Anyone gone back to square taper BBs? What options are available these days?

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  • Anyone gone back to square taper BBs? What options are available these days?
  • cybicle
    Member

    I’ve lost patience with external bearing BBs, as they seem to fail/need replacing a lot more frequently than I like, and are poor economy. I never saw what was wrong with square taper quite frankly. So I’m about to replace two chainsets/BBs for something that will last and not require constant attention. Which square taper is. trouble is, there don’t seem to be many options about in terms of light weight/high quality, and the only cranks available in st appear to be low-end stuff. Is anyone still making decent quality square taper stuff?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    hmm not to wee on your bonfire but I’m at 3-4 years on External hope BB’s with no new bearings (can’t comment on longer use as thats as old as they are) and lots of choice of cranks from Shimano. Race Face, SRAM and the rest. Can’t see the downside

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    I’ve never really left square taper (I do have Hollowtech on one bike but have not warmed to it)

    I run Shimano UN55 bottom brackets and a Middleburn (RS7?) crankset.

    (Shimano cranks are lighter but don’t look as nice!)

    trail_rat
    Member

    same here RE hopes ceramics – 5 years in one bike inc 2 strathpuffers and 4 in another – inc 1 strathpuffer

    youll be spending alot more than the cost of a hope ceramic BB to get a good squaretaper set up

    You get what you pay for. Mid range Shimano/Race Face external BBs are hopeless (no pun intended).

    Shell out some decent wonga and bye-bye bearing blues. No complaints with Hope.

    cybicle
    Member

    Both chainsets are FSA junk which I want to replace. One crank has a lockring for the spider, which simply cannot be tightened sufficiently to stop it loosening (I know, threadlock could be used, but I don’t like them anyway). They require FSA bearings as they use a very slightly different sized axel, annoyingly.

    Like the Middleburns a lot. Was wondering if there are any other options?

    mrmo
    Member

    In contrast i had a hope BB, and it trashed a frame, stupid plastic spacers that allowed the cup to move a fraction that over time and unbeknown to me wore the threads. BB was never loose when you checked it, until it had damaged the threads!

    Premier Icon letmetalktomark
    Subscriber

    un72/73 IMHO are worth the slight increase in money over a un54 etc as you get a hollow axle and a metal rather than plastic NDS cup.

    eBay/SJS/Retrobike are all good sources for new BB’s.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    I want a BB that will last as long as the 80 year old cottered one in my Sunbeam…

    Pyro
    Member

    UN55 has a metal NDS cup as well now.

    I’ve got Shimano/Race Face on one bike, GXP on another and Taper on the other. Only ones I’ve ever had a problem with were an old Shimano HTII set that seized, a higher-spec external BB did it, never splashed out on Hope and never needed to.

    Premier Icon simon1975
    Subscriber

    The latest UN55 has the metal NDS cup. UN72/3 are very hard to find!

    I found that the tapers on the Middleburns distort too easily. And I broke two spiders. I’m now running White Industries cranks which aren’t pretty seem bulletproof. I’ve got some beautiful Shimano XT M737s in the drawer too which also did the job very well.

    So I’m very happy with my “no fuss” Square Taper setups 🙂

    trail_rat
    Member

    but then what mrmo neglects to tell you is that hope have changed the material their spacers are made from.

    i never fitted those fibre spacers anyway – doesnt take a genius to work out what was going to happen there – they were like cheese….

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Gusset ext24.

    VERY well sealed, and then sealed cartridge bearings.

    mines done 3000km, it’s still perfect.

    £30ish.

    judging external BB’s by the longevity offered by a shimano jobby is just daft.

    (uberbike sell one that looks similarly constructed/reliable)

    cybicle
    Member

    mines done 3000km, it’s still perfect.

    My tatty commuter bike does more than that every year, and the BB is probably about 15 years old. It’s out in all weathers, gets locked up in the pouring rain, is still perfect. I want that kind of reliability and longevity. External BBs can’t give me that.

    Ae the new UN55s hollow axled? Because the solid axled versions are a tad heavy.

    trail_rat
    Member

    My tatty commuter bike does more than that every year, and the BB is probably about 15 years old. It’s out in all weathers, gets locked up in the pouring rain, is still perfect. I want that kind of reliability and longevity. External BBs can’t give me that.

    based on a sample of FSA BBs – which even when they didnt do external BB’s were poor . be they FSA square tapers or FSA isis – the only good thing about the latter was the zero question warrenty.

    try some good ones – youll be surprised.

    Best bottom bracket I ever owned was a Royce Titanium.

    I see they still make them, and with crank arms to match. Bit pricey though!

    http://www.royceuk.co.uk/Royce-Uk.html

    TA chainrings are pretty good, and a bit cheaper than Middleburn.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    External BBs can’t give me tha

    [quote] as the good ones haven’t been out that long how do you know?

    noteeth
    Member

    I’ve never stop using square-taper BBs. Shame Shimano stopped doing the UN72!

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    trail_rat – Member

    try some good ones – youll be surprised.

    no ta, i’m glad i never have to deal with another square taper BB, and those bloody awful, tiny, fragile, extractor threads still give me nightmares.

    Spa cycles still do a good selection of square taper bottom brackets and chaninsets.

    mrmo
    Member

    but then what mrmo neglects to tell you is that hope have changed the material their spacers are made from.

    Which i wasn’t aware of, does ask the question if it was such a stupid material why they were included in the first place?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Ae the new UN55s hollow axled? Because the solid axled versions are a tad heavy

    hopefully tell you tomorrow got one on order from CRC, my CX sq taper bb has gone after 11months. it’s whatever it was specced with so probably cheapo shite, I’ll be expecting the un55 to last a lot longer, decent shimano sq taper always have done IME. Got a fairly new un7x on the shelf and some old cranks somewhere I am tempted to use em on an MTB this winter.

    cybicle
    Member

    as the good ones haven’t been out that long how do you know?

    Fair point; I don’t. I’d rather stick with something I know to be reliable, than chance it with an unknown quantity though.

    D0NK; thanks, that would be good to know. Says ‘hollow axle’ in their description, but as we’ve seen recently, descriptions can be misleading. 😉

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Shell out some decent wonga and bye-bye bearing blues. No complaints with Hope.

    is dubious

    hope have changed the material their spacers are made from

    is proved right. Teething problems so may be cleared up now, who knows. Hope BBs are a heck of a punt to see if they’re worth it

    <edit> tell you what tho, I’d pay hope sort of money for something with (external) grease ports on it. Quick splurge of grease after a wet ride, 30second job. Bearings should last for aaaaages then.

    BB wear is a tricky one, quite subjective, on most of my bikes ext bearings aren’t working out too bad but the ones I ride whatever the weather (commuter, SS) do tend to get through them very quickly.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Fair point; I don’t. I’d rather stick with something I know to be reliable, than chance it with an unknown quantity though.

    As I said heading over the 4 year mark, easy bearing replacement if required and a near infinite choice of cranks. Thats my choice anyway.

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    Still use them and still find them to be the longest lasting. As with all internet advice, it would be good to know what mileages and conditions folk ride in to give an idea of how well things tend to last. A barely ridden bike is always going to last longer than one that is hammered in all conditions. 😀

    My Fargo has easily done a good few thousand miles on a previously used Shimano UN72 – still going strong despite being ridden in all weathers both on road and off road.

    Hope this helps?

    Sanny

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    yep 3 years in the lakes/general UK ridden twice a week whatever the weather now moved to Oz and find it’s not that dry…

    Decent distance in slop and shit. The choice of cranks would stop me going to Sq taper

    trail_rat
    Member

    never ride mine , thats why they last….

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Decent distance in slop and shit. The choice of cranks would stop me going to Sq taper

    I’m with you on that Mike. I do however have a couple of UN72’s and square taper cranks ready to fit to a future project…

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    no ta, i’m glad i never have to deal with another square taper BB, and those bloody awful, tiny, fragile, extractor threads still give me nightmares.

    He was talking about external bearings? 😕

    I’d never go back to square taper, the halcyon days weren’t all that IMO, heavy, more faff, more expensive to replace and actually I didn’t find UN5xs lasted that well, the UN7x was better. The number of times we’d have the breaker bar out to get ST BBs out, folk who’d mangled splines being ham fisted and so on.

    If you want lightweight then square taper is the wrong avenue to go down. That said if you start wanting infinite longevity too you’re probably on a hiding to nothing.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    njee20 – Member

    He was talking about external bearings?

    good point, i’m an idiot.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Well I didn’t like to say… 😉

    MarkLG
    Member

    Can’t see why anybody would choose to go back to square taper BBs. A good quality BB will last whether it’s internal or external. And bearing life is only one thing to consider. Trying to remove a tight square crank hoping that the extractor threads don’t strip out is something I don’t miss.

    cybicle
    Member

    I’d never go back to square taper, the halcyon days weren’t all that IMO

    Great, you stick with ‘cutting edge technology’, and I’ll stick with what I know works well for me. 😉

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    But your initial statement was about the lack of high end/lightweight cranks.

    Taking Middleburn cranks as an example you’ll spend more than XT for something that weighs more than Deore with questionable reliability. You could get XT and a few BBs.

    You could go for the setup on your commuter, which clearly ticks the reliability box, but clearly isn’t in the lightweight/high end category.

    cybicle
    Member

    But your initial statement was about the lack of high end/lightweight square taper cranks.

    FTFY.

    I could do all sorts of things. But what I want is a decent reliable square taper set up, to replace the unreliable crap external BB set ups I currently have. Thanks for your advice though, appreciated.

    Taking Middleburn cranks as an example you’ll spend more than XT for something that weighs more than Deore with questionable reliability.

    I know a few folk who’ve used/still use Middleburn stuff, and it appears to be pretty reliable. I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of weight for increased longevity and reliability.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Went square taper about 3 years ago, Middleburn cranks, un 55 bottom bracket, bombproof and, if you are sad enough to compare weight differences, there’s a couple of grams in my set up and a hollowtech crank set up but I have far less spannering

    Mine is heavier by the way but the weight saving us that small, the faff ain’t worth it.

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
    Subscriber

    Try a Phil Wood, not too bad a price at Aspire Velotech. Fairly comprehensively reported to being very reliable albeit at a price, can be lightened with a Ti axle and alloy cups if you wish.

    mt
    Member

    Middleburn/Royce Perfection for me.

    Ooooohhhhhh….

    Linky

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)

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