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  1. #1
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    Press Fit vs Threaded Bottom Brackets

    Apologies if this has been answered, but my searching only turned up compatibility questions.

    I'm really hoping to settle on a new frame for 2012, though I'm in no hurry and will likely wait for the rainly Norcal winter to end before I purchase. Seems all but one of the bikes I'm considering have moved from threaded BB's to press fit. Seems more often than not, forum responses are less than approving. These complain that press fit BB's are more difficult to install, more difficult to remove, and prone to squeaks and creaks.

    I've made an effort to pick up some wrenching skills over the last few years, and with the help of good folks on this forum and how-to videos have found I perform much of the repair and maintenance work that I used send into shops. One of those rather simpler replace and remove items was the threaded bottom bracket. I've seen nightmare posts about removing the new press fit 92's and so on.

    So...is there something to fear about the press fits? Just internet opinions and not something that should prevent the purchase one frame over another? Even if removing a press fit from a carbon frame would require someone in a shop with proper tools, I'm fine with that...just want to know what I'm getting into and what others think about press fit vs. threaded.

  2. #2
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    I run a BB30 on my 2011 Demo 8. It is a press fit and I have had absolutely no complaints on it what so ever. It is quiet and it is easy to install/take out. It is the BB30 that E13 offers.

    -Brett

  3. #3
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    BB30 is not press fit (hence PressFit30). BB30 bearing fit directly into the frame with no cups. PF30 and BB90/BB92, etc have bearings in a cup that is pressed into the frame.

    If you're more familiar with headsets:
    BB30 (and BBRight on the road side) are like Integrated headsets (bearings direct into frame)
    PF30, BB92, BB90 are like Internal/Zero Stack headsets (bearings in a cup that is pressed into the frame)

  4. #4
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    My bad on the error. It is a PF30 as seen here. It is a PF30, but has the interface such as a BB30. Regardless, it works great and I do not have any creaking.

    -Brett

  5. #5
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    I have a press fit BB. It came standard on my 2011 Fuel EX9 frame. Not sure what the benefits are. The only thing that worries me a little is the removal. Looking at videos on youtube, it seems the bracket gets partially destroyed when you remove it since you have to hammer it out. Is this true?

  6. #6
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    No, it will not get destroyed if you do it correctly. You can use a headset remover with most of the PF BB. With mine in particular, it came with some special tools to install/remove the BB without a press.

    -Brett

  7. #7
    Atreidies
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    Eccentric Bottom Bracket for pressfit 92?

    While we're talking about pressfit 92.....is there an eccentric bottom bracket for this shell? Be nice if you could single speed a bike with the pressfit 92 bottom bracket shell.

  8. #8
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    These complain that press fit BB's are more difficult to install, more difficult to remove, and prone to squeaks and creaks.
    I have press-fit BB92 on two of my bikes, and in answer to your questions:-

    I don't have any issues with squeaks and creaks.

    I would say yes, they are slightly more difficult to remove and install, but still easily do-able by the home mechanic if you invest in the right tools. I think a lot of the nightmare stories about removing and installing these are because people are trying to get by using screwdrivers and bits of wood instead of the right tools!

    Here's what I use - the tool at the bottom is a Park Tool BB92 extracter (very similar to a headset bearing extracter). The contraption in the middle is for fitting the new BB, and comprises Park Tool BB92 cup presses, and a threaded rod and nuts/washers I bought from a hardware store (or you can use a headset press). Makes the job simple, and cost me about $60 all up.


  9. #9
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisj1 View Post
    While we're talking about pressfit 92.....is there an eccentric bottom bracket for this shell? Be nice if you could single speed a bike with the pressfit 92 bottom bracket shell.
    I have yet to see an EBB for a BB92 frame. Would have a limited throw compared to proper EBBs.
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  10. #10
    Atreidies
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I have yet to see an EBB for a BB92 frame. Would have a limited throw compared to proper EBBs.
    Hey Shiggy. When running the Lurcher single speed, what rear hub system would you recommend in terms of reducing/stopping slippage in the horizontal dropouts? Can you get away with a QR system?

  11. #11
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisj1 View Post
    Hey Shiggy. When running the Lurcher single speed, what rear hub system would you recommend in terms of reducing/stopping slippage in the horizontal dropouts? Can you get away with a QR system?
    A QR hub with chain tugs works fine, or you can use a bolt-on skewer or hub, with or without tugs.
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  12. #12
    Spearman
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    I work in a bike shop and nearly every day we are seeing people with press fit BB coming in and complaining about a creaking noise in the BB. There is a far less amount of people who complain about Threaded BB and if so it is usually worn out and only cost $20 to replace.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spearman View Post
    I work in a bike shop and nearly every day we are seeing people with press fit BB coming in and complaining about a creaking noise in the BB. There is a far less amount of people who complain about Threaded BB and if so it is usually worn out and only cost $20 to replace.
    Spearman, be interesting to know what the source of the creaking is - the shell to BB interface, internally to the BB, or the BB to crank spindle interface?

    Also, if I'm reading your post correctly, the suggestion is that its cheaper to replace a threaded BB than press fit. If so, why is this the case, as the parts cost the same, and from my experience take about the same time and effort to replace (if you have the right tools - which I assume a bike shop would).

    Thanks.

  14. #14
    Spearman
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerthMTB View Post
    Spearman, be interesting to know what the source of the creaking is - the shell to BB interface, internally to the BB, or the BB to crank spindle interface?

    Also, if I'm reading your post correctly, the suggestion is that its cheaper to replace a threaded BB than press fit. If so, why is this the case, as the parts cost the same, and from my experience take about the same time and effort to replace (if you have the right tools - which I assume a bike shop would).

    Thanks.
    Well a threaded BB cost $20 to replaced compared to $60-$90. I have discovered that most people would rather have their BB replaced than pulled apart and be given new bearings. The usual case is it just needs a re grease and re tighten and thats the problem solved, however depending on the problem they sometimes need to be replaced and this can vary from different issues. At the end of the day i prefer a threaded BB but that my opinion.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Well a threaded BB cost $20 to replaced compared to $60-$90
    Is that $60-$90 to pull apart a BB, or the comparison price for a press-fit?

  16. #16
    Spearman
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerthMTB View Post
    Is that $60-$90 to pull apart a BB, or the comparison price for a press-fit?
    Thats $60 - $90 for a complete new one. $60 -$890 vs $20

  17. #17
    Spearman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spearman View Post
    Thats $60 - $90 for a complete new one. $60 -$890 vs $20
    *$90 sorry

  18. #18
    Plays with tools
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    Press fit bottom brackets are here to stay, like it or not. They are all capable of running quietly in the hands of an experienced mechanic. However most of the 30mm bearings don't seem to be sealed up very well at all and frequently need replacement. This is a bit of a hang up as well. Every time you press a bearing into a bore it's fit gets looser. I don't think we will see the 30 mm spindle gain a near universal use unless Shimano hops on board. They seem to be stalling on that front in favor of their 24 mm spindled cranks. At the end of the day a press fit BB isn't enough of a reason to keep from buying a specific bike. As long as you have a trusted mechanic that's use to dealing with them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    A QR hub with chain tugs works fine, or you can use a bolt-on skewer or hub, with or without tugs.
    Cheers Shiggy. Appreciate the feedback.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    At the end of the day a press fit BB isn't enough of a reason to keep from buying a specific bike. As long as you have a trusted mechanic that's use to dealing with them.
    Agree. Even if you are building up a new frame with existing parts, a pressfit BB should not stop you-- install one of the temporary (my suggestion) or permanent (they exist, but loc-tite, really?) adapter kits and use your English 24mm external BB crankset.

  21. #21
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    I've had both. In my experience bb92 lasts longer and is easy to replace but requires different tools than a regular threaded bb. Threaded bb is very easy too.

  22. #22
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poopshute View Post
    I have a press fit BB. It came standard on my 2011 Fuel EX9 frame. Not sure what the benefits are. The only thing that worries me a little is the removal. Looking at videos on youtube, it seems the bracket gets partially destroyed when you remove it since you have to hammer it out. Is this true?
    From what I've seen BB30 encloses external BB bearings in the actual BB. PF30 puts the bearings into an assembly that presses into the BB. BB30 requires machining of the BB shell but no threading. PF30 BB's require almost no machining at all. I suspect the real reasons are to make a frame cheaper to produce. Sloping frames, threadless headsets and press fit BB's all reduce the cost necessary to produce a frame. The manufacturers sell it to us as advanced technology. It is to an extent. But that's not the real reason they do it.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    From what I've seen BB30 encloses external BB bearings in the actual BB. PF30 puts the bearings into an assembly that presses into the BB. BB30 requires machining of the BB shell but no threading. PF30 BB's require almost no machining at all. I suspect the real reasons are to make a frame cheaper to produce. Sloping frames, threadless headsets and press fit BB's all reduce the cost necessary to produce a frame. The manufacturers sell it to us as advanced technology. It is to an extent. But that's not the real reason they do it.
    I found this thread as I was doing some research about the various standards. In any case I will share my thoughts.

    In terms of advantages the BB30 spec is mostly about getting more space in the shell for running bigger downtubes and also having a larger spindle so it can be made from aluminum. using press in cups saves costs for the manufactures and also avoids stripped threads for the consumer who has an aluminum frame. On carbon you can make the shell with no metal so it can be lighter.

    The BB30 spec started as a road bike thing and really does not make much sense for mountain bikes. On a MTB the problem with BB30 is that it makes issues with short chainstay 29ers worse. Frame builders are already squashing and crimping the hell out of the chainstays to fit big tires on shorter chainstays. The BB30 spec makes this a bigger problem so any weight saving is paid for in heavier stays that can be squashed, crimped, or builders running yoke style stays.

    The BB92 standard makes a ton of sense on a mountain bike mostly because it allows the chainstays to be placed wider apart and run tubular stays with minimal crimping for better strength and stiffness to weight ratios and still have clearance for chainrings and wide tires without bending the hell out of the chainstays.

    We will likely see lots of specs floating around for years to come. BB386 is a new spec that addresses some of what sucks about the BB30 standard on road bikes but it will not work for at all for mountain bikes because it is not friendly for suspension pivots or small chainrings.

    For right now BB92 seems to be the best spec going for mountain bikes. The BB92 is an actual improvement because of they way the chainstays can be routed. I think eventually we will see BB92 as the mountain bike standard and BB30 or the improved BB386 on road bikes.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
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  24. #24
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    With the threaded BB it's easy. I know that a Hope Stainless lasted me over 3 years and was still runnin okay when I replaced it. I know that these days the curent XT BBs are much better sealed and also work fine. I have a huge choice of cranks to choose from and would just go for XT 785 model again.

    Looking at a PF30 frame I would not have a clue what to buy to go in the BB shell...so let's have some concrete product reccommedations. What acutally works and will last more than 5 minutes in wet, cruddy condtions.

    Suppose I buy myself a Salsa Spearfish or Horsethief frame: what BB and crank set would I fit to it? Do shimano make BBs and cranks to fit these things or is it just SRAM at the moment?

  25. #25
    no trees are safe
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    Threaded.
    Pressfit has practically no advantage, its hard to install/remove and you can wear out the frame over time. Hopefully the pressfit trend will die off. Even some manufacturers dislike it.

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