Press Fit Bottom Brackets – Why?

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  • Press Fit Bottom Brackets – Why?
  • Premier Icon bumps

    OK so a few people not going to buy another PF BB fitted bike. Unless the standard of sealing improves drastically I won’t. Is it worth compiling a list of MTB manufacturers (inc frame-only mfrs) that have not adopted the PF/BB30 standard on their ‘average’ XC/trail bikes? I’ve got:

    Santa Cruz

    The real big hitters (Specialized, Giant) seem to have gone PF across their ‘normal’ (XC/trail) mountain bike ranges however.

    I was amused that Ghost claim the PF BB ‘improves stability and reduces maintenance’. Ho ho ho.

    Most of the problems with PF BBs stem from the low-end Shimano BBs that are comin with these bikes, which have plastic cups. The plastic is soft (they fall to bits when you remove them) and can’t be supporting the bearings properly as a sresult. Better quality BBs give better results.

    Premier Icon bumps

    Ahhhh! So what you’re actually ranting about here is the quality of the bearing used within the press fit, not the actual design principal?

    Nickc I never rant… 😉 Whether it’s the bearing quality or design principle that makes PF BBs currently rubbish is a moot point; the result is not – in my experience – fit for purpose.

    The design principle (quoted by most mfrs who spec them) is that they’re stiffer (and Ghost claim they need less maintenance which just isn’t yet true). I can’t notice increased stiffness over a HT2-type BB and I have to replace bearings a lot more often so it’s a lose-lose situation IMO.

    As I said however if press fit BBs improve enough to be fit for purpose on MTBs, then fine. But at the moment they’re not.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Nice list, but:

    afaict, Ibis have a pressfit type BB now on at least 1 bike.
    Canyon too iirc.

    Most of the smaller German mfrs I looked at are no longer BSA, at least on newer models.

    Premier Icon LeeW

    The more frame manufacturers switch to PF std for BB the more component manufacturers are going to invest in coming up with long term solutions.

    Moots blog talking about the new CK PF30 BB

    FSA make a threaded aluminium shell you can press in to your frame then fit a std HT2 BB in to. There’re solutions out there, and it’s going to get better.

    Premier Icon tomd

    My Trek full sus has a BB30. It’s about 9 months old, never seen a dry ride and has done plenty miles. It developed a creak after about 6 months, but still spins OK. So, I’m not mega impressed, but seems to be lasting if nothing else. I was getting about a year out of XT HTII BBs before this so seems on a par really.

    Ramsey Neil

    The other issue with pressfit is if your bearing seizes it can spin in the frame reaming it out and pretty much ruining it . Trek can actually supply a slightly oversize bearing that you can use if this happens so it’s not as though manufacturers are unaware of the problems caused .


    Surely the main point of them is you can’t cross thread your frame?

    Premier Icon tenfoot

    It probably won’t surpise anyone if I tell you that I had to replace the PF BB on my Zesty after 6 months. That was a year ago, and it’s just starting to go again. I’ve made this one last longer by inverting the bike after wet rides, and sharing the load by using my old Scott G-Zero in the wettest weather.

    I will ask my local LBS to fit a Hope replacement this time, but my main worry is that the Hope item won’t last any longer than the Shimano POS.


    Well I feel silly now for posting my last thread 😐


    Eve if the Hope one doesn’t last any longer, the only thing to replace will be the bearings and that should be far cheaper than a whole new unit (even non-Hope ones)…the point with the likes of the Hope is once it is fitted you leave it in-situ and just replace the bearings once they are knackered…so should be a much easier job (and hopefully needing done far less often)…

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Saw the vid for Hope BSA cups, and out of the frame that looked pretty easy. In situ in the frame of course the tools won’t fit, so that just means spending dough on the park tool remover tool and a press (just like BB30, in effect).

    Had a look at the Superstar remover tools. Only 20 quid for (yet) another tool. Only a few bob more expensive than a Shimano BSA screw in BB.

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