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Old 06-29-14, 12:57 PM   #1
Ziemas
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Wet Weather Bottom Bracket Suggestions Please!

I'm slowly in the process of building a new Surly Straggler and as an all weather commuter am looking for suggestions for a bomb-proof water resistant bottom bracket. As I haven't built up a bike in awhile I have no idea what's currently out there and working well for folks. Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-29-14, 01:11 PM   #2
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If you don't mind going with a square taper BB, the shimano sealed units are very good and inexpensive. A sugino crank (double or triple) would look "right" on that surly and you can use that crank with a shimano square taper BB. I'm running a Sugino xd600 on my soma doublecross. It is a quality crank and inexpensive as these things go currently:

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Old 06-29-14, 04:08 PM   #3
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Yea, square taper Shimano's UN Type Cartridge BB are disposably Cheap. adequately sealed ..

I liked the cheaper Campag square Taper cartridge BB as I Could slip a O ring on the spindle before I slipped
on the crankarms , to make a second water seal ..

I replaced the pricier model which uses the spline tool off the cassette lock ring to secure it.
So adding of O ring trick was not something working so well.. hard to pry them out of the hole.

external BB types seem to contaminate with road grime from the front wheel..

So mudguards Essential , or just plan to replace the bearing assemblies occasionally.


Ive Been using the Grease guard WTB licensed to Sun Tour.. new grease out of needle ***

pushes out the old. but it's NOS from a long time ago .

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Old 06-30-14, 01:21 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Fenders are on all of my bikes, as there is so much rain here. Right now we are on week three of constant rain. Urgh.

Anyway, cost really isn't as important as reliability. I'd like to avoid downtime, even if it means a more expensive BB.
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Old 06-30-14, 08:18 AM   #5
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I've had no issues at all with Shimano's Octalink or external cup BBs. I just retired an Octalink installed in January 2007 on my three-seasons commuter. Still just fine, I simply wanted a new crankset on that bike.

I've also had good experience with SRAM's GXP external cup BB. Came stock on my 2006 Portland, which is my four-seasons all-conditions commuter. Last summer I had it replaced because I thought it had begun ticking. Turns out, it wasn't the BB at all, but the crank. The spider is pressed on to the crankshaft, and it wasn't quite so pressed-on any more.
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Old 06-30-14, 08:57 AM   #6
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SKF bottom bracket. Comes with a 10 year warranty.

Compass Bicycles: Bottom Brackets

They make ISIS, JIS and ISO
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Old 06-30-14, 09:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions. all! Lot's to research.
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Old 06-30-14, 12:47 PM   #8
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I'm interested to hear what kind of mileage people get out of their bottom brackets in foul weather.

I have various Shimano HollowTech II bottom brackets on most of my bikes, just because that's what the cranksets I wanted to use required. My 2013 Jake came with a Tiagra bottom bracket, and after 3000+ miles it seems to be fine. When it wears out I'll probably replace it with an Ultegra or even Dura Ace model just because the price differential is fairly small for this part.

I've got a Dura Ace HollowTech II bottom bracket on my CX race bike that has held up through 20 races or so and, let me tell you, compared to a muddy CX race a rainy commute is a spa day for the bike.

I have worn out a couple of FSA MegaExo bottom brackets (both in less than 2500 miles), so it's not like I'm just putting up with gritty bearings. The Shimano bottom brackets just seem to handle the conditions I ride it.

I like the idea of square taper bottom brackets, and I have one on my Long Haul Trucker. I'm just wondering what kind of mileage people are getting out of the cheap-to-midrange models.
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Old 06-30-14, 12:50 PM   #9
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Forgive the basic question but I'm on my first real bike and don't really know: What symptoms do you look for w.r.t bottom bracket wear and tear?
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Old 06-30-14, 04:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I'm interested to hear what kind of mileage people get out of their bottom brackets in foul weather.
I had a two year run where I was replacing a bottom bracket a year (around 2500 miles and a shimano UN type). The current one is going on two years and still fine. It's not clear to me what was different when they were wearing out. Maybe the install was better this time.

Rob
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Old 06-30-14, 05:03 PM   #11
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I've had seriously crummy luck with Isis BBs. I guess I could buy an SFK Isis BB but they're expensive.
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Old 06-30-14, 05:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I'm interested to hear what kind of mileage people get out of their bottom brackets in foul weather.
My '06 Safari still has its stock Octalink;I don't have a computer,but I'd guesstimate it's got well north of 10k miles. It's been through just about every snowstorm we've had since I got it,as well as many winters on salt covered roads and plenty of rain. It's still going strong.
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Old 06-30-14, 05:34 PM   #13
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I would avoid anything ISIS, they just develop a lot of play and wear out faster then any other bottom bracket that I've used....Square taper UN 54 and external cup bearings are good, never had problems with any of them.
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Old 06-30-14, 05:55 PM   #14
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I'm just wondering what kind of mileage people are getting out of the cheap-to-midrange models.
It depends which bottom bracket we talking about:

I've had an ISIS bracket on one of my SS MTB's fail catastrophicly after less then 2 years. The new one which is exactly the same has developed a lot of play after about 1000 hard wet miles.

My Fixed gear bike has a square taper and it's been bombproof, it's 5 years old with many thousands of miles and still spins like new. It has even been accidently submerged in water when I got stuck trying to ride through a very flooded MUP.

My other FG/SS bike has an external cup bearing bracket and it's been very good, no problems.
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Old 06-30-14, 07:52 PM   #15
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I'm interested to hear what kind of mileage people get out of their bottom brackets in foul weather.
I have well over 4k miles on my square taper UN?? bb on my 2011 Specialized Sirrus. Just last week it started the (what I consider) tell tale "creaking" of being worn out. I ride in all weather. I will be replacing it with a UN55 next week.
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Old 07-01-14, 01:04 PM   #16
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SKF bottom bracket. Comes with a 10 year warranty.
Now that I have one, I just have to wait for my UN-52 to bite the bullet so I can install it. May be a few more years.

Is there a reason nobody's suggested a Phil Woods BB (beside the price)?
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Old 07-03-14, 02:21 AM   #17
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Now that I have one, I just have to wait for my UN-52 to bite the bullet so I can install it. May be a few more years.

Is there a reason nobody's suggested a Phil Woods BB (beside the price)?
Actually I'm currently using a Phil Wood bottom bracket and quite honestly I'm not happy with the longevity of it in wet weather. I need to replace the bearings every 18 to 24 months, which is more often than I'd like to. At the last bearing change I installed their new mug guards, and hopefully that will add some longevity to the bearings.

On the other hands their hubs are fantastic, and after seven years of wet weather commuting my front hub still spins like new, but the rear is in for its first bearing change soon. That's excellent lifespan.
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Old 07-03-14, 09:45 AM   #18
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Yea, square taper Shimano's UN Type Cartridge BB are disposably Cheap. adequately sealed ..
I also recommend this. Ive ridden through water deep enough to submerge my UN bottom bracket a few times, plus I've been in lots of downpours. Still works like a champ. I do pull the BB out and let the frame dry out after submerging, but the BB has held up like a champ.
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Old 07-04-14, 08:57 PM   #19
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I personally like the external BB cups for the ease of installation and removal, and a Ultegra model can be had for $25 and will last a while. I just replaced the one I had on my Trek 7300 I put in in 2007.
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