Weird Stuff Found in Bottom Bracket?

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Brian R.

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 16, 2015
508
Toronto, Canada
I worked on this c.1956 BSA for about 3 hours before I came to my senses and sold it on for what I paid for it. I have way too many projects to spend time working on bikes that are not in my main collecting focus. For some reason, the front fender brace was on the rear fender and the rear was on the front. One was too long and bent like a wave to shorten it, and the other brace was too short and had homemade extenders. It was bizarre. I fixed that, and sold it on (first photo).

In a friendly email months later, the buyer informed me that, by the way, he had found a sock in the bottom bracket! He thinks it might have been a prank at the factory, as it looks like an old British army sock! Does anyone know if this was a BSA promotion in the '50s: A free British army sock with every new BSA bike?

Has anyone else found weird stuff in their BB? Did you happen to take a photo? With the seat tube providing a direct line to the BB with help from gravity, I've sometimes wondered if anyone has ever dropped something down there and not bothered to fish it out.

BSAsock1.jpg


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Duchess

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Feb 14, 2014
597
Beverly, MA
That's definitely a weird one. I've found bugs—some kind of tiny bees that were stuck in the old, crusty grease. Probably been there a long time and got preserved.
 

juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,563
Playa del Rey, United States
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It is fairly common for people to report finding business cards in that spot.

Generations ago, before purpose made plastic bottom bracket seals were widely available, people would make their own out of rolled up paper or card stock.

During the second world war Italian cycling champion Gino Bartali used his training rides to deliver counterfeit documents rolled up in his seat tube. The papers were to help those who the regime would destine for the final solution. There is no way to calculate how many lives were saved by his efforts.

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juanitasmith13

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 6, 2015
936
71
Creve Coeur, Tazewell County, IL.
@THE STIG is right-on, above! Here's another scenario, my 1939 Monark 4-Bar (a step-thru/"Skirt") has a solid piece of pipe as a bottom bracket. The seat tube is butt/welded to the BB @ top of BB (so, no thru-hole). Two of the four bars pass under the BB and are tacked to it on their way; the other two bars pass ~3" above the BB and are tacked to the seat tube to support it. The rear seat stays brace the seat tube from the rear, near it's upper end. I have a 1940/1941 as well; but, have not torn it apart; yet, I imagine it to be the same. I wonder how the Monark gentlemen's 5-bar is made?
 
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3-speeder

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 26, 2017
607
Lansing, MI, United States
I had an old 10-speed that was a parts donor. Took the saddle and post from it and the wheels off of it and slid it under my basement steps. Cleaning the basement the other day I decided to break it down and sort all the parts. Inside the bottom bracket was what looked like a mouse nest. Must've come down the seat tube.
 

razinhellcustomz

I live for the CABE
May 28, 2018
1,319
60
kiel wisconsin
I worked on this c.1956 BSA for about 3 hours before I came to my senses and sold it on for what I paid for it. I have way too many projects to spend time working on bikes that are not in my main collecting focus. For some reason, the front fender brace was on the rear fender and the rear was on the front. One was too long and bent like a wave to shorten it, and the other brace was too short and had homemade extenders. It was bizarre. I fixed that, and sold it on (first photo).

In a friendly email months later, the buyer informed me that, by the way, he had found a sock in the bottom bracket! He thinks it might have been a prank at the factory, as it looks like an old British army sock! Does anyone know if this was a BSA promotion in the '50s: A free British army sock with every new BSA bike?

Has anyone else found weird stuff in their BB? Did you happen to take a photo? With the seat tube providing a direct line to the BB with help from gravity, I've sometimes wondered if anyone has ever dropped something down there and not bothered to fish it out.

BSAsock1.jpg


BSAsock2.jpg


BSAsock3.jpg
Nice sock!!
 
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3-speeder

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 26, 2017
607
Lansing, MI, United States
Today when I was flipping over the bike that I was working on I heard a rattling in the handlebars. Yeah it's not the bottom bracket but I did find some weird stuff. A round tubular piece that could be stiff leather, a marble and an old comic that reminded me of a Bazooka Joe. That old comic gave me a good laugh. Wish it was complete. If you zoom in you should be able to read it.
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