Wheels MFG BB Failure Question
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    409

    Wheels MFG BB Failure Question

    Hi all,

    This May I swapped my Ultegra bb and crank for an FSA powerbox with a Wheels MFG BB 386EVO on a 2017 Felt FR1. The LBS installed it.

    I started to hear a whistle (like when your window is down in your car, though inconsistently) and a chirp (kinda like a bird) on a ride and thought it was the chain or pulleys. The sounds continued after drive train clean and lube, so I pulled the crank and discovered the non-drive side BB bearing felt like it had sand in it. It wasn't horrible, but not silky smooth like the drive side.

    I'd say I have maybe a couple thousand miles on the BB and crank. I don't power wash the bike, don't ride through mud or salt water. Only ridden in light rain when it happened unexpectedly.

    Any thoughts on what might cause the bb to fail so quickly?

    Thanks as always,
    Bradley

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: nova_rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    337
    There could be numerous reasons why the bearing became this way, ranging from improper installation to contamination due to use and/or improper maintenance. You don't need mud or salt water to destroy it. Everyday road grits can do a job on these, or even a single rain outing if it's left un-checked/serviced. The drive side is typically better protected, which might explain the difference between the two. How often is the bb checked/serviced?

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8705F using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    409
    As I noted, it was installed in May of this year and has a couple thousand miles on it, so I wouldn't expect to have serviced it between then and now.

    Maybe improper installation, but I'm pretty confident in the quality of my lbs and the work they do. I'm also not sure what one might do to improperly install the BB. The two cups holding the bearings thread together, so using the proper tools and the proper torque, and not cross threading, seems relatively simple. Not sure if they had to use a press on the female threaded cup which goes in first. No creaking at all, so I assume the cups were seated well in the BB shell.
    Bradley

  4. #4
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    15,147
    Nearly impossible to say w/o seeing it but I'd have to go with the 2 most obvious possiblities:

    Defective bearing
    Installed improperly
    #promechaniclife

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    409
    How would I go about determining improper installation? I imagine there are a number of things that could go wrong, but are there any tell-tale signs to look for?

    Thanks again,
    Bradley

  6. #6
    tlg
    tlg is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    16,847
    Quote Originally Posted by bleckb View Post
    How would I go about determining improper installation?
    I'm not sure you could improperly install one. You can't mis-align it, it wouldn't thread together. And you can't really over tighten it that would cause any damage to the bearings. Any severe damage from installation would've been noticeable on day #1, not a few thousand miles later.


    Quote Originally Posted by bleckb View Post
    I started to hear a whistle (like when your window is down in your car, though inconsistently) and a chirp (kinda like a bird) on a ride and thought it was the chain or pulleys. The sounds continued after drive train clean and lube, so I pulled the crank and discovered the non-drive side BB bearing felt like it had sand in it. It wasn't horrible, but not silky smooth like the drive side.
    Is it a ceramic bearing? Sure as heck sounds like a ceramic bearing.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    409
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Is it a ceramic bearing? Sure as heck sounds like a ceramic bearing.
    Steel. Unless it was mis-labeled and they gave me ceramic at steel prices. Paid about $100 for the BB, maybe $80. .
    Bradley

  8. #8
    tlg
    tlg is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    16,847
    Quote Originally Posted by bleckb View Post
    Steel. Unless it was mis-labeled and they gave me ceramic at steel prices. Paid about $100 for the BB, maybe $80. .
    Pull the seals off and look inside. Are they greased well? Do they have water and contamination inside?


    You can replace just the bearings and reuse the housing.
    https://wheelsmfg.com/tech/PDF/386EV...CTIONS-WEB.pdf

    I think that's the right BB. If so just get yourself some quality sealed 6806 (ball) or 71806 (angular) bearings.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    409
    That's the BB. Bike is at the LBS as I don't have the tools for the BB, so can't look for contamination. When I pulled the crank the bearing looked clean, but the grinding indicates somethings amiss.

    I trust the LBS to put in a good bearing as replacement. With OP I was mostly hoping to learn if there was some obvious error that could be avoided or if there was news about a failed batch of BBs from Wheels.

    Seems it's down to the bad luck of a faulty bearing or poor installation with no real way of knowing. Ah well, first world problems for sure.
    Bradley

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: nova_rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    337
    Since the bike is at the shop, I'd ask what they think happened. Also, I'd make sure there's a good layer of grease between the bearing and bb dust cap. This will help in keeping crap from getting to the bearing.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

Similar Threads

  1. Anyone using Praxis or Wheels Mfg bb30/pf30 conversion BB?
    By seppo17 in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 11-15-2015, 12:35 PM
  2. Wheels MFG BB for $20 (ceramic) $10 (steel)
    By cyclebycle in forum Hot Deals
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-01-2012, 04:47 PM
  3. Wheels Mfg BB30 reducer install question
    By skcihs in forum Cannondale
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-30-2011, 09:56 AM
  4. Wheels Mfg BB30 reducer install question
    By skcihs in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-06-2011, 03:23 AM
  5. Wheels Mfg 10 spd cassette on Shimano WHR540 wheels?
    By Savedsol in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-03-2005, 04:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.