Bottom Bracket Thread Direction! (Follow This)

Bottom Bracket Thread Direction

It gets a little confusing figuring out the thread directions for bottom brackets.

With the bottom bracket’s two different cups on either side, one may wonder in what direction they both tighten and loosen.

Are you trying to figure out the right direction for threading your bike’s bottom brackets? 

Proper bottom bracket threading in the right direction is necessary to ensure steady balance. Therefore, knowing the bottom bracket directions will be very helpful for you. 

The left side cup of the bottom bracket is a right-hand thread, so it tightens clockwise and loosens counterclockwise. At the same time, The right side cup of the bottom bracket is a left-hand thread direction & can tighten counterclockwise and loosens clockwise. In very few cases, both cups tighten clockwise and loosen counterclockwise.

Which Side of a Bottom Bracket Goes In First?

Bottom Bracket Thread Direction

The left side of a bottom bracket always goes in first. The right side goes in only after inserting the bottom bracket’s left side. After inserting the left side first, insert the right side before tightening it. 

The left side goes in first and sits appropriately before the right side because if you fix the left side the wrong way, it will be difficult to fix the right side.

Always check to ensure you’re fixing the appropriate side cup at the various sides, so you don’t have to encounter any issues in the future. 

The side cups of the bottom brackets have the letters L and R written on them to indicate which is for the Left and the right, respectively.

Check and ensure you fix them to the appropriate sides and tightly too. Most importantly, remember to install the left side before the right side.

That is why you should not tighten the left cup until you have tried the right side cup on. Following the right order will ensure you have the correct cups on the right sides. 

Can You Reverse a Bottom Bracket?

Are you considering reversing the bottom brackets of your bike? That may not be a very good choice.

Reversing may cause severe damage to the bottom brackets or the bike itself. The bottom bracket has two side cups which you should not interchange at any point.

Fitting one cup where the other should be would require a lot of pressure and cause damage to the bottom bracket or some other part of the bike. 

The bottom brackets of your bike have two different sides with specific modifications to suit each side.

It may also feel very difficult to thread one cup into a different side meant for the other cup.

Any installation that one may do contrary to what is supposed to only puts your bike in harm’s way. 

When installing your bracket, ensure the drive or right side is threaded correctly to tighten clockwise and loosen counterclockwise.

While the left side tightens and loosens the other way round. The opposite movement of these two sides prevents them from losing while you pedal, thereby ensuring balance. 

Even after a successful reverse of both sides of the bottom bracket, you stand a high risk of a fall.

This risk will be due to the reverse, which can easily make both sides of the pedal loosen once you start pedaling or may even restrict the movement of your pedals.

Not to mention the damage it will cause to your bike’s system. It is better not to interfere with the bottom brackets’ normal function and installation pattern.

If you have any issues with the bottom brackets, you can contact the manufacturer, who may have better options for you.

You can also speak to the attendant at your local bike store who has good knowledge of bottom brackets for assistance. 

What Direction is The Bottom Bracket on My Mtb?

To know the direction of the bottom bracket you have on your Mtb, properly inspect the direction in which both sides of the bottom bracket thread.

The bottom bracket usually carries written information or directions to show how you should thread it. 

Therefore, if you have a little trouble figuring out the right direction in which your bottom brackets thread, you could easily inspect your bottom bracket.

This inspection will help to make things clearer so you can thread your bottom brackets in the right direction.

You could also try threading both sides of your bottom bracket to know the right direction in which they thread.

Generally, you should feel a certain level of reluctance from the cups to follow the direction if it is wrong. 

It may feel too loose to tighten up. If you force it in, which is highly unadvised, and eventually go in, it will feel stiff and immovable. 

The two sides of your bottom brackets thread in different directions to tighten and loosen.

If in trying to thread it in, you notice it isn’t working clockwise, don’t try to push or force it in. Try threading it the other way, counterclockwise.

If you can’t find the right direction in which your Mtb bottom bracket threads in the manual, you can speak to the manufacturer to help you out.

You can also visit a bike shop around where they’d very much render good help to figure out your issue. 

Which Side of The Bottom Bracket is Reverse Threaded?

The right side of the bottom bracket, also known as the drive side, is the only one of the two sides that is reverse threaded.

The right side cup is left threaded, which means it is reverse threaded. The left side cup, on the other hand, is right threaded. 

Therefore, only the right side of the bottom bracket has the reverse thread characteristic. The reverse threaded option is only for English bottom brackets, though. 

Well, here is why it is so. Unlike the English bottom brackets, where both sides move in different directions to loosen and tighten, it is not so for the Australian or Italian bottom brackets

There are a few other options in the market that do not have the reverse thread option. The Australian or Italian bottom brackets are both right-threaded.

Therefore, both sides of the bracket tighten clockwise and loosen anti-clockwise

These bottom brackets are not as common or popular as the English, but you can find them if you search hard enough.

Even though these bottom brackets tighten and loosen the same way, they are still as balanced and good for use as the English. 

So if you have an Italian bottom bracket and not an English one, you should note that none of the sides are reversely threaded.

Since both sides are only right-threaded, Italian bottom brackets have no reverse sides. 

Bottom Bracket Removal Directions

The directions for removing bottom brackets are the opposites of tightening or fixing them.

To help you remember more easily and quickly the removal directions of both sides of your bottom bracket, here’s a table to help you get a clearer picture.

Left side cupRight side cup
Right-hand thread DirectionLeft-hand thread direction 
Removes counterclockwiseRemoves Clockwise

And for the fixing directions of your bottom brackets, the reverse is the case. While the left side removes on counterclockwise movement, it tightens on clockwise movement.

The right side cup removes on clockwise movement and then tightens on counterclockwise movement. These processes are quite easy to remember and follow.

If you have a little trouble removing the bottom brackets in the right direction, these step-by-step instructions may come in handy for you. Remember to begin removal from the left side. 

  • Shift the bottom bracket to the largest chainring to allow easy movement of your hands.
  • Remove the Allen bolt, which tightens the cranks of the bike.
  • Repeat this procedure for the right side.
  • Use a bottom bracket removal tool to remove the bottom bracket. Screw the left side counterclockwise and the right side clockwise to remove.

If you do not find a bottom bracket tool, you can use a wrench of the same size with cups to loosen it.

You may not even need either of the two options, so do not stress too much if you can’t find them. 

You can also loosen the cups with your bare hands, though it will require more energy.

If you find these processes difficult, you may ask a friend for help to carry out these processes effectively and remove your bottom bracket. 


Bottom brackets move in two directions, one to loosen and the other to tighten.

The left side cup, the reverse threaded side, moves clockwise to tighten and counterclockwise to loosen.

The right side, the drive side, moves counterclockwise to tighten and clockwise to loosen.

You can also find these directions to which the bottom brackets thread indicated on them directly.

Josh Matthews

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