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Are press fit BBs really the plague?

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Are press fit BBs really the plague?

Old 03-07-18, 07:12 AM
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PoorBob
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Are press fit BBs really the plague?

I have been shopping around for a new bike for a while now. The issue I have found with each model I like is that they all come with press fit Bottom Brackets.

Each online article I read notes this in the short list of negatives for each bike. Online searches all show that going press fit is just shy of insanity.

Seems at least for now in the mid-lower range of carbon frame bikes they mostly all come standard with press fits.

So I will open the flood gates, am I being cautious over nothing?
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Old 03-07-18, 07:22 AM
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Press fit is sound enough technology, just that there are so many proprietary standards, some of which are better executed than others.
Most manufacturers have embraced it, but one, Pinnerello, tried it for about one model year and went back to Italian threaded BBs. Have to wonder why.
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Old 03-07-18, 11:53 AM
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Like so many choices in setting up a bike this one depends. Depends on the crankset you want to run. One aspect of crankset choice is gearing options. Will the OEM spec crankset fit your needs? If you're like me having a triple ring, a narrow "Q" and a range of tooth choices is very important, and this pretty much means older tapered squares are my choice. Andy
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Old 03-07-18, 12:02 PM
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Press Fit bearings are common in your car drivetrain.. its all about accurate matching fit of the parts ..
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Old 03-07-18, 12:30 PM
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The manufacturers have continued to modify their press fit systems in an attempt to address the problems seen on some bikes. It isn't a terrible concept, but the execution has been lacking for the level of tolerance found in production bikes.

I might decide on a threaded BB over a press fit between two otherwise similar models, but I wouldn't abandon my "dream bike" because it has a press fit. There are ways of mitigating problems if they happen to emerge.
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Old 03-07-18, 12:54 PM
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Is this a race bike you'll be replacing in <3 years or a grail, buy it for life kind of bike?
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Old 03-07-18, 01:03 PM
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I have one bike with a pressfit (Shimano) it's normally my summer bike, but have had no issues with the BB over the last 4-5 years, still as smooth as the day I got the frame.

Would agree that there are far too many standards, but this is an issue with bikes in general, as every manufacture has to set their own standards.
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Old 03-07-18, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
Press fit is sound enough technology, just that there are so many proprietary standards, some of which are better executed than others.
Most manufacturers have embraced it, but one, Pinnerello, tried it for about one model year and went back to Italian threaded BBs. Have to wonder why.
these guys, which have had some good press as American built carbon fiber are using BSA bottom brackets

https://alliedcycleworks.com/allied-alfa-all-road-bike/
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Old 03-07-18, 02:24 PM
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I have a PF30 frame, and have had very little trouble since replacing the BB with a threaded unit from Wheels MFG. The important factor to consider is what crankset is on the bike. If the bike comes with a BB30 bottom bracket and a BB30 specific crankset, then you have very little room to wiggle as far as options if your frame proves to be a prone to loud creaking. Now, if your frame is BB30, PF30 or similar, and your crankset is a shimano (24mm spindle etc.) with some kind of adapter, then if the bottom bracket starts giving you problems, you can buy a Wheels MFG, Praxis etc. bottom bracket and continue using your same crankset.

This is why I didn't even consider a Cannondale while shopping for my wife's new bike last year. They like to spec their own BB30 cranksets with their builds, and I don't want to be left with a choice between chronic noise or replacing BOTH the BB and Crankset. That can get expensive very fast.

-Jeremy
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Old 03-07-18, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Press Fit bearings are common in your car drivetrain.. its all about accurate matching fit of the parts ..
I'm with you @fietsbob....it is a quality control issue in the manufacturing process. My background is in heavy industry.....can you say papermill....where press fits are used everywhere you look. Subjected to loads FAR greater than what a bottom bracket sees, press fits are very reliable when designed and executed properly.

My LBS....where I hang out a lot..... gets it's share of customers coming in with "creaking" bottom brackets. Some are direct press fits and others are threaded housings with external bearings pressed into them. I just shake my head.

Dean
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Old 03-07-18, 07:06 PM
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A press fit BB would be a deal killer for me, even if I really liked the frame a lot.
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Old 03-07-18, 08:01 PM
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I've had a couple of bikes with PF30 bottom brackets and haven't had any trouble. I've read that PF30 is less sensitive to manufacturing tolerance issues than BB30. Like Tunnelrat81, I've gone with a threaded Wheels MFG unit on the PF30 bike I still own. I didn't have trouble with the original cheapo nylon cup FSA bottom bracket, but when the bearings froze up (cyclocross does that to anything) I decided to spend the extra money to upgrade. The WM threaded BB has the advantage that you actually can change the bearings without replacing the whole thing. I've done that too (see previous comment about cyclocross).
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Old 03-07-18, 08:06 PM
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Some more data...

I average 1500-2000 miles a year. I try to ride in dry conditions a much as possible, but I do get stuck in the rain/snow melt from time to time.

The three bikes I have narrowed things down to all come with Shimano Ultegra.
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Old 03-07-18, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PoorBob View Post
Some more data...

I average 1500-2000 miles a year. I try to ride in dry conditions a much as possible, but I do get stuck in the rain/snow melt from time to time.

The three bikes I have narrowed things down to all come with Shimano Ultegra.
Why not look at the reviews for those bikes? There might even be specific mention of creaks from users.
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Old 03-07-18, 10:16 PM
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Praxis or Endure Torqtite bottom brackets take literally five minutes to install into a press fit frame and eliminate the need to press anything.

Press fit problems are non-existent when these bottom brackets are used.


-Tim-
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Old 03-08-18, 06:09 AM
  #16  
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All,

Thanks for the info. It looks like I am really more likely to get old fat and lazy and letting the bike sit then to have issues with a press fit BB.
With the options of the Wheels MFG and Endure BB mods I think I am not going to let the PF BB stop me from getting the bike I want.

Again I appreciate all the feedback, each post was helpful in educating me to the point of making a decision.

Happy riding!

Last edited by PoorBob; 03-08-18 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 03-08-18, 05:55 PM
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In trying to increase market share the bike manufacturers fix problems that don't exist. As in new and improved.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:04 AM
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It isn't a deal breaker but I do hate them. When I finally got tired of messing with my creaky press BB in my cross bike I swapped in a Wheels MFG threaded conversion and haven't had a problem since. When my new mtn bike starts giving me issues I'll do the same to it.
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Old 03-09-18, 04:14 AM
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So called threaded bbs also have the bearing units press fitted into cups.
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Old 03-09-18, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
So called threaded bbs also have the bearing units press fitted into cups.
With a retaining compound similar to loctite 609, which also happens to fix 99% of press fit bearing creaking issues
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Old 03-10-18, 08:13 AM
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I wonder how many of the creaks are actually something else that gets blamed on a PF BB.
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Old 03-10-18, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
I wonder how many of the creaks are actually something else that gets blamed on a PF BB.
None of the ones that go away when the BB is serviced.
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Old 03-10-18, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Praxis or Endure Torqtite bottom brackets take literally five minutes to install into a press fit frame and eliminate the need to press anything.

Press fit problems are non-existent when these bottom brackets are used.


-Tim-
Which really shows how badly the interface is designed, when you need a 3rd party retrofit and not the proper 1st party system component.
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