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  1. #1
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    An informative but negative review on pressfit bottom brackets

    I'd say Leuscher Teknik pretty much hit all the nails on this




    In the comments section, one of the posters said this about pressfit BBs:

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Trageser
    Press fit BBs are marketing BS. NO advantages over threaded due to all the issues , tolerances involved and especially the money! Ask any seasoned mechanic about issues. I was a machinist for 30 years. I installed bearings in aerospace , medical and defense hardware. The tolerances involved for proper bearing installation are
    .0002 of an inch.
    The Bicycle industry simply can never afford to do press fit correctly. The scale and cost of machinery and quality control is beyond the cost of ‘affordable’ high end bikes. Outboard bearings in threaded shells are plenty stiff.
    to which Leuscher Teknik replied:

    Quote Originally Posted by Leuscher Teknik
    Agree. The advantage is it is easier for the factory to make and pass the problem to the end user.

  2. #2
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    There's an interesting podcast from CyclingTips about this. It's also about T47, but goes into what's wrong with press fit, and why it's used (it's cheap and easy to manufacture and market):

    https://cyclingtips.com/2016/10/cycl...romise-of-t47/

    My personal experience is mixed. Two bikes have been fine, two bikes have not been fine (short lifespan, poor frame manufacturing tolerances). One of those was so annoying that I sold it. My threaded BB bikes creak sometimes too, but that's usually an easy, non-destructive fix that takes 5 minutes and some grease.

  3. #3
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    I now it's a single anecdotal account, but I took a high-end USA made Titanium bike on a 65 mile demo ride last Friday. The bike had 68mm BSA threaded shell with a standard Shimano BB in it. It was creaking terribly from the moment I got on the bike.

    The shop manager removed the BB and cleaned and re-applied some fresh anti-seize to the interface and re-installed. It still creaked. He offered to put in a new BB, but I was running out of time so took the bike out the way it was.

    I also have (or had) a half a dozen bikes with PF30 and/or PF86 BBs (mostly with Torqtite, Praxis or Wheels MFG BB adapters installed). One was a Titanium 'touring' bike with a PF30 shell, the rest were off the shelf carbon bikes (BMC, Norco, and Focus), and I've never had a single creak out of any of them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    I now it's a single anecdotal account, but I took a high-end USA made Titanium bike on a 65 mile demo ride last Friday. The bike had 68mm BSA threaded shell with a standard Shimano BB in it. It was creaking terribly from the moment I got on the bike.

    The shop manager removed the BB and cleaned and re-applied some fresh anti-seize to the interface and re-installed. It still creaked. He offered to put in a new BB, but I was running out of time so took the bike out the way it was.

    I also have (or had) a half a dozen bikes with PF30 and/or PF86 BBs (mostly with Torqtite, Praxis or Wheels MFG BB adapters installed). One was a Titanium 'touring' bike with a PF30 shell, the rest were off the shelf carbon bikes (BMC, Norco, and Focus), and I've never had a single creak out of any of them.

    Probably because it wasn't the BB that was creaking. Lots of things on a bike can creak, and get misattributed to the BB.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    There's an interesting podcast from CyclingTips about this. It's also about T47, but goes into what's wrong with press fit, and why it's used (it's cheap and easy to manufacture and market):

    https://cyclingtips.com/2016/10/cycl...romise-of-t47/

    My personal experience is mixed. Two bikes have been fine, two bikes have not been fine (short lifespan, poor frame manufacturing tolerances). One of those was so annoying that I sold it. My threaded BB bikes creak sometimes too, but that's usually an easy, non-destructive fix that takes 5 minutes and some grease.
    oh haven't heard that one. Thanks

  6. #6
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    The addition problem (in addition to the already mentioned tolerance issue) that I see with pressfit is that once the cups are pressed in, and now you want to remove them, well the process of extruding and pressing in new cups itself could more easily knock the bb shell out of tolerance than say simply screwing in the cups to a threaded shell. And it sure doesn't take much out-of-tolerance for pressfit bb cups to creak.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Probably because it wasn't the BB that was creaking. Lots of things on a bike can creak, and get misattributed to the BB.
    This is so true! When my Synapse was new, it creaked. Bike shop mechanic immediately suspected either the BB or the headset. It was actually the seatpost. Some carbon paste and proper torquing corrected it.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  8. #8
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    I have two bb86 bikes one is amazing best feeling bike I have. My newer bb86 bike was horrible installing and sloppy compared to my other bike. My bsa bikes are all reliable clean up, reinstall, on my way. I worry about the day I have to replace the bb86 bikes and the stupid things I'll need to do.

  9. #9
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    If a BB bearing or cup press fits into the frame when new, but later slips in with no effort, I'd say that it was used for a long time, with no maintenance. If there was creaking it was ignored, rather than fixed before it became too bad to repair.

    I just built up a new Colnago C-RS with PF86 Campy cups. All went well using only some grease on the frame, but at the end of the season, I'll at least check that I can't easily push out a cup. If that ever happens, I'll resort to Loctite 609 to restore the fit. The trick to using loctite with a carbon shell, it to prevent a strong bond between the carbon and the bearing cups. Since Campy cups are aluminum, I'd put some automotive paste wax on the cups to prevent a strong bond. Otherwise, you could glue the cups in so well that they couldn't be removed without damaging the frame. If the PF BB has a bearing or cup with Delrin or Nylon outer rings, then the loctite won't adhere to those materials. It will mearly act as a gap filler. The bearing should be removable, without problem.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    If a BB bearing or cup press fits into the frame when new, but later slips in with no effort, I'd say that it was used for a long time, with no maintenance. If there was creaking it was ignored, rather than fixed before it became too bad to repair.

    I just built up a new Colnago C-RS with PF86 Campy cups. All went well using only some grease on the frame, but at the end of the season, I'll at least check that I can't easily push out a cup. If that ever happens, I'll resort to Loctite 609 to restore the fit. The trick to using loctite with a carbon shell, it to prevent a strong bond between the carbon and the bearing cups. Since Campy cups are aluminum, I'd put some automotive paste wax on the cups to prevent a strong bond. Otherwise, you could glue the cups in so well that they couldn't be removed without damaging the frame. If the PF BB has a bearing or cup with Delrin or Nylon outer rings, then the loctite won't adhere to those materials. It will mearly act as a gap filler. The bearing should be removable, without problem.
    Good Lord.

    I don't have a lot of experience with BB work but my routine has been this with a BSA:
    1. Screw it in.
    2. Ride 50,000 miles.

    That's it. It was silky smooth when I yanked it because I got a new frame. Repeated step 1 on new frame and about 12,000 of doing nothing on that one.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    If a BB bearing or cup press fits into the frame when new, but later slips in with no effort, I'd say that it was used for a long time, with no maintenance. If there was creaking it was ignored, rather than fixed before it became too bad to repair.

    I just built up a new Colnago C-RS with PF86 Campy cups. All went well using only some grease on the frame, but at the end of the season, I'll at least check that I can't easily push out a cup. If that ever happens, I'll resort to Loctite 609 to restore the fit. The trick to using loctite with a carbon shell, it to prevent a strong bond between the carbon and the bearing cups. Since Campy cups are aluminum, I'd put some automotive paste wax on the cups to prevent a strong bond. Otherwise, you could glue the cups in so well that they couldn't be removed without damaging the frame. If the PF BB has a bearing or cup with Delrin or Nylon outer rings, then the loctite won't adhere to those materials. It will mearly act as a gap filler. The bearing should be removable, without problem.
    How would you maintain a pressfit bearing cups? It's not like you can casually extrude them to grease them up without partially causing the bb shell to loosen and thus go out of tolerance specs. Just about the only think you can do to these cups once they're pressed in is to superficially chean their outside a bit, but this sort of of superficial maintenance is not going to help prevent them from creaking

  12. #12
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    50,000 miles would be 10 years of cycling for me. I change bikes every few years, so extreme longevity for a BB isn't high on my list of needs. FWIW, I've never had a problem with a threaded BB, even the several Italian threaded models I've used. The whole problem really started when someone decided that square taper spindles weren't stiff enough. I really expect no problems from my pf86 cups, but I will keep an eye on them, since so many other people have problems.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    50,000 miles would be 10 years of cycling for me. I change bikes every few years, so extreme longevity for a BB isn't high on my list of needs. FWIW, I've never had a problem with a threaded BB, even the several Italian threaded models I've used. The whole problem really started when someone decided that square taper spindles weren't stiff enough. I really expect no problems from my pf86 cups, but I will keep an eye on them, since so many other people have problems.
    Good luck. Hope your diligence pays off and it doesn't give you issues. Despite all the reported problems I think odds are greatly in your favor.

    50K was about 6 years and I buy frames with the intention of keeping/riding them forever. That didn't happen with the first one but I'm pretty sure that 6 years of learning what I wanted from a frame will insure I'll always have the frames I have now.

    So longevity definitely matters to me. And while I kind of enjoy doing normal bike maintenance I kind of freak out when it's problem related.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    How would you maintain a pressfit bearing cups? It's not like you can casually extrude them to grease them up without partially causing the bb shell to loosen and thus go out of tolerance specs. Just about the only think you can do to these cups once they're pressed in is to superficially chean their outside a bit, but this sort of of superficial maintenance is not going to help prevent them from creaking
    Removing a press fit cup should have no effect on the BB shell. It's not a very tight press fit. On the Colnago, the BB shell is entirely carbon fiber. There is no metal ring bonded to the carbon fiber frame.

    A press fit BB cup can be removed easily with a few light taps on a Park removal tool. The Colnago I built up was first built with Shimano 105. I disassembled it entirely to install Campy Chorus parts. The original BB came out easily and the Campy cups pressed right in. Once installed with some grease, there is no reason for them to ever creak, unless they have become loose. If the cups can be knocked out too easily, then loctite 603 or 609 would be used for reinstallation. If you install a metal cup into a carbon frame with loctite, it may not be removable, unless steps are taken to prevent a bond with the cup.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    50,000 miles would be 10 years of cycling for me. I change bikes every few years, so extreme longevity for a BB isn't high on my list of needs. FWIW, I've never had a problem with a threaded BB, even the several Italian threaded models I've used. The whole problem really started when someone decided that square taper spindles weren't stiff enough. I really expect no problems from my pf86 cups, but I will keep an eye on them, since so many other people have problems.
    Here's something I'd like to gloat. My Casati Laser from around '93 with the Dura Ace 7400 square tapered bb is still going strong to this day (I don't ride it in the rain). That's 25 years and counting. I did remove the bb a few years ago to regrease it. Absolutely not a single creak to this day from the bb. It's highly unlikely that any of today's bb will ever last this long. They don't make things to last like they used to.

    And the orginal DA 7400 groupset components (crankset, brakes, shifters, front and rear derailleurs) are still going strong. Dura Ace headset is still working great. The original Mavic "Ceramic" wheelset is starting to go bad to the point that it's getting harder and harder to true the rear wheel now (it's a bit outta true no matter how hard the LBS mech tried), but the Mavic hubs are still going strong. Brake tracks are still going strong (yeah, take that disc brake guys, let's see if your uber disc brakes calipers and wheels will still be working after a quarter of a century).

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