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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lionheart's Avatar
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    Less than 2K miles and BB bearings are shot?

    Hey guys,

    My '06 Specialized TriCross bottom bracket bearings are toast, according to LBS. I have just under 2000 miles on the bike. Should this be a warranty item?

    PS: The spindle and races are OK, again according to LBS.
    "There's going to be a MUP throw-down."

  2. #2
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    Your warranty probably addresses TIME not MILES. How old is the bike. Consult your manufacture's website for warranty details. Yes, that seems premature to wear out but that doesn't necessarily make it a warranty issue.

  3. #3
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Spindle and races? Sorry, but your LBS is full of crap. Its either an external BB or a sealed cartridge unit. The bearings themselves aren't replacable--its a throw away one piece sealed unit. With the details provided it sounds like they either don't know what they are talking about or are trying to sell you a bottom bracket for some reason.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

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    I think these are your BB specs:

    Bottom Bracket Shimano UN-25 cartridge, 68mm shell, 113mm spindle

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    I think these are your BB specs:



    It's either that or an FSA external bearing bb depending on which version of the Tricross the OP has. The Shimano should last for years. The FSA's are iffy.

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Spindle and races? Sorry, but your LBS is full of crap. Its either an external BB or a sealed cartridge unit. The bearings themselves aren't replacable--its a throw away one piece sealed unit. With the details provided it sounds like they either don't know what they are talking about or are trying to sell you a bottom bracket for some reason.
    It could be that he's riding a non original BB, i.e a non sealed one. I don't see how the bearings can be toast without damage to the races given that it's non sealed.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Every Specialized I've bought had a crappy BB that blew out in the first 4-6 months. I think they do this to save money on a part that no one sees. Have your LBS honor the warrantee and pay the extra money for a better BB.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  8. #8
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    How did they actually determine that the BB was crap?
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    Senior Member Lionheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    It's either that or an FSA external bearing bb depending on which version of the Tricross the OP has. The Shimano should last for years. The FSA's are iffy.
    It's an FSA, sealed unit. The bike is the Tri-Cross Comp and is less than 1 year old.

    I took it yesterday to the othe LBS (where originally purchased) and should get a diagnosis from them soon.
    "There's going to be a MUP throw-down."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lionheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    How did they actually determine that the BB was crap?
    They pulled the cranks, pulled the bottom bracket and spindle out. Apparently with these units the bearings don't ride against the spindle anymore like the old stuff did. So you can pull the arms and spindle out and the bb comes out as a complete unit.
    "There's going to be a MUP throw-down."

  11. #11
    SoCal Commuter DanO220's Avatar
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    This is a text book example of why we all need the right tools to pull our own crank arms and inspect our own bottom brackets. I'm only saying this because most people here know how easy it is to do once you've got the right tools. Then you don't have to worry about whether or not a shop is trying to snow you and sell you a new BB, or if the 'mechanic' simply doesn't know what they're talking about - which happens on occasion.

    With that said; most good wrenches aren't afraid of questions and will show you just how a part is worn out. And they could have done this by letting you turn the spindle by hand once the crank arms are removed. A BB with worn bearings will feel rough and notchy as you turn it when it's still tight in the frame. (Although it might seem fine if you're holding it in your hand. It's got to be in the frame and torqued to spec'.) And yea, a cheap BB one can go south in a hurry if you're riding alot.

    I run sealed, internal bearing, ISIS bottom brackets; and I'm partial to FSA Platinum Pro's and Truvativ Giga Pipe's. They can be a bit spendy if you walk into a shop, but I look for them on the internet and buy them in advance when I find a good deal. Then they're just waiting in the drawer when I need a new one.

    Get some tools Lionheart. I'm only harrassing you on that point because I remember how hard it was to wait on the shop when I'd rather be out riding... Not to mention wondering if they were being straight with me. Now I don't have to! The investment will pay for itself in no time, and there's lots of books and internet sources, as well as nice people here to help you learn to do your own maintenance. It's fun, and it's also confidence building. Good luck.

    DanO
    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lionheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanO220
    Get some tools Lionheart. I'm only harrassing you on that point because I remember how hard it was to wait on the shop when I'd rather be out riding... Not to mention wondering if they were being straight with me. Now I don't have to! The investment will pay for itself in no time, and there's lots of books and internet sources, as well as nice people here to help you learn to do your own maintenance. It's fun, and it's also confidence building. Good luck.

    DanO
    I don't want to come off like a total noob. I've got tools and have done most of my own maintenance. But since this is a relatively new bike and could be a warranty issue, I took it in. Now it's been two places so I will be getting a second opinion.

    Where I am a total noob is with sealed cartridge bottom brackets. I don't know much about those... never installed one and don't have the tools for it.

    If they don't warranty it for me (wear and tear item ), I've already decided to buy the tools and upgrade the part myself. Your advice is good and is the way I'm going. Thanks.
    "There's going to be a MUP throw-down."

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    It's probably an FSA Platinum like the one in my 06' Bianchi.
    Mine has gone after a year as well.Has yours developed play?
    They are very easy to replace by the way,and cost about $35.You'll need a Park Tool BBT-2 to get it off.
    I'm gonna go for the mega quad BB next time,as it has 4 bearings and should last a lot longer

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lionheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brundle_fly
    It's probably an FSA Platinum like the one in my 06' Bianchi.
    Mine has gone after a year as well.Has yours developed play?
    They are very easy to replace by the way,and cost about $35.You'll need a Park Tool BBT-2 to get it off.
    I'm gonna go for the mega quad BB next time,as it has 4 bearings and should last a lot longer
    Hey guys, here's the latest. Why do they do this? Late on Sunday afternoon, after not hearing anything from the shop, I called. The guy says the bottom bracket is FUBAR, and NOT covered under warranty. Well, when were you going to tell me that? It's been there since Wednesday! That's lousy customer service. And just for the record (because they deserve it), that's Hudson Trail Outfitters in Pentagon City.

    So now I'm ready to decide on and buy the replacement bottom bracket. I suppose now I need to know what the bottom bracket shell measures. Does anybody know? (I'll probably post same question in a new thread.) This is the Dura Ace which comes in 68 and 70:

    This is the UN-73 which comes in the same sizes but many different axle lengths (I know its got UN-72 printed on it):


    Anybody have any wisdom?
    "There's going to be a MUP throw-down."

  15. #15
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Spindle and races? Sorry, but your LBS is full of crap. Its either an external BB or a sealed cartridge unit. The bearings themselves aren't replacable--its a throw away one piece sealed unit. With the details provided it sounds like they either don't know what they are talking about or are trying to sell you a bottom bracket for some reason.
    Not so fast. They said the bearings are shot. If the OP did something like wash his bike with a power washer or run solvent through that dissolved all the grease, he could easily screw up a good BB. I doubt the LBS is trying to pull one over on him. Something is wrong.

    BTW, Lionheart, if you want the new external BB you're looking at, you need a new crank that works with it as well. That will be pricey. Unless you really hate your cranks, you're better off getting the same kind as you had before.

  16. #16
    cab horn
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    Lionheart this is easy: take your bb out and look at it, or take a caliper and measure your bottom bracket shell.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  17. #17
    Born Yesterday
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    Lionheart, I don't know what the second shop you took your bike to was, but if you want some good honest advice, take your bike to Paul at Spokes, etc. in Vienna or if you don't mind a long drive, Adam at the Ashburn Spokes store. Although I'm no longer in the area, I've worked with both in the past, and recommend them wholeheartedly (and definitely DON'T recommend hudson trail).

  18. #18
    Senior Member Lionheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Lionheart this is easy: take your bb out and look at it, or take a caliper and measure your bottom bracket shell.
    I'll measure it, once I get it back. It's still up there. I'm picking it up today.

    I don't want another of the same. If it means going through this again in another 8 months. I've GOT to upgrade.
    "There's going to be a MUP throw-down."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionheart
    I'll measure it, once I get it back. It's still up there. I'm picking it up today.

    I don't want another of the same. If it means going through this again in another 8 months. I've GOT to upgrade.

    If you've got square taper BB measure it up then get on ebay, you'll find NOS shimano XTR (UN91) BBs can still be had. If not most LBS can still get shimano XT (UN73), cost is reasonable and part is durable.

  20. #20
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Wait-- that BB should be covered under warranty. The OEM Truvativ Giga Pipe in my Lemond is covered by a one-year warranty. Unless they can make a case for abuse the component is covered by either the bike manufacturer or the component manufacturer.

    If you didn't "abuse" your BB and the manufacturer representative (the bike shop where bought the bike) won't honor the warranty then take it up with the component manufacturer.

    Oh... and DID you take a pressure washer to your bike?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Lionheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Spindle and races? Sorry, but your LBS is full of crap. Its either an external BB or a sealed cartridge unit. The bearings themselves aren't replacable--its a throw away one piece sealed unit. With the details provided it sounds like they either don't know what they are talking about or are trying to sell you a bottom bracket for some reason.
    Forgive me guys. I threw in the bit about spindle and races. I'm still livin' in the mid 90's.

    It is a one piece sealed unit, and a throw-away unit as you point out.

    As HillRider stated, It is an FSA external bearing unit. The FSA website gives the warranty term on bottom brackets and bb bearings as two years. So I printed that out and took it in yesterday to make my case. The bike shop visit was going South fast, as they were understaffed and the bike guy was occupied with an incoming shipment. Long story short, after waiting the better part of an hour I was about to leave (and I mean take my bike and never come back), the cash register guy steps up and says since I've been so patient, he's gonna see to it that they replace the bottom bracket.

    Hats off to this guy (Chris I think). He reversed a bad scenario, and kept a customer. I still think the facts and warranty were on my side. But it's good to get some satisfaction, and a new bb .

    I know I'll probably be going through this again in a year, maybe less, but what the hell.

    One more thing... I did not pressure wash it. Rode it in rain a few times, but never took it to the magic wand car wash.
    "There's going to be a MUP throw-down."

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