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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-25-09, 09:27 PM   #1
Herbie53
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Clyde friendly FSA bottom bracket

After a poultry 1,200 miles the FSA Mega Exo BB on my carbon bike is creaky and near death. My first reaction was to say this FSA carbon crank needs to go (that may still work out to have been the correct answer).

I googled a bit and found quite a bit on FSA bottom bracket (external cup type) being pretty weak.

http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/dr...x.aspx#reviews

I also found this outfit the sells an FSA compatible BB that sounds more robust and like it might have a chance under a hammering 215lb clyde (I was a heavy 245 when I got the bike).

Anyone else tried these? Linky
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Old 03-26-09, 11:51 AM   #2
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After repeated problems with FSA Mega Exo which was by installed by my LBS and serviced multiple times , I bought some tools and installed Shimano R700 cranks with Ultegra bottom bracket. Smooth and quiet after many miles.
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Old 03-26-09, 05:30 PM   #3
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After repeated problems with FSA Mega Exo which was by installed by my LBS and serviced multiple times , I bought some tools and installed Shimano R700 cranks with Ultegra bottom bracket. Smooth and quiet after many miles.

That was my first inclination. I have a set of 105 (5600) on my steel bike that I found on CL for $50 including the BB - they've been great!!. Unforturately, those sorts of deals are rare and finding a decent crank with BB for less than ~$250 new or so is not happening fast enough to keep me rolling.

I'm hoping the $120 on this after market bit will quiet things up and keep me going...and not just be throwing good money after bad.
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Old 03-26-09, 05:48 PM   #4
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I have a set of FSA Mega Exo one that are ceramic. I just got it for Christmas so I do not know how reliable they are. I got them with the FSA carbon crank. I really like them and they are much smoother than my older DA cranks were. I hope that it lasts for awhile. Only time will tell.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:13 PM   #5
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my FSA megaexo botttom bracket is doing ok...after about 300 miles it started creaking but i brought it back to the LBS and they said it was a little loose. After they tightened it up to spec it has been fine ever since. (using FSA Gossamer cranks)
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Old 03-26-09, 10:54 PM   #6
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have you taken it apart, cleaned and greased it?
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Old 03-27-09, 08:12 AM   #7
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After a poultry 1,200 miles the FSA Mega Exo BB on my carbon bike is creaky and near death. My first reaction was to say this FSA carbon crank needs to go (that may still work out to have been the correct answer).

I googled a bit and found quite a bit on FSA bottom bracket (external cup type) being pretty weak. I also found this outfit the sells an FSA compatible BB that sounds more robust and like it might have a chance under a hammering 215lb clyde (I was a heavy 245 when I got the bike).

Anyone else tried these? Linky
I can't speak to the BB you linked, but why would you replace a perfectly fine crank because your BB is creaking?
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Old 03-27-09, 08:35 AM   #8
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Improper facing of the BB shell will cause premature bearing failure. This isn't something a home mechanic should do, but done properly at a bike shop or assembly line. This should be warrantied and repaired correctly by a dealer.

If you bought the bike online, well, we told you so.
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Old 03-27-09, 08:39 AM   #9
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I had a Bontrager stock crank on my Lemond. After 10,000 miles, it ws pretty much toast. I found an Ultegra crank on an ebay store "wheelandsprocket" for $149 including the BB. It's been perfect and sturdy!

They had doubles, triples. Haven't looked latelyh but the priceds fluctuate a bit. A week after I bought ine they had them for $129 .

ALso had older 105 9 speed stuff for $50 depending on BB style.
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Old 03-27-09, 02:29 PM   #10
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you can also have a new set of bearings pressed into the FSA BB
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Old 03-27-09, 02:30 PM   #11
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Improper facing of the BB shell will cause premature bearing failure. This isn't something a home mechanic should do, but done properly at a bike shop or assembly line. This should be warrantied and repaired correctly by a dealer.

If you bought the bike online, well, we told you so.
not sure that you need facing done with those BB since they are external bearings.
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Old 03-27-09, 03:40 PM   #12
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Anytime you put a external bearing on a bike that has never had them, you should probably face the frame to make sure it has a good flat smooth surface. I just put some new LX cranks with external bearings on my Trek 7300 and it needed to be face.
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Old 03-27-09, 10:31 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses. The Enduro one showed up today. I'll give it a couple thousand miles and report back. It at least looks nice.

I had thought to try and remove and inspect/regrease or replace the bearings, but the tools to get bearings into / out of cups seem to run more than cups/bearings.

I did buy the bike online, but it was assembled and was maintained by the local Performance shop... they told me, tough, regular wear and tear... plus I've been pretty unimpressed with thier work. I still think buying online is fine, you just need to have an idea about sizing and a willingness to wrench a little.., but that's a whole 'nother thread that I don't think we want to start here.

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Old 03-29-09, 07:52 PM   #14
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not sure that you need facing done with those BB since they are external bearings.
To create a flat surface for the bearing cups to sit on. Otherwise, you get the problem you don't seem to grasp.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:59 PM   #15
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To create a flat surface for the bearing cups to sit on. Otherwise, you get the problem you don't seem to grasp.
ya, I think I grasp it just fine
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Old 03-29-09, 08:52 PM   #16
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That really seems like a waste of money. I'm pretty sure that ceramic bearings aren't the cause of your problem. For that much money you could have bought a new 105 crankset and BB on ebay.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:03 PM   #17
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That really seems like a waste of money. I'm pretty sure that ceramic bearings aren't the cause of your problem. For that much money you could have bought a new 105 crankset and BB on ebay.
do you have anything to add to this? Data on FSA cranks failing? personal experience? or is this just a post for postings sake?

PS - the creak in gone after installing the new BB, we'll see how long the silence lasts.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:24 PM   #18
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Anytime you put a external bearing on a bike that has never had them, you should probably face the frame to make sure it has a good flat smooth surface. I just put some new LX cranks with external bearings on my Trek 7300 and it needed to be face.
On a separate note from the OP, I have an old steel bike that I put a set of Shimano 5600 cranks on that I found on CL for $50 (w/ BB!!). I didn't "face" the frame. All seems fine, but it sound like something I should look into. What's involved? I have weekend access to a engine builders shop.
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Old 03-30-09, 08:11 AM   #19
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do you have anything to add to this? Data on FSA cranks failing? personal experience? or is this just a post for postings sake?

PS - the creak in gone after installing the new BB, we'll see how long the silence lasts.
It's possible it was a loose crank, in replacing the BB everything got tightened up again. If it starts making noise again, try tightening everything up first. I don't know about CF cranks with outboard bearings, but AL ones on square taper, can sound like the BB cup is coming apart, they can also be damaged in the process. Fortunately, AL crank arms are fairly cheap, the shop that replaced the one I had trouble with, replaced the bolt as well, which is probably a good idea.
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Old 03-30-09, 08:14 AM   #20
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do you have anything to add to this? Data on FSA cranks failing? personal experience? or is this just a post for postings sake?

PS - the creak in gone after installing the new BB, we'll see how long the silence lasts.
I think he just means it's a bit strange to skip the normal remove-grease-reinstall/tighten stuff and go straight to ceramic bearings, which are a whole separate controversy on their own.

But I guess if you can afford it and it looks nice, more power to you.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:14 AM   #21
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I think he just means it's a bit strange to skip the normal remove-grease-reinstall/tighten stuff and go straight to ceramic bearings, which are a whole separate controversy on their own.

But I guess if you can afford it and it looks nice, more power to you.
That is why I asked if he removed, cleaned, and regreased it. It fixed my BB squeak.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:48 AM   #22
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I had a Bontrager stock crank on my Lemond. After 10,000 miles, it ws pretty much toast. I found an Ultegra crank on an ebay store "wheelandsprocket" for $149 including the BB. It's been perfect and sturdy!

They had doubles, triples. Haven't looked latelyh but the priceds fluctuate a bit. A week after I bought ine they had them for $129 .

ALso had older 105 9 speed stuff for $50 depending on BB style.
when you way the crank was "toast", what do you mean specifically....are you referring to the BB?
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Old 03-30-09, 12:43 PM   #23
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do you have anything to add to this? Data on FSA cranks failing? personal experience? or is this just a post for postings sake?

PS - the creak in gone after installing the new BB, we'll see how long the silence lasts.
You paid a lot extra for ceramic bearings. Do a search in the road forum on ceramic bearings and you will see a lot of debate of their worth. They are supposed to make for slightly less rolling resistance, but a lot of people think that it doesn't matter at the low RPM on bikes. You could have saved almost $100 and gotten Ultegra or similar.
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Old 03-30-09, 04:21 PM   #24
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You paid a lot extra for ceramic bearings. Do a search in the road forum on ceramic bearings and you will see a lot of debate of their worth. They are supposed to make for slightly less rolling resistance, but a lot of people think that it doesn't matter at the low RPM on bikes. You could have saved almost $100 and gotten Ultegra or similar.

Thanks.

I didn't really go for the ceramic part of the marketing of these, it was the oversized balls / greater load capacity that caught my interest. They were a bit more $$ than regular ones, but quite a bit cheaper than FSA Ceramic ($120). I think I could have used a Shimano bit, but sprung for these. Like I said in the OP, I remain suspect of the FSA cranks and may well end up with a Shimano crank in the end anyway.

My OEM FSA ones were toast... pits in the race on the non-drive side -- did a destructive inspection.
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Old 03-31-09, 06:13 AM   #25
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I don't get it... what exactly is wrong with your crank? Other than outright failing it's pretty unusual for anything to really go wrong with a crank.
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