Justification: Chris King BB over a XTR BB(latest one)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Justification: Chris King BB over a XTR BB(latest one)

    Hi guys, while I await my new XTR race cranks to arrive, I am considering other BB options as I have read that shimano BBs have been use-and-throw BBs that tend to have bearings that don't work after half a season or so.

    Hence, I thought of directly doing an upgrade to a Chris King stainless BB and selling my XTR bb once they arrived. The CK BB can have grease replaced any time so even when mud has clogged up the bearings a new BB is not needed. Seems like a lifetime option that will save money in the long run.

    However, with one Chris King BB I could buy 3 replacement XTR BBs(locally). So I wonder if doing the upgrade is worth it after all, or should I use my XTR BB when it arrives and just wait to see if it fails soon? Are XTR BBs that bad at all?

    Thanks. Just as a disclaimer, I am not bothered about the 10-15g weight difference between the CK and the XTR so the weight should not be a factor.

  2. #2
    Turn off the TV
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    I have found that they last for some time and you can re-grease them but it is not as easy as with the king system. Though with King you have 100+ for the bracket and 50 for the grease tool. If you have the money do it King is Bling but if it will be tight....... How many mile a year do you ride?

  3. #3
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    I like to service my own stuff. Have King BBs and hubs on several bikes, so investing in the tools made sense.

  4. #4
    One Gear
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    The Shimano BB's are no where near as crappy as the RaceFace, which are not worth taking the time to install. I'd put them in, since they come with the crank, and see how long they last. I wouldn't say that they're bad, just not a lifetime investment.

  5. #5
    M_S
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    Newer SRAM and Shimano have been pretty good for me. At least a couple of seasons. FSA is ok but not as good, and Raceface is a steaming pile of dog crap.


    I would just use the XTR.
    - Simon

  6. #6
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    Check out the Rotor SAAB bottom brackets!!!! They are bling like the King but you can replace the bearings without any tools and you can get them directly from enduro or any bearing shop. I can replace the bearings in seconds once the cranks are off. Bearings are dirt cheap too!!!

  7. #7
    web-footed pedaler
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    The Chris King bottom brackets have a 5 year warranty on them. They really do hold up well. I've know people to have King components last well beyond 5 years. If you figure that you're spreading that cost over those years it isn't so bad. In addition, you really shouldn't have to service them much, if at all, over the life of the bike. The fact that they are fully user serviceable, rather than fully disposable like others is a huge plus in my book - I hate throw away components.

  8. #8
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    Get the King. You will not regret it.

  9. #9
    miwuksurfer
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    Phil wood makes some snazzy external bbs also.

  10. #10
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    If the XTR is like XT you can regrease even though it says not to.

    Disclaimer: I can't afford to try the Chris King to see if this opinion holds up.

    I would count on XT lasting 150 rides in dry and 40-50 rain rides. Regrease and get another year. I ride all winter (Norcal rain and shud - dogshit mud mix) and I doubt a Chris King would last 4 yrs even w/ new grease. I still want one though. I think price would be even in the long run. Tough call if you thrash your bikes like me-lots of washing too.

    There is a thread here on how to re-grease XT XTR "throw away" bottom brackets.

  11. #11
    @adelorenzo
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    Once your factory bearings go in the XTR, bring your cups to the LBS and have them throw a set of Enduro bearings in there for 30 bucks or so.

    I have NOT been impressed with the King BB. The bearings are not well-sealed, even with regular maintenance they don't hold up. Even if the King were half the price I'd rather run a Shimano w/Enduro bearings than a King.

    I regrease my Enduro bearings all the time. You don't need a King for that.

  12. #12
    I dig trails!
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    My experience has been
    - 2+ years ago Shimano and RF had "hard" bearing covers that were prone to cracking when trying to regrease (some have had success, I did not) = short lived and disposable.
    - Truvativ's are soft covers and easily pulled off for regreasing. 2+ years and counting on this BB with regreasing.

    King bling is great, but key is servicability - for any BB.

    P

  13. #13
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    The problem with Shimano BBs are the bearings. The cups themselves are fine. Just upgrade your bearings to the $15 Enduro bearings and you'll be fine.

  14. #14
    ballbuster
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    Don't believe everything you 'hear'

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenTwo View Post
    Hi guys, while I await my new XTR race cranks to arrive, I am considering other BB options as I have read that shimano BBs have been use-and-throw BBs that tend to have bearings that don't work after half a season or so.

    Hence, I thought of directly doing an upgrade to a Chris King stainless BB and selling my XTR bb once they arrived. The CK BB can have grease replaced any time so even when mud has clogged up the bearings a new BB is not needed. Seems like a lifetime option that will save money in the long run.

    However, with one Chris King BB I could buy 3 replacement XTR BBs(locally). So I wonder if doing the upgrade is worth it after all, or should I use my XTR BB when it arrives and just wait to see if it fails soon? Are XTR BBs that bad at all?

    Thanks. Just as a disclaimer, I am not bothered about the 10-15g weight difference between the CK and the XTR so the weight should not be a factor.
    I ran two sets of external bearing Shimano cranks, one LX, one XT. The LX I ran for 3 years, and the XTs for 2. Both were smooth as greased moose poop when I sold them, and that included a lot of muddy and rainy rides in sandy soil.

    I think the stories of bad Shimano bearings are way overblown.

    Also, I know a guy who did a multi-thousand mile loaded bike tour, and his Chris King BB pooped out on him at about the first 1000 mile mark.

  15. #15
    change is good
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    Just use XTR. I just put new XTR cranks on my Tallboy and pulled the CK BB and put them on my SS. CK is very nice but not worth the price and you have to lube them periodically. It's not hard to inject them. The first couple of times was kind of awkward. I have used XT in crappy conditions for two years.

  16. #16
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    I am using CK BB second year and it holds up very well. Grease tool works great. I had bad experience with Shimano BB both standard and BB30 version. The latter one I replaced with Token which is much better sealed and apart from some opinions ceramic bearings were worthy innvestment. I am riding in muddy, rainy conditions often so well sealed BB is a must. If you are not riding in nasty weather CK BB might cost too much $ for performance.

  17. #17
    @adelorenzo
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    Over the course of a 7-day stage race my wife's King BB seized. It was brand new that year and had been serviced right before the start of the race. There is no excuse for that.

    Her teammate had stock Shimano XT bearings that had already been on her bike for a year and never serviced. They came out the other side of that race just fine.

    I'm not sure why people think the King bearings are well-sealed? That flimsy little strip of metal and rubber does piss-all from what I can see. The reason they are serviceable bearings is because they HAVE to be, they are not well sealed so need regular grease.

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