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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    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
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    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
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    ok here's the link to the thread. cant tell for sure but doesnt look like an external BB.
    15G cranks = Installed.

  4. #4
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    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
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    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
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    Anybody want to comment on Hope external BB?
    Or King?

  7. #7
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    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
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    Don't forget Phil Wood
    Rigid Surly 1x1 650b--------Fixed CrossCheck--------Surly Pacer-------Salsa Ala Carte

  9. #9
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    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
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    King

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

  11. #11
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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 )
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  24. #24
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    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek
    The King is awesome.
    Thanks!

    Carry on.

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