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Old 10-11-06, 07:16 AM   #1
OldBlueJeans
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Dura Ace B/B quality

I purchased a new Trek 5200 (9 sp) a few years ago and had the dealer upgrade the B/B and crank to Dura Ace. After 6,500 miles the B/B started "clacking" away and I pulled it only to find one of the needle bearings was missing. So I replaced the bearing cups. Now, after another 6,500 miles I find the whole B/B is worn out. I have heard of other complaints about Dura Ace B/B's coming loose or wearing out quickly. It seems to me these things ought to last more than 13,000 miles.

I am curious how many other people have experienced this. Also, the Campy Record seems to have much smoother bearings. But I wonder if they last longer?

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Old 10-11-06, 09:12 AM   #2
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13,000 miles is A LOT for any BB. I'd be really, really, really happy I got that much on any BB, especially on a D/A BB.
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Old 10-11-06, 09:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldBlueJeans
I purchased a new Trek 5200 (9 sp) a few years ago and had the dealer upgrade the B/B and crank to Dura Ace. After 6,500 miles the B/B started "clacking" away and I pulled it only to find one of the needle bearings was missing. So I replaced the bearing cups. Now, after another 6,500 miles I find the whole B/B is worn out. I have heard of other complaints about Dura Ace B/B's coming loose or wearing out quickly. It seems to me these things ought to last more than 13,000 miles.

I am curious how many other people have experienced this. Also, the Campy Record seems to have much smoother bearings. But I wonder if they last longer?

OldFreeWheel
Are you talking about the 7700 octalink one with the adjustable cups, or the 7703 triple version with a non-adjustable cartridge or the newer 7800 one. Just curious, I'm usining the 7703 triple cartridge and I've had some issues with corrosion on the spindle after 3000 miles but my bearings are tight and smooth so far.
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Old 10-11-06, 09:23 AM   #4
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A 9-speed dura-ace BB has bearing cups that are replacable? I thought it was a sealed cartridge unit. (I've heard about Dura-Ace Octalink BB that had needle bearings and replacable cups, though, so I assume that's what you have.)

Sealed cartridge BB's can last a long time if the bike isn't out in the rain. After 8,000 miles the UN-72 (XT/Ultegra-level) square-taper BB on my road bike was still perfectly smooth when turning the spindle between thumb and forefinger. Lots of people have had square-taper sealed-cartridge BB's last for over 20,000 miles. Of course, YMMV for a number of factors.
One thing is that oversized-axle BB's have smaller bearings (because the axle is larger but the're the same space for bearings) and can wear out more quickly. This has been a problem especially with ISIS bottom brackets, not so much with Shimano Octalink.

But 13,000 miles isn't bad, even if it's not great either. I'd just get a new Octalink bottom bracket of the correct spindle length - it's easy to replace.
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Old 10-11-06, 09:46 AM   #5
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i have heard people complaining a lot over the years about the 7701 bb re wearing out prematurly etc. as they are adjustable, it is very important to take the time and get it spot on before tighting up the lockring, as too tight or too loose both wear the unit out much quicker. that said, 13,000 miles is pretty good esp if you have been in adverse conditions etc.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:56 AM   #6
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The 9-speed Dura Ace double bottom bracket was a different animal from all of Shimano's other recent bottom brackets. The bearings were not sealed and it didn't use cartridge bearings since it substituted light weight and minimal drag for maintenance-free convenience. Owners were expected to overhaul and relube it periodically, particularly if it was ridden in bad conditions.

As Tim mentioned, Shimano's sealed square taper bb's can last a long time. I have a couple of UN-72's still in service with over 30,000 miles each. I also have an Ultegra-level Octalink with over 10,000 miles and still smooth as glass.
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Old 10-11-06, 06:44 PM   #7
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Use the Ultegra BB-6500. Most pro teams back then in the 9 speed days used Ultegra because they didn't have to mess with the finicky maintenance of the DA. You can even get 5500, the 105 Octalink version, real cheap nowadays and they work fine.
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