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  1. #1
    Senior Member poprad's Avatar
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    Replace that BB on your daily rider!

    Hey, I just thought I'd provide some product feeback. I replaced the BB on my daily commuter, a late 80's Team Fuji with this model of SKF BB:



    Avail from Compass Bicycles:

    http://janheine.wordpress.com/2011/0...rld-exclusive/


    I have pounded the stuffing out of this thing going up and down Luxembourg's relatively short but very sharp inclines for the last 3 months and this BB is great. It's been through rain and muck too and feels rock solid but rolls smooth as a freshly rebuilt Campy Ti SR.

    I'll be replacing all my ones on bikes I ride frequently as rebuilds demand. I get no kickback from Jan either, just passing along a good product find.
    I live in search of finest examples of the 3 B's: Bikes, Beans (coffee), and Beer

  2. #2
    Senior Member Novakane's Avatar
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    Is it any better/different from Shimano sealed cartridges?

  3. #3
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novakane View Post
    Is it any better/different from Shimano sealed cartridges?
    Very much so. Is it worth the extra expense? Not for everyone.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member poprad's Avatar
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    Well, he gives it a 10 year/10k mile guarantee, which is pretty damn rock solid. I fully intend to move this one from bike to bike as I change rides over time. I can't speak to the real long-term longevity, but in your hand it definitely feels more substantial than any other sealed ones I've used (C or S). Also not for the weight weenies out there, it's no featherweight.
    I live in search of finest examples of the 3 B's: Bikes, Beans (coffee), and Beer

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pars's Avatar
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    Do they make these to fit asymmetrical (Campy NR/SR)? Didn't see anything at Compass.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Saguaro's Avatar
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    IMG_3906.jpg

    I recently installed one on my Nishiki Cresta. They have needle bearings on the drive side and extra large ball bearings on the non-drive side making these BB's a good choice for loaded touring, heavy riders and tandems. I believe this company also makes bearings for F1 race cars.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saguaro View Post
    IMG_3906.jpg

    I recently installed one on my Nishiki Cresta. They have needle bearings on the drive side and extra large ball bearings on the non-drive side making these BB's a good choice for loaded touring, heavy riders and tandems. I believe this company also makes bearings for F1 race cars.
    SKF also made bearings for Campagnolo in the Nuovo Reocrd era too, some headset boxes were imprinted with the SKF logo for example.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novakane View Post
    Is it any better/different from Shimano sealed cartridges?
    Boy, I'm not touching that one, other than ease of installation. Let's suffice it to say that my BB5500 and BB7700 experience does not contain the word "durable." I've had better luck with my BB6500, but none last as long as my Record loose-ball BB's, nor do they spin as well.

    If the OP's example spins better and lasts 10 years, $100 is not bad. Cheaper than the one-season Shimanos.
    Last edited by RobbieTunes; 08-28-12 at 08:03 PM.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    I'm trying to think of something SKF doesn't make bearings for. Nice BB.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by poprad View Post
    Well, he gives it a 10 year/10k mile guarantee, which is pretty damn rock solid.
    According to your link above the warranty is for 10 years/65 kmiles which seems more reasonable. OTOH, that's about how long it's been since I last performed any maintenance on my regular loose ball Shimano BB and it still seems to be working fine.

  11. #11
    Senior Member scotjonscot's Avatar
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    Those are nice. I almost bought one recently, ended up going with a unit from White Industries. It's curious that their name name translates to Swedish Bearing Factories, as they are clearly made in Germany.
    ars longa, vita brevis

  12. #12
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    Do they make an ISIS model?
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  13. #13
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    OUCH -they do. Pricey, but it might be worth it in the long run.

    Or just upgrade to a new outboard-bearing crank at that price...
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chrome Molly's Avatar
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    That's more than I usually pay for a frame. Come to think of it, my last three outboard cranks were each less than that (bearings included). I must be unrefined...

  15. #15
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
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    I think a shimano UN55 would be 90% as good and they're $25

  16. #16
    Senior Member DMNHCAGrandPrix's Avatar
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    I just looked at this recently myself, when contemplating best way to repair, update, or weatherize a 1977 Campagnolo Gran Sport conventional ball bearing bottom bracket that I found has a heavily pitted and brinneled spindle on the drive side. Although the claims of SKF robustness are intriguing, the cost of the SKF is 3x-4x typical Shimano or Campagnolo cartridge bottom brackets. Even if the SKF unit lasts longer, will it last 3x to 4x longer than the alternatives?

    In similar (high) price range, Phil Wood bottom brackets offer a much longer history, great adjustability of chain line, and much wider range of spindle lengths that are available for both ISO and JIS, and in both symmetric and asymmetric configurations.

    This link offers a good summary of the classic spindle lengths for older Campagnolo Record, Nuovo Record, Super Record, Gran Sport brackets of the classic and vintage era.http://www.minortriad.com/campagbb.html

    Note that none of the the older Campagnolo configurations are well matched by the single 111 mm symmetric ISO spindle available for the SKF unit from Compass Bikes (and none of the older C&V Campagnolo cranksets are listed in the SKF "Compatibility Chart" here:http://www.compasscycle.com/images/skf_bb_chart.pdf

    Contrast the limited SKF options for ISO/Campy tapers with the large number of different ISO spindle lengths and offsets that are available in a Phil Wood hub:http://philwood.com/store/page30.html

    So although SKF looked intriguing, after looking up the specs I am either going to
    1) try to find a replacement Campagnolo GS or Record spindle (68-SS) 114.5 mm long (~ $20-$30)
    2) install a Campagnolo Veloce 68 ISO cartridge (available in 115 mm size) (~$30)
    3) bite the bullet and go Phil Wood instead of SKF (~$119 cartridge plus $38 adjustable cups)

  17. #17
    MIKE is my name! puchfinnland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotjonscot View Post
    Those are nice. I almost bought one recently, ended up going with a unit from White Industries. It's curious that their name name translates to Swedish Bearing Factories, as they are clearly made in Germany.
    If SKF is making a BB it has to be primium quality,
    all of these major bearing companies have production all over the world-it dont matter as bearings are such important things the specs must be perfect.

    shimano,campagnolo,and all the others dont make any bearings,or high end races-they are all subcontracted out.(campagnolo uses skf bearings)

    SKF,***,Timkin, you cant buy better quality.

    if you want the best bearings money can buy- that skf must be it.
    My name is Michael, and I am a recovering bike addict, It has been 11 months since I purchased a bicycle for myself..
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    Good gear costs money. I dunno. I like to think of myself as a randonneur out of training, and when I think of a BB lockring coming out of torque in the middle of a brevet and the whole thing grinding itself to pieces in the middle of the night, an SKF unit doesn't seem so expensive at all. A cab ride from the ass end of nowhere back to civilization would cost more than this unit.

    I'm sufficiently impressed with them to want to have one installed on my custom frame.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I'm interested in this thread since I'm planning to rebuild my RB-1 this winter with ultegra 6700 takeoffs and a 105 hollowtech 2 from Ribble. I already have most of the parts, and while looking into Shimano v. aftermarket BB, was disappointed to learn that the new Shimano BBs are regarded as seasonal replacements. The older Shimano BB was considered quite durable.

    The SKF won't work with Hollowtech; I was going to go with a DA. Phil Wood makes bearing replacements --- not sure what else is out there that is compatible. I'm having a shop do the BB work, since this is not my area of expertise.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMNHCAGrandPrix View Post
    <snip>

    So although SKF looked intriguing, after looking up the specs I am either going to
    1) try to find a replacement Campagnolo GS or Record spindle (68-SS) 114.5 mm long (~ $20-$30)
    2) install a Campagnolo Veloce 68 ISO cartridge (available in 115 mm size) (~$30)
    3) bite the bullet and go Phil Wood instead of SKF (~$119 cartridge plus $38 adjustable cups)
    I have a Campy 68-SS thin cup spindle (GS or Record double) that came with what was supposed to be an NR BB (thick cup) that I bought off ebay. I took too long to check it out, so couldn't return it. PM if you need.

    I had read and heard the SKF was who Campy used for bearings. Supposedly "size matched"... is there a difference between these and standard grade 25 balls? Anyone know somewhere to get SKF loose bearing balls from? I used to only use the Campy bearings that I got from Lickton's IIRC. Usually don't need to replace them anyhow, just clean and regrease.

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