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  1. #1
    DCE
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    Frustrated with FSA PF30 ceramic bearings

    FSA installs the bearing cartridge the wrong way in one of the two the plastic cups for all their ceramic PF30 bottom brackets.

    background:

    The FSA ceramic PF30 bearing come with pretty thin grease that doesn't last too long. Of course it is easy to re-grease them with thicker grease, but that has to be done with them in the bike since you can't remove PF30 without destroying the plastic cup or bearing.

    After removing the bearing seals, I was able to re-grease one side without difficulty, but I found that the bearings were not exposed on the other side. Instead, the plastic ring that holds the bearing was facing out, which made getting grease into the bearings next to impossible.

    When I called FSA about this, they said that is the way they make them because it would cost them $100K to retool the machine to insert the cartridge the correct way. When I asked how to re-grease the bearing, he didn't have an answer.

    What's frustrating, beyond the fact these cost $150, is that FSA includes a srynge with grease and instructions on re-greasing, but you can only do that on one side.
    Last edited by DCE; 02-21-2013 at 06:09 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCE View Post
    FSA installs the bearing cartridge the wrong way in one of the two the plastic cups for all their ceramic PF30 bottom brackets.

    background:

    The FSA ceramic PF30 bearing come with pretty thin grease that doesn't last too long. Of course it is easy to re-grease them with thicker grease, but that has to be done with them in the bike since you can't remove PF30 without destroying the plastic cup or bearing.

    After removing the bearing seals, I was able to re-grease one side without difficulty, but I found that the bearings were not exposed on the other side. Instead, the plastic ring that holds the bearing was facing out, which made getting grease into the bearings next to impossible.

    When I called FSA about this, they said that is the way they make them because it would cost them $100K to retool the machine to insert the cartridge the correct way. When I asked how to re-grease the bearing, he didn't have an answer.

    What's frustrating, beyond the fact these cost $150, is that FSA includes a srynge with grease and instructions on re-greasing, but you can only do that on one side.
    the one i did the other day was the wrong way on both bearings. dohhhhhh. you can take 2 things away from this...
    1) FSA is pretty much clueless
    2) ceramic bearings are a waste of money
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  3. #3
    DCE
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    Hey cx,

    How do you grease them when they are backwards, any tricks?

    also,

    What is your favorite PF30 BB manufacturer?

  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCE View Post
    Hey cx,

    How do you grease them when they are backwards, any tricks?

    also,

    What is your favorite PF30 BB manufacturer?

    i popped the shields off the bearings and put a line of grease (using the syringe) on the back side of the retainer, then put the shield back on. that's all you can do, really. you hope that putting the shield back on will push some clean grease into the balls.

    i usually install whatever the appropriate crank manufacturer makes w/ steel bearings.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  5. #5
    Re-Cyclist
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    If the shield is plastic, you can drill a small hole and insert the syringe. Or pull them both out and go back to steel bearings. You'll never tell the difference.
    Santa Barbara, CA -- My Photo Site -- My Business Site

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Special Eyes View Post
    If the shield is plastic, you can drill a small hole and insert the syringe. Or pull them both out and go back to steel bearings. You'll never tell the difference.
    This was my recommendation. Seems pretty simple. A small pin vice is what you want, that way you cant risk hurting the bearings by using a drill.

    Its a road bike, so how much contamation do you think it will face?
    Bill

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Special Eyes View Post
    If the shield is plastic, you can drill a small hole and insert the syringe. Or pull them both out and go back to steel bearings. You'll never tell the difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by crossracer View Post
    This was my recommendation. Seems pretty simple. A small pin vice is what you want, that way you cant risk hurting the bearings by using a drill.

    Its a road bike, so how much contamation do you think it will face?
    Bill
    drill a hole in the shield? really? and this is better than removing the shield why? please explain how this will make lives easier.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
    Re-Cyclist
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    Because shield removal and replacement is risky to damage the shield itself. They are best sealed when the original installation is left alone. Sometimes you can remove it and replace it just fine, but the sealing surfaces are often compromised. If you don't like the little hole left after drilling, clean the area well and apply a drop of RTV silicone sealer.
    Santa Barbara, CA -- My Photo Site -- My Business Site

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