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Thread: bottom brackets, what's the point

  1. #1
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    Default bottom brackets, what's the point

    Is there a reason to use anything other than a basic $30 shimano disposable XT bottom bracket on a MTB? the steel singlespeed daily driver? The one MTB stable?

    My sole MTB is tricked out with chris king everywhere, but when I look at that CK BB and think about the pretty OK two years I got out of my last shimano BB, I just can't see ponying up $200 for BB, adapter kit, and the tool to install it. I have decided against it entirely actually. Is there anything out there between a perfectly fine Shimano and what I have decided against that one should actually consider?
     

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    Is there a reason to use anything other than a basic $30 shimano disposable XT bottom bracket on a MTB? the steel singlespeed daily driver? The one MTB stable?

    My sole MTB is tricked out with chris king everywhere, but when I look at that CK BB and think about the pretty OK two years I got out of my last shimano BB, I just can't see ponying up $200 for BB, adapter kit, and the tool to install it. I have decided against it entirely actually. Is there anything out there between a perfectly fine Shimano and what I have decided against that one should actually consider?
    If you're getting two years out of a Shimano BB, I don't see why you should splurge for something "fancy" unless you want to spend the money on it. I get about 6 months on standard BB's around here before things get crunchy and there's an advantage for me to run King just for the seals. I even have a fancy RWC dual row BB in my full sus bike that crapped out after 6 months but have a Buzzworks on another bike that's three years old and still going just fine.
    Sean Chaney
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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Hmm, maybe the answer is somewhere along the lines of "I shouldn'ta got two years out of that bottom bracket."
     

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    Hmm, maybe the answer is somewhere along the lines of "I shouldn'ta got two years out of that bottom bracket."
    but also maybe the conditions where you ride aren't really bad for bottom brackets. We get 8-9 months of steady rain out here and for the the other 3 or 4 months, the trails are piled with super fine talc-like powder. Both of those conditions are bad for bearings. I don't know what it's like in NC most of the time. Also, I think I have a couple of lightly used King BBs. I'll PM you when I find them.
    Sean Chaney
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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    I ride in the desert and it's really dusty. Last year I had to replace the Ultegra bb in the gravel bike because it had gotten rough. When I pulled the crankset out, the spindle was coated in dirt and the sleeve was about half full. I put another Ultegra set ($17) on and it's been good. My MTB has the XT version, I don't see how it will be any different if dirt pushes past the spindle into the sleeve. I try to pay more attention to wiping out the gap between the crankarm and bb when I clean. The bikes are usually caked in dirt, I just keep the drivetrains clean-ish and occasionally wipe down the frame.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I ride in the desert and it's really dusty. Last year I had to replace the Ultegra bb in the gravel bike because it had gotten rough. When I pulled the crankset out, the spindle was coated in dirt and the sleeve was about half full. I put another Ultegra set ($17) on and it's been good. My MTB has the XT version, I don't see how it will be any different if dirt pushes past the spindle into the sleeve. I try to pay more attention to wiping out the gap between the crankarm and bb when I clean. The bikes are usually caked in dirt, I just keep the drivetrains clean-ish and occasionally wipe down the frame.
    Even with the sleeved BB's, they can die quickly in dusty conditions. I think, but don't know for sure, that some of the grease that weeps out of the seals picks up dust and gets recirculated into the bearings. The seals on the stock bearings aren't great and the same goes for the Enduro branded and RWC bearings. They're inexpensive enough that replacing them isn't a big deal and it give you a good reason to clean up your drivetrain while you have it all apart.
    Sean Chaney
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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by VertigoCycles View Post
    Even with the sleeved BB's, they can die quickly in dusty conditions. I think, but don't know for sure, that some of the grease that weeps out of the seals picks up dust and gets recirculated into the bearings. The seals on the stock bearings aren't great and the same goes for the Enduro branded and RWC bearings. They're inexpensive enough that replacing them isn't a big deal and it give you a good reason to clean up your drivetrain while you have it all apart.
    I keep a set of each in my toolbox. I also keep sets of campy UT bearings. Both are inexpensive (steel campy bearings) enough to not hassle with, just replace.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    I've got almost three years on my Enduro stainless steel (440c) bottom bracket. So I'm a fan.

    TH
     

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    I've got almost three years on my Enduro stainless steel (440c) bottom bracket. So I'm a fan.

    TH
    But you're a pretty fair weather rider, though. Probably stick to just paved roads on sunny days?






    Seriously, though, a Tee-Aitch bottom bracket endorsement is pretty high praise.
     

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Same as headsets.

    Either go cheap or go expensive but skip in-between


    - Garro.
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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    But you're a pretty fair weather rider, though. Probably stick to just paved roads on sunny days?
    Yo, mileage may vary.



    I think the lack of washing helps.
     

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    @zambenini: Having several clients in NC I can say bottom bracket life can really depend on the rider and the conditions. The wetter and muddier, the more likely the bottom brackets wear quicker down there. If singlespeed, that just adds another layer of abuse. Shimano's bottom brackets are pretty good, I will say that. Enduro and White seem to be the ones that last for me. King uses delrin/plastic reducers between bearing and spindle and I've had some clients wear those out quickly where Enduro and White have bearing to spindle contact and I've only had one client who required a new spindle after about 2-3 years of hard riding. So if Shimano's bottom brackets are working for you, and lasting under your conditions and abuse, keep using them!
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post

    I think the lack of washing helps.
    You wash those things and the protective layer of grease and silt is gone leaving them exposed to water.

    I just use standard Shimano BB's here in Florida. I don't like riding muddy trails for the sake of me, the bike and the trail. I get one or two years depending on mileage and enthusiasm so don't see a reason to change.
     

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    What's a good maintenance regimen for "cheap" XT bottom brackets? Is it better to remove the cups frequently and clean out the gunk to make them last longer, or are they better off left on the bike until Cru crunchy?
    Jonathan - Austin, TX

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronsonic View Post
    You wash those things and the protective layer of grease and silt is gone leaving them exposed to water.

    I just use standard Shimano BB's here in Florida. I don't like riding muddy trails for the sake of me, the bike and the trail. I get one or two years depending on mileage and enthusiasm so don't see a reason to change.
    That's me too, despite us getting more rain than Seattle and Denver combined every year, I don't do muddy trails; 'gainst my religion. Stream crossings are a few times a year when I'm in Asheville and they ain't BB height.
     

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    What's a good maintenance regimen for "cheap" XT bottom brackets? Is it better to remove the cups frequently and clean out the gunk to make them last longer, or are they better off left on the bike until Cru crunchy?
    Keep a new set handy, ride until they feel rough and then replace. It's a 20 minute job with <$20 in parts.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: bottom brackets, what's the point

    I do like to pop the cranks out occasionally and just clean everything up - not removing the BB from the frame (unless it's creaking then I'll regrease the threads but that doesn't happen too often). Seems to make them last longer just by removing the stuff that can work its way into the bearings.
    It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage.

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