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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 07-09-14, 06:59 AM   #1
ajtedd
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Bike/components for hilly 90-120 miles per week

Hi

I currently have a 2013 boardman road team with bb30 bottom bracket. The bottom bracket dies on me every 750-1000 miles over hilly terrain. This means I end up getting it/the bearings replaced every 7-8 weeks. This is a massive pain and although I really like the bike, it is becoming un-economical and hugely frustrating to constantly have the bike of the road for up to two days whilst it is getting sorted.

I am now looking to replace said bike with something that will be strong over hilly terrain and am looking for an advice or pointers on the best components/bike to go for.

For reference I am a muscular 5ft10, 13.6 stone – 14 stone. I typically ride a 53/54 frame although I am aware that each manufacturer has slightly different sizing guidelines.

I mainly commute but do go for longer rides at weekends. (40-60miles). Hills are unavoidable where I live. I am only in the market for a road bike and I do not want a mountain/hybrid/commuter bike. My budget will be £1500 and I do not want a bike with any sort of press fit bottom bracket.

I have been looking at Chinese carbon with full shimano 105 or ultegra groupset for around that price range but am worried about the quality control of the frameset/wheels etc.

All help and advice is hugely appreciated.

Kind regards
Alex
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Old 07-09-14, 07:13 AM   #2
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There is something else going on here. Are you riding through salt water rivers and leaving the bike outside ??? No bottom bracket should ever fail that quickly much less repeatedly.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:15 AM   #3
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If the only issue with the current bike is the BB, have you considered installing one of the BB30 to BSA conversion sleeves? It would mean getting a new crank, but once the sleeve is properly installed, you could use any BSA external bearing system you want.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:29 AM   #4
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There is something else going on here. Are you riding through salt water rivers and leaving the bike outside ??? No bottom bracket should ever fail that quickly much less repeatedly.
from my research (post purchase), the bb30 is known for its failings. many an hour has been spent reading forums and reviews. The bike is riden in all conditions but kept inside when at home and in a bike shelter when at work so is only exposed to the conditions when being riden. it gets cleaned and looked after every 2-3 weeks dependent on how much time i have.

at 750-850 miles it starts to creak on the left side (downward pressure on left crank) then gets progressivley worse and louder until (like now) at about 1000 miles a very very very small amount of play starts to develop.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:32 AM   #5
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If the only issue with the current bike is the BB, have you considered installing one of the BB30 to BSA conversion sleeves? It would mean getting a new crank, but once the sleeve is properly installed, you could use any BSA external bearing system you want.
i have looked into conversion kits, notably praxis bb30 converters due to their high durability (and weight). however there are still reports that the creaking and cracking noises will still come back.

I have no issue buying new cranks as it would save ALOT of hard earned cash but i am concerned it is only a short term fix. do you have any first hand experiences with bb30 converters?
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Old 07-09-14, 07:40 AM   #6
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I would think any decent road bike should suit your needs. As to the bb failing, like RollCNY said, there are conversions and also Chris King makes a replacement sleeve which is supposed to be more precise than oem parts.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:44 AM   #7
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I would think any decent road bike should suit your needs. As to the bb failing, like RollCNY said, there are conversions and also Chris King makes a replacement sleeve which is supposed to be more precise than oem parts.
"chris king", noted, i will have a look later this evening. thanks for your help - do you have any experience with bb30's or conversion kits at all?
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Old 07-09-14, 07:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ajtedd View Post
i have looked into conversion kits, notably praxis bb30 converters due to their high durability (and weight). however there are still reports that the creaking and cracking noises will still come back.

I have no issue buying new cranks as it would save ALOT of hard earned cash but i am concerned it is only a short term fix. do you have any first hand experiences with bb30 converters?
I have no first hand experience with BB30, but there has been a great deal of commentary on it over time on the forum. PF30 helps resolve some of the creak issues, but it all hinges on proper installation and use of the correct Loctite. Same with BB30. If your shop is not using Loctite, they are installing it wrong.

The conversion sleeves get a great deal of positive press here for addressing BB30, and when you have a ton of manufacturers making them (SRAM, FSA, Praxis, and a slew of others), I would expect them to be a routine retrofit. Guys on this forum like [MENTION=88222]Campag4life[/MENTION] are very knowledgeable on this system, and this should draw him in for first hand experiences.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:23 AM   #9
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I have no first hand experience with BB30, but there has been a great deal of commentary on it over time on the forum. PF30 helps resolve some of the creak issues, but it all hinges on proper installation and use of the correct Loctite. Same with BB30. If your shop is not using Loctite, they are installing it wrong.

The conversion sleeves get a great deal of positive press here for addressing BB30, and when you have a ton of manufacturers making them (SRAM, FSA, Praxis, and a slew of others), I would expect them to be a routine retrofit. Guys on this forum like [MENTION=88222]Campag4life[/MENTION] are very knowledgeable on this system, and this should draw him in for first hand experiences.
Thanks for the info and pointing me in the direction of campag4life!
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Old 07-09-14, 08:45 AM   #10
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from my research (post purchase), the bb30 is known for its failings. many an hour has been spent reading forums and reviews. The bike is riden in all conditions but kept inside when at home and in a bike shelter when at work so is only exposed to the conditions when being riden. it gets cleaned and looked after every 2-3 weeks dependent on how much time i have.

at 750-850 miles it starts to creak on the left side (downward pressure on left crank) then gets progressivley worse and louder until (like now) at about 1000 miles a very very very small amount of play starts to develop.
Not really, but there is a vocal minority who do have issues with creaking which is usually resolved with some loctite. In any case, it shouldn't require new bearings every 1,000 miles. Maybe your BB shell is defective or imperfect.
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Old 07-09-14, 09:09 AM   #11
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Not really, but there is a vocal minority who do have issues with creaking which is usually resolved with some loctite. In any case, it shouldn't require new bearings every 1,000 miles. Maybe your BB shell is defective or imperfect.
Unfortunantly you tend not to find people on forums moaning about how good their bb30 is, just the issues they have with it. Other peoples first hand experiences are the limit of my exposure to bb30 reliability.

i agree though. if it is the bb shell, what's my next step?
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Old 07-09-14, 09:18 AM   #12
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I have a bike with a factory installed BB30 to standard 68mm adapter installed. My frame is 4-5 years old and my current BB is about 1.5 years old and I have no issues. I ride with 3 other guys regularly that have BB30 that have had no problems with more than a year riding . One of the guys is about 250 lbs/18 stone and we climb steep mountain inclines every ride.

I'm definitely aware of BB30 reputation but as you said there are thousands and thousands of bikes out there with BB30 that have no issues and you hear about 20 people on various forums that have an issue. Failure rate is probably the same as any bottom bracket
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Old 07-09-14, 09:54 AM   #13
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If you are having your LBS do your repairs, you need to find a better shop. They clearly do not know what they are doing.

You should not be going through BB bearings that quickly. BB30 or not. I have owned several BB30 bikes - currently have four in my garage -and the creaking has happened on some. The fix is quite simple: use Green Loctite bearing retention fluid when you install the bearings.

It will hold the bearings in place and stop the creaking.
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Old 07-09-14, 10:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
I have no first hand experience with BB30, but there has been a great deal of commentary on it over time on the forum. PF30 helps resolve some of the creak issues, but it all hinges on proper installation and use of the correct Loctite. Same with BB30. If your shop is not using Loctite, they are installing it wrong.

The conversion sleeves get a great deal of positive press here for addressing BB30, and when you have a ton of manufacturers making them (SRAM, FSA, Praxis, and a slew of others), I would expect them to be a routine retrofit. Guys on this forum like @Campag4life are very knowledgeable on this system, and this should draw him in for first hand experiences.
Hi Roll...

OP aka Alex, if you like your frameset, keep it. BB30 is the most prevalent BB sold on top race bikes today and used by 2000 watt riders...something I can't relate to.

So, it isn't the BB30 that is your issue but rather how it is installed.

Three things are critical to BB30 hanging in reliably for many miles:

- Good bearings...not all BB30 bearings are created equal...but good steel bearings are inexpensive and you don't need ceramic.
- Green Loctite. If BB30 bearings aren't loctited in they generally will shift and creak over time...what is likely your problem.
- Correct crank preload. If the crank isn't set up with a hint of lateral preload, aka wave washer or a bit of mechanical preload aka Shimano cranks, then bearings tend to make noise because the inner race isn't loading the balls.

Pretty simple huh? And yet above steps are often overlooked or misunderstood.

Above is where I would start. Make sure your bike shop understands that the bearings must be loctited. If not, don't have them do the work. Ask them their procedure since you have struggled.

After above has run its course and say you get another nagging creak, you still don't need a new frame...this time just convert it to an external bearing crank with adapter BB...many available.

What kind of crank are you using?
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Old 07-09-14, 11:10 AM   #15
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As a related question, does creaking (of any BB type, say 68mm for example) indicate improper installation or that damage is occurring? And does a worn out bb damage the crank spindle?
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Old 07-09-14, 12:11 PM   #16
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As a related question, does creaking (of any BB type, say 68mm for example) indicate improper installation or that damage is occurring? And does a worn out bb damage the crank spindle?
Its kind of chicken and egg...which came first. For example, proper installation is no substitute for periodic maintenance and maintenance schedule is generally related to riding conditions aka riding in the rain or salt versus not. So bearings can be installed properly but if bearings run out of grease, they will fail over time. With BB30 with bearings loctited in place, only time you remove the bearings is for replacement when they are worn. They could last 15K miles with periodic regreasing. Don't remove them to regrease them.

If bearings fail and/or develop excessive tolerance, they can cause scoring to the crank. I would say crank failures are quite rare. Normally bearings will start to fail, get crunchy, make noise and an owner will replace them before the crank is ruined.

Last edited by Campag4life; 07-09-14 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 07-09-14, 12:45 PM   #17
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Its kind of chicken and egg...which came first. For example, proper installation is no substitute for periodic maintenance and maintenance schedule is generally related to riding conditions aka riding in the rain or salt versus not. So bearings can be installed properly but if bearings run out of grease, they will fail over time. With BB30 with bearings loctited in place, only time you remove the bearings is for replacement when they are worn. They could last 15K miles with periodic regreasing. Don't remove them to regrease them.

If bearings fail and/or develop excessive tolerance, they can cause scoring to the crank. I would say crank failures are quite rare. Normally bearings will start to fail, get crunchy, make noise and an owner will replace them before the crank is ruined.

15K is the best you can expect and you have to service them? My DA7800 has 50K, perfect and never touched.
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Old 07-09-14, 02:19 PM   #18
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15K is the best you can expect and you have to service them? My DA7800 has 50K, perfect and never touched.
You can't extrapolate from a single data point anything. I sure there are BB30's with 60K miles on the original bearings. Also you can buy 2-3 sets of BB30 bearings for the price of a single DA BB. Its not only about riding conditions but also about the strength of the rider. You may not like BB30. People have allegiance to all different types of BB including square taper. I do believe DA BB's are very good. If the OP wants he can easily regress his BB30 to an external bearing crank like DA or Ultegra and run a similar BB to what you have. All that is necessary is to press a BSA sleeve into BB30 bores and now you have an English threaded BB. Also Praxis makes a BB that is plug and play to BB30 that has the same reliability of a DA BB and it is easily installed and removed. There is no reason to settle now. Any BB30 can run a variety of cranks including Campy which previously didn't mount well. Now they do with a Praxis UltraTorque BB.
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Old 07-09-14, 03:54 PM   #19
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"chris king", noted, i will have a look later this evening. thanks for your help - do you have any experience with bb30's or conversion kits at all?

Check ou the cult of the caad thread. A few people have the praxis BB w/shimano cranks. Caad10 is known to make noise and we have discussed this many times
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Old 07-09-14, 03:58 PM   #20
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This is the thread: The Cult of CAAD...

And this is a search. http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=9389782

A few have used green loctite with extra grease to keep water out of the BB and stop the creak, one guy drilled his BB out and fixed a manufacturing error....(lol)......others have used the praxis BB and have numerous squeak free miles in all conditions.
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Old 07-09-14, 04:00 PM   #21
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If you are having your LBS do your repairs, you need to find a better shop. They clearly do not know what they are doing.

You should not be going through BB bearings that quickly. BB30 or not. I have owned several BB30 bikes - currently have four in my garage -and the creaking has happened on some. The fix is quite simple: use Green Loctite bearing retention fluid when you install the bearings.

It will hold the bearings in place and stop the creaking.
thanks for the pointers. i have seen several different types of lochtite suggested. is there a definitive/specific type that is best?
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Old 07-09-14, 04:05 PM   #22
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Hi Roll...

OP aka Alex, if you like your frameset, keep it. BB30 is the most prevalent BB sold on top race bikes today and used by 2000 watt riders...something I can't relate to.

So, it isn't the BB30 that is your issue but rather how it is installed.

Three things are critical to BB30 hanging in reliably for many miles:

- Good bearings...not all BB30 bearings are created equal...but good steel bearings are inexpensive and you don't need ceramic.
- Green Loctite. If BB30 bearings aren't loctited in they generally will shift and creak over time...what is likely your problem.
- Correct crank preload. If the crank isn't set up with a hint of lateral preload, aka wave washer or a bit of mechanical preload aka Shimano cranks, then bearings tend to make noise because the inner race isn't loading the balls.

Pretty simple huh? And yet above steps are often overlooked or misunderstood.

Above is where I would start. Make sure your bike shop understands that the bearings must be loctited. If not, don't have them do the work. Ask them their procedure since you have struggled.

After above has run its course and say you get another nagging creak, you still don't need a new frame...this time just convert it to an external bearing crank with adapter BB...many available.

What kind of crank are you using?
wow! really usefull info there!

will follow these steps when i take it in to the shop and make sure i question their process.

currently using the standard compat fsa cranks that come on that model of boardman. would probably upgrade to 105 if i went the praxis/converter route. do i need to buy a bb as well as a converter? i am assuming yes although i do have limited insight.
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Old 07-09-14, 04:07 PM   #23
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As a related question, does creaking (of any BB type, say 68mm for example) indicate improper installation or that damage is occurring? And does a worn out bb damage the crank spindle?
good question- something i was pondering whilst (gingerly) cycling around bristol this evening!
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Old 07-09-14, 04:09 PM   #24
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Its kind of chicken and egg...which came first. For example, proper installation is no substitute for periodic maintenance and maintenance schedule is generally related to riding conditions aka riding in the rain or salt versus not. So bearings can be installed properly but if bearings run out of grease, they will fail over time. With BB30 with bearings loctited in place, only time you remove the bearings is for replacement when they are worn. They could last 15K miles with periodic regreasing. Don't remove them to regrease them.

If bearings fail and/or develop excessive tolerance, they can cause scoring to the crank. I would say crank failures are quite rare. Normally bearings will start to fail, get crunchy, make noise and an owner will replace them before the crank is ruined.
more very useful info! Thanks!
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Old 07-09-14, 04:11 PM   #25
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This is the thread: The Cult of CAAD...

And this is a search. http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=9389782

A few have used green loctite with extra grease to keep water out of the BB and stop the creak, one guy drilled his BB out and fixed a manufacturing error....(lol)......others have used the praxis BB and have numerous squeak free miles in all conditions.
good insight and thanks for the links. not sure i would brave enough or skilled enough to take a drill to the bike!
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