I have a particular method of building a bike; always have, always will. The 2 things you need to get in first are bottom bracket and headset. You wouldn’t believe the problems sourcing a headset but that’s a story for another post.

So, required, 1 Super Record bottom bracket with a British thread. To go with the bracket, a nice Campagnolo dust guard. I toyed initially with a Super Record titanium axle but soon parked that one because of A, rarity and B, failure. I don’t particularly want a bracket axle snapping several miles from home because of the potential inconvenience and more importantly, pain! Finally after a bit of perseverance and being at the raw end of some auction snipes, I finally acquired a used but nice axle and cups.

Some people might plow straight into stuffing a threaded cup into a frame like this; that’s not what I’m prepared to do. You need to make sure that the bracket threads are good and clean.

Shot blasting and then painting a frame can leave all kinds of rubbish in the threads. I bought this frame already painted so had no idea how the frame was either prepped for painting or finished. Now for some reason, I really enjoy turning a tap into a thread. Maybe it’s my OCD? But the sound and feel of a tap cleaning a thread and seeing the swarf come out is quite cool.

The dust guard wasn’t too hard to track down and was NOS Campagnolo. The axle and cups were perfectly smooth and completely unmarked.

A little bit of time spent with some good quality, well fitting tools and some good quality grease, and you have a very smooth running bottom bracket just waiting for a nice set of cranks to make it spin.

Next job… track down a good Super Record headset without any signs of hamfisted amateur mechanic spanner marks!

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About the Author Neil McGowran

Blogger of all things to do with the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) and TI-Raleigh Ilkeston.

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