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  1. #1
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    Race Face Cinch BSA 30mm BB Alternatives?

    So after 4 months of ridding on my Race Face BSA 30mm BB, using a Fat Bike Turbine Cinch Crank(190mm), it has developed the proverbial creak that drives people insane. I'm sure its the BB as everything else has been tightened down to spec with a torque wrench, and some loctite. The reviews in general are almost unanimous in describing this BB has quite terrible in terms of bearing life and creaking.

    Ideally I'd like to try and avoid buying another proprietary BSA 30mm BB, like the E-thirteen format and having to buy another tool. I also would like to avoid buying another Race Face Cinch BB, since it will probably fail again in 4 months. Buying 3 BB's a year for one crank is not a reasonable solution.

    So then is it possible for me to purchase any standard set of reliable BB30 bearings, and have my lbs just press in the new bearings? I don't really care if it costs as much as a whole new RF BSA30, at least it will last at minimum 3 times longer.

    The Sram GXP on my old Fat Bike is still running strong and smooth after almost two years. Hollowtech's last at minimum two years, hell the old faithful Shimano UN-55 on my commuter is 3 years old through 3 winters, and is till smooth and silent. These RF Cinch BB's are really quite a let down.

    Any suggestions/advice is appreciated, I just need to get rid of this creak before I end up in an asylum.

  2. #2
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    Hope now make a 30mm BB:

    Bottom Bracket 30mm (Threaded) | Hope Tech | Made in Barnoldswick, England

    Needs a proprietary tool dunno if it's the same a RF?

  3. #3
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    I'm running RWC's external cup BB30 for my RaceFace and Rotor cranks. Quite a few Enduro bearing options and they come in pretty colors too. I use stainless steel bearings for winter use. Everything else always ended up corroding.

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    blogging @29in.CH

  4. #4
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    I am up to about 550mi on my RF BB92 CINCH BB with nary a peep. That includes a few creek immersions, a whole winter's worth of riding, and the wettest summer on record where I live. When I do wear it out, I intend to replace it with the Enduro bearing that fits my bike. Just to mix it up and see if I get different life out of it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous View Post
    I'm running RWC's external cup BB30 for my RaceFace and Rotor cranks. Quite a few Enduro bearing options and they come in pretty colors too. I use stainless steel bearings for winter use. Everything else always ended up corroding.

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    Thanks for the link.

    Each of the options found there says that they are specifically for BB30 cranks. My guess is that it doesn't matter, but I wanted to make sure you were running the RF (Next? Turbine?) Cinch cranks for a fatbike, and not something else?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous View Post
    I'm running RWC's external cup BB30 for my RaceFace and Rotor cranks. Quite a few Enduro bearing options and they come in pretty colors too. I use stainless steel bearings for winter use. Everything else always ended up corroding.
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    Seems like a solid option, they even use the existing RF Cinch Cup standard for their tool. Now I'd just have to get over the CND/US exchange rate, $170 is steep for the Stainless bearings. They're out of stock of individual bearings, so its probably my best/only option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I am up to about 550mi on my RF BB92 CINCH BB with nary a peep. That includes a few creek immersions, a whole winter's worth of riding, and the wettest summer on record where I live. When I do wear it out, I intend to replace it with the Enduro bearing that fits my bike. Just to mix it up and see if I get different life out of it.
    I've had this BB for four months, I don't usually count my distance, but a conservative estimate is about 1000miles. I expect all BB's to last at minimum one year, anything below that threshold is inadequate. Reviews online seems to show quite a few cases of early failure.

    Also investing $500-$600 in an alloy Crankset setup, should mean some level of quality, and dependability. I assume if I rode this BB in my winter conditions, it would probably seize up and explode in a month or two. This is probably the last RF crank I ever purchase, since I've had quite some trouble with the whole setup. I just wish Shimano would make a FatBike Crankset setup, I'd be buying it tomorrow and selling my RF on ebay the next day. I always try an support Canadian companies, but I've never had so many early failures in one Crankset setup.



    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Thanks for the link.

    Each of the options found there says that they are specifically for BB30 cranks. My guess is that it doesn't matter, but I wanted to make sure you were running the RF (Next? Turbine?) Cinch cranks for a fatbike, and not something else?

    Thanks.
    They specifically mention the RF Cinch/Next SL 30mm crank compatibility on their website.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Thanks for the link.

    Each of the options found there says that they are specifically for BB30 cranks. My guess is that it doesn't matter, but I wanted to make sure you were running the RF (Next? Turbine?) Cinch cranks for a fatbike, and not something else?

    Thanks.
    I use them on my fat-bike with RF Turbine Cinch cranks and on my 29er with Rotor cranks. They build a little narrower than other BB cups. Nothing the right spacer configuration can't fix.



    I've broken two drive-side cups on my singlespeed, but I'd probably do that with every 30mm external cup. There just isn't much meat for the threaded portion of the cup. Haven't broken one on any of my geared bikes (fat and road).
    blogging @29in.CH

  8. #8
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    I've used the E13 BBs on my hollowgram conversion. They are alot cheaper, but I can't speak to the bearing quality. My understanding is that replacing the bearings in the e13 stuff is pretty simple. I'm planning on doing it soon.

    Bottom Brackets

  9. #9
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    So after doing some research, I found this site. It seems the key measurements here are the 30mm inner diameter, and the 42mm outer diameter, and 7mm width.

    VXB Bearings 30mm x 42mm x 7mm]VXB Bearing online: Search Results

    There are Stainless Bearings for about $20 a piece. So two bearings with shipping are about $55. The regular Chrome Steel bearings are only$12.95, I'd guess these are the current bearings in the stock RF BSA30 BB, and E13 BB's. While the Stainless Steel Bearings are the ones in the Hope 30mm BB.

    The angular bearings are more expensive then the RWC versions(which are out of stock), but everything else seems priced well. And it seems you have a huge selection. I just need to figure out if my LBS can even press the bearings for me, and if their service fee will push me past the Hope BB.

    EDIT: Wheels Manufacturing also has this type of bearing for sale.
    Last edited by l3eaudacious; 08-04-2015 at 11:52 AM.

  10. #10
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    I am going to be swapping bearings as well. I've tried to grease/antiseize/Teflon tape every piece, to no avail. Always creaks under power, and horrid snapping/popping sound comes and goes. Stupid annoying.

  11. #11
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    The RF bb issues haven't been a problem for us, I have a set on my Mutz and two sets on my Jefe, they are tight and noise free.

    Assuming it becomes a problem, can the bearings be replaced with something better at less cost than buying an aftermarket bb? I went to the bearing sales link and it was a blank page.

  12. #12
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    So after more research I've confirmed that any 30x42x7 6806 bearings should fit the RF Cups, Race Face BB Specs.

    I've narrowed down the selection to either;
    Enduro 6806 ABEC-5 Sealed Bearing ($34 for a pair), or Enduro 6806 "ZERØ" Ceramic Sealed Bearing ($78 for a pair), plus shipping.

    These seem like the most reasonable options, in terms of cost ratio. I think I'm going to go with the steel bearings, since I have no idea how ceramic bearings behave during winter riding. Wheels Manufacturing also has the tools do extract and press them yourself for about $80 total. Ideally bearings are replaced at long intervals so I don't mind just going to the shop.

  13. #13
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    I had my RF bb bearings shit the bed after 6 months. The person I spoke w/ at rwc said the bearings in the rf bb are VERY difficult to extract...and he strongly suggested replacing the cups w/ bearings already installed. He might have been trying to upsell me, but provided first hand knowledge of the issue. Ymmv

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I had my RF bb bearings shit the bed after 6 months. The person I spoke w/ at rwc said the bearings in the rf bb are VERY difficult to extract...and he strongly suggested replacing the cups w/ bearings already installed. He might have been trying to upsell me, but provided first hand knowledge of the issue. Ymmv
    Sounds like an upsell, takes 2 minutes to remove, then install new bearings.

    Race Face Tech: BSA 30 Bearing Removal Instructions
    Race Face BSA 30 Bearing Install Instructions

  15. #15
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    Easy peazy

    Update us when you replace your bearings.

  16. #16
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    good info. ill be interested to see how my RF bearings fare and im sure there are good options if they struggle - kogel or even ceramic speed are a consideration. another potential option? B.O.R Fatbike Bearing Kit

  17. #17
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    First RF BSA30 I fitted with my Next SL's, creaked nearly immediately, I ordered another one as it was a good price and I needed a spare to take away for a race. Fitted it and it's been silent for a year now.

    Inconsistent quality with RaceFace, surprising they don't lift their game as charging $500 for a great crank set and supplying a crap BB is not ideal. Easily replaced with a similar 6806rs bearing that is fitted, just haven't got around to it yet.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by l3eaudacious View Post
    Sounds like an upsell, takes 2 minutes to remove, then install new bearings.

    Race Face Tech: BSA 30 Bearing Removal Instructions
    Race Face BSA 30 Bearing Install Instructions
    Where can you buy the tools shown in the video?

    Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    Where can you buy the tools shown in the video?

    Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk
    I'm not sure about the exact tools show in the videos, but any press/extractor for 6806 bearings should work. They're probably some in-house tools I'd guess.

  20. #20
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    Nine bucks a bearing at the local bearing shop.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  21. #21
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    I'm also running RF BSA BB30. Two bikes are stock steel bearings and one I switched out to Enduro ceramic they all work great no creaking and smooth but I do keep them greased. The last crankset came with an alloy spindle sleeve (RF 169mm) so I installed it. It creaked, the sleeve, so I took it out. No problem. If you have one of those in there I'd look at that as a possibility for the noise.

  22. #22
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    anybody ever used this tool from phil to replace bearings in a BSA 30 bottom bracket?

    http://www.avt.bike/images/Phil_Wood...earingTool.jpg

    i think its for their own bb and will work on other outboard 24mm bb s but not sure if it will work with a 30mm BSA ?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johanneson View Post
    I'm also running RF BSA BB30. Two bikes are stock steel bearings and one I switched out to Enduro ceramic they all work great no creaking and smooth but I do keep them greased.
    Did you remove the old bearings from the cups, or just replace the entire bb? If you replaced the bearings yourself, can you provide feedback on how the swap went?

  24. #24
    JLF
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    Quote Originally Posted by dRjOn View Post
    anybody ever used this tool from phil to replace bearings in a BSA 30 bottom bracket?

    http://www.avt.bike/images/Phil_Wood...earingTool.jpg

    i think its for their own bb and will work on other outboard 24mm bb s but not sure if it will work with a 30mm BSA ?
    You know, just last week I feel like I was on the same exact hunt that you are on now. I did look at that tool but passed on it as I didn't want to use a vice.

    My solution was to go with a Park Tool BBT-30.3 for bearing removal. For installation, I use the Wheels Manufacturing Press-4 coupled with (2EA) 6806 Over Bearing Drifts. This solution allows me the option to service the BB without removing the cups.

    Additionally, I did look to Enduro Bearings for replacement 6806 bearings and they did attempt to up sell me on their BB. I told them I was sure about purchasing the 6806 bearings from them but asked what the advantage was between their BB versus the RF Cinch BSA30 BB... They informed me that their was in fact no gain between the cups but rather the convenience of have the bearings pre-installed and only requiring me to change out the cups. Realizing that this conversation just jumped by a couple hundred dollars for little gain and realizing that later on down the road I'll have to service the BB due to regular maintenance, I opted for the tools. IMHO, there's nothing wrong with the RF BB, but the bearings are the culprit.

    Good luck, please let us know how you come out on this...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Did you remove the old bearings from the cups, or just replace the entire bb? If you replaced the bearings yourself, can you provide feedback on how the swap went?
    I just did a bearing swap on my bike. Take off the plastic covers pull the old bearings.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  26. #26
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    Hammer or impact bearing puller

    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    Where can you buy the tools shown in the video?

    Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

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    ^$38 on ebay for the set. Not bad....will put on xmas list.

  28. #28
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    I'm getting the same creak from my Rf cinch bb/crank on my fat bike. I have rebuilt it 5 times and just replaced the bearing, but the creak is still there. Any other suggestions? I barely have 800km on the bike.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperg View Post
    I'm getting the same creak from my Rf cinch bb/crank on my fat bike. I have rebuilt it 5 times and just replaced the bearing, but the creak is still there. Any other suggestions? I barely have 800km on the bike.
    Did you have the bb shell faced? If not, have it done to ensure you are working with good mating surfaces. Use lots of lube when assembling also.

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    So bearings are replaced! Took the lbs about 4 mins to replace the bearings. Any claim about them being difficult is just an up-sell. I ended-up splurging on the Enduro 6806 "ZERØ" Ceramic Sealed Bearing since ceramic apparently fares well in low temperatures, and I've never tried ceramic bearings(curiosity!). Unfortunately I can't really say how well they peddle since my rear Hub exploded a second time, and I'm waiting for the lbs to fix the wheel.

    In terms of the old bearings, the Drive-Side bearing was completely shot, making creaking and grinding noises by simply rotating with my finger. The Non-Drive-Side bearing is in much better shape, but also creaks, although not as loudly, simply rotating with the finger. You can feel the rotation isn't smooth on the Drive-Side, while the Non-Drive-Side seems fine in feel.

    So I'd guess most bearing creaks are early Drive-Side bearing failure. Not enough lube grinding bearings, or faulty bearing balls? In any case, any 6806 non-angular bearing should work, and is a really quick switch!

  31. #31
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    FYI if you replace your own bearing pull the seal off and pack it with some synthetic cold weather grease.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  32. #32
    JLF
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    Quote Originally Posted by l3eaudacious View Post
    I ended-up splurging on the Enduro 6806 "ZERØ" Ceramic Sealed Bearing.
    Please let us know of your first impressions along with follow-up reviews on these bearings. I've been told those "ZER0" bearings are quite good. If memory serves me, I think Enduro's top-of-the-line bearings are the "XD-15" followed by the "ZER0".

  33. #33
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    One possibility to bear in mind is that hydroformed frames with large tubes, and also similar carbon ones basically form a large echo chamber. Noises you don't hear on a conventional steel frame get amplified to annoying levels.

    This thread does highlight how ridiculous BB standards are though. What we really need are decent size bearings with grease nipples so we can keep them serviced.

    A bearing that's full of grease can't suck water in - it's not as efficient as an oiled bearing, but these aren't road bikes.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  34. #34
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    There are more stresses on the drive-side bearing compared to NDS. That's why they go first.

    I agree that BB standards are ridiculous. Why so many? Everybody wants to be different?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLF View Post
    Please let us know of your first impressions along with follow-up reviews on these bearings. I've been told those "ZER0" bearings are quite good. If memory serves me, I think Enduro's top-of-the-line bearings are the "XD-15" followed by the "ZER0".
    I thought the ZER0's were recommended for road bikes and dry conditions due to the looser (faster) seals?

  36. #36
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    I was installing a brand new RF Cinch BB into my Bucksaw over the weekend. Before pressing them in I decided to pick off the seals and check out the grease levels inside. The OEM grease is slick on your fingers but appears quite thick as it is pressed into the race and not much visible indication of movement can be seen while spinning. Almost like a gel. Maybe some long term friction or heat will break it down a bit and spread it around. (??) On the outboard face of both bearings the grease is packed 100% around the perimeter. On both inboard faces the grease only filled 2/3 of the perimeter. Took the opportunity to squirt in some more marine grease in the gap. Now spinning the bearing you can see the new grease spreading along the surfaces and mixing with the OEM. Can see it working in the race and on the balls.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    I was installing a brand new RF Cinch BB into my Bucksaw over the weekend. Before pressing them in I decided to pick off the seals and check out the grease levels inside. The OEM grease is slick on your fingers but appears quite thick as it is pressed into the race and not much visible indication of movement can be seen while spinning. Almost like a gel. Maybe some long term friction or heat will break it down a bit and spread it around. (??) On the outboard face of both bearings the grease is packed 100% around the perimeter. On both inboard faces the grease only filled 2/3 of the perimeter. Took the opportunity to squirt in some more marine grease in the gap. Now spinning the bearing you can see the new grease spreading along the surfaces and mixing with the OEM. Can see it working in the race and on the balls.
    Pretty sure it does break down and spread around. My BB spins MUCH more freely than it did when new. Should have an Enduro BB to replace the CINCH BB on my Bucksaw this week, because the DS bearings are grindy on top of it.

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    So I got the Hub back, lbs worked their magic and got me a rebuild with a Hope Pro 2 Evo 2015 full comp! I think they were tired me coming in. Did a quick ride to test everything out.

    So the BB creak is completely gone. I did clean out the BB, greased everything (probably too much grease), made sure to put plenty of grease between the BB shell/cup interfaces. I mainly use Slickoleum now, I know its a suspension grease, but its rated for low temps, and its cheap locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by JLF View Post
    Please let us know of your first impressions along with follow-up reviews on these bearings. I've been told those "ZER0" bearings are quite good. If memory serves me, I think Enduro's top-of-the-line bearings are the "XD-15" followed by the "ZER0".
    In terms of the ZERO bearings first impressions are great, buttery smooth. I'd say think of the regular RF BB when finally broken in, but better, and right off the bat. It feels really weird not having some kind of break in period. I'll post again with long term use, really looking forward to see how they fair this winter.

    Hopefully with the Hope in the back and the ceramics in the BB, stuff will stop breaking, and I'll be able to do some of the longer rides I had my eye on. Was a bit sheepish with the old parts, didn't want to get stuck in the middle of the forest with a busted BB bearing, or imploded Hub.

  39. #39
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    Just did the bearings in my BSA 30. The first one I burned out with a map gas torch. It's super effective, and the bearing just falls out. Your cups won't be black anymore though. For the second cup I just used a ground down washer, about the diameter of the inner race, and sharpened on the edges. Combined with a tapered drift, it does a nice job of replicating the Park Tool. The bearing tapped out easily. I just went with the standard enduro bearings, which spin smoother than the stock RaceFace units.

  40. #40
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    just curious if anyone has tried this BB or bearings?

    Kogel Bearings - High Quality Bicycle Bearings

    seem to have a lot of positive roadie feedback, haven't seen much for MTB use

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    Hi Everyone. I too have recently been bitten by the RF BB30 bearing issue on my Lamere Carbon 190 fatbike. After only 100 miles the drive side bearings begin to degrade into a mind numbing creak at even the slightest pressure during the pedal effort. I have had a lot if experience with carbon, Ti and all grades of aluminum frame bottom bracket issues and have usually been able to remedy it with automotive grade silver thread compound paste. Not this time. I quickly ordered the Real World Cycling BB30 cups/ bearings and problem solved. I have always been a big fan of RF but this time not so much. I only have 3-4 rides on the RWC so I will post an addendum if anything changes.

  42. #42
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    I just popped my old ones out of the RF cups and installed new Enduro bearings. Took about 30 minutes and didn't even take the bb off of the bike and cost about 23 clams.

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    What did you use to punch them out?



    Thanks,

    Mike Tyson

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    What did you use to punch them out?



    Thanks,

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    Funny!!

    I'm not into precision, a flat head screw driver and a LFH got er done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous View Post
    I use them on my fat-bike with RF Turbine Cinch cranks and on my 29er with Rotor cranks. They build a little narrower than other BB cups. Nothing the right spacer configuration can't fix.



    I've broken two drive-side cups on my singlespeed, but I'd probably do that with every 30mm external cup. There just isn't much meat for the threaded portion of the cup. Haven't broken one on any of my geared bikes (fat and road).
    What sleeve did you use with the RWC BB? When combined with the RWC BB, the Race Face sleeve for a 100mm BB pushes the cups out an extra 5mm per side.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep01 View Post
    What sleeve did you use with the RWC BB? When combined with the RWC BB, the Race Face sleeve for a 100mm BB pushes the cups out an extra 5mm per side.
    On the axle I used RWC's own BB-30 spacers. Behind the BB cups I used VeloSolo's cassette spacers.
    blogging @29in.CH

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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous View Post
    On the axle I used RWC's own BB-30 spacers. Behind the BB cups I used VeloSolo's cassette spacers.
    No center tube between the BB cups?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep01 View Post
    No center tube between the BB cups?
    No center tube.
    blogging @29in.CH

  49. #49
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
    Reputation: PHeller's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    1,655
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that spindle-on-bearing contact can also be a source of noise in worn BB bearings.

    I read on another site that someone had encountered more noise on replacement Enduro bearings for Shimano than the stock Shimano bearings because the Enduro bearings had removed the plastic seal/sleeve the seperated the spindle from the metal bearing retainer.

    With that being said, though, my XTR BB with the plastic bits still creaks/pops/clicks up a storm, but it's also 3 years old now.

    I'm curious to see how the replacement bearings hold up.
    GIS/GPS Pro using ArcFM for Utility Mapping - Always willing to connect with other MTBers in the industry.

  50. #50
    rth009
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    Can anyone confirm that the E13 100mm Threaded bottom bracket BB20.P-BSA100.K will work with a Race Face turbine cinch? Both are 30mm crank spindles. I already have the tool for e13 bottom brackets and dont want to buy the one for Race Face/ RWC. It also appears the bearings are easy to pull and replace on the e13 bottom brackets. Thanks

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