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  1. #1
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    Quality Mountain BB30 Bottom Bracket?

    Can anybody suggest a BB30 bottom bracket that seals well against water intrusion? The OE bottom bracket on my Trigger 29er seems to be getting water into it and sometimes it will lock up if the bike sits after being ridden in muck, or even washed.

  2. #2
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    How are you washing it, with a pressure washer or a hose? If pressure washer that is a bad idea since it forces water places it should not be. I personally have not had any water intrusion on my BB30 on either my Flash or my Synapse. FSA SL-K cranks on both.

  3. #3
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    No pressure washer, just a hose. I generally don't spray right at the bottom bracket either. This is a SRAM crank, maybe the bottom bracket isn't as good on this?

  4. #4
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    Nothing really special about the BB really, just pressed in bearings. Maybe the SRAM bearings that came with those cranks are low quality. You could just get different bearings from else where and see what happens after that. You may be able to even spec the bearings McMaster or some other place online. I plan on doing that once I use up my supply of current bearings.

  5. #5
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    Sadly, I see a metric sh*t ton of BB30 mtb (and road) bikes needing service on the BB at least once a season, if not several times.

    I've not seen nor heard of anything that fixes it other than buying a bike that doesn't have the silly system.

    Better quality bearings may *help* with contamination issue on the bearings themselves, but they still creak like your grampas knees after a few months of riding.

    Yet another "advancement" that really nets nothing for the end user besides more headaches.

    I'll get off my soapbox now
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Sadly, I see a metric sh*t ton of BB30 mtb (and road) bikes needing service on the BB at least once a season, if not several times.

    I've not seen nor heard of anything that fixes it other than buying a bike that doesn't have the silly system.

    Better quality bearings may *help* with contamination issue on the bearings themselves, but they still creak like your grampas knees after a few months of riding.

    Yet another "advancement" that really nets nothing for the end user besides more headaches.

    I'll get off my soapbox now
    I don't doubt you have seen a lot of these go bad, but the one on my '10 Synapse has been very quiet and no issues what so ever. I have heard nothing out of the one on my Flash Carbon either other then to say I did replace one bearing due to clicking from it going bad, but never creaked at all. I must be lucky I guess.

  7. #7
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    I too have seen a ton of BB30 bearings in rough condition. On mountain bikes the rough bearing condition is nearly always due to too much washing and not enough drying/maintenance. The latest case of rough BB30 was a 2011 Cannondale Claymore with no drainage hole under the BB.

    The stock BB30 bearings from FSA for example are not too shabby with sealing. You can see grease films forming on the edges of the seals even when the bearings are not stuffed full of grease, so you can bet that they also suck in water and crud fairly easily.

    Riding without a rear mudguard is fine and dandy, but pointing a water hose to wash off the crap behind the seat and seatpost is a bad idea, especially with a BB30 bottom bracket.
    The seatpost area leaks in suprisingly large amounts of water unless you made sure the seatpost can't let any water in from the top and that the seatpost/frame contact point is well greased/antiseized and/or you have sealed it up with say an old tight inner tube slipped over the frame/seatcollar/seatpost area.

    Couple the water intrusion with a trend of less and less drainage holes under the bottom bracket on modern bikes and you will be bathing your BB30 in a pool of dirty water you just washed into your frame. The Claymore I mentioned in the start of this post had sand inside the frame and clear water line marks of where the level of water had been. Half the bearings were under water after a wash...

    So my advice is to either seal up the seatpost area properly or avoid washing the seat and seatpost on the bike.
    Make sure the BB30 bearings are properly stuffed with good quality bearing grease. If you wash and forget I honestly suggest some marine bearing grease that is made to run under water.
    After a good wash just leave the seatpost out of the frame and let the inside of the frame air dry. Might hasten the process to pour out extra water from the frame if any of it got in.
    Last edited by Sandzsteedt; 08-17-2013 at 12:11 AM.

  8. #8
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    I drilled a weep hole in the bottom of my frame at the BB. Tons of water/crud goes down the seat tube and needs an escape port or it will contaminate the bearings because it has nowhere else to go.

    I just replaced my FSA BB30 bearings w/ Enduro bearings. Slathered everything w/ grease to create an additional moisture barrier.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  9. #9
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    While my BB30 RZ 120 doesnt creak at all (using a retaining compound during installation), I have noticed water gets in way too easily.

    a few months back I disassembled everything for servicing and right before I gave it a light spray (more of a mist)... and I mean LIGHT! I misted the bike with water, then used a light bristled brush to knock the dirt off, then misted the bike to get the soap off. When I removed the crank about an hour later, there was a small puddle of water pooled between the two bearings at the bottom bracket. I suspect water gets in elsewhere and settles at the lowest point.. the bottom bracket. Because the BB30 has open bearings, the water enters, where other BB systems are closed off from such water intrusion.

    I hardly ever wash my bike (but maintain the drivetrain very well), so thats why my bearings probably last longer than others.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    I drilled a weep hole in the bottom of my frame at the BB. Tons of water/crud goes down the seat tube and needs an escape port or it will contaminate the bearings because it has nowhere else to go.
    +1

    I leave my bike upside down after I cleaned it up for a couple of minutes to avoid this.

    Water get out by the seat post or by the hole I drilled under the BB.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  11. #11
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    Any suggestions for a replacement bearings then? Stock SRAM bearings haven't lasted well. I think in my case it's more from riding in much and crud than washing, it's been a wet year.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALS650L View Post
    Any suggestions for a replacement bearings then? Stock SRAM bearings haven't lasted well. I think in my case it's more from riding in much and crud than washing, it's been a wet year.
    Ive got some ABEC 5 in my RZ from here: BB30 BOTTOM BRACKET BEARINGS FROM REAL WORLD CYCLING

  13. #13
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    Just get some of ebay ?10 30 X 42 X 7mm 6806 2RS Sealed Model Ball Radial Bearing 30 42 7 | eBay

    Remove sealing using needle and press full of some quality grease in there. I use Motorex 3000 and have no problems even after some really muddy races this season.
    Superior TEAM 29
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    Ive got some ABEC 5 in my RZ from here: BB30 BOTTOM BRACKET BEARINGS FROM REAL WORLD CYCLING
    That's what I got . . .
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  15. #15
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    I'm covered under warranty still. Going to throw in a set of stock bearings for now, they will get me through this season easily. I may put some better grease in first however.

  16. #16
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    Quality Mountain BB30 Bottom Bracket?

    2013 F-29er has a weep hole.

    IMO, water in the BB on early models is probably a problem. But .... It is what it is ..... so take care of your bike and get the water out if you have a design that collects water.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    2013 F-29er has a weep hole.

    IMO, water in the BB on early models is probably a problem. But .... It is what it is ..... so take care of your bike and get the water out if you have a design that collects water.
    which ones have weep holes? both alloy and carbon? or just one?

    I did notice even some of the chinese direct carbon frames are even putting weep holes in their bottom bracket shells.... so that should say something about how known water collection in that area is.

  18. #18
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    My '12 Flash Carbon 29r has a hole as well. Hell, my '10 Synapse carbon has a weep hole also! I guess Cannondale thought of that when building these bikes with the BB30 setup. I have only replaced one bearing since having these bikes and I believe the one I replace was one I screwed up once while reinstalling it. Beyond that they have worked very well for me.

  19. #19
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    Put in a new set of SRAM bearings, FSA is what came out. I removed the seals and packed them full of waterproof automotive wheel bearing grease. It's very thick but I think it may work better, we'll see.

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