Gear Combo Guru
Join Date: May 2007
Bikes: Spec' Tarmac (road), Ridley Fenix (commuter & fast tourer), Salsa Mamasita (MTB), CoMo Speedster (tandem), Surly Big Dummy (cargo), Airnimal (folder)
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I use a Hope bottom bracket
instead of a SRAM one. The Hope BB's are designed for Shimano Hollowtech II, but they also sell a cheap conversion kit which is just a couple of aluminum sleeves to convert it to the GXP standard, which are straightforward to install. Hope makes two versions, one with stainless steel bearings and one with ceramic bearings. I got the stainless steel version, and am very happy about how smoothly it spins. It hasn't seen much bad weather, but is still going fine 6 months after the initial install. Unlike the Shimano versions, the Hope BBs can be stripped down and the bearings replaced, they even have videos showing you how to do it on their website. Another advantage is that they come in multiple colors, mine looks great in red. The cost of the stainless steel Hope version is half-way between the cheap (steel) and expensive (ceramic) SRAM versions, so it makes a good compromise option. I have the cheap SRAM version on another bike, which certainly has more resistance when spinning the cranks without the chain connected then the Hope version.
I highly recommend getting the Hope (with GXP converters). Hope is based in the UK, but I assume they are easily available in the US. You can also get a beautiful Hope headset in the matching color to the BB; they are also silky smooth.