Okay, this is an obviously stupid question, but I haven't found the simple answer after searching the forums tonight. I have an Shimano 4550 compact crank on the way, which is Tiagra grade, I do believe. So my question is this: Will any Shimano integrated bottom bracket work, (Hollowtech II I believe it's called) such Ultegra or 105 grade, or must I specifically use a 4500 series bottom bracket?
I appreciate anyone who could give me such a simple answer. It's been a while since I've been on the bike, long enough that my brand new Ultegra 9 speed is no longer state of the art, and I'm just learning all the new tech.
All of the new shimano bb's will work for any shimano crank, as well as fsa, race face, etc. The one exception is TruVativ/Sram, which have a 24mm drive side bearing and a 22mm non drive side bearing, referred to as "GXP".
All of the new shimano bb's will work for any shimano crank, as well as fsa, race face, etc. .
The new Shimano bottom brackets are most (if not all of them) Octalink. Are you saying FSA and Race Face make octalink cranksets? 'cause, as far as I know, Octalink is proprietary and noone else but Shimano has the right to use the interface.
Or maybe an easier question would be, will any shimano bottom bracket work with any crank, regardless of grade or brand?
There is no simple answer. IF the BB is square taper, you can find non-shimano manufacturers that make cranksets that will work with it. If it's Octalink, then the only source for cranksets is Shimano.
There's another splined interface, ISIS, which is not proprietary, but Shimano makes no components compatible with it.