Is anybody running BB30 cranks on their Niners?
Currently all my Niners and other bikes are running threaded bottom brackets with external bearings.
I will probably soon be ordering my first Niner frame with a PF30 bottom bracket housing.
For those with PF30 or CYA bottom brackets have you looked for BB30 cranksets with 30mm spindles when building your bikes? Or have you used adaptors and stuck with the 24mm spindles used by Shimano compatible and SRAM GXP type cranksets?
If I was buying a new crankset for this bike (rather than recycling one of my existing) is there enough advantages in the PF30 bearings and 30mm crankset spindle to buy a BB30 crankset rather than a standard threaded crankset and adaptors?
PF30 bottom brackets can be a pain to deal with, and BB30 cranks are harder to sell used. Recently I upgraded my power meters and decided to go with GXP cranks since generally they can be adapted to work with a few other bottom bracket types thus easier to switch bikes or sell when I'm finished with them. This after running BB30 cranks for three years or so.
The main problem with PF30 are the standard cups are made of a high density plastic. The idea is when pressing the cups into the frames bottom bracket, the plastic can deform to compensate to for irregularities of opposing ends of the tolerance spec. Ideally this is great, allows for the frame manufactures to have a little greater flexibility on precise manufacturing of the BB area.
The reality is these plastic cups work great, at first. You can (should) only press them in once as they deform going in (hard to visibly see but it can be measured), so upon removal they will never fit the same again. Then depending on your riding, conditions, weight, power, general wear and tear, the cups continue to deform under the forces of riding, and eventually they will creak. This can be mitigated by first putting on a good layer of TFE paste (liquid plumbers tape) on initial installation and this will defer the creaking noise.
What I have done on my Jet 9 RDO is switched to Chris King BB30 (Press Fit Bottom Brackets | Chris King Precision Components). Then since my cranks are GXP (SRM power meter on bcd 104 Truvative spider), I use the Chris King adapters that go with the bottom bracket, and it has worked great so far! it has been a good 6 months of racing and riding with no issues so far compared to monthly replacement of the plastic ones (I'm a bit of an exception I think, most people will get more than a month but less than a season on the plastic PF30).
HOWEVER, just a warning, since the Chris King BB30 are aluminum cups they are not going to deform and compensate for frame BBs being slightly off (which is the design intention of the PF30). So if it does not fit or it seems really tight when pressing in, stop. It won't work for that frame!
As for BB30 cranks performance vs GXP, I can't tell a difference in stiffness. I'm only at about 135-140lbs during the summers though, maybe a bigger person could tell the difference but I would be surprised.
On my original A9C I also switched to a GXP crank. Since the bottom bracket is a CYA insert thing I decided to go with the Wheels Manufaturing BB30 to GXP shims, which work fine overall. They are cheap, ~$35, and I have an extra set just in case. The only problem I've had with those is I needed to remove the dust/water cover on one side of the bearings (the non-drive side I think), so I'm a bit concerned about the bearings. So far they have been okay, but the A9C see a lot less mileage.
Wow, thanks for a very fast and detailed reply, way more than I expected, positive reputation added.
Originally Posted by herothedog
I have been reading a bit in the drivetrain forum and I suspected that these new PF standards are more to benefit frame manufacturers or crankset manufactures than the end user. Apparently SRAM are claiming big benefits of the 30mm axle which they can now make out of aluminium rather than steel. I was very happy when I bought my most recent new frame about a year ago, a Banshee Paradox and it still had a threaded BB.
If I am not going to get any tangible benefit from BB30 cranks then I would prefer to keep all my cranks compatible so that I can switch them between frames and to upgraded frames in the future.
I had a quick look at the Chris King information at Aspire Velotech yesterday. Running CK PF30 bearings and adaptors is one of my options. I am waiting to hear back from a bike mechanic mate of mine who will be doing the press fit install to see what his experience has been and what he recommends.
I've been running my XT crank with a Race Face PF30 to X-Type adapter. No shims or adapters to play with, just press it in and install a 24mm crank. Plus the cups are aluminum which gives a better interface.
Now I've upgraded to the the new Next crank which is a 30mm spindle, same bb cup design.
I originally built my Jet9 RDO using XT cranks and Wheels Manufacturing adapters. It worked fine with just a bit of creaking.
Then I swapped to XX1 and went with the BB30 cranks and SRAM bearings and have had zero issues and no noise for 8 months.
Wrong link sorry
If you're going to run an adapter I would check these out.
KCNC/RWC BB30 to GXP BB Adapter with Enduro ZERO Bearings
Look like the best option out right now. On my J9RDO I installed the SRAM PF30 to BSA adapter and it has worked well. I did have to repress after the first few rides but it has been good since.
Last edited by Wildebeast; 12-26-2013 at 11:26 PM.
Reason: wrong link
Did you have to do anything special to install those? I tried them and could never get them threaded back together and eventually it cross threaded :-/
Originally Posted by Wildebeast
They do look like a good solution, I couldn't get them installed unfortunately.
Thanks for all the tips, links and experiences.
I think I will stick to BSA threaded cranksets for now. This means I can avoid buying a new crankset for this build and just recycle a 3x10 or 3x9 drivetrain onto the frame.
My preferred crankset for this build is an FSA carbon 3x10 which I think has non standard spindle and ceramic bearings. It does screw into standard BSA threads though.
So the simplest solution for me will be press fit adaptors that accept BSA screw in external bearings.
Does anyone recommend using any sort of locktite with the Sram PF30 to BSA adaptor? I called Niner and they said to press them in clean and dry, but some locktite does not seem to hurt as long as the adaptor can be removed in the future.
I pressed them in dry and they were good for about three rides and then loosened up so that there was a very small gap and I could see the drive side coming out. I pressed that side back in and it has been great ever since. The BSA adapter is pretty simple and straight forward.
The enduro BB I linked to would be cool to try out but I haven't even seen one yet in person. I do like their products however and am sure I would be pleased.
That is exactly what happened to me. I pressed the drive side back in and it lasted about 10 pedal strokes as I cranked up my steep driveway. I guess I'll try another PF30 to BSA Apaptor and if it happens again then I'll try the locktite.
Wildebeast, is your BB staying put? I installed a new Sram PF30 to BSA adaptor with a new Chris King Ext BB yesterday and will be doing a race tomorrow. Crossing my fingers it will hold OK.
I will re-install with some Loctite 609 if it moves any.
I built up both an Air 9 RDO and Jet 9 RDO in early 2013 and both have XX1 cranks with BB30 spindles and SRAM PF30 bottom brackets. I had a shop install it on the Air 9 RDO. They used some type of carbon paste (wasn't paying attention to what it was) for the BB. It now makes a ticking/creaking noise when under steep climbs and drives me nuts. I installed the BB on the Jet 9 RDO myself, using Park Tool grease. Zero noise. Go figure.
I did call Niner before building either bikes and Ralph told me their techs do not use grease. I followed up with a pro mechanic that used to work at my lbs, but now tours with a road team in Europe, and he says definitely use some sort of waterproof grease when installing a press-fit BB on a carbon frame.
onegymrat........Using grease on the threads of the PF adaptor and the External BB threads sounds like a good idea, but between the Plastic cups and the carbon fiber shell does not. You DO NOT want this moving. Niner told me the same thing, to press in dry. I don't think the carbon paste is meant to be used on the PF BB adaptor. That might be why you are having creaking issues.
Calvin with Parktool said to use a retaining compound such as Loctite 609. If mine moves in the future that is exactly what I will do.
I did not have the Loctite retaining compound (it is not easily available like the red and blue threadlocker is) and I pressed mine in dry as Niner recommended. I made certain everything was completely clean and pressed it in. I have about 6 or 7 hours of use on it so far, and so far, so good. I think one issue is that it is easy to not use the proper amount of spacers with the chosen bottom bracket installations. I am using a Chris King Ext BB and it requires different spacers than a Sram BB, etc. Easy to get this confused. Too many spacers - bearing drag/possible damage. Not enough spacers - Loose crank, possible adaptor movement.
I've got a clicking in mine. After a huge amount of reading on bb30, I have bought wheels manufacturing bottom bracket (it's aluminium rather than plastic) and will locktite it in with bearing locktite - I think it was cervelo who recommend the locktite
Good tip on the Loctite 609, thanks epiphreddy! I notice they sell this at JensonUSA though...so perhaps so other online retailers may have as well. Not cheap for a little bottle though.
Do you think this would have issues if we were to need to remove the PF30 BB in the future?
Amazon has it a good bit cheaper, Loctite Retaining Compound, 609, Press Fit, 10 ml Bottle - Amazon.com.
Originally Posted by onegymrat
There is not supposed to be any issue removing the adaptor in the future after using the retaining compound. When I removed mine (Installed dry) it tapped right out with a screw driver and light hammer. The retaining compound just makes it stick better (more friction), so I suspect it would just take more tapping to get it out than without.
I am hoping I won't have to fool with it again. So far so good!
Is there a reason people are not using the BioCentric II on these builds with the appropriate outboard bearing for their crankset?
I suppose because that is for single speed chain tension adjustment, is it not?
Originally Posted by offrhodes42
Don't need tension adjustment on geared dually
Originally Posted by offrhodes42
Expensive compared to other plain adaptors
Earlier models renowned for creaking, can't speak for the current model
So last night I ordered my new crankset for my Jet 9C build. Ironically I am still waiting for the distributor to take my deposit on the frame so hopefully it all comes together next month.
I ended up going with an X0 BB30 triple. I still need to order the BB. Any suggestions on bottom brackets. CK are $165, FSA are $45.
I decided on BB30 for a lot of reasons.
1) They were on special at Wiggle for less than the GXP equivalent.
2) One less adaptor on the frame with the PF30 BB
3) In triple can only get a 44 tooth FD (X0 s3) so I optimise shifting with matching chain set. (Alternatives being considered included 22/30/40 XT)
4) X0 crankset runs spider so I can alter the bike to a single ring or double ring setup in the future with a new spider, chain rings and FD if I want.
5) I will set this bike and crankset up optimally and give up the option of easily retrofitting my other 9 speed and 10 speed cranksets.
So what would you recommend for my RLT on the way. I may be using my FSA Gossamer crankset with a 24mm spindle from my current ride.
Firstly I haven't done this before and I have decided to use a BB30 crankset on mine.
Originally Posted by offrhodes42
Sticking with FSA you have this option
wiggle.com.au | FSA BB30 Conversion Kit | Bottom Brackets
Comes in 68mm and 73mm versions.
However I can't find it on the FSA website anymore so it might be a superseded product.
If you are always going to use a 24mm spindle crankset then this could be good solution as it can be inserted with a bit of locking agent and left there permanently. I have heard these can be difficult to remove if you want to upgrade to BB30 later though.
Alternatively FSA have these
PF30 24 REDUCER / AL
There are equivalent products from Chris King, Raceface etc.
Pharmaboy - any word on how your set-up worked? I've tried SRAM and Enduro bottom brackets, with loctite (blue) and Permatex and it still sounds like a toolbox in a tumble dryer down there.
Have heard the AL bottom bracket from Wheels Mfg + green loctite might be the ticket & am interested to hear about your experience - or anyone elses that has solved the creaking/ticking/f-ing annoying sound...thanks in advance.
Hi bbbrad, haven't installed it yet - I figured I'd put up with the clicking till the BB starts to show signs of wear - they are still smooth, so hate to waste for a little noise that I mainly only notice riding up bitumen hills - on single, there's too much going on for me to worry
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