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  1. #1
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    Ultegra BB Noise

    Actually a squish type sound and slight vibration when pressure applied. Most notebly on the downstroke when in the big front chaingring and the third smallest cog in the back. I am ruling out derailure noise as I have adjusted that to illiminate friction. It is a new road bike (scott speedster s1) and I have about 750 miles on it from the past few months of riding. If this makes any sense, it seems to be worse on flat roads, but that just may be because I can pay more attention. The bike was recently tuned up and noticed it more after the tune up, but I have been riding more lately, so it may have always been there, just getting familiar with all the nuances of the bike.

    Any thoughts?


    Thanks all.

  2. #2
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    some higher end bikes come to shops as frames and a bunch of parts, rather than mostly built up. if this was the case with the scott, some assembly step might have been skipped. i would take off the cranks, remove the bb, clean, regrease, and reinstall it, and see what happens. that solves maybe 75 percent of all noises in that area. external BBs are a bit annoying to install, so read up on them first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ridelugs
    external BBs are a bit annoying to install, so read up on them first.
    I've done three Ultegra BB installs in the last month and I can't imagine what would be annoying about installing one. Basically, you just screw them in and tighten. Can you elaborate?

    Now, what might cause noise, or a sense of vibration when pushing hard on the pedal, is that the crank arm fits close to the bearing casing and can rub. If there's no grease between those parts, then I can imagine it making noise and causing a vibration sensation in the pedals. I grease it so I haven't noticed any of that.

  4. #4
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    first of all, if we are talking about internal bbs, they are easy, thats true. externals are a bit more of a hassle, with spacers and the plastic insert that goes between the bearings, and the super cheese bolts they come with. also let me formally state that road bikes are not freeride bikes, and that big bulging bearings sticking out of a frame look like techno crap, and do nothing to make q factors anywhere near reasonable. let me also state if they are gunna stick the bearings out there, the responsible thing to do would be to install grease fittings. also, i dont like looking through anyones bike. what a lame gimmick.

  5. #5
    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    Here's something to check: your chain. What kind of lube are you using? I tried White Lightning for a while and had this whooshing sound that was very annoying. Basically there was a bunch of wax on the outside of the chain with not much internal lube. I switched to Prolink and the drivetrain is much quieter. I've come to equate that whooshing, slightly grindy kind of sound with a chain that needs lube right away. You might try this just to eliminate one variable and see if it helps. You didn't happen to ride in the rain recently did you?

  6. #6
    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridelugs
    first of all, if we are talking about internal bbs, they are easy, thats true. externals are a bit more of a hassle, with spacers and the plastic insert that goes between the bearings, and the super cheese bolts they come with. also let me formally state that road bikes are not freeride bikes, and that big bulging bearings sticking out of a frame look like techno crap, and do nothing to make q factors anywhere near reasonable. let me also state if they are gunna stick the bearings out there, the responsible thing to do would be to install grease fittings. also, i dont like looking through anyones bike. what a lame gimmick.
    Interesting opinion, personally I disagree with you though. I think this new style of crank has a lot going for it. The riders I've talked to that have this style rave about the noticable decrease in flex down there. I like the idea of installing zerk grease fittings, these bottom brackets are so affordable that you could almost sacrifice one and trial a DIY Zerk fitting. my main concern with drilling out the outer cover would be that its so thin that even the smallest automotive grease fittings would have too long of threads and would interfere with the bearings unless you ground it down real short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ridelugs
    first of all, if we are talking about internal bbs, they are easy, thats true. externals are a bit more of a hassle, with spacers and the plastic insert that goes between the bearings, and the super cheese bolts they come with. also let me formally state that road bikes are not freeride bikes, and that big bulging bearings sticking out of a frame look like techno crap, and do nothing to make q factors anywhere near reasonable. let me also state if they are gunna stick the bearings out there, the responsible thing to do would be to install grease fittings. also, i dont like looking through anyones bike. what a lame gimmick.
    We're talking about Ultegra bottom brackets so we are talking road bikes. I'm assuming we're talking about the newest Hollowtech II bottom brackets. I have the Ultegra HTII BB on both of the bikes in my sig and neither of them were any more annoying than just screwing them in and tightening. No spacers, no "super cheese" bolts, and, particularly no "looking through ... bikes". I can't imagine anything easier and more foolproof to install.

    So, going back to the OP's question, try greasing the face of the bearing housing and see if your noise doesn't go away.

  8. #8
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    i'm sure that if i outlayed the cash money for a ridiculous external bearing system, i too would claim an increase in stiffness. just as if i had bought a new pair of jeans and justified it by saying my butt looked better.

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    Thanks all. To answer a few questions, it is the new HHII, I am using white lighting lube, and I have been riding in extreme humidity, not rain though. I will try cleaning chain, degreasing and then a different lube. Will also grease the housing. Riding again tomorrow and will report back. Thanks again everyone.

  10. #10
    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scolmena
    Thanks all. To answer a few questions, it is the new HHII, I am using white lighting lube, and I have been riding in extreme humidity, not rain though. I will try cleaning chain, degreasing and then a different lube. Will also grease the housing. Riding again tomorrow and will report back. Thanks again everyone.


    Hi Scolmena:
    I'll be curious if its the chain lube. I hate to speculate that its the White Lightning but I fear that has a lot to do with it. I purchased a Ultegra 6603 triple, external bearing crankset with bottom bracket on ebay and I'm waiting for the correct Park BBT-9 to do the install correctly.

    Note to "Lug-rider" your boorish, unhelpful comments lend little to these discussions. If you're bitter because you can't afford some of the newer bike parts you want, then fine. Its just pretty offensive when you spew your opinions like you are some kind of expert on these things. So you've tried some older parts and you like them, big deal, we've all been there and done that .

  11. #11
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    i dont think riding new TA cranks and action tec bottom brackets counts as not being able to afford newer systems. nor do i think riding newer systems qualifies you to talk about them. but, rather, working in a shop every day, on all sorts of systems allows one to see the faults and benefits of each. if external bearings are so dope, they would have been utilized by shimano ages ago. in fact, the idea of out board bike bearings has been around for over 70 years but was disguarded as A. ugly B unnessesary, C heavier than tradition systems, and D more prone to contamination. i hardly see how an invention that increases weight, q factor, and cost of operation qualifies as innovation. floyd, druggie or not, kicked ass with a square taper bottom bracket in this years tour, which i think should cast serious doubts on anyones ideas that it lends that much of an advantage. innovation is only innovation if it doesnt also come part and parcel with an increase in technological superiority. technology can be defined as a better way to do something, innovation is just doing something new.
    shimano is the master of market innovation. but not of technological innovation.
    Furthermore, i answered the original question in a perfectly normal way, in fact, so to speak i was the first on the scene of the accident with a easy, rational answer. so, masi my good fellow, if you care to rationally defend your "i'll do anything shimano says cause i read cycle sport and they say its the only way i'll stay hip" attitude, great, but my case is closed.

  12. #12
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    Sorry to all for the delay in reposting. I went on vacation and was not allowed to take my ride. Anyway, finally got to test the lube/grease theory and much to my surprise, it worked. At least, from my initial 70 mile test. I did a failrly flat course on the north fork of long island, ny. The first part of the day, 30 miles, was dry, the remaining 40 was completed in drenching rain. But, for the initial 30 or so, no squishing noise. I just cleaned it again, used new grease and will test again this weekend. Thanks again to everyone, sorry it got a little heated in here with different opinions. But, I was glad to see such a great response.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridelugs
    first of all, if we are talking about internal bbs, they are easy, thats true. externals are a bit more of a hassle, with spacers and the plastic insert that goes between the bearings, and the super cheese bolts they come with. also let me formally state that road bikes are not freeride bikes, and that big bulging bearings sticking out of a frame look like techno crap, and do nothing to make q factors anywhere near reasonable. let me also state if they are gunna stick the bearings out there, the responsible thing to do would be to install grease fittings. also, i dont like looking through anyones bike. what a lame gimmick.
    Spacers? I have an Ultegra HTII bottom bracket right here. There are no spacers. It has precisely three parts. There is no hassle, unless having to breathe air all day in order to stay alive is also a hassle. I'm quite certain I could install it with my eyes closed. Also, the Q factor is the same as the previous-generation Ultegra, although the E-factor (E for Evil) is higher since it's newer.

    Also, if by "looking through anyone's bike" you're referring to the hollow spindle, then I guess you forgot what Ultegra HTII crankarms look like. You can't see into the spindle from either side of the bike. The fundamental design itself is not new, either... think old-school Bullseye cranks.
    Last edited by mechBgon; 08-30-06 at 03:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    I think ridelugs was probably refering to the Shimano mountain bike Hollowtech II bottom brackets. Those come with three spacers and you can look through the spindle from one side to the other (at least with the M760 crankset). Shimano did make a bit of a mess with this BB in that they moved the chainline out from 47.5mm to 50mm if you install according to instructions (two spacers on drive side and one on non-drive for 68mm BB). This seemed to work fine on a hardtail I built but the Rift Zone in my sig was another story. The chainline was *horrible* and shifting in the rear was a complete mess with so much chain clanking and grinding you just knew the cogs wouldn't last 10 miles. Contrary to Shimano's instructions, I moved one 2.5mm spacer from the drive side to the non-drive side restoring the 47.5mm chainline and, miraculously, everything fell back in place. Now I only hear noise from the rear when crosschaining. I did have to readjust the FD to shift to the granny reliably but it all works much better now. Whoever at Shimano decided to play this game with MTB chainlines should be shot.

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