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  1. #1
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    PF30 recommendation

    Hey there, so I'm building up an air 9 and have a xx1 crank on the way and hope some of you can give me some recommendations on pf30 bottom brackets that would be suitable for the crank.
    -After hearing of some of the issues associated with the pf30 system i want to make sure i choose a quality bottom bracket that will last a descent amount of time without any creaking,loosening,e.c.t
    -so hopefully all of you with experience in this area can help me out with tips for installation, e.c.t and what pf30 bottom brackets you prefer...i deeply appreciate your insight and expertise.
    P.S I am leaning towards sram with ceramic bearing, maybe chris king, or possibly wheels mfg....what do you think? any others that would work?

  2. #2
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    For the last 7 months, I have used a Chris King pf30 bottom bracket (standard bearings) and have had zero issues. No creaks, no weird noises, no flex (that I can notice) and it spins as freely as the day it was installed.

  3. #3
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    The issues I have run into with my PF30 BBs is bearing contamination which ties directly to the quality of the seals on the bearings.

    - Sram - terrible (chewed through 4 BBs in 6months). I would not buy a Sram PF30 BB .... especially ceramic = big waste of money
    - Enduro - also terrible. Purchased their top of the line ceramic PF30BB = big waste of money ... did not hold up.
    - Chris King - good so far. Seals seem much better and it is easily serviced and can be cleaned and re-greased easily.

    Conclusion - buy a CK PF30. Would recommend their standard bearing rather than ceramic.

  4. #4
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    A lot of roadies recommend a drain hole in the bottom of the BB shell. Part of the problem is that one way or another, water gets into bike frames and the bottom bracket is the lowest point.

    I have to admit I haven't researched it for myself yet, though I think I have BB30 on my new bike... but don't BB30 and PF30 use standard industrial bearing sizes? That lets you order from an industrial bearing supplier that will have a pretty broad selection of bearings. I'd go for either an alloy steel ball bearing with water proof grease and seals on both sides or maybe an angular contact bearing, if there's one that fits in that envelope.

    Not that you wouldn't still want the rest of the unit to be well made. But being able to substitute the bearing itself really stretches out the life of these things, and sometimes the bike companies cheap out on the bearing itself.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Its a BB..I have never splurged on bearings. The standard SRAM PF30 I had worked fine for over a year and then I replaced it with another SRAM for $55...probably didn't need it but was getting a little rough so I just did it. I think the big thing with these types of BBs is to be REALLY careful when you wash your bike.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  6. #6
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    To be clear IMO the longevity of a Sram PF30 BB is very dependent on the riding conditions it is subjected to. While I tend to be very careful about not riding my local trails when they are soft I periodically run into wet /muddy conditions which will cook a Sram PF30 in one ride. A unexpectedly quick thawing in the late fall, winter, early spring can quickly turn a ride into a mud fest which wreaks havoc with the Sram BB. Same thing goes for heavy down pours / thunderstorms in the summer. The Sram PF30 BB has poor bearing seals and does not hold up in even mildly adverse conditions.

  7. #7
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    That is a bit of an over exaggeration IMHO. I have had these same things happen to me and my BB wasn't hosed.

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    Last edited by TiGeo; 12-19-2013 at 07:16 AM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  8. #8
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    My lbs recommended a CK PF30 BB because of the easy of maintenance and although iv'e only had mine for a few weeks, everything is fine. In other words, I don't think about it. I like parts that I don't have to think about when I'm riding.

  9. #9
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    I have the Praxis PF30 bb. I would have liked a HOPE but I'm told they don't make that particular fit yet. The Praxis has only just been fitted so hopefully it will be a long time until have anything significant to say about the longevity. They do seem popular for fitting for Shimano cranks. In the worst case scenario it was only about 60% of the price of the CK.

  10. #10
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    What are the PF30 BB's like on the New Spesh bikes? I would not consider my experience with BB30 to be overly positive so I'm leaning away from any press fit anything. Threaded external shell BB's didn't have anything wrong with them. Other that it being cheaper for the manufacturer is there a benefir to press fit?

  11. #11
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    Re: PF30 recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by SJDude View Post
    What are the PF30 BB's like on the New Spesh bikes?
    On my 2013 stumpjumper, the original pf30 still feels new (bought in April), ridden through tons of mud and during wet rainy conditions

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJDude View Post
    What are the PF30 BB's like on the New Spesh bikes? I would not consider my experience with BB30 to be overly positive so I'm leaning away from any press fit anything. Threaded external shell BB's didn't have anything wrong with them. Other that it being cheaper for the manufacturer is there a benefir to press fit?
    PF30 / BB30 shells are actually more expensive to use for frame manufacturers and gained traction and popularity due to the frame & tubing design advantages tied to much larger shell / surface area to join the down tube, seat tube and chain stays. It also provides weight advantages for cranksets / BBs.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cusco;10889243[B
    ]PF30 / BB30 shells are actually more expensive to use for frame manufacturers and gained traction and popularity due to the frame & tubing design advantages tied to much larger shell / surface area to join the down tube, seat tube and chain stays.

    I'm curious what your source is to that claim.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm curious what your source is to that claim.
    See the attached link and follow through the thread following Bob Dopolina's comments. He is 100% legit, has spent his entire career in the bike industry, currently lives in Taiwan and regularly meets / visits the large bike component and frame manufacturing plants in Taiwan and China. Feel free to research him ... he knows his stuff and is a very reliable source.

    What exactly is BB30? - Page 4

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJDude View Post
    What are the PF30 BB's like on the New Spesh bikes? I would not consider my experience with BB30 to be overly positive so I'm leaning away from any press fit anything. Threaded external shell BB's didn't have anything wrong with them. Other that it being cheaper for the manufacturer is there a benefit to press fit?
    I got a new 2012 Stump Jumper Comp 29 HT last July and the BB was creaking in the first month when I took it in for its first service they got rid of the creak.
    But I'm sure it will be back shortly.
    I'm going Chris King as soon as I can. (Good Track Record)
    Funny thing is my 1997 Rock Hopper has the stock BB and after all this time has never creaked go figure.
    ​​
    2012 Stump Jumper Comp 29'er H.T.
    1997 Rock Hopper / Manitou TI Bulge Fork / Shimano STX-3 x 7 P.O.S.​

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Cartridge bottom brackets are a good design when they're well-executed, IMO.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    I'm using the Enduro pf30 bearing, and after learning how to adjust the preload, it's been perfect. Obviously Specialized didn't know either, the factory bearing failed about 50 miles into it's life. It creaked from day one and almost seized shortly after. Now I would shy away from a press fit frame. Although my external bearing cranks of old lasted forever.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigb2000 View Post
    ... Now I would shy away from a press fit frame. ...
    +1

    But everybody is doing it so it must be cool right? Even the mighty Trek has a BB90 press fit and the sales dudes swear by it. I can see the benefit. The BB shell can be absolutely huge which means stiff without changing chain line or how far apart the cranks are. Still scares me.

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