Results 1 to 34 of 34
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: theycallmeE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    228

    Cranks - am I missing something?

    Hi All,

    Am getting really tired of the wear-out-and-replace-each-year outboard bottom bracket bearings everybody seems to be spec'ing these days. Yes, I know the hype - smoother, stiffer, blah, blah. I have found that they run smoothly for a relatively short period of time, gunk up easily, and really aren't that cheap for a piece of equipment designed to be replaced regularly. I think it's time to go old school...

    I've read many of the threads on this subject on this forum. It seems like if you want to go with a high quality square taper BB and singlespeed specific cranks, you should consider...

    - White Industries
    - Middleburn
    - Paul

    Am I missing any manufacturer out there who machines cranks? Also, anyone who has ridden any of the above, can you compare your experiences with them?

    Thanks for any info or feedback. Cheers,

    E

    P.S. If you really love your outboard bearings, great! Please don't get all fired up and start a flame-fest. I'm just trying to get some 411.

  2. #2
    Mtbr Forum Sponsor - Homebrewed Components
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,421
    i too have had major issues with outboard bearings (truvativ), but my old m960 shimano xtr is now 8 years old and still spins like new. kind of off topic to your question, but i guess i'm just saying that there are better BB's out there.

    With that said, there was a thread where someone posted a review some really sweet looking cranks here in the SS section. i'll see if i can track it down for ya.

  3. #3
    Mtbr Forum Sponsor - Homebrewed Components
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,421
    ok here's the link to the thread. cant tell for sure but doesnt look like an external BB.
    15G cranks = Installed.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,142
    You beat me to it ,i have a couple of those shimano bottom brackets,road and mtn, they have the roller bearings and the row of ball bearings used as thrust,sideload. Octalink spindles right?I wish they made those bearings in an external cup system there would have to be threads and a lock nut on the outside of the spindle,adjust the bearings with a nut then lock it down with the crankarm.

  5. #5
    Mtbr Forum Sponsor - Homebrewed Components
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,421
    Quote Originally Posted by herbn
    You beat me to it ,i have a couple of those shimano bottom brackets,road and mtn, they have the roller bearings and the row of ball bearings used as thrust,sideload. Octalink spindles right?I wish they made those bearings in an external cup system there would have to be threads and a lock nut on the outside of the spindle,adjust the bearings with a nut then lock it down with the crankarm.
    nope, m960 is external bearing. I run these on my SS with one of my chainrings and the ears for the big ring machined off.

  6. #6
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,228
    Anybody want to comment on Hope external BB?
    Or King?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,142
    Yeah mine are older than that, they came with a single large (expensive) chainring that did last a long time,but a few companies were making adaptors to run (at that time) more standard 5 bolt chainrings/

  8. #8
    Happy in Happy Valley
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    681
    Don't forget Phil Wood
    Rigid Surly 1x1 650b--------Fixed CrossCheck--------Surly Pacer-------Salsa Ala Carte

  9. #9
    Mtbr Forum Sponsor - Homebrewed Components
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,421
    Quote Originally Posted by herbn
    Yeah mine are older than that, they came with a single large (expensive) chainring that did last a long time,but a few companies were making adaptors to run (at that time) more standard 5 bolt chainrings/
    I'm going to be making single speed specific chainrings to fit on your xtr crank very soon if you need some

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 7daysaweek's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,545

    King

    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Anybody want to comment on Hope external BB?
    Or King?
    The King is awesome.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    820
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT
    Try these....they look so damn nice for the price, I'm gonna have to get me one, even though I don't have a bike that needs it at the moment. Takes a Shimano 110mm square taper, of which there are a gazillion out there for cheap. Heh...you could always pair it with a Phil, and be seat for life...

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: theycallmeE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    228

    Chris is King!

    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Anybody want to comment on Hope external BB?
    Or King?
    Yes, perttime, you're right - I shouldn't be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    My gripe is with the no-service, wear out quick, throwaway nature of some outboard bearings. BUT, that doesn't mean ALL outboard bearings or the design inherent in them is bad. Nor, that the only set-up options out there with any longevity are old school square tapers with a high end cartridge BB.

    The Chris King outboard BB looks like the right stuff, and being able to "service" it with the grease injection tool makes it a whole lot more palatable.

    If you (or anyone) has any experience with this product (or the Hope), any thoughts or feedback are very appreciated. Cheers,

    E

  13. #13
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,228
    Just placed an order for a Hope. After a fair bit of riding, one of my Shimano BB's is about to quit...

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: theycallmeE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Just placed an order for a Hope.
    If you don't mind my asking, what were the reasons you went with the Hope rather than King (I believe that I'll be going down this same road soon)?

    E

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: eddieshowcase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    147
    I've worn out both regular steel, and ceramic bearings in outboard bb's... seems they only last 1 season regardless. I hate having to spend money on new cups, and ceramic is just not worth it for the money.... I just get replacement bearings from enduro, or a local fan shop... $11 for a pair. Not too bad to knock out and press in... 20 minutes or so each year. Although I agree its silly.... I have octalink bb's that are 4-7 years old and still going!

  16. #16
    Duckin' Fonuts.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    297
    I have ten year old Race Face square taper that has only needed two shots of grease about every three years. I also have one to replace it.

  17. #17
    You Call...We Haul
    Reputation: medflight429's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    39
    The enduro bearing press tool is the way to go. Its an upfront investment, but at 11 for the bearings, you can replace bearings frequently. It works with truvative, shimano, raceface. The enduro bearings have worked pretty well for me...SS and geared applications.

    Making sure the BB is faced helps with bearing longevity.

    My 2 cents.
    Earlie Cuyler: Fights begin, finger prints are took, days is lost, bail is made, court dates are ignored, cycle is repeated.

  18. #18
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,228
    Quote Originally Posted by theycallmeE
    reasons you went with the Hope rather than King
    Cost.

    Hope is British, so they should have some clue about how to make stuff that survives use in wet and dirty conditions.

    I've also been running a few Hope hubs for a while now and they are doing fine.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    156
    There's a thread on this site with regards to repacking outboard bearing bottom brackets. I've done it myself and it's pretty easy. You just have to be careful removing the dust cover.

  20. #20
    Tripolar on most days
    Reputation: Ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek
    The King is awesome.
    2nd or 3rd the King BB. I have over 1K on mine and it has been under water, soaked in mud and has 3 endurance races on it and still like new. I did clean the bearings and repacked them twice but it is super easy to do.
    Be the person your dog thinks you are.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,500
    get some profiles and never EVER worry about crank flex, coming loose, whatever.
    weight weenies and q-factor devotees need not apply.

    I'm sorry, but I've had my profiles for nearly 10 years now
    they go on this bike, they go on that bike, i swap them out because "they're too heavyyy" and then end up wondering why the smeg my bike doesn't feel like it's pushing forward as much with every pedal stroke.
    they're my ubiquitous "just for now until something better comes along" cranks, and end up on nearly every bike I've built at one point or another.

    I always succumb to the "should have something blingier/lighter on a bike of that quality" and I always end up raving about them when I get on the next bike they're on.

    currently on my monstercrosser ss'd monkey.
    was going through the build, with decently light crap, and I was thinking "you know, I should just buy new a new ring for the xt's and put those on, but the profiles have the right ring on it now... scru-it I'll toss them on for now and swap them out later"
    now I'm reminded (yet again) why sometimes just sticking with the right piece in the first place makes more sense.
    only thing I'd replace them for is a 180 or 185mm version!

    and if you're set on sticking with square tapers then I'll second the xtr bb call

    my indestructo-drivetrain combo: WI freewheel, paul's hub (so far), profile cranks w/ blackspire DH ring and 3/32 kmc chain with sawtooth sideplates and no I can't remember what model chain it is.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  22. #22
    Unstoppable
    Reputation: oldergoat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    29

    Just switched to Middleburn cranks ...

    and they are awesome. The initial build of this SS included the RaceFace Evolve (external BB) cranks and while they were adequate, I didn't know what I was missing until I purchased and had installed a set of RS-7 square taper cranks. I mated these with the Phil Wood titaninium BB and I cannot believe the difference in stiffness, power, and smoothness over the middle of the road RaceFace crankset I was running.
    "The most important thing about this instrument is the way the air smells when it comes out of these holes" ~Frank Zappa

  23. #23
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
    Reputation: CHUM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,616
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    nope, m960 is external bearing. I run these on my SS with one of my chainrings and the ears for the big ring machined off.

    ditto ...i run these M960's on my FS SS (which is now a 1X9 )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Click Here for Forum Rules

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    342
    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek
    The King is awesome.
    I have only been using the King since May, but it's working great. It has made it through a number of rides, like Agate creek, that destroy BB's completely unscathed. Plus it is pretty smooth and smoothly pretty.



    Cheers,
    P.T.
    Could it be that the mystery has been hanging out hiding in a whiskey shot?

  25. #25
    bicycle bicycle bicycle
    Reputation: The*King's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek
    The King is awesome.
    Thanks!

    Carry on.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crazy8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    799

    99% of bearing failure is from neglect

    I keep reading in post that outboard bearings won't last over a season whether steel or ceramic. Not one of those post say that they have this problem in spite of maintaining them on a regular schedule. If a bearing is neglected long enough that corrosion can pit the balls or race then there goes your bearings. King has made it obvious by making it simple to maintain their bearings so they will last. King makes great stuff no doubt but their bearings won't last any longer than the next if neglected. Paying a premium for ceramic doesn't get you maintainance free, just install and forget. I don't get how you can complain when you don't do your part.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    i too have had major issues with outboard bearings (truvativ), but my old m960 shimano xtr is now 8 years old and still spins like new. kind of off topic to your question, but i guess i'm just saying that there are better BB's out there.

    With that said, there was a thread where someone posted a review some really sweet looking cranks here in the SS section. i'll see if i can track it down for ya.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    182
    race face outboard bearings are a joke. Swapped em out for a set of PHIL WOODs and they have run longer than a year.

    Xtr970 bearings seem to be holding up well compared to RF. But i still will go with the PHIL sealed bearings as replacement over the stock shimano since they seem really well sealed.(slightly on the tight side to start and then loosen up nicely after a few rides)

    The real tradeoff for me on the OUTBOARD bearing /design is the stiffness. NO way i would go back to square taper.......even if i have to change the Phils once every two years.

    BTW- the RF deus is just as stiff as the xtr970s. I have both sets in 180 and 175mm and no difference between both at either length on singlspeed and chainringed applications. Shimano preloading system seems much better than the shimming style of the Raceface which may contribute to overall better bearing life on the XTRs. Leave it to Shimano to get it right........

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    263
    Quote Originally Posted by medflight429
    The enduro bearing press tool is the way to go. Its an upfront investment, but at 11 for the bearings, you can replace bearings frequently. It works with truvative, shimano, raceface. The enduro bearings have worked pretty well for me...SS and geared applications.

    My 2 cents.
    Where did you buy the tool and bearings? and how much was the tool?

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crazy8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    799

    No Special Tool Necessary BB Bearing Replacement

    The BB is #6805, 25x31x7, except for Enduro which is 24x31x7 and uses a different dust seal. You can get them on eBay or type the size into a search engine for vendors. The bearing tool will be approx $75~$100.

    Here is a simple way to replace the bearings without any special tools. I've used this many times and always successfully.
    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug67
    Where did you buy the tool and bearings? and how much was the tool?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  30. #30
    Retro Grouch
    Reputation: aka brad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,091
    Quote Originally Posted by crazy8
    I keep reading in post that outboard bearings won't last over a season whether steel or ceramic. Not one of those post say that they have this problem in spite of maintaining them on a regular schedule. If a bearing is neglected long enough that corrosion can pit the balls or race then there goes your bearings. King has made it obvious by making it simple to maintain their bearings so they will last. King makes great stuff no doubt but their bearings won't last any longer than the next if neglected. Paying a premium for ceramic doesn't get you maintenance free, just install and forget. I don't get how you can complain when you don't do your part.
    Perhaps you can enlighten us. Since all external BB (except King) use unserviceable sealed bearings, what type of maintenance do you suggest
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  31. #31
    Tulsa
    Reputation: rojogonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,083
    I dumped my outboard bearinged cranks and went old school on ebay, i'm liking it

    wherever you go, there you are

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crazy8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    799

    Servicing BB Bearings

    Hi Brad, They all are serviceable, it's just that King has made it easier. Have you ever checked out the following thread? It's a old one but gives easy to follow instructions with pictures.

    Outboard Bearing Bottom Bracket Service Guide. With Pics.

    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    Perhaps you can enlighten us. Since all external BB (except King) use unserviceable sealed bearings, what type of maintenance do you suggest

  33. #33
    Retro Grouch
    Reputation: aka brad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,091

    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by crazy8
    Hi Brad, They all are serviceable, it's just that King has made it easier. Have you ever checked out the following thread? It's a old one but gives easy to follow instructions with pictures.

    Outboard Bearing Bottom Bracket Service Guide. With Pics.
    I am aware that most sealed bearings can be serviced given enough tenacity, however I think it's disingenuous to blame worn out bearings on poor maintenance when the manufacturer tells you not to service them. The issue is, if you follow the manufacturers advice, the bearing usually have a short life; but this is not the fault of the end user. IMHO
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  34. #34
    Got Mojo?
    Reputation: BikeMojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Nonracerrichie
    I have ten year old Race Face square taper that has only needed two shots of grease about every three years. I also have one to replace it.

    Ditto on the BB, and ditto on backups.


    I'll be runnin' square taper RaceFace for several more decades.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •