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  1. #1
    puts the FU in fun
    Reputation: CuzinMike's Avatar
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    Bottom Bracket Question

    So, when I built my Misfit up earlier this year I purchased a RaceFace crank with included bottom bracket. I'm well aware that the RaceFace X-type hasn't got a lot of great reviews, but I was really surprised when it started creaking and popping under load after a half-dozen rides; I figured I'd at least get 6 months out of it...

    Anyway, I had my LBS take the BB apart and clean it last weekend. About 10 minutes into yesterday's ride, on the first big out-of-the-seat climb, my BB starts to sound like Jiffy Pop again. It only seems to do it under heavy load, ie; singlespeeding.

    My question is, should I try different bearings or just junk the thing and buy a Hope? I'm not aware of how many other options I have that are compatible with the RaceFace crank, or if the Hope is really worth the cost. I miss square-taper BB's that seemed to last forever. I'd appreciate any advice.
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  2. #2
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    It seems the bearings are the junk piece of those BBs. Since you posted in the SS forum, I'm guessing that mashing and extra loads being put on the crank aren't helping the longevity.

    I'd personally go with a bearing upgrade and see how that works. You can get decent steel bearings with hopefully better seals for much cheaper than a new BB.

  3. #3
    puts the FU in fun
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    Yes, it's only when I'm out of the saddle mashing a bit that it creaks and pops; thus my posting in the SS forum. I've run GXPs on my geared bike for years, and I can usually get a season out of them; yet now I'm wondering if they'd have the same issue on a singlespeed. I'll look into a bearing upgrade, as riding an almost brand-new bike that sounds like a creaking wood ship down the trail is more than a little annoying. Thanks,
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  4. #4
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    Weird. I've been running the Evolve cranks and the raceface BB that came with them for over a year with no problem and I'm 280 when loaded and I stand all the time. I did pop the seal and grease them up real good with motorcycle bearing grease when I put them in but I've never had a problem. Been super happy with my raceface stuff.

  5. #5
    puts the FU in fun
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    I'm sure a lot of people have had good luck with their products and I'm not going to crap on RaceFace due to a sample size of one, but only getting six rides out a BB is pretty sad, especially as I only ride in dry conditions with minimal water crossings. I'll try new bearings before dropping big coin on a Hope or Enduro.
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  6. #6
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    As irv_usc suggested, I'd try getting Enduro's standard steel bearings and swapping them out. Enduro makes a specific tool to pull and press external bottom bracket bearings, but you can make do with punching the junker bearings out and carefully pressing the new ones in with a vice and some bits of wood.

    Alternatively, keep in mind that X Type is cross-compatible with any Hollowtech II -style bottom bracket, so you could use a Shimano cheapie BB and more than likely never have another issue.

  7. #7
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    Yep. Race-face cranks use the same bottom bracket standard as shimano, so there are lots of options. In my opinion, Chris King makes the best one by far and Shimano XT is the best price/performance ratio. But there are lots of other good options. I have had poor luck with race face bottom brackets as well.

  8. #8
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    Punch out the bearings and take them to any engineering store. You should be able to get replacement bearings pretty damn cheaply. In my experience, Enduro bearings do not last all that long either.

    I am currently running Hope stainless steel BBs on all my bikes with zero problems. Every time I check the bearings, they are still going strong. They have easily outlasted any other BB I have had over the last 5 years and are proving to be a very worthwhile investment.

  9. #9
    puts the FU in fun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    I am currently running Hope stainless steel BBs on all my bikes with zero problems. Every time I check the bearings, they are still going strong. They have easily outlasted any other BB I have had over the last 5 years and are proving to be a very worthwhile investment.
    I've heard this from several people, which is why I'm considering dropping the coin to buy one. I don't mind the higher price if it means I can get several seasons out of it.
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  10. #10
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    Just don't bother with the ceramic. A friend has one and I do not believe that it is even remotely worth it. I cannot tell the difference at all.

  11. #11
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    Given that a Shimano XT BB can be had for $30 or so verses $150 for a Chris King, I think it might be a good idea to try a Shimano before dropping the coin for a Hope or Chris King. I have also had a few issues with RaceFace BBs but so far none of my Shimano BBs has ever failed or had a problem.

    I'm a hypocrite though - I was one of the first people to buy a Chris King BB when it came out and it's still running strong on my Niner SIR9. But what can I say, it's RED. That's gotta count for something. (And it's made in America too).

  12. #12
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    If I were you I'd check some other stuff first...especially if you have changed the rings for your SS ride. Make sure you've greased and tightened up ring bolts really tight. The BB threads should be greased too but your lbs should have done that. Check anything else like skewers. I had creaking once that came from the front hub when rocking side to side. Do your cranks feel rough to spin?

  13. #13
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    Bottom Bracket Question

    Don't be so sure it's the BB.

    I had a brand new SS build last year with a King BB. I started to get creaking while mashing around ride 6. Brought back to LBS and they said a bearing cup was loose and retightened. All good until creaking returned around ride 2 or 3.

    I would stare at the BB while mashing and was SURE it was still the BB.

    I removed the seat post, wiped off and regreased and haven't heard a creak in over a year.

    Investigate other areas before buying another BB.

  14. #14
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Bottom Bracket Question

    Quote Originally Posted by racefit View Post
    Don't be so sure it's the BB.

    I had a brand new SS build last year with a King BB. I started to get creaking while mashing around ride 6. Brought back to LBS and they said a bearing cup was loose and retightened. All good until creaking returned around ride 2 or 3.

    I would stare at the BB while mashing and was SURE it was still the BB.

    I removed the seat post, wiped off and regreased and haven't heard a creak in over a year.

    Investigate other areas before buying another BB.
    Yup, could be many things other than the BB. Chainring bolts, pedals, cleats, sliding dropouts, QR skewer...

    Drivetrain noise is notoriously for not coming from here you think you hear it.

    I chased a "BB/crank" creak for months that ended when I tightened the rear QR 1/4 turn.
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  15. #15
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    Also make sure your chain isn't too tight. And make sure your rear wheel is aligned. I had creaking from the chain being just a little too tight.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    Just don't bother with the ceramic. A friend has one and I do not believe that it is even remotely worth it. I cannot tell the difference at all.
    This ^^^. No matter what you do, ceramic will be a waste of your time.

    As others have said, seatposts can be creaky buggers. Especially if your seat tube is reamed out of tolerance, meaning your seatpost can easily slide down, use an excessive amount of grease and that area should be fine.

  17. #17
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    I wouldn't replace it with a stock Shimano BB. The bearings in those are only somewhat sealed. Best bet is to knock out the stock bearings and toss some sealed ones in there. My experience is that the Enduro bearings far outlast the stock Shimano setup.

  18. #18
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    Chris King BB.

    One and done.

    And you can find them for less than $150.

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  19. #19
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    Thanks for all the replies, guys. Yes, I have gone through the bike with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it was the bottom bracket. I really hate when things that shouldn't make noise start to...I think I'll start with some new bearings and eventually go with a higher-end BB down the road.
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  20. #20
    Poacher
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    I would like the CK, but the XTR In all black is like $ 35 at lower priced websites. I think the XT is more.

  21. #21
    Poacher
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    I would like the CK, but the XTR In all black is like $ 35 at lower priced websites. I think the XT is more. XTR $36 at Competitive Cyclist

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