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Old 08-20-11, 05:02 PM   #1
cyclist2000
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Sluggish FSA Gossemer Triple

I have a FSA Gossemer Triple Crank and it feels a bit sluggish. I haven't taken it apart yet but since it has cartridge bearings, can it be the bottom bracket? Or could it be feeling too tight with the road grime between the cranks and the bottom bracket?

How do I maintain this bottom bracket?
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Old 08-20-11, 06:47 PM   #2
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How did you determine that it feels sluggish? The worn out bottom brackets I've come across didn't necessarily ever feel sluggish but they did feel rough and/or loose and definitely made some noise when pedaling hard. If you have a significant build up of road grime at the bottom bracket it can only help to clean it up. Just don't use high pressure water or anything as that could drive dirt into the bearings.
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Old 08-20-11, 09:40 PM   #3
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When I took off the chain, I spun the cranks and they don't spin freely at all, my other road bikes with campy bottom brackets spin much more freely. I have put about 2000 miles on the bike that I purchased new. It may be grime between the crank arms and the bottom bracket. It feels like a bottom bracket that has grease that solidified by sitting too long. I noticed on the FSA installation instructions that there needs to be a 1.5 - 2.5mm gap between the bottom bracket and crank arm, I think the spring washer keeps the crank arms from wobbling side to side.

But I really don't know and was wondering if I took the arms off to clean the spindle if I could lube the bearings and how to do it.

Last edited by cyclist2000; 08-20-11 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-20-11, 10:35 PM   #4
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I use the standard that very good bottom bracket bearing set will spin 10 or 11 times when given a good hard spin.
If you spin it hard and stops after 6 or 7 that's still ok, but can proably be made better. If it can spin like 2 or 3 times then it is pretty bad.
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Old 08-21-11, 06:06 AM   #5
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With only 2000 miles on the bike, it's highly unlikely that the bottom bracket is worn out. More likely the excess friction is coming from the design of the bottom bracket itself (external bearings? tighter water seals, etc.) or your bottom bracket shell was never faced properly and the misalignment is causing the friction.

Personally, I'd continue riding it until it actually feels rough then worry about replacing it with something better, assuming it doesn't loosen up on it's own as the seals break in. I think you are currently making something out of nothing though.
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Old 08-21-11, 10:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
With only 2000 miles on the bike, it's highly unlikely that the bottom bracket is worn out. More likely the excess friction is coming from the design of the bottom bracket itself (external bearings? tighter water seals, etc.) or your bottom bracket shell was never faced properly and the misalignment is causing the friction.

Personally, I'd continue riding it until it actually feels rough then worry about replacing it with something better, assuming it doesn't loosen up on it's own as the seals break in. I think you are currently making something out of nothing though.
THere are a lot of people who pooh-pooh the idea of getting bottom bracket faced, but in my experience it is necessary for many mass-produced bikes with external BBs. THese BBs rely on the face of the BB shell to provide alignment, and the bearings cannot handle much misalignment... it will result in excess friction and premature wear.
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Old 08-21-11, 05:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
With only 2000 miles on the bike, it's highly unlikely that the bottom bracket is worn out. More likely the excess friction is coming from the design of the bottom bracket itself (external bearings? tighter water seals, etc.) or your bottom bracket shell was never faced properly and the misalignment is causing the friction.

Personally, I'd continue riding it until it actually feels rough then worry about replacing it with something better, assuming it doesn't loosen up on it's own as the seals break in. I think you are currently making something out of nothing though.
Thank you for the advise. I don't think the bottom bracket is worn out. But I do believe in preventative maintenance and this crankset seems to have a lot of resistance.

But I really wanted ideas on how to lube the bearings since I am going to take the crank off to clean it up. Since these are cartridge bearings do you have any ideas?

I wasn't thinking that it was an alignment problem since it seemed to operate fine when I first got the bike.
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Old 08-21-11, 06:27 PM   #8
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Everyone, thanks for sharing the opinions. I really appreciate all the help.

I pull off the cranks a few minutes ago and taking the axial torque off the crankset freed it up quite a bit. I removed the cranks and cleaned the spindle and bearing surfaces. It is now very smooth and spins freely.

Also using the LarDasse74 method of crank resistance, it would spin 1 time. So this is a great improvement.

Again thanks for the help.
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Old 08-21-11, 06:41 PM   #9
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Did you retorque the crankset to the appropriate spec? If not, you are risking ruining the crankset if an arm comes loose.

I recommend checking FSA's installation procedure on their website and make sure the appropriate spacers were used. It's possible that your BB shell is a bit wider than normal and that was the cause of the excess preload on the bearings.
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Old 08-21-11, 06:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Did you retorque the crankset to the appropriate spec? If not, you are risking ruining the crankset if an arm comes loose.

I recommend checking FSA's installation procedure on their website and make sure the appropriate spacers were used. It's possible that your BB shell is a bit wider than normal and that was the cause of the excess preload on the bearings.
I did use the torque ratings printed on the preload nut and the ones printed on the crank arms. I was surprised at how low the preload torque was (0.7-1.5 Nm). I looked at the tech docs yesterday to learn how to remove the crank and reassembled the same manner.

Again thank you.
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