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  1. #1
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Carbon mtb frames: Prefer BB30 or BSA?

    One of the projects we are currently working on for next year is a carbon 29er mtb frame.

    All of the other details aside (don't ask, LOL! ), would you prefer a BB30 or a BSA (threaded) bottom bracket standard if you were going to purchase one?

    Feel free to explain or elaborate on your answer.

    Thanks!
    Airborne Dude.

  2. #2
    Mtn View, CA
    Reputation: gddyap's Avatar
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    Threaded. I think it'll be easier on the DIYer for maintenance and upgrades.
    Atomic batteries to power...turbines to speed...

  3. #3
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    I agree, threaded is better for the do-it-your-selfers.

  4. #4
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    A quality threaded BB will last longer. In my opinion. And for the customer who wants to buy a frame it will be easier to transfer parts over.

  5. #5
    @trailgrinder
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    Whichever will provide the highest performance and stiffen up the bb. With a press fit I agree it is a little more difficult for the DIYer but with a few tools it goes quick and easy.

  6. #6
    Airborne Product Dude
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    The BB30 will greatly increase crank/BB stiffness.

    Honestly BB30 isn't very hard to work with at all. People, and some shops, tend to be afraid of it like the boogeyman but with the correct tools it's a piece of cake in regards to removal/installation.

    Here are the pros/cons as I see them. Maybe this will help folks make a choice..........

    BB30

    PROS
    Stiffer for better power transfer and "feel" due to the larger spindle diameter
    Bearings located inboard inside the BB for greater life
    Considered to be the "current" or contemporary standard for mid-to higher end frames

    CONS
    If not installed per directions can be creaky on occasion
    Even if installed correctly they still sometimes creak
    More special tools required than standard BSA outboard bearing BB's

    BSA

    PROS
    Most common bb format around - parts easy to find at local shops/online
    Less special tools required than BB30 for removal/installation

    CONS
    Could appear "dated" (ie snob factor issue)
    Not as stiff as BB30
    Outboard bearings more prone to being affected by mud/water/dirt/etc.


    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  7. #7
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    Wow, you guys are really stepping up the game! Glad to hear a carbon 29er frame is in the works. Looks like I might have to wait around even longer for my next bike purchase.

    Pertaining to the question, I think for a carbon frame BB30 should be the way to go. It is true BSA would be a lot easier to work on for the DIYers but the stiffness factor of a BB30 and the carbon frame would much outweigh the ease and simplicity of a BSA. Just my .02 cents.

    I can't wait to see all the new bikes to be released by Airborne. Really eager to hear about the
    Goblin X0 and the Hobgoblin to help decide my next bike purchase. Keep up the great work guys!
    Civilian Young Turk 29er

  8. #8
    Mtn View, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    CONS
    Could appear "dated" (ie snob factor issue)
    Uh oh. I wonder what the snobs would say about my BB-UN54 square taper bottom bracket.
    Atomic batteries to power...turbines to speed...

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    I have nothing to add other than... Mmmm... Carbon Airborne.

  10. #10
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by gddyap View Post
    Uh oh. I wonder what the snobs would say about my BB-UN54 square taper bottom bracket.
    They wouldn't say anything to you.
    Airborne Dude.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    The BB30 will greatly increase crank/BB stiffness.

    Honestly BB30 isn't very hard to work with at all. People, and some shops, tend to be afraid of it like the boogeyman but with the correct tools it's a piece of cake in regards to removal/installation.

    Here are the pros/cons as I see them. Maybe this will help folks make a choice..........

    BB30

    PROS
    Stiffer for better power transfer and "feel" due to the larger spindle diameter
    Bearings located inboard inside the BB for greater life
    Considered to be the "current" or contemporary standard for mid-to higher end frames

    CONS
    If not installed per directions can be creaky on occasion
    Even if installed correctly they still sometimes creak
    More special tools required than standard BSA outboard bearing BB's

    BSA

    PROS
    Most common bb format around - parts easy to find at local shops/online
    Less special tools required than BB30 for removal/installation

    CONS
    Could appear "dated" (ie snob factor issue)
    Not as stiff as BB30
    Outboard bearings more prone to being affected by mud/water/dirt/etc.


    Jeremy
    This seems to sum up the Pros and Cons, but I'll add that you do have slightly more crank options (mostly Shimano ) with BSA.
    There's only one bigger sheep than manufacturer's - consumers! - AndrewTO

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    My vote is for threaded.
    1. Ease of DIY maintenance (install and replacement).
    2. Availability and pricing of parts.

    Other things I would think factor into the debate:
    - No disrespect to Airborne, but I think the folks that would pull the snob card are shopping elsewhere.

    - (disclaimer- up front assumption on my part) I think the main market base for Airborne bikes is budget minded consumers, so BB-30 upping the initial price and replacement/build price wouldn't jive with this theme. However, if the strategy is to break into more mainstream higher priced models, this may be a good place to start (carbon hardtail).

    Last note, Very cool to see a Bike Co soliciting feedback on the web!!!

  13. #13
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    I'm just starting a build on a carbon 29. It's BSA.
    Last edited by eb1888; 10-19-2012 at 05:54 PM.

  14. #14
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    On my frame a potential weak point will be the point where the derailleur hanger mounts through the dropouts. It seems 142 offers a hanger mount option less likely to damage the frame with a derailleur strike. I see the value on a carbon frame.

  15. #15
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    Why are Press fit PF92 (Shimano) or Press Fit PF30 (Sram) not being considered? Of those two, I think more people would prefer the PF92 because they can use Shimano X-type 24mm axle crank sets easily.
    But, if you went PF30, folks could buy PF30 to BSA adapters and run 24mm axle crank sets after they decide the OEM 30mm Axel crank set needs to be replaced.

    If you can't use a press fit system, then I would prefer a BB30 over a threaded BSA, just because it is easier for the frame builders to align. Adding BSA threads to a carbon frame would require a carbon to metal interface which adds another place where the frame could fail in the future.

  16. #16
    Airborne Product Dude
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    The two options we've asked about are the only two available to us from our frame-maker.
    Airborne Dude.

  17. #17
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    One extra item that I don't think has been mentioned is that bb30 is lighter. Not by much but worth noting.

    Edit: To answer the original question, I think I would prefer a bb30 due to its advantages identified in the above threads. As a diy'er i would buy the extra tools required. My concern is that I much prefer Shimano cranks (xt) and would have to change to another brand. If only Shimano offered bb30 cranks!!
    Last edited by apostolos; 11-06-2012 at 12:39 AM.

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