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Old 05-20-06, 09:09 AM   #1
Falanx
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Recommended ISIS BBs for 14st+

Like the title says....

I just cannot be doing with this endless cycle of creaky bits. Anyone out there found a ISIS bottom bracket that really is worth the cash you part with for it?
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Old 05-20-06, 09:31 AM   #2
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I'm afraid the title doesn't say all that much. What do you mean by "bits"?
I'm aware that lots of ISIS bottom brackets have problems with bearings wearing out relatively quickly because the bearings are small, but not sure you are asking about that. And of course, if you have an ISIS crank and don't want to buy a new crank, you're stuck with using ISIS.
Please phrase your question more carefully.
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Old 05-20-06, 09:33 AM   #3
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I've had excellent luck, so far, with a Nashbar ISIS bb. $24.95 plus shipping...........Creaky bits? Do you mean creaking from the bb shell? Maybe some teflon plumber's tape on the bb threads.
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Old 05-20-06, 11:01 AM   #4
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I thought it was fairly self-explanatory


Right. What I was looking for was the experiences of a few of regular posters - preferably larger guys, as performance of a Signature DH, for example, used by an 11 stone rider is of little relevance to me - with regards to the longer lasting ISIS bottom brackets they have used. I toasted a Race Face Evolve XC (yeah, yeah, I know...) inside three weeks, and that was during a relatively dry spell.

To put this into context, I'm 6'6" and weight 198lbs. I push as big a gear as I find comfortable under normal riding circumstance, so I spend perhaps 60-70 of my time on big ring. Big ring in my case is a 48t Middleburn. As you can see, my riding style, size and my equipment will put greater strain on, especially, a BB.

The creaking comes from worn bearings in theses cases. I tend to wear them out fairly quick... Even in the dry.

Can any of you give recommendations for the best performing BBs you have used?

That any more help?
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Old 05-20-06, 12:10 PM   #5
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Most people outside of the UK have no idea what a stone is. For those wondering it's 14 pounds (6.4kg).
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Old 05-20-06, 06:37 PM   #6
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No such thing as a good Isis BB. Bearings are too small.
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Old 05-20-06, 09:57 PM   #7
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Yeah, that would be the problem. I've never heard of a stone as a unit of weight/mass measurement. Let alone its abbreviation.

Also, creaking BB's could be cause by
a) the bearings
b) the BB shell interface
c) the BB/crank interface

Given this, it's worth your noting what sort of creaking you're experiencing, and it sounds like you did know this when writing the post, as you think it's the bearings.
Well-written posts save other people (and you) time.

As to KonaRider24's claim, Shimano's Octalink BB's have similar spindle (and thus bearing) size to ISIS BB's, and they've gotten a pretty good track record after the first couple of years. So, the bearing size is a problem, but not necessarily insurmountable.

That said, I've yet to hear many good stories of success with ISIS BB's for off-road. I ride mainly on road, and don't have much experience with ISIS.
My recommendation would be to just get a square-taper system (which can be done for cheap on eBay) in the same chainring sizes as you currently run, and be done with it. The Shimano UN-73 square-taper BB's (XT level) have a very good record. Use Sheldon Brown's database to make sure you get the right BB axle length for whatever crank.

Out of curiosity, do you know how many miles you rode in the three relatively dry months of trashing the ISIS BB you mentioned in the original post?

Last edited by TallRider; 05-21-06 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 05-21-06, 03:56 AM   #8
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I'll go with the square taper statement. I have an LX sealed unit thats perhaps nine years old, and has seen about two thousand miles, doesn't creak, bearings still feel smooth...

The reason I built the newer bike up with originally Hollowtech II, and then following some Shimano quality control issues - the plating and the transition coat cracked through on the axle and the whole uit started to hoover up trail debris though the gap - I went for the ISIS option. More than likely, my lack of research has put me in this position.

As for the three weeks, not months, I was covering twelve miles a day, so about 180 miles total. Thats on dirt/clay/stone canal paths and road.
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Old 05-21-06, 05:57 AM   #9
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Sorry to mix-up on the amount of time. 180 miles is a crazy-small amount. On road, all of my bottom brackets (square-taper sealed-cartridge) have 8,000 miles or more, and are in fine shape.
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Old 05-21-06, 07:39 AM   #10
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FWIW, I know several people who've ridden ISIS cranks/bb's on mountain bikes, in all conditions, and they're still going strong after several years. I can't say I know exactly which ISIS bb they're using, however. There were lots of reports of bearing failure on ISIS bb's a few years ago, when the design was newer, but I haven't heard that so much lately, and I've also heard that the manufacturers of ISIS have improved their product in recent years. I've got 2000+ miles on my ISIS crank/bb on an old road bike, and so far, so good. I've only been using it for about a year, and 2000 miles on a road bike isn't an awful lot, so that's not enough time to make a valid judgment.........I can say, however, that I've been using Octalink (which is virtually the same design as ISIS) since the late '90's on mountain bikes, and have ridden in pretty much every off road condition imaginable. A LOT. Never a problem, they're the best bb/cranks I've ever used.
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Old 05-21-06, 11:59 AM   #11
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I've had my ISIS BB for over a year now, ridden about 1500-2000 miles on it. It has lasted now 2 winters, and is still going fine.

I bought it from ebay, it was a manufacturer called Token. Got a titanium spindle, with four bearings on it.

FSA makes a BB with external bearings, but keeps the ISIS spline:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ance&n=3375251
If I don't end up making a BB when mine wears out, this will be the one I buy.
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Old 05-22-06, 09:53 AM   #12
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You know what...? That's the same one I was looking at at Wiggle the other day. I might try it.
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Old 05-22-06, 10:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falanx
As for the three weeks, not months, I was covering twelve miles a day, so about 180 miles total. Thats on dirt/clay/stone canal paths and road.
I don't buy the assertion that you are wearing out bearings within 180 miles. The creaking must be coming from something other than the bearings. Perhaps the threads on the BB shell are the cause and need a little teflon tape to fill some loose gaps.
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Old 05-22-06, 11:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
I don't buy the assertion that you are wearing out bearings within 180 miles. The creaking must be coming from something other than the bearings. Perhaps the threads on the BB shell are the cause and need a little teflon tape to fill some loose gaps.
I completely agree, and suggested that in post #3. The key indicator for worn bb bearings in a cartridge bearing bb is perceptible play, or "slop," when you take hold of a crankarm and pull it firmly side to side. If there's no play there, the bearings are probably fine. If that's the case after 180 miles (perceptible play), I'd say you've got a legitimate warranty claim. But creaking? Probably the most common "creak" on a bicycle comes from the bb/bb shell interface..........I've replaced worn out cartridge bb's before, just not ISIS or Octalink.

Last edited by well biked; 05-22-06 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 05-23-06, 11:39 AM   #15
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If you can feel slop in a cartridge it's well past the point of starting to wear. 'Probably fine' is a fair sweeping statement when the creak comes from two surfaces not mating of the order of microns. This is a high load, low rpm situation.

It's well established that most creaks come from the shell/cups interface, or the sleeve/cups interface, and that makes sense, as they are usually aluminium alloy, so aren't as stiff as the steel or titanium axle and bearing races - they are loaded, they flex more, and no threads are perfect.

However, if the axle doesn't mate perfectly with the bearings inner race, or the bearings outer race with the cup, this too can produce the creak.

I can't imagine that it took over one hundred miles for the cups to settle so that they started to move.


Anyway. Cheers for the thoughts. I'ma off to get that nice FSA unit and see if it cures my woes
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Old 05-23-06, 12:39 PM   #16
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I've been pleased both with the Token ISIS (mine was a Ti spindle model) and the FSA Platinum Pro. Both flawless performers.
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