If you love working on old bikes you’ll know the feeling of stripping them down for overhaul and finding that the old style fixed cup won’t come out no matter what. These have two flats on a vey narrow flange that needs a large size spanner, and even purpose built spanners alone tend to slip off. The cup has a tendency to freeze into the threads of the bottom bracket because of water ingress causing rust, and also from the BB generally being neglected for years. Even “PB blaster” fluid has trouble penetrating these threads successfully.
The solution is not brute strength, as this increases the chances of a dangerous slip causing an injury to the hands, damage to the spanner, cup, or even to the bike itself . Instead it is the better grip offered by a tool such as this Cyclus extractor.
The tool clamps the cup from the inside with a heavy clamping bolt, making it impossible for it to slip off. The adjustable cup needs to come out first, along with the locknut, axle, and all the bearings – in my experience it’s rare that the adjustable cup is badly stuck but quite usual that the fixed one is. If the fixed cup still doesn’t come out using the tool, the temptation to put a pipe on the handle should be resisted as it may damage the tool. I prefer then to leave the cup where it is and clean it in situ as best I can (assuming that the bearing surface is OK ).
My only gripe is that the plastic end caps come off the tool too easily, otherwise it’s a godsend. The long term solution – once the cup is out – is to use an anti-seize compound on the threads when replacing the cup ( I use Penrite “Copper-Eze” ), and also by servicing the BB more often – famous last words !
And remember, the fixed cup is usually a left hand thread….
This tool was purchased from Wiggle (UK site) and arrived by Australia Post in 7 days, as usual. If you do more than a few resto’s on old bikes, it’s worth getting.