Press Fit BBs – ok or avoid?
Seen lots that creak, fail and need replacing. Now the likes of hope have entered the market it might get a bit better. Still far too many standards out there.
There is a good answer in the FAQ’sPosted 3 years ago
Basically they reckon it’s a pointless tech with heaps of bad points for a tiny weight saving.
Yeah not sure I really see a benefit – other than maybe it’s easier to make frames without threads for a bb. That may be better/easier for the manufacturer but doesn’t mean it’s better/easier for me as the consumer and user of the product.
There seem to be a lot of them about though and just not sure if it’s worth ruling out a bike I like the look of just because it has a press fit bb.
Any more opinions?Posted 3 years agothepuristSubscriber
As above – if they did the same frame with press fit or normal BB I’d go for the normal every time but it’s not a show stopper if it’s press fit only. IME a press fit lasts about about the same time as the equivalent normal BB anyway, but they’re a bit more faff to change as you need more tools (or a suitable hammer & drift).Posted 3 years agotimmysSubscriber
Pretty much as above.
I’d prefer my bike didn’t have one but I wouldn’t exclude a bike for it.
I’ve changed mine 3 times in 5 years I think. I’ve found the Enduro Fork Seals ones the best, lasting well over a year. Hope didn’t do theirs last time I needed one but might be tempted to try theirs next time.Posted 3 years agoDelSubscriber
have a bb30 on the roadie. started to clicks after about 500 miles, then started to clang like the crank was hitting the frame every revolution – really bad and you could feel it through the frame! took it apart, popped the seals off the enduro bearings, NDS one was full of rust. whacked a load of grease in there and it’s been fine since.Posted 3 years ago
considering enduro bearings are supposed to be ‘bike specific’ ( aren’t they? ), they don’t put a lot of grease in them. it’s almost like they’re manufactured by a generic factor…..
So press fit BBs seem to be cropping up on a lot of bikes these days. Not entirely sure I like the idea but does anyone have any real world experience? Are they ok? Do they last? Do frames last as well as conventional threaded types?
Is there anything to worry about or is it a non issue?
Looking for a new XC bike at the moment and it’s one of the factors to consider.Posted 3 years agocrashtestmonkeyMember
Yeah not sure I really see a benefit – other than maybe it’s easier to make frames without threads for a bb
which is precisely why bike manufacturers embraced it. Like sealed cartridge unit BBs and threadless steerer aheadsets, the change was sold to consumers as an improvement but was all about simplifying manufacture and assembly.
I’d prefer my bike didn’t have one but I wouldn’t exclude a bike for it.
I have-my road bike came with a HT2 shimano bb in threaded BB shell which was a selling point to me over the stiffer press-fit BB competition.Posted 3 years agoI_AcheMember
I have just got a frame with a press fit BB. I was quite worried about it when I had to remove the old sram and put in a shimano but it was very easy, I was surprised. It was much faster to knock the old one out and press in the new one with the vice than it would have been to change a threaded BB.
I don’t know how well it will last and that is a concern of mine because the cups are made of plastic so I imagine them developing play.
All of the different sizes confuse me. Apparently my frame requires a 42a as a normal 42 will be too wide. I have no idea what the 42 or the a relate to and can’t tell if the likes of hope offer a like for like replacement.Posted 3 years agochristhetallSubscriber
Not been impressed myself, and it would put me off buying an MTB with one in the future.
My experience so far has been of a £25 part that costs £30 to change, or requires tools costing around £125 (you may already have some of the tools – I don’t). It lasts as long as the screw-in BBs that cost £25, which isn’t very long (especially if you ride in the wet, in the winter and through fords), but at least those ones are very easy to change.
I’ve now upgraded to the Hope, which should last longer and be easier to change the bearings, but still may be a job for the LBS. Time will tell if this is a good investmentPosted 3 years agoskipratMember
After my first one lasted the best part of a year, my next one lasted a few months so i replaced it with a Hope one. All good so far.
With the hope one get a shop to fit it first time. Some/most will offer this as part of the sale. The bearings can be replaced without the need to remove the main part so its easy to service and should last.Posted 3 years agoollie51Member
So I work in a bike shop. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve dealt with PF/bB30 and similar. However the other day I was asked to strip down a bike and rebuild it. It suddenly dawned upon me that I’d never touched a hollowtech II bottom bracket in my life, despite having a hope one my MTB for over 5 years. I worked it out of course, it’s a simple job. But it’s a good exemplification of which standards is better.
I’ve been converting my bikes with praxis works BBs with good success, though.Posted 3 years agoDoctorRadSubscriber
considering enduro bearings are supposed to be ‘bike specific’ ( aren’t they? ), they don’t put a lot of grease in them. it’s almost like they’re manufactured by a generic factor…
Two things you need to bear in mind about most ‘sealed’ bearings on bikes:
1) They’re NOT sealed. No other industry calls them ‘sealed’ bearings, they correctly call them cartridge bearings.
2) For any bearing to run reliably for a long period, there needs to be a sufficient amount of suitable and uncontaminated grease in there. Almost all cartridge bearings used in bike manufacture contain a very small amount of unsuitable grease which quickly gets contaminated through the bearing ‘seals’.
They ARE the elephant in the room of the bike industry, given the amount of grief they cause.
All that you need to do to protect almost any cartridge bearing from wear and malfunction in the longer term is to CAREFULLY whip the seals off and fill them with a decent waterproof grease, and repeat annually (or more often if you really hammer your equipment or run it in very wet conditions). Carefully replace the seals and all should be well. I use Phil Woods waterproof grease.
The above may or may not apply to ceramic cartridge bearings, I’ve never used them.Posted 3 years agokimbersSubscriber
I have a SRAM gxp bb 92 on my bike- despite my best efforts and a miserable winter that’s been hard on the rest of my bike , shock and dropper post both needed servicing and new seals, my cranks are still spinning fine after 6 months. so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubtPosted 3 years ago
If it means stiffer cheaper frames then Its fine by me
Ok mixed opinions which is pretty much what I expected but seems like it’s the way a lot of stuff is going so difficult to avoid.
To be fair I always consider bearings as consumables so when the originals wear out I’ll replace with something better quality.
Giant XTC Advanced 2 it is then 🙂Posted 3 years agoScamperMember
Got my first press fit in my Meta AM, which due to the BB design can either take a certain type of press fit with the plastic inner bits cut off, or what I believe is effectively an XTR road BB with no inner sleeves which seem difficult to get hold of and still expensive from Germany.Posted 3 years agocaptain_bastardSubscriber
all things being equal, i’d avoid
I hate to think i’m susceptible to marketing twaddle, but i’m probably as much of a sucker as anyone, push fit BB’s are a step too far though. Classic ‘solution’ to a non-existent problem. Yup, plenty of aftermarket products to improve things, but seems daft to spend time and money on something that previously just workedPosted 3 years agomaximusmountainMember
When they work its great, but mine work less often than do. I have never been able to get the BB on my boardman (BB30) to not be noisey, couple that with what I consider to be poor sealing and a poor design (what happens when you push off enough material you can no longer press fit?) I would burn all the press fit standards with fire. Would avoid at all costs but if the frame was fantastic I would get conversion bearings.
In comparison I have ridden my cross bike with a HT2 bottom bracket more and in worse conditions and I have never touched it, and it was second hand and had already completed lots of riding with the previous owner.Posted 3 years agoesher shoreMember
constantly dealing with customers in our bike workshop having “issues” with BB30, PF30, OSBB and all the other crappy press fit standards
most issues relating to re-occuring creaking, rough running bearings, or failed bearings often in a short period of time after purchase
I’ve gone through 7 pairs of bearings in my Stumpjumper’s PF30 BB in the past 2 years and I only ride 1-2 times a week and never jet wash my bike! Thankfully my SRAM cranks with their 30mm axle have finally worn out…
..tomorrow I’m installing a Praxis Works BB convertor and Shimano XT HT2 crankset in an effort to banish this ongoing press fit nonsense
thank god my road bike uses an english / BSA threaded bottom bracket shell, as that bikes sees some serious mileage 🙂
the best advice I can give being constantly at the “blunt end” of this nonsense is to install all the components with loctite, anti-seize and re-pack the new bearings with quality waterproof grease before installationPosted 3 years agoOllyMember
I bet the lack of threads makes them hyper sensitive to BB facings. this would explain a handful of people (like me) having no issues at all, and everyone else going through BBs like they are going out of fashion. I had the same issue with a headset on a previous bike. in the end got it faced and reamed, and all was hunky dory.Posted 3 years ago
I think they would work better if they were made like headsets, with hard anodised cups, with angled bearings, perhaps with a rubbery inner race to keep the preload up.
The Praxxis solution is certainly one of the better ones, although the bearings in mine have started to grumble, and it’s only maybe 3 or 4 months old. Now it’s started clicking, so it’s only a matter of time before the joyful creak returns.
The theory behind how it goes together though is probably the best solution. I notice Hope make a bearing that will fit in the Praxxis cup, and I’ve always had a great experience with the lifespan of those, so once these give up the ghost, I’ll knock them out and get a couple of the Hope bearings in there instead.
It’s almost great, only let down by the Enduro bearings IME. Maybe it works better on a road bike where they arn’t subjected to constant filth.Posted 3 years ago
The bearing is 37x24x7
It’s not a standard bearing size, they are custom made for Hope by INA, the only other company i’ve found that does them is Enduro, which in my experience over the years, despite the price tag, arn’t actually very good.
I did find some unknown ceramic bearings in that size, but they were megabucks.Posted 3 years agoDoctorRadSubscriber
Said it before and I’ll say it again: if bearings are failing, check how much and what grease they have in them, as most cartridge bearings are more suited to photocopiers than MTBs when it comes to grease.
They may be failing for other reasons, but that would be the first thing I’d check.Posted 3 years agonoltaeMember
My buddy’s factory fitted press fit died after 3 weeks of light use and none of the LBS’s stocked a replacement – consequently he missed a great day’s riding – My.hollowtech bb’s have been faultless including a relatively cheap XT one which survived 7000 miles of commuting including last year’s floods during which time I regularly cycled through knee deep muddy puddles also I jet washed constantly – it’s still smooth as silk .. The only time I’d f##k with press fit is if I got a deal on a second hand frame ..Posted 3 years agohillspleaseMember
About a year out of mine which is similar to the Shimano external threaded units (XT), the Hope ones rather longer.
However, have got a new Hope press fit sat on the bench to go in and the tool just turned up, so will be finding out if there are more long lived. Doubtless you could critique the nature of a press fit but as the bearing inner and outer races are held distant from the frame evening if the bearing collapses it shouldn’t do too much mischief, save ruining the ride.
It is a bit disappointing that everything is going press fit and not threaded. At 17 st and riding about 200 miles (on and off road) per week i am not sure i can see that there is a user advantage from my perspective. Apart from ‘working on a bike’ involving a deadblow hammer.Posted 3 years agoclubberMember
as the bearing inner and outer races are held distant from the frame evening if the bearing collapses it shouldn’t do too much mischief,
Actually they can – or at least they can if people don’t notice that the bearings have seized and the cups then rotate in the frame, wearing away the BB shell…Posted 3 years ago
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