bb outboard bearings = hopeless!

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  • bb outboard bearings = hopeless!
  • Premier Icon Daffy

    I was under the impression the Hope BBs lasted longer than Shimano…at least that was the general jist I received from this forum.

    Chris King are supposed to be good, though I’ve only just bought one, so can’t really offer an informed opinion.


    i feel your pain…
    Isis for me, i`ve had it with X Type too!

    is your BB shell faced correctly? i found that if it isn’t it can wear the bearings out faster…


    Yes, it’s a stupid design – square taper is perfect for 99% of riders.

    Not as stupid as press-fit BBs, though.

    Premier Icon fathomer

    Have you been tightening the preload thing to tight?


    On the plus side, there’s no risk of them suffering from the old square taper problem of getting seized into the frame after 15 years of reliable use…

    I share your pain, although I mellowed a little when I found that you could get replacements for €10 from


    you have been fitting you cranks or bb wrong. too much pre-load you should get a lot lot more then 6 months out of a hope bb. do you have a torque wrench?

    Premier Icon househusband

    Just to counter the OP’s unfortunate findings with Hope bottom brackets… I’ve had two on several bikes over several years and they’ve proven to be very robust and reliable. Each and every frame has had the BB faced, whether that makes a significant difference..?

    4000 ish dry miles on my road bike and my ultegra bb was bobbins. None drive was OK but the drive side was shot. I doubt my MTB bb’s see anywhere near that mileage but a cannock chase winter can destroy one in a few months.


    I have had it with shitty quality and retarded design outboard bottom brackets.

    Old sq taper BB’s used to last years. Outboard bearings last what? 6 months maybe if you disassemble the crank assembly every ride and clean behind the seal? What **** designed this system exactly?

    Having said all that, I should point out I have only used Hope, and not Shimano. I now have no Hope in Hope bottom brackets. Are the Shimano ones as bad as Hope? Seriously, those little plastic discs that Hope claim are seals are totally inadequate protection against crud.

    I now realise that a bearing seized and polished a little strip on my crank spindle.. the spindle must have been spinning in the inner race, so I assume the crank will need replacing?

    This bike was never ridden off road.

    What kind of shit is this?

    Why have things gone backwards? Why are bottom brackets so shit these days?

    Are Hope bottom brackets just shit compared to Shimano?

    What exactly was wrong with sq taper?

    1 Hope BB on 3 bikes and its still brand new, in feel at least. No fettling involved.


    For me the hope ones have been faultless , the oldest is three years old and still fine
    And if the bearings do fail they can be replaced on there own

    Premier Icon Northwind

    van cough cough – Member

    Outboard bearings last what? 6 months maybe if you disassemble the crank assembly every ride and clean behind the seal?

    You should probably ask yourself why your BBs are wearing out so fast when other people’s don’t. Overtightened? Really wonky frame? (I’m not sure if I believe in facing, but you never know) Or has it just done astronomical miles?

    I use XT in most of my bikes, they last pretty well these days. No need to do any sort of servicing (which is just as well as they make it intentionally hard to do). Gusset and Hope in a couple of others. All do the job.

    Did kill a Deore one completely in 6 hours though.

    Premier Icon aracer

    I find my ISIS bearings very reliable.

    Premier Icon nickc

    agree with Northwind, most people don’t go through BBs that quickly. I’ve used precisely 2 external BBs in the last 4 years. one XT and then a Hope one which I changed from the XT because it was red, that’s been on my only mountain bike for 4 years.

    Premier Icon boxelder

    Hope here and an Acros ceramic. Both over 4 yrs old and been switched onto different frames.
    OP must have the wrong type of crud locally.

    AFAIK Hope bearings are stainless, Shimano are steel so the Hopes should last a lot longer. I get at least 18 months out of Hopes even riding through the winter porridge.

    IMO no MTB sold in the UK should have ANY non stainless bearings.

    PS: you aren’t jet washing them are you?……

    Premier Icon composite

    Killed my raceface one in 6 months, replaced it with an XT 23 months ago, which is still going strong. My other bike has had an SLX in for 12 months and is fine. I ride in all conditions and do a fair wack of miles.

    I’ve never had the frames faced but I also don’t over pre-load… hmmm….

    Premier Icon tthew

    AFAIK Hope bearings are stainless, Shimano are steel

    😆 Shimano are stainless too, and as it happens, Hope’s are also Steel. The words Stainless and Steel are pretty much go hand in hand when it comes to bearings. (The difference is that hope also supply ones with Ceramic type bearings)

    The words Stainless and Steel are pretty much go hand in hand when it comes to bearings.

    No, bearing steel is generally not stainless as it’s harder. Depends how you expect the bearing to fail as to what you’d pick.

    wearing out/solid ingress – bearing steel
    water ingress – plastic (e.g. blocks on sailing boats)
    water ingress and wearing out – stainless (obviously less resistant to either than other options)
    all of the above – ceramic

    As for the OP, I used to get <1year out of UN72’s, get about the same from outboard bearings, considdering UN72’s were £25+ 10 years ago, add on inflation that’s hope stainless bearing prices, XTR BB’s are £15 from Rose, 1/3rd of the price.


    The op should feel lucky, you want to use GXP bb then you’d have something to moan about. 😀

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Face the Frame
    Fit Correctly
    Tension Correctly

    3 years + on hope so far going strong.

    Sq Taper might be great for some but I prefer the ease of Fit/removal of HT II and the fact I can get some nice modern cranks for them.


    I had a similar issue with a frame that turned out not to be faced properly. Now it is and the hope bb that’s been on it for three years has been faultless…


    Had my King external BB for nearly 3 years,had no problems.XT lasted over a year.

    Think your frame needs prepping and the Cranks fitting with less preload.

    Can’t comment on Hope but the Shimano product is p1sh. 3 months from Deore, a little longer from XT. Then the play develops….

    No, I’m not over tightening the preload. Yes, my frame has been faced properly(not that this makes a damn bit of difference in my view – surely the key issue here is whether the threads have been tapped parallel with each other and or their angle is on the p1ss relative to the BB shell / frame itself?)

    Oh, that’s riding 10hrs a week, every week, ‘Scottish’ conditions.

    I used to go through the RF BB’s in about 6 weeks. I bought a Superstar ceramic unit & that lasted even less time & with a seized bearing that scored the axle on the cranks. Had slightly better luck with a Hope ceramic, but it didn’t last massively long. I now run Chris King & they just run & run. Lubed them recently, which is ridiculously easy, especially on my RF cranks with self-extractor.
    One bonus of the CK design is the plastic sleeve between bearing & axle. The axle that was scored would click during pedalling as it pressed against metal bearing. No issue now, as the plastic sleeve fits snugly between crank & metal of bearing. The score is only minor, so no concern about breakage.
    Should add that BB shells are faced & I don’t pressure wash…although the occasional trail centre pressure washing does take place.

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    i’m going to stick up for outboard bearings.

    my old commuter had second hand deore bearings, i ran it for a year and a half (about 4000km) and they’re still fine.

    my new commuter has sora stuff, and that bike has done 6 months (2000km) of winter commuting, and the bearings are fine.

    when they do eventually wear out, they’ll be cheap and easy to replace.

    any step away from tapered axles, and crank-extractors is a good step in my opinion…

    So, some people feel my pain, and some muppets claim I didn’t preload properly or some such.. lol muppets.

    I have two bikes with Hope BB’s. I love Hope. British. Great. Not so sure about the sealing on the bottom brackets, but like I said, I haven’t used outboard bearings by anyone else. Are they all shit?

    Some of you guys only ride weekends, if that. See I can make assumptions too.

    The bike in question never went off road, it did however do best part of 200 miles per month. The bearings lasted 4 months first time, and the latest set – Enduro replacements – lasted about the same. If I was going off road I can now see that it would be necessary to take crank off and clean behind those plastic discs every single ride. Whether to the shops or something more epic. That disc isn’t adequate.

    The fact is, that silly plastic disc isn’t much of a seal. I wouldn’t mind if I was just replacing bearings, though it pisses me off to have to keep removing cups from the BB shell, but wiping out my crank as well? What kind of planned obsolescent shit bag nonsense is this?

    Yes, preload was fine. Yes, all had been faced. No, I didn’t aim a jet washer inside, no I am not 10. A plastic disc is not an adequate seal. The bearing is vulnerable.

    Now I have to spend money I don’t have…

    And my enjoyment of cycling after 30 years of being bike mad is beginning to wane.. I don’t want to deal with these life-cycles any more. 9 speed stuff vanishing.. what will it be next? 11 speed? 12? 13? Paying a premium for replacements cos it is now old hat i.e. a couple of years old?

    Cycling is **** up. Like Hope’s BB sealing. Like outboard bearing design generally. All a **** up. A **** up where no **** up existed before. Well done cycling industry. Slow hand clap.


    my shimano on the commuter is still smooth after a winter of misuse. had it since october and done 2500kms on it.

    the hope on my race bike is as new – its done 3 strathpuffer , 1 a solo effort , many 10 unders solo and team and more recently geared day rides

    the hope on my Normal SS bike has been rebuilt recently after 3 years. even then it was only a little rough , not siezed. this bike sees all the shit and gets little to no maintainance

    Premier Icon mesh

    +1 for GXP being even worse. Shockingly poor lifespan on the one that came with my Pitch.

    and one more thing.. the issue IS with dirt/water finding it’s way easily past the plastic disc that Hope dares call a seal.

    Also, some of you guys claiming yours is still working fine with no need for maintenance.. I’d take a look inside if I was you.. mine felt fine, yet on one side the bearing wasn’t spinning at all… the spindle of the crank instead spun within the race.. I have never seen such a beautifully polished inner race! Beautifully polished and black as coal!


    i have – hence why i caught my SS onebefore it was gubbed

    the plastic disk is a primary protector to keep the big shit out. the seal is on the bearing.

    Shimano seal isnt anything different….

    they are not as fit and forget as square taper but they work for me.

    GXP and mega EXO are both a joke.

    ISIS – lets not go there – i had 3 expensive ones on warrenty rotation on my SS for 4 years. Every 3 months id swap it out for which ever was back from the fixers.

    washing with a sponge and a watering can probably helps the lifespan of mine tbh.

    That plastic disc, whilst you’re ranting, isn’t meant to be a seal, the bearings are sealed themselves, the plastic disc is just a dust shield.

    The Hope bearings are INA full stainless, which have stainless races and balls, a lot of ‘stainless’ brackets have stainless balls only so the race still rusts.

    I have several bikes which run HT2 and all have Hope Brackets now bar the Mrs road bike. My roadbike has coming up 30,000 miles on the same bearings. The ones on the cross bikes have needed attention but they get raced in mud and filth, have the hell jetwashed out of them and then stored for a week at a time.

    HT2 brackets are a bit vulnerable, but does everyone with their rose tinted specs not remember how often square taper cranks used to fall off and how much of a git it was to get a seized cup out of a frame? Don’t get me started on GXP and BB30 bearings!

    I still reckon the best system was Octolink and still have an XTR bracket and chainset on the Mrs commuter bike from around 1996/7 that does 20m a day and has never even seen so much as a regrease.

    Premier Icon nickc

    The bike in question never went off road, it did however do best part of 200 miles per month.

    pfffftttt lightweight 😉

    Was quite interested in the outcome of this, but once the OP starts with throwing about the ‘retards’ I’ve kinda lost it really.


    If your crank is now dead just get a rs7 and taper bb
    Just keep an eye on the crank bolts


    orangeboy might be onto something , lack of use and damp storage might be part of the issue

    Clearly nicke is a retard. His is the only mention of the word retard on this page. I said retarded design. Are you a retarded design nicke?

    So much piffle in this thread. The plastic disc is a seal. Yes, cartridge bearings have additional seals. However, the majority of bike components requiring bearings do not just rely on that sealing within the cartridge.


    I did grease behind the plastic disc as per Hope’s recommendation/video.. but I think I shall leave it dry from now on. I shall now remove my cranks every single week to clean behind the lame plastic seal.

    I remember when UN72’s lasted thousands of miles… and could be had for £15… progress is such that now I will have to disassemble my crank killing bottom bracket and give it a little wipe every single week. Ah.. can’t stand in the way of progress!

    lol lack of use and damp storage…

    nothing to do with the crap sealing… lol

    why did shit find it so difficult to get past say a UN72? Mission impossible really. Yet Hope’s plastic disc? Not stopping much is it?

    both bikes have avoided rain as much as possible and are kept inside in the warm.


    After the TJ vacuum, order is once again restored…

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