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  1. #1
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    ISIS debates have me confused?

    My 01' Bullit needs a different BB for a chain guide as the Shimano XT spline BB doesn't have enough cup insertion. I was set on ISIS then I read a few posts stating " ISIS was flawed from the get go". Seems like all fail within a year, quite a few don't make it a month. I read some had ok luck but for the most part they fail. I turned my attention to the Race Face X types - after a call to Race Face thay said BB facing is an absolute must - don't want to go down that road, so now I am looking @ my original Shimano square taper cranks. Should I re-visit my square tapers? Or just thow down my cash on the ISIS and hope for the best?

  2. #2
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    From what I understand, facing is required on both ISIS and X-type. Why don't you want to "go down that road?" And if not, might as well just use the square tapers and accept them for what they are.

    If you do decide to go with ISIS, it's probably safer to get a 3 or 4 row bearing set anyways, and to do the install properly. Having said that, it seems that ISIS is old and busted, and X-type is the new hotness...

  3. #3
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    Shimano Octalink ...

    Works well

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by No I'm Spartacus
    From what I understand, facing is required on both ISIS and X-type. Why don't you want to "go down that road?" And if not, might as well just use the square tapers and accept them for what they are.

    If you do decide to go with ISIS, it's probably safer to get a 3 or 4 row bearing set anyways, and to do the install properly. Having said that, it seems that ISIS is old and busted, and X-type is the new hotness...

    I didn't know ISIS required facing - I will see what my LBS charges for such procedure. I dread having someone else work on my bike.

    Shiamano Octalink doesn't have deep enough BB cup insertion depth.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=keen]My 01' Bullit needs a different BB for a chain guide as the Shimano XT spline BB doesn't have enough cup insertion. I was set on ISIS then I read a few posts stating " ISIS was flawed from the get go". Seems like all fail within a year, quite a few don't make it a month. I read some had ok luck but for the most part they fail. I turned my attention to the Race Face X types - after a call to Race Face thay said BB facing is an absolute must - don't want to go down that road, so now I am looking @ my original Shimano square taper cranks. Should I re-visit my square tapers? Or just thow down my cash on the ISIS and hope for the best?[/QUOT

    I am a current ISIS user. Over the past year I've been through 3 raceface BB's. I got tired of replacing them, so my LBS agreed to let me swap out the RF for truvativ gigapipe SL. It's only been ridden for 3-4 weeks, but seems to spin much easier than RF. My one recommendation if you are going ISIS would be to not buy raceface. They warranty, but not worth the constant hassle. As for the new deus x-type crank/BB, I know people that have also had bearing issues with these. In my opinion raceface doesn't do a good job making anything with bearings. They're all hard to spin right out of the box and seize up in no time. Although shimano is out of sight with prices, i've never had one problem with their BB's. Truvativ and FSA ISIS seems to be the best right now and always go with the heavier model with the most bearings.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    My 01' Bullit needs a different BB for a chain guide as the Shimano XT spline BB doesn't have enough cup insertion. I was set on ISIS then I read a few posts stating " ISIS was flawed from the get go". Seems like all fail within a year, quite a few don't make it a month. I read some had ok luck but for the most part they fail. I turned my attention to the Race Face X types - after a call to Race Face thay said BB facing is an absolute must - don't want to go down that road, so now I am looking @ my original Shimano square taper cranks. Should I re-visit my square tapers? Or just thow down my cash on the ISIS and hope for the best?
    Any BB fitting should involve having the BB threads chased to make sure they are inline and concentric. If your BB does not involve a ring or anything fitting against the outer BB face, there is no need to have it faced. Typically these days that means you just need the RH side faced. All the X-style stuff requires both sides facing. Any shop worth the name should have the tools and know how.

    Personally I believe a lot of ISIS BB problems are due to people fitting them without having the frame prepped first, leading to sideways stress on the rather small bearings causing premature failure.

  7. #7
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    I havn't called the LBS for facing prices but the Park BFS-1 facing tool costs over $300. I agree a properly faced/ chased BB shell will extend BB life but I called FSA about their ISIS BB's and they admitted it is a compromised design - they did add they do not use cartridge bearings, they cut the race into the shell for larger bearing use. I am considering a RF Evolve DH crankset & a Truvativ Team Giga Pipe SL - I think i'd be happy w/ a year before replacement.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    My 01' Bullit needs a different BB for a chain guide as the Shimano XT spline BB doesn't have enough cup insertion. I was set on ISIS then I read a few posts stating " ISIS was flawed from the get go". Seems like all fail within a year, quite a few don't make it a month. I read some had ok luck but for the most part they fail. I turned my attention to the Race Face X types - after a call to Race Face thay said BB facing is an absolute must - don't want to go down that road, so now I am looking @ my original Shimano square taper cranks. Should I re-visit my square tapers? Or just thow down my cash on the ISIS and hope for the best?
    I was in your position 2-yrs ago. I was generally happy with my Phil Wood Ti square-tapered BB and RaceFace LP cranks, which had both served me very well over the years. But, I was looking for something new and exciting, and ISIS was it!

    So, I jumped on the ISIS bandwagon and got a set of FSA Carbon Pros arms and FSA Platinum Pro Ti ISIS BB for my singlespeed. Great arms, great BB. For over a year, I trashed on this combo, including lots of racing (24 hrs solo, etc.), lots of training, lots of riding (12 months a year in rain, sleet, snow, etc.).

    But, then I noticed some lateral play in my 1+ yr old FSA ISIS BB and I sent it back for warranty. I had bought a back-up, just for this very situation. I installed the back-up, waited for the warranty to be returned (took about 3 weeks, but I'm in Canada, so there are inherent delays) and ran it for a couple months (less than 6), but it too eventually had to be warrantied due to lateral play. I then installed the 1st warrantied BB while I waited for the 2nd BB to be warrantied.

    Well, within 6 months, this BB also developed lateral play and was sent back to FSA again. I then installed my back-up BB again and have been riding this BB for a couple months. My new BB was held-up at FSA since Aug 3rd and was finally shipped out this week....looks like FSA's warranty dept was getting back-loggged.

    Now, on my other bike (Titus Racer-X), I went with a similar combo (FSA Team Carbon Pro crankset and FSA Plat Pro Ti ISIS BB). After ~1 month, the BB is dead (significant lateral play)....granted, this BB was raced hard during the 600km, 7-day TransRockies stage race, which had lots of mud, water, etc. This BB is going to be warrantied as soon as I can get a back-up (RaceFace, TruVativ, FSA, FRM, American Classic, Spada, etc.).

    FWIW, FSA's warranty dept has undergone some recent changes. As a result, they are definitely scrutinizing BB (and other) warranties more closely. However, despite admitting to me that there's an inherent design flaw with the ISIS BB (bearings too small), they are going to carefully look over my BB to see if it is now covered under warranty or not...here's an email I received from FSA: "As soon as we get an RA number set up for you in the system on the other BB, then you can return it, and we will take a look at it to see if it's covered....At fault here was often poor assembly or negligence. Remember, we are looking for manufacturers defects. Fast wear and tear is not necessarily covered. People forget you can go out in one ride and ruin something, and it won't be covered by warranty."

    So, that's been my ISIS experience over the last couple years. Would I jump on the ISIS bandwagon again? Nope.
    Last edited by 1speed_Mike; 09-10-2004 at 06:40 AM.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1speed_Mike
    I was in your position 2-yrs ago. I was generally happy with my Phil Wood Ti square-tapered BB and RaceFace LP cranks, which had both served me very well over the years. But, I was looking for something new and exciting, and ISIS was it!

    So, I jumped on the ISIS bandwagon and got a set of FSA Carbon Pros arms and FSA Platinum Pro Ti ISIS BB for my singlespeed. Great arms, great BB. For over a year, I trashed on this combo, including lots of racing (24 hrs solo, etc.), lots of training, lots of riding (12 months a year in rain, sleet, snow, etc.).

    But, then I noticed some lateral play in my 1+ yr old FSA ISIS BB and I sent it back for warranty. I had bought a back-up, just for this very situation. I installed the back-up, waited for the warranty to be returned (took about 3 weeks, but I'm in Canada, so there are inherent delays) and ran it for a couple months (less than 6), but it too eventually had to be warrantied due to lateral play. I then installed the 1st warrantied BB while I waited for the 2nd BB to be warrantied.

    Well, within 6 months, this BB also developed lateral play and was sent back to FSA again. I then installed my back-up BB again and have been riding this BB for a couple months. My new BB was held-up at FSA since Aug 3rd and was finally shipped out this week....looks like FSA's warranty dept was getting back-loggged.

    Now, on my other bike (Titus Racer-X), I went with a similar combo (FSA Team Carbon Pro crankset and FSA Plat Pro Ti ISIS BB). After ~1 month, the BB is dead (significant lateral play)....granted, this BB was raced hard during the 600km, 7-day TransRockies stage race, which had lots of mud, water, etc. This BB is going to be warrantied as soon as I can get a back-up (RaceFace, TruVativ, FSA, FRM, American Classic, Spada, etc.).

    FWIW, FSA's warranty dept has undergone some recent changes. As a result, they are definitely scrutinizing BB (and other) warranties more closely. However, despite admitting to me that there's an inherent design flaw with the ISIS BB (bearings too small), they are going to carefully look over my BB to see if it is now covered under warranty or not...here's an email I received from FSA: "As soon as we get an RA number set up for you in the system on the other BB, then you can return it, and we will take a look at it to see if it's covered....At fault here was often poor assembly or negligence. Remember, we are looking for manufacturers defects. Fast wear and tear is not necessarily covered. People forget you can go out in one ride and ruin something, and it won't be covered by warranty."

    So, that's been my ISIS experience over the last couple years. Would I jump on the ISIS bandwagon again? Nope.
    It sounds to me like you have an FSA problem, rather than an ISIS problem.

    I had a problem with a Spada BB, it was due to a bad batch (mentioned in another thread). I was contacted and they had a replacement out to me before I even knew there was a problem other than being told about it by them. They just asked me to send the old one back when I recieved it's replacement. Since then, other than the FRM bearing/cup problem I had in one frame (which may not be due to anything but the dreaded Italian thread pattern problem) I have never had a problem with ISIS, which all four of my bikes are now fitted with. If I was going through the decision again, I would still buy ISIS.

  10. #10
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    Face It

    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    My 01' Bullit needs a different BB for a chain guide as the Shimano XT spline BB doesn't have enough cup insertion. I was set on ISIS then I read a few posts stating " ISIS was flawed from the get go". Seems like all fail within a year, quite a few don't make it a month. I read some had ok luck but for the most part they fail. I turned my attention to the Race Face X types - after a call to Race Face thay said BB facing is an absolute must - don't want to go down that road, so now I am looking @ my original Shimano square taper cranks. Should I re-visit my square tapers? Or just thow down my cash on the ISIS and hope for the best?
    Get the bb faced and chased just because it is not must with other bbs dosnt mean it shoudnt be done for all bb instalations.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ye Olde Balde One
    It sounds to me like you have an FSA problem, rather than an ISIS problem.
    Oh, without a doubt, the FSA is a problem. But, since I haven't tried any other ISIS BBs, I have nothing to compare against. But, in reading the reviews of other ISIS BBs (RaceFace, TruVativ, etc.), it's definitely not limited to FSA.

    I'm currently looking into alternative ISIS ideas, and am particularly interested in the Spada. I've corresponded with Mark at Spada and I like his style.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ye Olde Balde One
    I had a problem with a Spada BB, it was due to a bad batch (mentioned in another thread). I was contacted and they had a replacement out to me before I even knew there was a problem other than being told about it by them. They just asked me to send the old one back when I recieved it's replacement. Since then, other than the FRM bearing/cup problem I had in one frame (which may not be due to anything but the dreaded Italian thread pattern problem) I have never had a problem with ISIS, which all four of my bikes are now fitted with. If I was going through the decision again, I would still buy ISIS.
    Yes, Mark at Spada was very upfront about earlier issues with their ISIS BBs. Yes, issues suck and shouldn't happen, but what I like about Mark/Spada is their honesty about problems and their proactiveness to fix them.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

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