race face BB noisy bearings- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    race face BB noisy bearings

    I have a Race Face x type bottom bracket (from a set of ride cranks) that i have been using in a salsa Fargo frame with aeffect cranks. The other day I switched back to the ride cranks for SS use since i had a different ring i wanted to use that fit the ride cranks. Once installed, and without the chain installed, i gave them a good spin. They spun free and without friction but I could hear a lot of bearing noise (roaring/growling). I went ahead and put everything back together. There's no play and it pedals smooth but from my automotive days I know the bearings are getting rough surfaces and will need replaced. I don't know why because honestly. I Don't think this BB has more than 1000 miles on it but I'm not sure on that. Couple questions....

    What causes these to go out this fast?

    Second when i get around to replacing it am i stuck going with a race face branded BB for compatibility or will any Shimano external BB work? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Have you ever performed a bearing service?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Have you ever performed a bearing service?
    ???? I thought these were sealed units and when the bearings went out you threw the BB away and put a new one in? I'll do some research but I guess I didn't realize you could service these.

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    Any bb made for a straight 24mm spindle will work, including (but not limited to) Shimano.

    Race Face is not known for making the highest quality bottom brackets.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    ???? I thought these were sealed units and when the bearings went out you threw the BB away and put a new one in? I'll do some research but I guess I didn't realize you could service these.
    sortof...you can pack them with fresh grease, but that only solves part of the problem, of course. if it's already worn to the point of being grindy, fresh grease won't necessarily solve any of your problems (though it might cover them up for a little while).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Any bb made for a straight 24mm spindle will work, including (but not limited to) Shimano.

    Race Face is not known for making the highest quality bottom brackets.
    I've actually read stuff on their bottom brackets in the past so I was wondering.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    sortof...you can pack them with fresh grease, but that only solves part of the problem, of course. if it's already worn to the point of being grindy, fresh grease won't necessarily solve any of your problems (though it might cover them up for a little while).
    Yeah a new bottom bracket is in order. Right now I'm having too much fun riding my Soma Wolverine so that bike isn't even getting ridden LOL

  8. #8
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    Service a BB bearing and the BB Police will find you. They will do terrible things . Never, ever service a BB.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Service a BB bearing and the BB Police will find you. They will do terrible things . Never, ever service a BB.
    I was never planning on it. Replacement was my goal

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Service a BB bearing and the BB Police will find you. They will do terrible things . Never, ever service a BB.
    This is true. When I was younger someone told me about how to service a BB and how cool it would make me with all my friends. Of course I just had to try it...and you know it wasn't that hard and did work right up until I got a knock on the door at like 3am. I still think C2L squealed on me, but can't really prove it.
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  11. #11
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    1000 miles is an incredibly long time for an unserviced bb.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    1000 miles is an incredibly long time for an unserviced bb.

    That depends on a few things, bearing quality, riding conditions, etc. I've got a Wheels Manufacturing bb on a mtb that has at least 3x that mileage on it and it still sounds and feels great. The pf bb on my road bike is still doing fine @ about 10,000 miles, maybe a fair amount more since I bought it used.

    That said I've seen plenty of them shelled @ well under 1,000 miles. From the op's description I'd say a new one is in order for him.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    That depends on a few things, bearing quality, riding conditions, etc. I've got a Wheels Manufacturing bb on a mtb that has at least 3x that mileage on it and it still sounds and feels great. The pf bb on my road bike is still doing fine @ about 10,000 miles, maybe a fair amount more since I bought it used.

    That said I've seen plenty of them shelled @ well under 1,000 miles. From the op's description I'd say a new one is in order for him.
    I ride primarily gravel and sometimes it gets sloppy. Of course I thought these things were supposed to be sealed so I didn't think that the mud that was all over the outside of the bike would get into the bearings but I guess that's not necessarily the case.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    That depends on a few things, bearing quality, riding conditions, etc. I've got a Wheels Manufacturing bb on a mtb that has at least 3x that mileage on it and it still sounds and feels great. The pf bb on my road bike is still doing fine @ about 10,000 miles, maybe a fair amount more since I bought it used.

    That said I've seen plenty of them shelled @ well under 1,000 miles. From the op's description I'd say a new one is in order for him.
    The last (and only) RaceFace bb I used was roasted in about 600mi. I replaced it with an Enduro bb and got over 1800mi out of it.

    I will say that sloppy gravel is one of the worst scenarios you can put your bike through. That crap is gritty and trashes bike parts. I know people who gravel race and if they deal with those kinds of conditions in a race, they're pretty much doing a full bearing service afterwards at minimum, and they'll be replacing a bunch of them as necessary.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The last (and only) RaceFace bb I used was roasted in about 600mi. I replaced it with an Enduro bb and got over 1800mi out of it.

    I will say that sloppy gravel is one of the worst scenarios you can put your bike through. That crap is gritty and trashes bike parts. I know people who gravel race and if they deal with those kinds of conditions in a race, they're pretty much doing a full bearing service afterwards at minimum, and they'll be replacing a bunch of them as necessary.
    I won't argue that you're 100% correct. But I want to say after yesterday's ride I washed my bike really good and detailed it out and I took both wheels and pulled them apart and serviced the Shimano XT hubs. When I built these wheels back in 2016 the first thing I did right out of the box was disassemble those hubs wipe the thin film The factory grease off and put a liberal coat of fresh waterproof marine-grade wheel bearing grease in. I have put 2,000 miles on these wheels since. So yesterday was the first time I have serviced My cup and cone bearings in 2,000 miles of gravel and pavement. They were still gooey and clean inside and since I had them apart I went ahead and wipe them clean and put fresh grease in anyways. The point I'm trying to make is obviously My cup and cone Shimano front and rear hubs have done a good job of keeping grit and water out for close to two thousand miles so how come a sealed bottom bracket bearing doesn't? It's just one of those things that leaves you scratching your head.

  16. #16
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    For some reason RF BB's have just not been up to the standards that the rest of their parts are. The 24mm ones are amazingly way better than the 30mm BSA ones which are absolute crap but none are known to be reliable at all. I would just get a better quality hope or wheels manufacturing 24mm BB and not worry about it.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    My cup and cone Shimano front and rear hubs have done a good job of keeping grit and water out for close to two thousand miles so how come a sealed bottom bracket bearing doesn't? It's just one of those things that leaves you scratching your head.
    It's not so hard to fathom. Not all seals are created equally. On sealed cartridge bearings, a "good" seal is going to be draggy. A lot of people don't like that. So you get some bearings with lesser seals, but they spin more freely.

    Cup and cone hubs are a little different. Good ones have good seals, but you can still get cup and cone hubs with crap seals. The seal setup is just a different arrangement.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    It's not so hard to fathom. Not all seals are created equally. On sealed cartridge bearings, a "good" seal is going to be draggy. A lot of people don't like that. So you get some bearings with lesser seals, but they spin more freely.

    Cup and cone hubs are a little different. Good ones have good seals, but you can still get cup and cone hubs with crap seals. The seal setup is just a different arrangement.
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  19. #19
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    My fat bike has been through hell since I got it. Affect crankset as well, but ditched the raceface for shimano right away. That was a few years ago, still same shimano BB. I did pop the plastic insert and put some marine grease over the bearing/seals to help try and keep moisture out.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    My fat bike has been through hell since I got it. Affect crankset as well, but ditched the raceface for shimano right away. That was a few years ago, still same shimano BB. I did pop the plastic insert and put some marine grease over the bearing/seals to help try and keep moisture out.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
    when dealing with sealed bearings, I'll definitely attest to the benefit of "helping out" the seals by putting grease outside them (assuming you've got some kind of shield or cover to put over that grease, such as with headsets, most hubs, and a few bottom brackets).

  21. #21
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    Shimano has that plastic that covers the outside and where the spindle inserts. On the inside it doesnt really matter as the only thing getting there would be water getting in the frame. Why I chose to get a shimano bb to use the bearing cups, I knew I could protect them.

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  22. #22
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    I decided to check my sram BB yesterday on my rival cranks. Not noisy. Nice and smooth. But I could tell they were getting dry. I googled and found out you can service that one. Remove the dust seal, remove inner snap clip, and carefully remove inner seal with o ring pick. I wiped bearing clean with a clean rag and cleaned other parts with alcohol. I repacked and reassembled. Good as new. It's a damn good thing I decided to do this too. I had standing water in my BB shell from Sundays wash. And apparently not the first time as the shell was rusty. I wiped clean and sanded the inside with 120 grit to smooth out. Then i smeared a film of grease inside before i reassembled. Also there was a cable guide screwed to the bottom of the bottom bracket shell where the shift cables were routed. since this bike is now a single speed I removed that guide so now I have the threaded hole in the bottom of my bottom bracket which will let water drain out. I feel so lucky to have caught this yesterday and not down the road when the rust was worse.

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