x-type BB for SS ?s...no response in SS forum- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    x-type BB for SS ?s...no response in SS forum

    tried the SS forum, and got crickets. i figure there's more active users over this a-way.

    hi all. need some honest feedback here.

    i've been riding singlespeed for quite a while. i currently use a shimano UN-71 square taper BB(go through about one per 6 months) with some 90s era race face forged cranks. this has been the fool-proof combo for me forever. i dabbled in isis years ago, and experienced miserable creaks and loosening of crank bolts. so back to square taper i went....

    i can't stand any creaking or popping or any of that crap while riding(so i have avoided eccentric BBs like the plague).

    but i have the new bike bug, and have my eyes set on a 2011 kona unit 29 as a complete. it is spec'd with X-type BB and cranks. i have installed x-types on my wife's geared MTB, and she has had no issues, but she's way lighter than me, and a spinner.

    are x-type BBs/cranks prone to creaking or loosening with SS use? i know there could be many factors like correct installation, etc., but i'm just looking for the general feeling.

    also, i live in Oregon, so i ride in the mud/wet/muck quite a bit.

    any experience or feedback would be much appreciated.

    thanks!

    lazy72
    clicky-wrists

  2. #2
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    I am assuming you are speaking about the bottom brackets with the out bound bearing.... i made the switch and it was much larger improvement than what i had previously. i ride in the wet muddy sandy conditions in Florida and my raceface x-type BB is smoother and faster than it was when i first installed it... i know Florida conditions are pretty tough on components do to the fine sand we have in some areas...

  3. #3
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    Wow, your wife is a spinner? That's hot! J/K. I've been using X-type BB's on SS cross bikes and mountain bikes for a few years and have not had any problems. I even used a "magic gear" that was a little too tight (cranks would barely turn, but I was too lazy to do anything about it) on a beater bike for a few hundred miles with no ill-effects, and these were low to mid-level BB's from some fairly cheap cranks. The worst that can happen is that you burn out a set of BB cups and you have to replace them. I know there are several people here who are really into the King and Hope BB cups, but personally I can't see spending that kind of coin on them when the plain ones work fine for me.

  4. #4
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    I've had issues with RaceFace X-type bearings seizing up after being ridden in wet conditions. They usually break free and spin okay later. Shimano bearings seem to be sealed better and are compatible with RaceFace cranks. I have a Chris King BB on my Niner SIR9 single speed and have had no problems with it so far. Based on my experience, I'd run the RaceFace BB until it dies and then replace it with either a Shimano or Chris King BB.

  5. #5
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    I've run outboard BB cups exclusively for the past 4-5 years on everything (geared mtb, SS mtb, road) and have never had any problem. If wet weather riding is a concern, I recommend the King BB which can be purged with their proprietary grease gun.

  6. #6
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    Not that you need more confirmation buy I ride X-type BBs on my SS and have zero issues.

  7. #7
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    I run a x-type BB on one of my ss's, it accompanied the race face evolve DH cranks. total over kill for the bike as they are heavy and stout but I found it at a steal and needed the 38t chainwheel for my magic gear. Have had it for a fair number of months and not a single issue to report, but admittedly they are still rather young and have not been used long enough to yet make the strongest assertion that they are perfect, but..so far, so good.

  8. #8
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    I'm a big supporter of outboard bearings especially with what Shimano has to offer, I think their pinch bolt system is the bee knees.

    What you have to watch out for is if you use a FW vs a hub with spacers. I use a WI FW with a Paul WORD hub and this has a 51mm chainline which is what my external bb cranks are. Something like a White Industries hub would be around 47mm chainline I believe, so then I would have to look at another set of cranks.
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  9. #9
    transmitter~receiver
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    FSA MegaExo cranks on my ss (same-spec, 24mm axle) for many miles w/no problems. I'm going to sub a CK BB at some point soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
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  10. #10
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    I've been running an x-type for several years, but on a geared bike. They work fine, but are not any sort of an upgrade from square taper BB (maybe on trails or DH bikes, but not for XC riding). Mine have been quiet, but the stock bearings do not last as long as those on square taper BBs.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  11. #11
    M_S
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    The Raceface and FSA units are tolerable but not great. Shimano is better, with TruVativ/SRAM somewhere in the middle, in my totally subjective experience. Cheap and easy to service. However the fact that you live in Oregon and also run through those Shimano square taper units every 6 months(!) shows you're hard on bottom brackets. I like external bearing stuff, but it is not as well sealed as most cartridge square taper stuff in my opinion.

    That shouldn't dissuade you from buying the bike though. Nor should you run out and buy a King or Hope or Phil Wood bottom bracket right away either. Might as well see how it does for you first. You can always go back to square taper if you're killing outboard units too often.
    - Simon

  12. #12
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    If you are going to go with outboard maybe look at Enduro, they seem to make stuff that lasts with good seals.
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  13. #13
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    my feeling is that you are asking more about the reliability of the entire system, and not mainly the BB itself? I have had a similar experience to you. My feeling is that the good old ST is the most reliable system. The only thing that stops me going back to it is that I like the stiffer/stronger hollow spindle of the newer cranks.

    I never had problems with ST, but there is always that niggly issue with bolts on the more modern cranks with splines. I thought I had problems withthe ISIS bearings, but it turned out to be the splined interface. This is with very diligent attention to bolts and maintenance. My opinion is there is a far greater failure rate with the splined interfaces in comparison to ST. I just bought a set of SLX cranks in the hope the shimano system will provide a better joint. I also think X type should be better than ISIS as at least the drive side is usually bonded to the spindle.

  14. #14
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    I have had problems with the shimanos that's why tried the raceface one. The bearings in the shimano became really lumpy and loose after a few months. It's been a year with the raceface bb, the first 50miles was through water and mud

  15. #15
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    XT cranks with XT bottom bracket works like a champ, I wouldnt ride any SS without a Niner Biocentric BB tho... Had to many issues with Bushnells in the past.....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    I've had issues with RaceFace X-type bearings seizing up after being ridden in wet conditions. They usually break free and spin okay later. Shimano bearings seem to be sealed better and are compatible with RaceFace cranks. I have a Chris King BB on my Niner SIR9 single speed and have had no problems with it so far. Based on my experience, I'd run the RaceFace BB until it dies and then replace it with either a Shimano or Chris King BB.
    I have had issues with X Type BB's (from a couple of years ago) that prompted replacement prematurely due to sloppy conditions- One seized after only 8 weeks (VERY sloppy race season start in 2009 on the east coast) and the other BB got very rough and sandy feeling...I was told it was because of the seals. I switched to XT and an XTR respectively on two different bikes and have not looked back nor had any service issues.

  17. #17
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    I had early x-type bb's (Diabalous) that failed in poor conditions, but a couple years ago RF changed the build and the grease fill and they've been REALLY good since then. As in, almost 3 years on the same BB on my main bike - replete with mud-rides, frozen-rides, creek-dunking, etc. I'm not saying they're necessarily "all that and sliced bread" BUT it has really caused me to pause before shelling for a CK BB (which, admittedly, I have bike lust for).

  18. #18
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
    ...Cheap and easy to service. However the fact that you live in Oregon and also run through those Shimano square taper units every 6 months(!) shows you're hard on bottom brackets. I like external bearing stuff, but it is not as well sealed as most cartridge square taper stuff in my opinion.

    That shouldn't dissuade you from buying the bike though. Nor should you run out and buy a King or Hope or Phil Wood bottom bracket right away either. Might as well see how it does for you first. You can always go back to square taper if you're killing outboard units too often.
    X2...................SRAM Outboard BB on both my SS and geared HT 29ers....they work well, smooth, but definitely more susceptible to dirt getting in past the seals. Run it and if it goes bad then try CK or Enduro bearings with it.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  19. #19
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    I've run the enduro ceramic BB all last summer through mud, sand, and wet with no problems. I have belt drive and was worried about the high tension wearing the BB faster, but it still spins like new.

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