will see the other half of the bearing carrier. If the inner face of this looks o.k. and your bearings still had grease on them when they came out, you can leave this side in the frame. This side is very tight, and was fitted at the factory before the frame was painted, so it is acceptable to send it to the paint shop with this side bearing carrier left in. However, make sure it isn’t sandblasted!
If you feel you need to remove it, beware, it has left-handed thread, this means that to remove it, you have to turn it clockwise, i.e. as if you were tightening it up! It comes out with the same method as the other side, the raised bit is just never big enough to get a proper hold of, however.
You can set your adjustable spanner jaws to the correct size, and bolt them securely onto the raised bit by placing a bolt with a large washer inside the carrier, and clamping down the spanner with a large washer and nut on the top….then turn the spanner.
Another method is to hold the raised part in the vise and turn the frame.
It is best only to go to this trouble if you have a replacement new bearing carrier to fit.
To re-assemble you need 22 ball bearings, in _ inch size. You also need some grease.
Car bearing grease or specialist bike shop bearing grease should be used.
Bearings may be slippery little devils when you open the packet, but grease soon slows them down.
Place a finger full of grease inside the bearing carrier in the frame, then assemble 11 of your new bearings around the hole..the grease will hold them for now. Drop the axle back in, long side down to the chain side.
Grease the first bearing carrier and fit the other 11 bearings, then gently lower it over the axle and screw it into the frame. The grease should hopefully defy gravity for you, and hold all the bearings in place.
Tighten the bearing carrier on the left side BY HAND ONLY.
Tighten it until you can no longer spin the axle, then back it off until the axle spins freely. This position is maintained by the lock ring, so refit the lock ring and tighten it up by gently tapping it again, clockwise this time. All the time, keep spinning the axle, it should remain free to turn at all times.