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  1. #1
    unrooted
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    Bike Magazine Slams Pressfit BBs

    Did anyone else read the newest (december 13) issue of Bike Magazine???

    They have 5 editors build their dream bike, two of them picked bikes that have pressfit bottom brackets and talk about how horrible they are. . .

    I hope they industry pays attention, I certainly won't buy one until the day that zero bikes have threaded bottom brackets.
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  2. #2
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    What is so bad about them? It's a freaking bottom bracket. I have one and have had zero issues.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    What is so bad about them? It's a freaking bottom bracket. I have one and have had zero issues.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Creaking. Worked in a shop this year and it seemed like certain bikes had creaking problems that would NEVER go away. Same guys were in every week complaining. mechs would pull the BB, clean the interface, and the noise would be gone for the moment only for the bike to be making noise again a week or two later as dirt got in.

    Some people/bikes didn't seem to have problems. I don't know if it's because the riders were more tolerant of noises (we had a group of regular deaf riders who had to be told if their bikes were making too much noise), or if it was because those specific bikes just didn't have that issue. I suspect it's some of both. I am very sensitive to sounds and don't tolerate it on my bike.

    For me, also, I don't like the tools required for Pressfit BB's. Like manufacturers are giving home mechanics the finger. The removal tool is no problem, but a decent headset/bb press is not cheap. And when you've got pivot bearings to deal with, too, it's kinda insane to buy a separate press for them, too. I have my eyes on a press that will do all the bearings on my bike. $$$ That is a higher priority for me than a truing stand, and it's still too much for me.

    Really, there's nothing wrong with threaded bb's, except the threaded shell is more expensive than a pressfit shell for manufacturers. as a consumer, I have already drawn a line in the sand, that I will not buy a bike with pressfit bb.

  4. #4
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    Own p/f bb and it seems to work ok. I have a 2013 f/s Giant Trance and it makes a racket anyways so I don't even know if the bb is an issue. The headset is defianetly an issue tho.

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  5. #5
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    13 Giant Trance x 29er with a press fit BB. Not so much as a creak in about 400 miles. Of course I clean my bike after every ride, so I am sure that has a lot to do with it. The demo I rode several weeks ago was quite loud.

  6. #6
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    if it aint broke...

    the purist form of simplicity at its best...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike Magazine Slams Pressfit BBs-dsc01466.jpg  

    Bike Magazine Slams Pressfit BBs-dsc01477.jpg  

    Bike Magazine Slams Pressfit BBs-dsc01464.jpg  

    2014 Nail Trail 29er

  7. #7
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    >5000km= >3100 miles. Not a a single sound from a gxp bottom bracket.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Creaking. Worked in a shop this year and it seemed like certain bikes had creaking problems that would NEVER go away. Same guys were in every week complaining. mechs would pull the BB, clean the interface, and the noise would be gone for the moment only for the bike to be making noise again a week or two later as dirt got in.

    Some people/bikes didn't seem to have problems. I don't know if it's because the riders were more tolerant of noises (we had a group of regular deaf riders who had to be told if their bikes were making too much noise), or if it was because those specific bikes just didn't have that issue. I suspect it's some of both. I am very sensitive to sounds and don't tolerate it on my bike.

    For me, also, I don't like the tools required for Pressfit BB's. Like manufacturers are giving home mechanics the finger. The removal tool is no problem, but a decent headset/bb press is not cheap. And when you've got pivot bearings to deal with, too, it's kinda insane to buy a separate press for them, too. I have my eyes on a press that will do all the bearings on my bike. $$$ That is a higher priority for me than a truing stand, and it's still too much for me.

    Really, there's nothing wrong with threaded bb's, except the threaded shell is more expensive than a pressfit shell for manufacturers. as a consumer, I have already drawn a line in the sand, that I will not buy a bike with pressfit bb.
    My Stumpjumper has a PF30..not a single peep; I am also "hyper sensitive" to noises. I will give you the tools are a bit of a pain..needing a press and a removal tool. I would argue that the cartridges style Shimano ST BBs were great and better/easier to service than any of them but progress moves forward. I am on my second BB and have had the bike ~2 years...I think that is reasonable considering how much I ride it. BB was $50 and the shop put it in for free so no need to buy tools...took 10 min.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  9. #9
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    Didn't own a pf BB yet but my next bike, unfortunately will have one. Totally agree about the tool issue. I'm already thinking about how to set up my own rig.

    A plus of the pf BB, so I hear, is that there are structural advantages to frame design when using a pf (aside from reduced cost). At least in my mind this helps offset the drawbacks.

  10. #10
    The White Jeff W
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    I just built up a Kona Satori that came with a Shimano PF BB installed. Since Im using Sram cranks I had to knock it out and install the GXP BB. I used the same home-brew tools that I use to remove/install a headset and it was actually easier since the cups arent metal. I only have about 100 miles on it but so far no noise.

    As a side note, I test fitted the SRAM cranks into the Shimano BB before I removed it and it seemed like a perfect fit, but I had the GXP, so...
    No moss...

  11. #11
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    I recently serviced by BB30 after a little over a year of service. I chose to service it because the bike was on a bike rack, on the back of a car, during a long drive in heavy rain and a significant amount of water came out of the frame when I removed the seatpost and flipped the bike upside down. It hadnt began to creek or make any sounds yet.

    I installed the bearings (ABEC 5) myself, using a loctite sleeve retaining compound. The bearings removed easily, despite that compound. I removed the split rings/seals of the bearings and was surprised to find they were still packed with grease and had no evidence of water intrusion.

    Ive said this before, but I fully believe I dont have the same issues that others have with BB30 is because I refuse to wash my bike except for when im about to do a tear down for repair.. bearings dont tend to like water...

    edited to add: much of my problems from water intrusion dont occur from the bearings themselves, but rather from entering other parts of of the frame (aluminum) and settling at the lowest point of the frame, the bottom bracket. Because BB30 isnt sealed off from the frame like GXP, water hits the bearings directly. I also have a carbon frame with BB30 and the BB shell isnt open to the rest of the frame, water intrusion at the BB isnt an issue with that bike..
    Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by time229er View Post
    the purist form of simplicity at its best...
    I would put a pic of a ST Shimano XT BB but I don't have one....true "purism".
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  13. #13
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    Here are some data for you. My riding group/friends amounts to 6 guys. 2 have PFs, 4 have threaded external BBs (2 SRAM GXP and 2 Shimano). In over 2 years of regular riding, the worst BB issues we have had as a group are one of the GXPs in terms of noise - it was likely just not installed correctly. My PF had some noise shortly after purchase but it ended up being the pre-load adjustment just needed a touch of tightening. All of the SRAM GXPs have been replaced once; my PF has been replaced once. The Shimano BBs have all been bullet-proof but these also are with guys who don't ride as much or as hard as the guys with the SRAM BBs so the comparison isn't apples to apples. Finally, I worked in a shop for over 4 years back in the '90s when ST Shimano cartridge BBs were king. I can't tell you how many creaking BBs I have fixed..its common to ALL BBs b/c this bearing gets lots of force applied to it and is in a spot to collect dirt/water/grime. Most of the issues almost always surrounded threads that needed to be cleaned and greased, improper BB shell facing, or loose components. Don't forget the crank arms in this discussion...that is also a common area of noise that gets blamed on the BB. I guess I just am amused that some folks won't buy a bike because the BB type...just not something I even considered when buying my latest bike (or any of them) - PF30 BBs work just fine.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    For me, also, I don't like the tools required for Pressfit BB's. Like manufacturers are giving home mechanics the finger. The removal tool is no problem, but a decent headset/bb press is not cheap. And when you've got pivot bearings to deal with, too, it's kinda insane to buy a separate press for them, too. I have my eyes on a press that will do all the bearings on my bike. $$$ That is a higher priority for me than a truing stand, and it's still too much for me.

    Really, there's nothing wrong with threaded bb's, except the threaded shell is more expensive than a pressfit shell for manufacturers. as a consumer, I have already drawn a line in the sand, that I will not buy a bike with pressfit bb.
    For the tools, its EXACTLY THE SAME as a headset, except easier because its a shorter distance between the cups. I used a piece of all-thread, some nuts and a couple washers to install, a total of ~10 dollars worth of raw materials (and that's because I shopped at the local hardware store) to install the parts. Easy peasey. I also used a bit of silicone RTV gasket maker to install, no creaking (from the BB) on any of the 3 bikes I've had PF30 BBs on.

    The pressfit BB is significantly lighter on carbon frames because there doesn't have to be an aluminum shell there. You can press the BB right into the shell.

  15. #15
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    Everything was downhill after the Shimano M950 BB. Mine was raced by a pro for 2 years before I got it and I rode the heck out of it until I ran out of replacement XTR chainrings earlier this year. Total of 15 years in service and over 30,000 miles. No creaks, no problems, still ran like new when I finally had to retire it.

  16. #16
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    Re: Bike Magazine Slams Pressfit BBs

    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    I recently serviced by BB30 after a little over a year of service. I chose to service it because the bike was on a bike rack, on the back of a car, during a long drive in heavy rain and a significant amount of water came out of the frame when I removed the seatpost and flipped the bike upside down. It hadnt began to creek or make any sounds yet.

    I installed the bearings (ABEC 5) myself, using a loctite sleeve retaining compound. The bearings removed easily, despite that compound. I removed the split rings/seals of the bearings and was surprised to find they were still packed with grease and had no evidence of water intrusion.

    Ive said this before, but I fully believe I dont have the same issues that others have with BB30 is because I refuse to wash my bike except for when im about to do a tear down for repair.. bearings dont tend to like water...

    edited to add: much of my problems from water intrusion dont occur from the bearings themselves, but rather from entering other parts of of the frame (aluminum) and settling at the lowest point of the frame, the bottom bracket. Because BB30 isnt sealed off from the frame like GXP, water hits the bearings directly. I also have a carbon frame with BB30 and the BB shell isnt open to the rest of the frame, water intrusion at the BB isnt an issue with that bike..
    Your comment about washing is spot on....have to be v. careful with pressurized water near exposed bearings....which leads me to...to me the ext. threaded and PG type BBs all suffer from the fact that they are exposed more than the old ST BBC which sat inside the frame.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I would argue that the cartridges style Shimano ST BBs were great and better/easier to service than any of them but progress moves forward.
    I too like to have the latest and greatest stuff but I think the PF BB is about ten steps backwards instead of forward. A PF BB is basically a bearing in a plastic bushing pressed into a metal/carbon sleeve in a load bearing application that is probably going to have some water/dust intrusion. Ask Banshee how that worked out for them.

    Why not have a threaded fit (TF 30) standard that the user can replace just the bearings instead of throwing the whole thing in the trash and having to buy a $60+ component to replace it? You can't beat $15 bearings and 15 min of time to fix an external BB.

    I have had three PF BB frames in the last year and half and will not buy another one. Want to know why my Atlas creaks? Maybe its because the non drive side is loose enough to move when I ride. My Rocky Element also started creaking after a really wet spring here in the south. I break a lot of stuff but never had a BB issue other than toasted bearings until I went PF BB. I still have an Ultegra Octalink on the foul weather road bike from 2001 that still spins as good as new. I walked and am now a Santa Cruz man.

    When is the last time you have heard of a bike mag saying something bad about something bike related? More than a few threads here about them. Even the owner of this site is raging against it. It just seems that it is something being forced on riders that they don't want. I think it's a dead standard that the bike companies aren't willing to admit publicly yet.

    BTW, it's been my experience that most BB issues are the result of improper crank bolt torqueing.

  18. #18
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    been running strictly pressfits on all of my bikes(except roadie) for almost 7 years now. i have never had a single issue in about 10 frames...


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    plus of the pf BB, so I hear, is that there are structural advantages to frame design when using a pf (aside from reduced cost). At least in my mind this helps offset the drawbacks.
    Yeah, there's a wider area to weld the tubes to, so you can have a larger, thinner-wall downtube that is lighter and stiffer. Seems it would make for a better chainstay weld too.

    I replaced mine for the first time -- absolutely hassle-free. To remove, I made a drift out of a piece of split pipe, using the picture of Park's for an example. To press, I got a piece of 1/2" threaded rod, two nuts & fender washers. There was a "press here only" warning written on the shell of the new bearing housings, so I used the old housings between the washers and the new bearings.

  20. #20
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    I feel like some of this can also be related to the type of riding you do. I ride a hard tail on tame XC trails...no jumping/beating etc. which are hard on that part of your bike..maybe those having more issues are riding longer travel FS bikes? Also, a lot of this sounds like so many other things that have come along that get poo-poo'd by bike companies and mags.....like...say....29ers
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  21. #21
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    Same here, and mine works flawlessly too, no noise at all.

    The Shimano that came out of mine has plastic cups. I replaced it with these
    Race Face
    which have steel collars. It took some force to get them in, and I suspect they aren't going to pop out as easily as the Shimanos did. It weighs 93 grams, 21 heavier than the Shimano.

    This looks good too:
    Token = High Performance Bike Products

    Another advantage: This thread
    Ceramic bearing Q
    appears to me to be saying that screw-in BB is more prone to getting water in them.

    Anyway, I don't think your car has any screw-in bearings. Press-fit technology is proven. Implementation may not be the best at this point, but the concept is good IMO.

    ...the purist form of simplicity at its best...
    I don't see how you can get simpler than press-fit. Irreducibly complex, like a mousetrap

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    Same here, and mine works flawlessly too, no noise at all.

    The Shimano that came out of mine has plastic cups. I replaced it with these
    Race Face
    which have steel collars. It took some force to get them in, and I suspect they aren't going to pop out as easily as the Shimanos did. It weighs 93 grams, 21 heavier than the Shimano.

    This looks good too:
    Token = High Performance Bike Products

    Another advantage: This thread
    Ceramic bearing Q
    appears to me to be saying that screw-in BB is more prone to getting water in them.

    Anyway, I don't think your car has any screw-in bearings. Press-fit technology is proven. Implementation may not be the best at this point, but the concept is good IMO.


    I don't see how you can get simpler than press-fit. Irreducibly complex, like a mousetrap
    I used the Race Face BB on my last bike and had trouble getting it in. When I built up the one I am on now I tried to use it again and it kept getting cocked on the drive side. It ended up pushing up a burr on the shell because its alu. and the BB is harder then the frame. I ended up going with the SRAM adapter for a threaded BB and just used a normal Race Face BB. Its been fine with no noise after a few months of use. I like the idea of the Race Face press fit BB but I think they need to make the shell of the BB out of plastic. Its way to easy to damage a really expensive frame with it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    I used the Race Face BB on my last bike and had trouble getting it in. When I built up the one I am on now I tried to use it again and it kept getting cocked on the drive side. It ended up pushing up a burr on the shell because its alu. and the BB is harder then the frame. I ended up going with the SRAM adapter for a threaded BB and just used a normal Race Face BB. Its been fine with no noise after a few months of use. I like the idea of the Race Face press fit BB but I think they need to make the shell of the BB out of plastic. Its way to easy to damage a really expensive frame with it.
    Were you using something like a HHP-2 Park Tool bearing press?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    Were you using something like a HHP-2 Park Tool bearing press?
    I was using a HHP-2 at a shop. 3 of us kept trying to figure out how to make it go straight but every time it just kept getting cocked. I also don't like how the spindle hole is smaller than normal press fit cranks so you have a much smaller area to push on when you press it back out too.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    For me, also, I don't like the tools required for Pressfit BB's. Like manufacturers are giving home mechanics the finger. The removal tool is no problem, but a decent headset/bb press is not cheap.
    Serious question: Did people have this same complaint about threadless headsets when they were new?

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