Re: [CR]Cinelli B.B. grease ports question

Example: Framebuilders:Doug Fattic

Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 13:31:36 -0700
From: Chuck Schmidt <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Cinelli B.B. grease ports question
References: <> <>

Jay Sexton wrote:
> I posted a request for info on my Cinelli b.b. with oil port holes a few
> days ago. Is it possible no one knows? My question was: How are the
> holes used? Is there a special fitting for each of the holes for either
> grease or oil? How does it actually function? Does the whole b.b. fill
> up with either oil or grease? If so, it sure sounds messy.

The threaded holes in the Cinelli BBs shells from around the sixties and before (hole in top left side and bottom of shell) are for oiling the bearings. A slotted pan head machine screw was used to close the holes (there should not be an oil cup with a flip top or a ZerkĀ® grease fitting either).

Oil was squirted through the top hole onto the BB spindle/axle and the bike tipped to one side or the other so that the oil would dribble out to the bearings and "refresh" the hardened grease after a winter of inactivity. The bottom hole in the BB is a drain for the excess oil to exit the BB shell.

Yes, it is very messy and lazy way to do periodic bike maintenance.

Some Italian bikes had an addition oil hole in the back side of the head tube to refresh the grease in the upper and lower headset bearings. Same thing with the oil holes in the center of the Campagnolo Record hubs. And the first version of the Gran Sport pedals had an oil hole and oil hole clip (same as the hubs) in the center of the pedal bodies for the same purpose.

Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, CA (Campagnolo Timeline, T-shirts and catalog reprints)