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Thread: BB woes

  1. #1
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    BB woes

    I'm going on my 2nd BB this season (SoCal season started back in January) and am contemplating which one to get. I'd rather not have to switch out my crankset ($$), otherwise I'd do the WI Eno and Phil Wood BB.

    Anyone have experience with the American Classics BB? It's rebuildable...but is it reliable?

    TIA
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
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  2. #2
    JMH
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    Isis?

    FSA Platinum is the only ISIS bb that utilizes larger balls that use the spindle as a bearing race, like Ultegra Octalink. It is FSAs lowest-end BB but it is far more durable than any cartridge bearing ISIS bb on the market. The balls in the cartridge BB versions (including FSA's higher end offerings) are just too damn small and poorly sealed.

    At least that's what I've found. =)

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    I'm going on my 2nd BB this season (SoCal season started back in January) and am contemplating which one to get. I'd rather not have to switch out my crankset ($$), otherwise I'd do the WI Eno and Phil Wood BB.

    Anyone have experience with the American Classics BB? It's rebuildable...but is it reliable?

    TIA

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    FSA Platinum is the only ISIS bb that utilizes larger balls that use the spindle as a bearing race, like Ultegra Octalink. It is FSAs lowest-end BB but it is far more durable than any cartridge bearing ISIS bb on the market. The balls in the cartridge BB versions (including FSA's higher end offerings) are just too damn small and poorly sealed.

    At least that's what I've found. =)

    JMH
    Thanks for the feedback, JMH. I'll look into the FSA.
    Fat fanatic.

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    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  4. #4
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    yup, larger balls are always good

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    watch out for american classic

    as much as i think the company makes good stuff and thier service is always fantastic... i've trashed two of thier isis BBs in three months. im talking mega failure. the first BB fell apart - the lip on the drive side cup broke off during a ride. the second time i somehow managed to bend one of the spindles that contact the crank interface. and that was on a geared bike, the SS would have probably been worse. until king comes out with thier isis BB, I just dont trust its durability. it went back to octalink.

  6. #6
    nachos rule!
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    Quote Originally Posted by davezeman
    ...until king comes out with thier isis BB.
    plan on waiting a long long time, my friend.

    "vaporware", as it's called in the software biz.
    plus a change, plus c'est la m'me chose - alphonse karr

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    FSA Platinum is the only ISIS bb that utilizes larger balls that use the spindle as a bearing race, like Ultegra Octalink. It is FSAs lowest-end BB but it is far more durable than any cartridge bearing ISIS bb on the market. The balls in the cartridge BB versions (including FSA's higher end offerings) are just too damn small and poorly sealed.

    At least that's what I've found. =)

    JMH
    I went through two of those, both went pretty fast. Yeah they have big balls, but I guess the biggest-balls bearer is the one riding the bike...
    The FSA platinum _pro_ actually is lasting a bit longer, despite its cartridge bearings. I'm not holding my breath. FSA will also rebuild it while it's warrantied, but that means you have to keep a spare.

    I've trashed an XT octalink BB pretty good too in no time too.

    So far none of the failures have been catastrophic, they simply develop a fair amount of play and feel like they're full of square balls.

    I'm not too keen on pouring more money into outboard bearing-based designs, I've got the feeling they have their disadvantages. Q-factor being one.

    Square taper works, why did they have to change that ?? Stiffness ? Like you can actually feel the spindle flex ?? I may go back to square taper soon.

    Maurice

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    Outboard bearing problems?

    I recently installed Truvativ Stylo SS GXP crankset, 180mm. This uses an outboard bearing design. I only have about 12 hours on it, so it's too soon to tell if this will hold up. I thought it was a good idea. I like the large sealed bearings and I will no longer be replacing BBs, just the sealed bearings.

    Maurice (or anyone) - What problems do you foresee with this design?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SScheetz
    I recently installed Truvativ Stylo SS GXP crankset, 180mm. This uses an outboard bearing design. I only have about 12 hours on it, so it's too soon to tell if this will hold up. I thought it was a good idea. I like the large sealed bearings and I will no longer be replacing BBs, just the sealed bearings.

    Maurice (or anyone) - What problems do you foresee with this design?
    Q-factor. I race XC and that is important for me.

    Also, I don't quite like the way the non-drive side is attached to the spindle. If that ever comes loose you may have to replace the whole crank assembly...

    And you need new special tools.

    Maurice

  10. #10
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    Those are good points, it's not for everyone. The Q-factor works fine for me; I have long feet and my heels slightly brush agains the chain stays. Going to 180's moved my heel even futher back.

    The non-drive side attachment is a concern, time will tell.

    Thanks for the input.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice
    Q-factor. I race XC and that is important for me.

    Maurice
    Then does the chainline move outward too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    Then does the chainline move outward too?
    Good point, I don't know; I have never had a crankset like that, probably never will.

    Possibly not. I've never checked those specs but I guess it's still possible to move the spider inward even though the cranks are spaced farther apart.

    My point is that even though it may be OK to have a wide Q-factor for trail riding, racing XC or endurance it becomes uncomfortable and detrimental wrt/ performance.

    Maurice

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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Wow, sounds like I should just buck up and go with the Phil Wood BB and ENO crankset.
    I'll have to rehearse this a few times before I bring it up with the wife:

    *sigh* "Honey, I keep breaking parts. It's starting to cost me way too much. I think I'm going to have to face facts and just invest in some quality stuff that will last..."
    Fat fanatic.

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  14. #14
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    Dude, you don't have to remortgage the house and make offerings to the wife...unless bling is of paramount importance that is. All you need to do is get a decent used/NOS square taper Shimano/Race Face crank and a $20 XT BB. Great setup that will last for years, plus with any luck at all you'll get it done for less than $50. Oh, and the late model Deore cranks use the same "hollowtech" crank arms used on higher grade Octalink (splined) cranks, except they have square taper interface. They are light, stiff, strong and commonly available brand new for about $40.


    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    Wow, sounds like I should just buck up and go with the Phil Wood BB and ENO crankset. I'll have to rehearse this a few times before I bring it up with the wife:

  15. #15
    Kam
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    get the eno/phil wood combo and never look back. it will be a stiff/reliable/lightweight combo.

    i have my eno crankset spinning on a race face taperlock bb, it has been just plain amazing!!! i sold mt 180mm xtr/boone/952 bb set up because the eno/taperlock combo is just plain better. i needed a wide 120mm spindle to clear the stays on my 29er. the taperlock was readily available and on sale in the 120mm i needed.

    i also have the am classic square taper bb and that also looks reasonable nice with a cleaver grease injection system. the cartridge bearings are large. it looks well sealed as well. i have installed. let alone ridin' it. i am going to buy either another eno crankset for that bb or maybe hook it up to some cheap vuelta cranks i have. my 120mm steel jis am classic bb is about 185g.

    the am classic square taper bb is used by some weight weenies and i don't remember hearing anything bad about it there. i don't think this it is fair to compare the am classic jis bb to the am classic isis bb....isis is just plain unreliable!!!! TO ME, it is comparing apple to oranges.

    oh, and if you are on a budget, there ain't anything wrong with some other jis crankset and a un72 bb.

    <img src=https://www.cyclinginnovations.com/newsite/products/amclassic/images/BB_Square_Taper.jpg>

  16. #16
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    Ok, you really got me thinking. I had to go out and measure this stuff.

    The chain line is exactly the same as my old crankset. The good old Q-factor is 166mm. It turns out, it's a little less than my old crankset. My old crankset (cheapo RaceFace Ride XC) has a larger offset from the inside spindle spline to the outside pedal mount. It would be nice if more manufactures published the Q-factor (Ritchey).

  17. #17
    JMH
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    Ziggy is right...

    I like ISIS and have used it for years now, but my current SS is running a beat up pair of Cook Bros on a Shimano UN-71 square BB. I didn't pay over $100 for both. They are perfect, and the BB will last for years to come.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy-Stardust
    Dude, you don't have to remortgage the house and make offerings to the wife...unless bling is of paramount importance that is. All you need to do is get a decent used/NOS square taper Shimano/Race Face crank and a $20 XT BB. Great setup that will last for years, plus with any luck at all you'll get it done for less than $50. Oh, and the late model Deore cranks use the same "hollowtech" crank arms used on higher grade Octalink (splined) cranks, except they have square taper interface. They are light, stiff, strong and commonly available brand new for about $40.

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