Press Fit BBs – ok or avoid?

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  • Press Fit BBs – ok or avoid?
  • clubber
    Member

    The one on my CX bike seems ok – it hasn’t seen loads of use but no problems so far.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    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’s
    http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en/au/tallboy-carbon
    Basically they reckon it’s a pointless tech with heaps of bad points for a tiny weight saving.

    dbukdbuk
    Member

    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?

    Hob Nob
    Member

    I have a bike with one. Given the choice, I would prefer not to have it over a normal screw fit BB.

    They seem a bit bearing hungry in my experience.

    I wouldn’t discount a bike for it though. There are adapters and options to make it less painless…

    z1ppy
    Member

    Wot he said ^^ . The bike I wanted came with one, so I was ‘sucked in’, been though 3 E-13 BB’s in a year or so, but today E-13 have admitted there ‘old’ BB are a bit crap…. pity they won’t replace my old uns.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    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).

    Premier Icon timmys
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    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.
    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…..

    dbukdbuk
    Member

    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.

    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.

    I_Ache
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon dallas95
    Subscriber

    I have a hope bb93 in my Anthem and SRAM bb30 on my roadie. Both are smooth and silent. Correct fitting is probably key, not knocking it in with a hammer and bits if wood.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    from never mind the butter’s link the final word.

    I hate you, Press Fit bottom bracket. You are the U-brake, the parachute pants, the Macarena dance of bicycle technology. And you are the future. Dammit.

    lcj
    Member

    I always wondered why headtubes didn’t go threaded instead – surely easier than press fitting cups each time?

    Is there a good engineering reason for this not happening?

    Premier Icon christhetall
    Subscriber

    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 investment

    tomkerton
    Member

    I have come to consider my BB30 as a consumable that needs either re-greasing or replacing every 1000 miles or so (road bike).

    skiprat
    Member

    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.

    ollie51
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon DoctorRad
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    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 doubt
    If it means stiffer cheaper frames then Its fine by me

    dbukdbuk
    Member

    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 🙂

    Scamper
    Member

    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.

    Olly
    Member

    Would never choose one, but a frame I bought turned out to have one. Bought an LX level Shimano one, fitted it with a wide faced mallet and a bit of copper slick. A solution to a problem that didn’t exist, but no problems here…. Yet

    Premier Icon captain_bastard
    Subscriber

    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 worked

    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.

    Premier Icon parkesie
    Subscriber

    Frame is bb30 with a threaded insert to run ht2. If i get have a bad day and strip a thread just need to pop a new insert in or go bb30.

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    Hate pressfit.

    I run one of these on my BB30 frame. Awesome piece of kit.

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic
    Subscriber

    As a slight aside If I’m converting from a frame with a standard 68mm HT2 BB to a frame with a 92mm PF BB do I get to use the same cranks?

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Subscriber

    Press fit, CRAP CRAP CRAP. Shimano last between 4-7 months depending on season and don’t get me started on TREK press fit bearings into BB.

    esher shore
    Member

    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 installation

    Olly
    Member

    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.
    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.

    Hob Nob
    Member

    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.

    J273
    Member

    I’ve been running a praxis for six months and my bearings have had it and it creaks and clicks with a load of play.

    Hob Nob – Do you have any idea as to what bearings fit the adapter ? Do you have a link to the Hopes?

    Thanks

    Hob Nob
    Member

    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.

    J273
    Member

    Thanks very much

    Premier Icon DoctorRad
    Subscriber

    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.

    noltae
    Member

    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 ..

    hillsplease
    Member

    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.

    clubber
    Member

    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…

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)

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